There have been a few misty days on the Bonavista Peninsula when I have felt like a hobbit who packed too much stuff. I have no ring of power to throw in the fire but I have an ego that could listen more and talk less.
I was extended a warm welcome in Terra Nova. Deanne at the Dep, a great local general store, stored my bike as I went for a day trip to Kings Cove to see the village my Nanne was born in. It dawned on me sitting drinking coffee there and talking to locals how important it is to have a place to meet and share conversation. These places are the fire pits of yesterday our distant ancestors shared stories around.
Kings Cove was like digging beneath the big tree and finding a big root. The salt air, the hard rock,the soft fields of long grass and wild flowers. And the small church on the hill she talked about decades after she had left. She was 16 when she got on a boat for St. John’s to take a job as a nanny. But as I saw the land that shaped her I felt I suddenly knew her so much more. And in knowing her more, on an intuitive level, myself as well.
I slept on the beach by the lake in Terra Nova and did a radio interview with CBC. Then ventured back onto the trail and pushed for Gambo. Was sitting by the trail in Maccles Lake when I met Clayton and Mary. They pulled up next to me and said, “ you must be whelan. “ “Yes,” I replied a bit dumbfounded and then remembered the CBC interview. “ Listen,” he says, “my cabin is right here, you want to come for a cup of coffee and a cheese burgher?” Not feeling the love of my 7th granola bar in two days I said yes. Lovely couple, dated 50 years ago and started again a few years ago. While eating lunch together Clayton says, “ now why can’t everybody be like this, enjoy the land, be nice to each other. Why all the wars, and for God? Ok, that’s all.”
After that pushed to Gambo, birth town of Joey Smallwood. This was a drawing made by an artist named Blackwood. Before becoming Premier and making Newfoundland a part of Canada Joey walked the railway.
Camped for the night a few kilometers out of town. Now in Gander awaiting a big rain storm. Day 22.
CBC radio interview from Terra Nova