Tales of a 21st Century Gypsy

August 21, 2006. The end of the road, literally

Yesterday I turned around and started back. Iíd reached my last point out Ė LíAnse aux Meadows, the site of the only known Viking settlement in North America. I visited the historic site, and visited the reconstructed settlement, and continued down the road to check out the Norseman Restaurant, which Iíd heard was the best in Newfoundland. Maybe it is, but Iím not interested in fifty-dollar dinners, so I thought Iíd pass on it.

And then I turned around and headed back.

So now itís really the end. Iím sorry to leave Newfoundland, which has been wonderful, but all endings are also beginnings. And I have a million things I want to do once I am staying in one place and not spending my time driving. Which I wonít list here; I donít want to jinx myself by going public! Itís okay to go public about what Iíve already done, but not about my intentions.

Of course when I turned around in líAnse aux Meadows (which someone suggested was originally LíAnse aux Mťduses, or Jellyfish Cove Ė I like that idea) I didnít immediately head to DC. In fact, I returned to St. Anthonyís to camp for a second night, use the wifi in the municipal building parking lot, and climb the 470-odd steps to the hill overlooking the harbor. For Newfoundland, St. Anthonyís is a reasonable-sized town, which means there are streets that you canít see as you drive through, two national chain gas stations Ė or ďgas bars,Ē as they are called on the Northern Pen Ė and two decent sized grocery stores (though still no coffee beans and not much in the way of fresh produce). Not big enough for a Walmart or a Canadian Tire, though; those are the mark of a Newfoundland town that has really arrived.

The harbor is snug, well protected by two peninsulas that cradle the water, sheltering the boats and the coastline. After climbing those 470 steps, it was all spread before me, St. Anthony circling its port, St. Anthony Bight on the next peninsula over. A few fishing boats steamed in and out of the harbor, silhouetted against the blinding morning sunshine. Looking south along the headland that Iíd climbed, the green land dipped and swelled in boggy hummocks dotted with small pools reflecting the intense blue of the sky. The cool wind rushing over the hilltop felt wonderful after the heat of the climb. It was simply splendid. A lovely way to start the day.

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