On which we went to Gros Morne to spend a couple nights camping and hiking...
My day didn't get off to the greatest of starts...awake at 3:30...again at 6:00...lay in bed until eight-ish, feeling tired and slightly out of sorts. A shower helped. Eventually everyone was up, dressed and fed, and we packed our gear into the cars and headed off on our camping adventure.
Valerie and I went in one car with K and M, while Dave and Mark, Sarah and David went in the other car. The drive from Valerie's house to Gros Morne was about three hours, plus pitstops for gas and again for lunch (we'd packed sandwiches, etc.) As we drove, Valerie told me more about her family and various connections. I felt both closer and more distant as I listened. Closer because it was an absolute joy to share her history, in a place where she's so relaxed and far away from the 24/7 demands of ministry. More distant because I sometimes feel lost in the crowd of her life...as if I could slip away and she wouldn't even notice I was gone. (My heart tells me that is ridiculous, but my imagination does go off in unfortunate directions bytimes!)
It was a beautiful day, sunny and warm...at least it started out that way, the rain came later in the evening. Just past Deer Lake, we pulled off at an abandoned gas station and ate our picnic lunch. Sarah complained that we hadn't stopped to visit the Insectarium (which sounds pretty cool actually, but not so much $75 worth of cool, as the admission would have been for the lot of us, based on the website prices.) Onward ho to the park itself. The tourism ads don't lie, the scenery is breathtakingly, stunningly, gorgeous! We checked into the Visitor Centre, got our park passes and carried on to the campground. There are several campgrounds in Gros Morne National Park, but we chose Berry Hill. We picked out two adjacent sites, that were more like one big site with two driveways, because the space in between was open instead of separated by trees as were most of the sites. It was a lovely campground, with relatively clean washrooms, lots of dry firewood, decent sized sites, and some adjacent walking trails.
Here is our excellent new tent. M had her own little room in the front.
M with her nose in a book, having a quiet moment while Dave inflated the air mattresses.
The other half of our double campsite.
Just finished putting up my new screen tent (which I got for a great price at the Canadian Tire in Grand Falls):
M sitting in my new chair in the new screen tent:
The Reverends Valerie and Mark...too cute. (Anyone who thinks clergy have no sense of humour has obviously never met these two!)
A closer look at the t-shirts...
Here I am making supper...which didn't taste anything like how it tastes when I make it at home, but at least it was edible and that's the main thing when roughing it!
My handsome hubby in the screen tent (for the life of me, I can't understand why he hates having his photo taken.)
The deluge started around 8pm...we sat in the screen tent for a while, but it really wasn't very useful in keeping out the rain!
Thankfully, one of us soon had the oh so brilliant idea that we should all go up to the kitchen shelter and build a fire in the woodstove there!
Fire!! :) We were soon very toasty and dry and enjoying our roaring blaze.
Valerie, K, M and I had gone up to the swimming pool earlier and checked out the 25 person hot tub. It wasn't all that impressive...it would fit a ton of people, but the water wasn't very hot. But the Rec Complex was a very nice size relative to the tiny community of Rocky Harbour. We swam around in the pool for a while, and then K hit her foot on the diving board while diving, and split the top of it open. The lifeguards put some antibiotics and ointment on it, and bandaged it up. It was quite a deep cut, poor doll...she was very brave about it, though. Here she is, in front of the woodstove, with her foot elevated and getting soothed by the magic mommy touch!
Valerie and I had bought tarps the other day in Grand Falls to go over the tents...just in case. A fortuitous purchase, as it turned out: I'm fairly certain we would have gotten soaked without them! Happily, we stayed dry so did not have to start the next day feeling damp and bedraggled.