Monday, 12 December 2011

River Paddling

The Humber River
After a an ordinary hotel breakfast we loaded up the van and drove the short distance o a village called Little Rapids. It was here, by the bridge that we put-in on the Humber River and began our day’s canoeing. The river is wide and swift here and the weather is clear, warm and blue.

We negotiate around a few fly-fishermen we drop into the first rapids. The bouncing and quick but heir are no obstacles to avoid and it’s a fun and easy run through. It makes a change to be on a river!

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It was an easy paddle down-stream for the next hour or so. We saw a couple of Loons on a calm side of the river before the river became choppy as we head into the second rapid. Once again it was swift and easy. After that the river slowed down as we drifted  we came across the Steady brook tributary. We paddled up this as far as we could and could see the Steady Brook Falls in the distance. We will go there this afternoon.

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Soon after that we arrived back at our hotel and we pulled over to meet Carolyn and have a picnic lunch on the river bank.

The final stretch was mostly an easy ride but we did have one more rapid section where the river divided around an island.

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In the afternoon the others had booked a zip-line adventure. It’s not my kind of thing so I would be doing something else but meanwhile I suggested to Carolyn that we might try the Railway Museum which is here in Corner Brook.

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It wasn’t far away and I spent a happy hour looking around. It’s a shame that Newfoundland no longer has a railway. It closed in 1989 and ran for about 90 years. The good news is that the main line from Port au Basque to St. John’s (about 500 miles) has now been converted into a cycle/hike walk and is part of the Trans-Canadian Trail. We were shown around the museum by a young and enthusiastic guide. It must have been quite a ride crossing Newfoundland in the winter. And slow too. That run used to take 25 hours. Officially. Sometimes it took 3 days!

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After that we returned to the hotel and walked across the road to the Marble Mountain Resort. This is a ski-resort in winter and you an see a number of lifts cut into the mountain and several ski-runs that cut through the forest on the descent. The others went off to do the zip-line thing so I decided to hike up Mountain Mountain instead. First though I decided to check out the Steady Brook Falls for myself. It didn’t take long and then as I left the falls and started on the trail up to the peak I came across another hiker. Margaret, from Toronto. We got chatting and spent the rest of the afternoon together. We followed the access road all the way to the top of the ski-lifts.

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Once at the top we enjoyed the views up the Humber River valley towards Deer Lake. After photographing some White Admirals we choose to walk down one of the ski runs. We think a blue run will be suitable but it turns out to be steeper than we thought and quite overgrown so we wander back onto the access road and follow the hairpins all the way to the bottom. At the base of the mountain we separated and I met up with the rest of our group. They had all thoroughly enjoyed the zip.

In the evening we again went into Corner Brook town. This time we ate at a restaurant called ‘Bistro’. It wasn’t bad and we ate outside too.