… Moreton’s Harbour, all around the circle

August 15th, 2008 by scott

We awoke to pouring rain, and it continued throughout the morning. We took that as a sign that this would be a lazy day, and we’d stay at Dildo Run for two nights. Also, looking at the map, it was a 50+ km round trip to Twillingate, and that isn’t much fun in pouring rain. We had a relaxing breakfast under the picnic shelter near our campsite, and even got to make toast! (thanks to the loan of a campstove toaster from Trevor – he and family were also using the shelter to avoid the rain).

By 1:00 pm, Scott was bored. Yesterday he had been singing “I’s the b’y that builds the boat” all day, especially the part about “Fogo, Twillingate, Moreton’s Harbour, all around the circle”, so despite the rain (now downgraded to a “steady rain” from “downpour”), he decided to ride out to Moreton’s Harbour. Becky decided that staying in the tent with a book was a much better idea, and at first Scott was thinking she was probably right.

It was a very wet ride, but he made it to Moreton’s Harbour, and there was an unexpected bonus at the end – a museum! And not just any museum, but one which served a traditional Newfoundland “Mug Up” in the afternoon: tea, toast and jam, biscuits, molasses cookies and more. He was in heaven!
After being plied with goodies by Angie, Gordon gave him a guided tour of the museum – lots of artifacts from the 1800s and early 1900s showing how the folks in Moreton’s Harbour lived. Beautiful dresses made from dyed flour and sugar sacks, lacework and crochet, improvised tools as well as lots of antiques. Until recently, this entire area was only accessible via water, with the “CNR Boat” providing mail and freight service.

It was also interesting to hear about the Schooner Fishery from the other side. At Battle Harbour we heard that the schooners had it much easier, since they could go out and find the cod, even offshore, and got to live in much more hospitable climes than Labrador. From the Moreton’s Harbour perspective, while the schooners were effective, it did mean fishermen were away for weeks and months at a time, and if a schooner was lost, it was a major blow to the village, since few men would survive to reach shore or another schooner.

It was a neat little museum, and nice to see people working to preserve their heritage. (There’s a similar sort of museum back home in Nepean, but have we ever been there? Nope. Makes us wonder if there’s similarly interesting information in that museum…)

It was also interesting to get a perspective on housing prices in rural Newfoundland. Angie and her husband have recently moved back from St. John’s, and were able to buy a good-sized, recently-built house for less than $25 000! That seems like a pretty good deal, even if it did need some work. This area isn’t even that remote. It’s less than 1 hour to Gander, and a few hours to St. John’s, but there isn’t much work available. They were originally from the area, so they knew what they were moving back to, and it does seem like a great place to raise a family.

Elevation Profile
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