Saturday, June 22, 2019

Norris Arm (ish) to Bishop's Falls

Since today is the summer solstice, this morning came early. We were in a great wildlife area last night, but the result was little sleep. A pair of Common Loons was dueting so loudly on the lake beside us that they periodically woke up various songbirds, including a Wood Thrush, a Black-capped Chickadee, and an American Robin, which all sang a dew notes before settling back down. On top of it, the trail outside our tent seemed to be highway for Arctic Hares.

When we emerged from the tent and went down to get water from the nearby beaver pond (ouch, I know), Sean spotted an immature eagle perched atop a utility pole on the water's edge. It was a magnificent bird indeed!


After this uplifting beginning to the day, we made good time in to the town of Norris Arm. This was a very long community, stretched out along the shores of Norris Arm, which is a very long bay off the Atlantic Ocean. As we approached the water was like a mirror, providing a perfect reflection of the houses and cottages on the opposite shore. As we paused at a picturesque waterfall, with a view out across the bay a Bald Eagle swooped down and glided majestically a cross the water, perfectly reflected on the still surface.

The community of Norris Arm was busy and bustling. As we passed the fire hall, town hall, and community center several people stopped to chat, and a few more waved as they drove by. There was a friendly lady out planting colourful flowers on the ear memorial, and the cemeteries were all well maintained, with abundant flowers on all the graves. It was lovely to see so many signs of community spirit in one small place.

At the edge of town we passed a small park dedicated to the CN Railway station that used to be located at that spot. The informational sign suggested that many of the workers who began construction of the railway in St. John's made it to Norris Arm before deciding to settle down and take root. Another community with a strong tie to the railway that can still be seen today.

After Norris Arm the trail took us through a stretch of open barrens, followed by a long stretch of trail that was bordered by alder shrubs. The leaves have really emerged in the last few days, as have the wildflowers. The white of the cotton grasses in the open barrens really caught our eye today.


By early afternoon we came to the Rattling Brook, which has a nice trestle bridge and a small power generating station on it where the crosses. It brought to mind the Irish Rover's song about the Rattlin' Bog, which is a favourite of mine.

After that we found ourselves on the outskirts of Bishop's Falls. The trail was still forested, but there were houses along it, and it became more or less sandwiched between a road and the Trans Canada Highway. There is 25-50 mm of rain predicted for this afternoon and overnight, so we decided to find a spot to stop and get squared away before the deluge began. As we stop for the night a few kilometers short of Bishop's Falls, we realize we will cross the half-way marker for our first province at some point tomorrow!


  1. The flowers you posted appear to be (I'm considerably less confident about plants):

    White flowers: Labrador Tea (Rhododendron groenlandicum)
    Pink flowers: Sheep Laurel (Kalmia angustifolia)

  2. The pink flowers may also be Swamp Laurel (Kalmia polifolia). I don't know how to tell them apart at this time.


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