Our final day at Gros Morne National Park was a big one. We started out this morning on the Bonne Bay Boat Tour. Bonne Bay is the primary fjord on the western shore. The mountains, slopes and scenery are incredible. The guides were amazing and we learned so much. Here are a few more factoids, in no particular order.
I have been familiar with "deer browse", deforestation, in the forests of Wisconsin. It is a huge problem there if the population of deer aren't controlled. Similar problem here but a little different. The forests here are taking a major hit from "moose browse". Who would have thought. Just like deer, moose eat the tender sprouts on the trees which eventually kills the trees. Once the trees are dead, it opens up vistas in the forest which are prime areas for invasive species to enter into the ecosystem.
Moose are not native to Newfoundland. There were 4 brought to the island in 1903 and they have now populated to over 100,000. They do have a hunting season for them, but they are very difficult to control because of the mountain landscape. Last year there were 700 moose/car crashes in Newfoundland.
The mountains are in excess of a billion years old. It is believed that the tectonic plates on earth have been moving for 3.5 billion years. There is a remarkable wall on the Bonne Bay that exposes the full 1 billion years. It is amazing.
Later that day we traveled across the bay to the Tablelands where we took another 3 mile hiking trial. (up hill both ways) This place is remarkable. The tectonic plates of the earth cover what is called the mantle of the earth. This crust, the mantle, is roughly 1865 miles thick. Due to extreme movement in the tectonic plates in this location, the mantle is actually exposed. IT IS THE ONLY PLACE ON EARTH THAT YOU CAN SEE THE MANTLE OF THE EARTH. It is made up primarily of heavy metals. For this reason, it appears amber because of its exposure to the air. It is basically rusting. The high iron content is not conducive for normal plant growth, however, there are a few unique species that have adapted. I attached a few pictures. It's always fun to see something that you will never see anywhere else.
The day was filled with adventure. We traveled through a number of small villages and got a good taste of how the locals live. They have a very basic life. More and more of these villages are disappearing as the young people move off to the cities.
Tomorrow we travel farther north to visit the a 1000 year old Viking settlement and some other special sights.