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Report 1901: A Month on the Rock

By Eleanor from UK, Fall 2010

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Page 18 of 31: To Rattling Brook

photo by Michael

Rattling Brook Falls

After Rocky Harbour we headed for Rattling Brook which was to be our base for the Baie Verte Peninsula.

There had been a lot more rain overnight. We woke to steady rain with low cloud and could only just see across the bay to Lobster Point Lighthouse. It stayed like that all day with quite a strong wind at times.

The drive along the Trans Canada Highway was boring in the cloud and rain. It was through trees with no views. The road was not in good condition and there was a long stretch with a speed restriction for ‘construction’ although there was not much sign of work being done. There was no settlement apart from a gas station with small service area with cafe and convenience store at the more important road junctions.

We did a detour to Hampden along routes 420 and 421. This is a large settlement at the head of the bay and in mid September 2010 there were major road construction works through the village. We drove along the side of White Bay through small settlements with a few houses to The Beaches at the end of the road which had a small activity centre (closed at the end of the season) but little else. The road was just a few feet above the beach and protected by large boulders. It was high tide and waves were breaking across the road. In places there were a lot of big stones which had been thrown up onto the road. This would have been a lovely run in good weather as there would have been nice views across the bay which had a small island at the head, to the far side with steeply wooded sides. These were mainly coniferous trees but there were some deciduous which were just beginning to change colour. There is no settlement along the far side as it was resettled in the 1960s.

We drove back to the junction of the Trans Canada Highway and went into the convenience store and restaurant. The intention was for a cup of tea but we decided we needed warming up and ordered a small poutine each. For those who have not come across this, it is chips with gravy and grated mozzarella cheese. Great comfort food and just what we needed. Judging by the size of the small helping we had ordered we were pleased we hadn’t ordered a large portion - we would never have finished it.

It was a nice run along route 391 to King’s Point, along the base of a steep wooded slope with views across Southwest Arm to Rattling Brook.

We checked into Windermere Log Cabins and were told to go and see Dulcie (in her 80s) who runs the shop in Rattling Brook. “You won’t buy anything, but it is worth seeing.” It was. It had belonged to her husband’s parents and she had run it with her husband who died six years ago. She lives in King’s Point and has a son living there who does some farming, which may explain the tractor and field growing cabbages and carrots as we came into King’s Point.

We went up the steps and into a long low building with a huge old cast iron wood burning stove which gave out lots of heat. The walls were lined with shelves selling mainly dry goods; tins, cooking oil, flour. She doesn’t sell milk or other perishables. She had a huge selection of dress material and proudly told us that people come from Gander to buy material from her. I can well believe it. She also sold knitting wool, hand knitted socks, greetings cards, Christmas decorations...

The rain had eased so decided to do Rattling Brook Waterfall Trail, which is at the start of Rattling Brook village. There is a small parking area at the side of the road but we parked in the kids’ playground area across the road.

There is a gravel path along the river which divides after a short distance. The right hand fork goes to a viewing station at the bottom of the falls. The left hand fork climbs steeply up through trees along a boardwalk and 264 steps to two good viewing areas of the waterfall. This is 800 feet drop down a narrow gully from the top of the mountain. Lower down there are rapids over big boulders in the stream bed. It was a well worthwhile climb, as views from the bottom were disappointing in comparison.

Windermere Log Cabins are built on the hillside above the road into Rattling Brook. There were three separate log cabins with a small parking area next to each and shared use of the BBQ. We had a view through the trees across the bay. Stairs led to a balcony and into the nicely furnished cabins. There was a large kitchen/living area with two double bedrooms and bathroom at the back of the cabin.

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