West Coast Trip Part III: The Tablelands

On August 5th, after being on the road for three days we set out to actually get to the West Coast. We left Catamaran Park in the foggy coolness of morning and droned the 175km to Deer Lake. As highways go, it’s a great piece of asphalt…great condition, brush cut way back from the roads, and little traffic. But it’s a boring ride, with only the tourism signs for the Springdale area and the Baie Verte peninsula to break up the monotony.

After a quick coffee in Deer Lake, we were off to the Tablelands in Gros Morne National Park. We were in Gros Morne two years ago (read about it here) , and I’m not sure how or why we overlooked the Tablelands. I put a lot more research into this trip, and all sources pointed us towards Woody Point and Trout River, so I figured it was a good use of a day.

I love riding through Gros Morne park. The scenery is spectacular, especially so when you’re on a motorcycle with nothing over your head to block your view. We took Route 430, then turned off at Wiltondale on Route 431. After riding for a few minutes, the mountains started to appear, with what looked like snow on the top of them.

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The twisty road and spectacular views makes for a very happy motorcyclist!

But of course, it couldn’t be snow, not after the hottest July on record. We stopped on the side of the road to remove some layers, and Mark zoomed in on the white spot with his camera. Yes, it was snow.

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Yeah, it looks like snow, but it can’t be.

 

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!!!

We continued on through the beautiful and touristy town of Woody Point. They seem to have taken full advantage of their location within the park and have created a pedestrian-friendly “downtown”.

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Woody Point’s “downtown” consists of restaurants and shops lining the road. Very nice!

 

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The lighthouse in Woody Point. It looks ancient, but was built in 1959.

Once we left Woody Point, it was off to the Tablelands. How can I describe it…it was as if I found one of Super Mario’s warp zones, and came out the other end of the pipe in the American southwest. As Utah remains my ultimate dream vacation destination, you can understand why I was enthralled with this place. It’s unlike anywhere else on the island, and according to the parking lot full of foreign license plates, it’s a well-known attraction.

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Arizona? Mars?

 

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I was expecting to see John Wayne coming down over the hillside on his horse.

 

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Yet another great road!

Our next stop was Trout River, a town which unfortunately conjures up images of a dead blue whale; a victim of severe ice this winter and whose carcass was ashore this spring, causing concern for residents. The whale is now gone, and Trout River is once again a pretty little town.

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The boardwalk in Trout River

As I was riding through the Tablelands, a thought occurred to me. One of the happiest times I am is when I am riding into a beautiful area for the first time. I can see how this feeling can be addictive, and why so many people are driven to explore the world on two wheels. It’s the only way to travel!

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Posted on August 24, 2014, in Roads of Newfoundland and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Krista, I enjoyed your account of this area and agree that the only way to travel is on 2 wheels (the motorcycle is the faster version), The tablelands are really something to see. My main memory of Trout River is buying a pair of colorful socks from a woman who had strung her knitting along her fence. Our stop netted her $60. Keep up the good work blogging and safe travels.
    Donna

  2. As usual a brilliant write-up Krista! Glad that you and Mark had a wonderful 2-wheeled vay-kay! Have driven thru Gros Morne numerous times, but have never made it over to the Tablelands … next time I’m in the area, I’ll be sure to take it in … thanks!

    • Thanks Perry! I think the Tablelands are a little overlooked…most people (myself included) go there to see Gros Morne mountain and don’t bother to head over to the other side of the park. Believe me, it’s worth the effort!

  3. I agree Krista, that area does look similar to our American southwest in Utah. Do take that dream vacation; it is beautiful riding country. The red rock desert of southeast Utah around Moab can’t be beat, with Arches and Canyonlands National Parks right in Moabs back yard. Great trail running also!

    • Thanks for reading Bob! I’ve done a little research on the Moab area, and it looks like a phenomenal place to ride. I think it’s time I started saving up for the trip 🙂

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