Kent Cottage, Brigus
It’s a sad reality that nobody truly appreciates what they are overly familiar with. Yes, we know it’s beautiful here, but we’re so used to it that our panoramic vistas and ocean views simply fade into the background. It’s quite the experience to show off your homeland to people from halfway around the world, which is what we did yesterday.
Through the magic of the internet, we have become friends with Stuart and Jess, a couple of motorcycle enthusiasts originally from South Africa (Stu has a great blog as well, you can check it out here). Since the forecast was decent yesterday – dry, cool and calm – we decided that Brigus would be a good destination as it’s not too far from St. John’s and is amazingly beautiful and historic.
After grabbing a coffee at the Country Corner, we set out taking pictures of the town and after making a couple of loops a local gentleman walked over to us and started telling us about the history of the area. He mentioned that the Landfall Trust were doing a bit of work on Kent Cottage, getting it ready for the busy summer season, and that if we headed over there we could get a peek inside of it.
Off we went, over a hilly gravel road to the secluded cottage. Built in the late 1700’s, it’s one of the oldest structures in the province. The history of the place is quite interesting, with the most famous inhabitant being the American artist Rockwell Kent in 1914. Today it is rented out on a weekly basis, mainly to artists and writers who come to the area looking for inspiration. Andy and Sue Crichton graciously agreed to give us a quick tour of the place, and I was like a kid in a candy store!
What can I say about the cottage, besides the fact that it was completely awe-inducing. It is probably the oldest structure I have ever been in, and besides the most necessary modern touches, it remains as it was when it was built. The floor is covered with traditional hooked mats, a close look at the impossibly wide boards that make up the walls reveals the fact that they were once lined with newspaper. The creative spirit was actually palpable, it’s a place where I could sit and write for days in the window overlooking Conception Bay.
I’m so happy that we managed to hit upon a great day for riding, and got to show our new friends some beautiful scenery and a little bit of history. I think they were thoroughly impressed! It was our first out-of-town ride for the season and it couldn’t have been better. Now…where to next weekend?