Snowy Range Pass

Snowy Range Pass

Friday, October 02, 2015

Heading to Newfoundland

One of the interesting facts about this caravan of 17 rigs was that no one had brought a dog along for the journey. This is a pretty rare event both on caravans and RVing in general. Today we were boarding a passenger/ cargo ferry for what turned out to be nearly an 18 hour transit to Argentia, Newfoundland. The ferry rules stated that animals either must remain in the RV for the duration or be kept in a cargo area in a suitable animal cage. One of the reasons that Halley did not come with us and enjoyed the summer with her cousins instead. We left the Sidney campground for the approximately five mile drive to the ferry terminal.  Checking in was simply a matter of showing the gate attendant you reserved space number and you were then told which muster line to drive to.  Then several people came by to check the rig.  First to double check your total length, since that was what the transit fee was based on.  Second to sight and tag your propane value to ensure it was in the off position.  Since the trip was to be over night we also were provided a cabin to sleep in.  The ferry also has restaurant services along with bars and some entertainment.  Since the weather was pretty foul we did not get to enjoy much time on deck.

On arrival, it was an easy drive off  After plugging in the Pippy RV Park Campground on the GPS on the north side of St John's, it was a pleasant drive to our destination.  The campground is part of a larger city park with plenty to do on site in good weather.  The only fly in the ointment was the scheduled concert by Rod Stewart that would take place just across the road from the campground.  This promised to be a real traffic stopper, but we simply decided to spent that time in the campground. 

We had a bus ride thru the downtown area to get the feel for the city.  I was looking forward to visiting the city, as I have been here twice before.  Both times in the winter of 1972/73 while I was Operations Officer on a Coast Guard Cutter assigned to winter North Atlantic Ice Patrols.  I experienced the worst weather I have ever experienced at sea during that winter. Constant freezing temperatures and huge seas made for some exciting moments.  Getting into the frozen harbor by breaking ice in that small entrance was something I will not forget.  The city is known for its colorful houses and a real party attitude.  If you cannot have a good time here, you aren't really trying. Another couple and ourselves did a little pub crawl and enjoyed some local entertainment.  St John's is also the most important commercial harbor in Newfoundland.

We also explored the Signal Hill Historic Site which provides a great overlook of the city and a great view of the famous narrow entrance to the harbor.  This site has been used for centuries to signal incoming vessels to the harbor in the days before radio.  Because of its strategic location it has been fortified since the 1700's thru the end of  WWII.  The last battle of the Seven Years War in the Americas was fought here in 1762.  The city was involved in numerous battles between the French and English during the colonial years.


where's weaver said...

We were just talking tonight about people and their dogs. There is so much more freedom when you don't have to worry about a dog.

We can't imagine being out to see in those freezing temperatures.

What a gorgeous area.

Wanderin' said...

I think it's unusual for a group that size not to have a dog either. I know when we had ours we were limited where we could go. Maybe the dog owners left theirs behind for the trip.

I agree that area is sure beautiful.

Ruth said...

What happens to your fridges on the crossing? If you have no propane, do they provide electricity for plug ins?
Yes we took the East coast caravan a few years ago, and we had 2 dogs with us so we opted out of the Newfoundland part of the trip because of the crossing. They were big dogs and leaving them in the RV was not an option and as they hadn't been in a crate since puppies, crating them was not an option either. Would have love to gone though.

Jim and Sandie said...

Can't even imagine trying to keep a dog inside for 18 hours. Ours would be left with someone else or we won't ever take that journey. So I'm glad you took lots of pictures because it really does look like a neat place.

Rick and Kathy Rousseau said...

You two really did get a chance to see some amazing landscapes that we are still hoping to do.
Be Safe and Enjoy!

It's about time.

Paul and Marti Dahl said...

I guess you don't miss traveling in the North Atlantic winters? I missed out on those rides (not that I mind).

I bet you had nicer accommodations on the ferry than you did on the CG cutter. Did you do that pub crawl to try and reconnect with your wild and mis-spent youth? :cD

Gypsy said...

I've never been on a ferry (or any other kind of water craft) for that long a time. Not sure I could do it.

Bob said...

Interesting that someone came by to check that your propane was indeed off. When we crossed the Bay of Fundy in the RV once upon a time, it was more or less the honour system. Nobody checked. Of course, it wasn't 18 hours! I guess I never realized it was that long to get to "Da Rock".
I'll get there some day, but in the meanwhile, I did enjoy your photos. Thanks.
Safe travels.

Linda said...

That is so cool being on a ferry, and your photos are beautiful! Thanks so much for sharing this tour, I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

intrepid-decrepit-traveler said...

Refreshing to not have a single dog (or multiples in some RV's) in your caravan! In 2010, we ferried in to Port aux Basque and were supposed to ferry out of Argentia, but the ferry gods were not good to us that year, and we had to drive the RV all the way around "The Rock" to Port aux Basque again! We thought it would be nice to have an overnight cabin, but was not to be! We loved the island.

Janna and Mike said...

What a trip you guys are enjoying!!! Our longest ferry ride during our southeast Alaska trip in 2014 was nine hours--way, way longer than we ever leave Emmi alone but she survived--I didn't enjoy that leg of the ferry ride as I was so worried about her. As for the propane--Michael forgot to turn ours off on one ferry ride, confessed to one of the ferry employees and they said, "don't worry about it."

Sherry said...

Love your header picture. We looked into the price to go on that ferry and staggered when we saw the price with the room. Hope you got a group discount. If so, that's definitely the way to go.