I actually slept in this particular morning. By the time I got up, Valerie already had coffee on. She and I and Dave lounged around for a while chatting. The girls eventually joined us, and K asked me if I would let Valerie braid my hair so K could watch and learn how to braid. Worked for me, I love having stuff done with my hair. After breakfast, Valerie felt like going for a hike...finding it hard to sit around after all the activity of our Gros Morne trip! I suggested Eel Brook trail in Norris Arm, which I'd noticed one day while driving. J and Cal were going for a bike ride instead, so Valerie, Mark, Dave and I headed off ourselves.
What a beautiful hiking trail through the woods, along Eel Brook and its pretty waterfalls.
The path was well kept (for the most part), with lookoff platforms at both the upper and lower falls.
Dave and Mark (looking the part of an intrepid explorer!)
Valerie and I climbed right into the river to check out the falls first hand...
Dave and I on the lookoff over Norris Arm (i.e. an arm of the Exploits River)
The lower third of the trail was part of the T-railway (same trail system as the trestle bridge in Bishop's Falls. The trees that enclosed the trail on either side served to block any breeze from reaching us, and trapped the hot, humid air. We were getting very hot!
Who would expect to come across a sign for a lounge while walking in the woods?!
The lounge wasn't open, but the owner happened to be inside because a VLT repairman was there. Good timing for us. He offered us all tall glasses of ice water...ahhhhh boy, did that hit the spot. He also offered us a ride up the hill to the car, but we said thanks but nah, we'll walk. May not have been our wisest decision ever! We were already hot from walking along the T-railway and got even more overheated from the blazing sun beating down on us as we walked up the road to the car. When we got home, Valerie walked straight into the river, clothes and all...seemed like an excellent idea, so I followed her. Oh so refreshing! And nice to rinse the sweat out of our clothes.
We popped up to the house for a bite of lunch, and then took the girls into Bishop's Falls. K and M wanted to make supper, but wanted it to be a surprise for both Valerie and I. Not being too keen on giving them carte blanche on the groceries, we got J to look over their shopping list, just to make sure it was reasonable, and then we stayed in the car while the girls went in and got their supplies. And of course we had to stop at the Ice Cream parlour...since we were in the neighbourhood!
K and M and K's cousin in the car on the way to Bishop's:
When we got back home again, we put on our bathing suits, gathered up J and went for a walk down the river to the channel (where Rattling Brook flows into the Exploits River). We had a lovely refreshing swim in the fresh water, and then walked back. The tide had come up considerably - the water had been ankle to knee deep walking down, but was waist high on the way back. Our surprise supper was wings, natchos and dip, and caesar salad. Very tasty, and all the more so because we didn't have to cook or clean up - bonus! Back to the river we went for another swim after supper...the water was just so gorgeous this day. Quite warm, not too salty. It was a delightful day: beautiful weather, wonderful friends, heavenly surroundings! Life doesn't get much better. (That night at bedtime, I wrote in my journal: "pretty sure God dwells in this place...it really is heaven, I think. I wish we could come here every summer!! ♥")
Although...heaven should come without water issues! The well seems to have run dry, so we had to flush the toilet with buckets of river water! Valerie said was the first time in 40 years that the well had run dry, but we figured it was due to the fact that there were four teenagers in the house...their long showers and frequent toilet flushing seemed the likeliest cause. Wasn't a big deal using the buckets of water though.
Val and Mark's niece (Cal and J's daughter) had arrived from St. John's, and joined us after supper for our nightly hangout in the *gizzeboo*. Quite the character she is. She and Mark seemed to share many frames of reference, such as a near obsession with LOTR, and enjoying the same TV shows and stuff, and a similar sense of humour (except in Mark's case, without such a negative, cynical edge.)
Mark, Cal and Dave:
Valerie and J:
Watching the sunset from inside the gazebo:
The gazebo all fancied up with pretty patio lanterns!
Later in the evening, after Valerie and I made a run into Norris Arm for munchies, we went down to her sister's place (not J, another sister) to check for bats. Apparently there are bats inside somewhere, and we were going to watch and see where they came out, and then plug up the holes. The house is surrounded by trees, no open ground for air flow and the moist forest air is right up to the walls. Which meant the mosquitos were absolutely ferocious. Seriously...I literally could not stand outside, I stayed in the car and watched from there. We only saw one bat, so gave up. (Valerie said they did see them a couple nights after we left, she figured we must have gone too late this first attempt.) After the great bat hunting excursion, we went back to Val's and gathered in the cabin for a little while. The wind was a bit chilly to sit comfortably in the gazebo. But I didn't stay long because I was really tired, plus Valerie seemed to be falling asleep in her chair! So I said goodnight and headed off to bed (Dave followed me out the door, being very tired himself). And so ended another fabulously wonderful day in Newfoundland with my fabulously wonderful friend. :)