Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Gallants to Stephenville Crossing

It was very hard to leave the warmth and coziness of the beautiful cabin we stayed in last night. Finding a peaceful place, and having the privilege to spend some time there is an increasingly rare treat in our ever busier and noisier world.  We are enormously grateful to the Callahans for their kindness and generosity in giving us this gift.

We delayed as long as we could, listening to the Black-and-white Warbler, White-throated Sparrow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Black-capped Chickadee that were singing in the trees on the banks of the river.




We finally headed down the trail once again, passing many fly fishermen who were out early on the Harry River. It is a wide, clear, fast-flowing river with a rocky bottom, with a mesmerizing quality that temps you to stop and watch it for a while.





At some point yesterday as we passed out of Gallants we crossed out of the mountainous region, and began following the river. Much of today we walked through a flatter landscape, with the mountains visible in the background.







Around 10 km into our hike we passed a cool landmark in our journey - we have now walked 1000 km on the Great Trail. This includes our hike along the East Coast Trail last summer. Woohoo!




There were many birds out and about along the river. For the first time in a while we saw Wilson's Warblers again, as well as Yellow-rumped Warblers, Yellow Warblers, White-winged Crossbills, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Song Sparrows, Lincoln's Sparrows, Pine Siskins, and American Robins. Many adult birds were busily feeding nestlings.



We did also find an American Robin's nest with three eggs in it. At this time of year it was likely a second or third nest attempt.




By the afternoon we found ourselves walking through a very flat open landscape. The wet meadows and barrens were filled with bright red pitcher plants, pink mountain laurels, and white labrador tea, giving the landscape some wonderful colour.





The walk in to Stephenville Crossing seemed like a long climb up a very straight section of trail. The open, expansive landscape was very beautiful, and we watched as scattered showers raced across beside us. A definite highlight was seeing a Great Blue Heron flying majestically past.



We reached the community of Stephenville Crossing around 3 PM and left the trail to resupply at Colemans grocery. This turned out to be more of a variety store than a super market, but we managed to get much of what we will need for the coming week.  This may well be the last resupply we do in Newfoundland. Although we are excited to see Nova Scotia, we will certainly be sad to leave this beautiful province behind!

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