More trip…sick of it yet?

Sorry for missing yesterday guys, as my friend Linda would say, I sort of “flamed out on re-entry”. I’m better today. Got some groceries, got the pictures developed, went to the post office, did laundry, cleaned the god-forsaken pit that we call a home….you know. Pulled it together. There are still bike parts in the front hall, but hell…you can’t have everything. (I admit that I am somewhat disappointed that my personal share of “not having everything” includes bike parts in the front hall instead of, say…not being able to buy organic quinoa in the convenience store on the corner, but let’s not get bitter.)
Just to ensure that I bore you all to tears and make sure that not one living soul comes back to read this blog, let’s continue the Dublin Bay socks tour of the maritmes…shall we? (I swear that there is yarn in this one, though I will not be granting Claudia’s request for really, really big hair pictures. She is right, they do exist, but it is better that they live in mystery.)
Joe, the sock and I (and some increasingly dirty children) made our way from the civilization of St. Johns to the incredible wilderness of Gros Morne National Park. Sam wanted to see a moose, and Joe promised her that he would give her a dollar if she didn’t see one by bedtime. 10 minutes into the park (right after the black bear, we were given this pamphlet when we entered)… Sam and the sock saw a moose.
This, I freely admit, is not the best moose picture in the world, but I didn’t have my camera with me the other 18 times. Even though you can’t tell in this picture, since the moose was lying in the grass, moose are huge. Moose are also a creepy kind of fast. They can be aggressive, and run up to 56 km/h and swim as fast as two men paddling a canoe. (Only in Canada would somebody rate the swimming speed of an animal using that reference, and only in Canada can you imagine exactly how that was figured out… go with the mental image “Paddle buddy, paddle, for crying out loud put your back into it!”)
We camped, swam, hiked, boated and knit through parts of the park (the park…should you forget that everything in Canada is immense…and that everything in Newfoundland is twice the size that it is in the rest of Canada, the park covers 1,100 square kilometres). One of the highlights, at least for the sock, was the hike and the boat ride into the fjord at Western Brook Pond. (Again, note the charming Newfoundlander knack for calling immense things by charming little diminutives….pond. Sure.)
We saw lynx, which was pretty cool, even though lynx eat sheep (and are therefore my natural enemy) and the children played in Shallow Bay at sunset.
Reluctantly, we left Gros Morne, and travelled around the edge of Newfoundland, where I amused the locals with my big hair, my complete lack of an accent (if you really want to crack somebody up in Rocky Harbour, pronounce the “H”. Newfoundlanders take the H’s off words that have them and put them on words that begin with vowels. A perfect example would be a Newfoundlander hearing an echo. They might say “Dat’s an ‘ell of a h’echo”.) and french pronunciation of non-french items. Pronouncing “Baie Verte” (Kathy…your going to love this) “Bai Verr” (which is the french) will get you a lovely enquiry…”So me dearie…where ya from?” They say “Bay Vert” (rhyme “vert” with Bert). It was on this part of the trip that I found “Aunt Maggie’s homespun”, in Woody Point, and scored this….
for so little money that I was woozy. The blue is called “Quoddy blue”, and I got enough for a sweater to remind me of the sea on Newfoundland’s West Coast.
I knit, we drove, I knit…we drove…until we reached Joe’s hometown of Corner Brook. On our way into the town I just about lost my cool. Joe hit the brakes, Meg leapt out of the car with the Dublin Bay sock, and I snapped this shot of the town sign. Check it out.
That’s right, for those of you with monitors that don’t believe in reflecting detail, the motifs on the sign say that in Corner Brook, you can get (in this order), a place to stay, food to eat, gas, YARN and camping.
I love Newfoundland. (It turns out, in the interest of full disclosure..that the ball of wool and needles symbol means that you can get Newfoundland handknits here. Still cool, not as cool as when I thought that the world had finally come around to my way of thinking and started marking yarn shops on town signs so that you would know if it was worth stopping….but cool.)
While in Corner Brook we swam where Joe swam as a kid, saw his old house, played where he played, saw his school and stayed with a dear family friend, Dick. Dick graciously let our tribe invade, let us take showers and eat real food, and regaled me with stories of knitting. When Dick was a lad, his mother used to punish him by making him knit. The amount he needed to knit was determined by the offense (when he stuck a girl in the hindquarters with a safety pin he had to do a square of a “whole needle full”), and Dick claims now that he can “knit anything”…though he doesn’t. Ever. Incredibly, it isn’t that his mother used knitting as punishment that turned him off. It was that when he had finished the proscribed amount...she would unravel it. Bitter.
While here, the Dublin Bay sock got to meet a Canadian celebrity, Jason King (who happens to be dating Dicks charming daughter, and is a really nice guy and, as witnessed by the holding of a stupid sock from Ontario, a pretty good sport too).
That’s Dick forcing Meg to stand beside Jason for a picture while she dies a thousand deaths. That’s what Dick’s like. (I like him.)
The next day, another long haul to Port aux Basques (for Kathy, that’s pronounced “Port ‘O Basks”) and the seven hour crossing on the Caribou to take us to Nova Scotia.
The sock thought it was a huge boat. The sock worried a little about sinking. The sock tried not to think about being so far out in the ocean that there was no way that it could ever drag the children to shore if the boat sank. The sock isn’t like that.
Tomorrow..Cape Breton, Kelly’s poncho, Meg’s poncho and more maritime Hijinks as the Harlot and crew cavort across another two provinces. For now, I’m off, since this is what my girls have done to my nephew Hank while I typed…
for anyone keeping track, it’s 12 days until the first day of school.