Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Goobies to Clarenville

This morning we were woken by a pair of Black-and-white Warblers and a pair of Black-throated Green Warblers, both of whom had territories in the mossy conifer forest where we pitched our tent. Although they were awake early they seemed a bit subdued, and as I emerged from my nice warm sleeping bag to get the stove going to make coffee I discovered why. Although it is June 10th, the temperature was close to 0°C.

As we set left the shelter of the trees and set off down the trail we discovered a cold wind that gusting so hard it was difficult to keep a forward momentum at times. Still, we were excited to find yet another subtle change in the landscape.

We walked through a short forested stretch with quite a few cottages and cabins, and then climbed into a much more open landscape. We saw rolling hills dotted with large erratic and small lakes and rivers. In the background there were again steep, rocky, jutting hills. It felt rugged, wild, and exposed, an atmosphere that was amplified by the howling wind.

After the exposed section we again entered a more forested section of the trail, with many larger rivers. Fortunately the Great Trail has made many repairs in this section, and we gratefully found many new trestle bridges over the fast flowing, rocky rivers.

As we progressed through the afternoon we noticed decidedly more deciduous trees in the Boreal forest mix than we've been seeing previously. In particular, there were a lot of trembling Aspen. It rained on and off all day, and we could have sworn that the leaves came out as we walked. It seems spring may have arrived in Newfoundland at last!

Although we would expect a slight shift in the composition of the bird community with the increase in diversity of tree species present we didn't actually see or hear too many birds today due to the wind. A few notable exceptions were a pair of curious Canada Jay's, a patch of Yellow-rumped and Wilson's Warblers, and a few Common Ravens.

By around 3 PM we approached the town of Clarenville. This is one of the larger towns along the T'Railway Trail (population ~6,000), and it provides services to around 96,000 people in the surrounding communities.

We plan to take a zero day here to catch up on administrative tasks, resupply, and make a few repairs to our equipment.

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