Camera , extra clothes, gourmet bologna sandwiches all packed and we are off for a busy day of hiking and a boat tour today. The sun is shining and there is a blustery wind blowing keeping bugs at bay as we make the 5k hike into Bakers Brook Falls. The trail follows an old sled trail which was used by woodchoppers years ago. We wind through stands of trees and across wide meadows with signs describing the various plants and wildlife of this park. Apparently there are 5,000 moose in the park but none seem to be on patrol this morning and our wildlife sightings are limited to 2 frogs. Apparently we are walking right through their living room but nada, nix, naught or nary a moose on the horizon! There is a fenced-off area along the trail that the park is trying to rejuvenate and the difference inside the fence where no moose can munch away is startling.
We have to clamour down a muddy section of trail but it’s worth it for dramatic views of these falls in full flow. Even Wadoberu pokes his nose out for a peek. When he spots our photographer hard at work he is, of course, up for a photo. We trek out with just enough time for a lunch stop before heading up to the boat tour parking lot. You have a 45 minute hike into Western Brook Pond (aka lake) where the boat is docked and there is an interesting group of folks of all ages strung out along the boardwalks. The wind is blowing so hard here that a small lake is splashing water onto the trail in spots. There are several hundred caribou in this area but of course…..we see nada.
We join our group and file onto our ride, positioning ourselves at the bow area for great sightlines. The lake is white-capping as the wind roars across it but the boat ride is surprising smooth as we head out for the towering cliffs across the water. A couple of us bow-riders get splashed as the odd wave sprays over but we duck around a corner and avoid getting too wet. Others were not so fortunate but it is all in good fun.
Soon we are among the towering cliffs with the wind blocked by these immense walls of rock. It is absolutely beautiful as the skipper points out watefalls and rockfalls along the route and cameras are clicking away. We chatted with our fellow passengers, a couple from PEI and a Dad and son from Hamilton, trading travel tips and admiring the spectacular view.
Western Brook Pond was once an arm of the ocean but a gazillion years ago it got cut off from the ocean – hence the “Pond” designation. Therefore the fjord isn’t actually a true fjord because it isn’t technically an ocean inlet. But to us it is as amazing a fjord as we have ever seen, ocean or pond or otherwise!
We go to the very end of the 16km inlet where there is a dock to land folks who are going to trek out of the valley. This is quite expensive as you must hire a guide and purchase a permit – sounds like a great hike but not for us………..this time! The trip back to dock is against the gale force winds but the skipper does a great job and we enjoy the trip back until minutes before we dock when 2 rogue waves break across the bow soaking all 6 of us foolish enough to be standing on the deck. We look inside to all those dry, warm folks and figure we are having WAY more fun! Lucky the sun is out but it is a soggy walk back to the truck and we head home to dry out. Another full day of fun on the Rock.