Tuesday, June 13, 2023

Quidi Vidi

The small fishing village of Quidi Vidi is shockingly picturesque and worth at least a quick visit when visiting the Newfoundland and Labrador capital city of St. John's.

The village of Quidi Vidi is located next to and east of Quidi Vidi Lake.

There is limited parking, so it's easy to see why Quidi Vidi could feel really crowded later in the summer than our early June visit in which we had no problems finding parking.

We only spent a short time at Quidi Vidi, but its proximity to St. John's and its gorgeous views made for a rewarding quick visit.

Signal Hill and Cabot Tower

One of the most well-known locations in St. John's (Newfoundland) is Signal Hill and Cabot Tower.

On a clear day (which is not to be taken for granted in St. John's where fog can move in at anytime), the view is amazing.

We were fortunate to experience the Signal Hill views on a nice clear day on our first day in St. John's because it was really foggy when we returned after seeing other parts of Newfoundland. That said, the fog created a different and interesting perspective.

Cabot Tower is on the top of Signal Hill and has certain hours that it is open to the public.

The Parks Canada Directory of Federal Heritage Designations page on Cabot Tower states in its "Historical Value" section:

The Cabot Tower is one of the best examples illustrating the evolution of communications in Canada from the earliest aural and visual systems, through to the long-distance, wireless transmission of the human voice. The tower housed signalling functions until 1958, and is associated with Guglielmo Marconi who received the Nobel Prize in 1909 for physics and communication and who received the first trans-Atlantic transmission of the human voice at Signal Hill in 1920. It was built as a monument to John Cabot’s 1497 voyage to North America and to the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria's reign.

There is a Visitor Centre that is part of the Signal Hill National Historic Site with its own dedicated parking lot on the way up to the Cabot Tower parking lot. The admission includes access to exhibits and viewing the film "The Hill" about the history of Signal Hill.

There are interesting views in many directions from the top of Signal Hill.

After experiencing Signal Hill's beauty and learning about its historical significance, it's easy to understand why it's so well known and so prominently featured in popular culture such as The Republic of Doyle.

Monday, June 12, 2023

Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site

Cape Spear is a short (approximately ten minutes) drive from where we were staying in Petty Harbour, making it really easy to visit.

We arrived at Cape Spear in the late afternoon after visiting Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve and Witless Bay earlier in the day.

When we arrived in the late afternoon, it was overcast but not foggy.

In fact, we could see the lighthouses of Cape Spear from well below them (see them at top of next photograph).

However, the fog appeared quickly and was with us in just the few minutes it took to get to the Cape Spear parking lot, park, pay our admission, and start up the steps to the lighthouse.

Cape Spear Lighthouse National Historic Site is "on Canada's most easterly point of land" and features "the oldest surviving lighthouse in Newfoundland and Labrador."

These photographs were taken inside the lighthouse.

There is a newer lighthouse at Cape Spear now.

Cape Spear is the easternmost point in Canada.

There are some gorgeous views from Cape Spear. Our long range visibility was reduced significantly by the fog that arrived so quickly but it was still a beautiful coast.

In addition to the lighthouses and views, Cape Spear features remnants from its days as Fort Cape Spear.

The fog had moved in quickly and it became evident why lighthouses were and are needed here.

Cape Spear presents interesting history, gorgeous views, and the novelty of being the easternmost point in Canada.

Saturday, June 10, 2023

Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve

One of the first things we experienced during our first time in Newfoundland was Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve and it turned out to be one of many of our trip's highlights.

The parking lot in front of Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve's Interpretive Center is a little over 2 hours drive from St. John's.

There is a scenic trail that starts at the Interpretive Center and heads to "Bird Rock."

This relatively short and relatively flat hike has been said to provide the "most accessible Northern Gannet colony in North America."

The trail has also been called the "most accessible seabird colony in North America."

It is also stated that "Cape St. Mary's is the most accessible seabird rookery in North America."

The next photograph, taken near Bird Rock, provides an idea of the distance from the interpretive center (building to right of lighthouse) to Bird Rock.

The number of birds on Bird Rock is incredible, but even more incredible is the number of additional active and noisy birds flying around Bird Rock.

Bird Rock lives up to its name.

It's almost an overwhelming experience that photographs do not adquately capture to see and hear all of these aquatic birds amidst such beautiful and colorful scenery.

Visiting Cape St. Mary's Ecological Reserve was our first activity of our first full day in Newfoundland and I cannot think of a better way to start this trip.

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Shoshone Falls

Although the city of Twin Falls (Idaho) is named for its Twin Falls, it is Shoshone Falls that gets most of the attention.

When you see Shoshone Falls for the first time (especially if there is decent waterflow as there was when we visited in late May), you quicky understand why it gets the most attention even with other beautiful waterfalls in the area such as Perrine Coulee Waterfall and Twin Falls.

Although the waterflow at Shoshone Falls was not at its highest when we were there, it was still impressive.

Shoshone Falls is often referred to as the "Niagara of the West" and is actually slightly higher than Niagara Falls. The volume of water is not as overwhelming as Niagara Falls, but it is nonetheless a gorgeous waterfall that does have some characteristics that make it look somewhat like Niagara Falls. Shoshone Falls was far less crowded in late May than Niagara FAlls was when we visited it in October.

Like Twin Falls Park, Shoshone Falls Park is managed by Idaho Power.

Experiencing Shoshone Falls was our primary motivation for this roadtrip to southern Idaho in late May and it did not disappoint!