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ADVENTURES UNKNOWN Lab West on TV
FOOTPaths 6 easy to explore trails
Remembering the Trapping Life
The Wonderstrands near Cartwright Dennis Flynn photo
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Published by Downhome Inc. 43 James Lane, St. John’s, NL, A1E 3H3 1-888-588-6353 • www.insidelabrador.ca
Editor Tobias Romaniuk Art Director Vince Marsh Graphic and Web Designer Cory Way Distribution and Subscription Representatives Joseph Reddy, Marlena Grant, Amanda Ricks
Advertising Sales Senior Account Manager Robert Saunders Account Manager Barbara Young Marketing Director Tiffany Boone Publisher and CEO Grant Young President Todd Goodyear Chief Financial Officer Tina Bromley
To subscribe, renew or change address use the contact information above.
Canada Post Canadian Publications Mail Sales Product Agreement #40062919 The advertiser agrees that the publisher shall not be liable for damages arising out of errors in advertisements beyond the amount paid for the space actually occupied by the portion of the advertisement in which the error occurred, whether such error is due to the negligence of the servants or otherwise, and there shall be no liability beyond the amount of such advertisement. Pen names and anonymous letters will not be published. The publisher reserves the right to edit, revise, classify, or reject any advertisement or letter. © 2019 Downhome Inc. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher.
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GREAT EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES
SERVING THE COMMUNITY FOR 51 YEARS ~1968-2019~ Carol Automobile Ltd. 55 Avalon Drive, Labrador City
709 944–2000 1–800–563–5555 www.carolauto.com
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table of contents 6 Editor’s Note 8 The Naming of Raisins and Cheese 10 There Was No Use in Crying Remembering life in the backwoods
16 Way Back When… Matthew’s Cove in the 1940s
20 History on Display The Labrador Military Museum
28 Readers’ Photo Album 32 Adventures Unknown A TV show takes a journey to Lab West
40 Hike the Hills and Walk the Boardwalks 42 Hit the Trails ATV riding in HVGB 4
44 44 The Great Labrador Canoe Race Returns 48 A Journey to Zero Waste Keeping Labrador green
54 Readers’ Photo Album 56 Salmon Season is Here 62 All About the Arctic Char 64 Photo Finish SUMMER 2019
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There’s a certain pleasure to be found in going down a trail for no other reason than to see where it goes.
Sometimes, the end is a pleasant surprise, other times it’s a bit disappointing, and sometimes it’s a tad unexpected – like the trail that fades out by running straight into a large marshy area, with no visible way around and no track through the marsh either. I tend to take the approach of keeping the machine on the trail, rather than ripping around meadows or bogs. Sure, it’s fun, but I’d prefer to see the land as undisturbed as possible. Except where there’s a trail. And trails are necessary. Maintaining trails is also necessary. And this is where trail associations come in – the members of these groups take on the role of caretaker for the trail. These are the people who go out to clear trails after heavy weather, the ones who clear deadfall off the track and make repairs to trail sections. Trail associations also tend to be the ones who advocate for trail use and trail construction, and the ones who put in the work to ensure our elected officials see the importance of funding these ways through the woods. If you aren’t already, consider becoming a member of your local trail association – your dues will help fund worthwhile work and you’ll get an improved trail out of it. Have fun out there, be safe and happy exploring. Tobias Romaniuk Editor Inside Labrador email@example.com
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BY BURTON K. JANES
IN 1883, THE NEWFOUNDLAND Methodist Conference was asked to appoint a minister to coastal Labrador. The appointee was Rev. John T. Newman (1857-1930), an Englishman. He arrived at Lester’s Point on August 12, 1884, a year after entering the pastoral ministry. He was known as a mature and sober-minded individual. “He baint a ranter,” the local folks said. “These ranters that come on th’shore mak’ an awful nise.” A recent biographer wrote: “Braving many hardships and hazards, living under primitive conditions, he not only survived his ordeal, but accomplished his mission.” During his second year on the coast, Newman, with money supplied by the Conference, secured a dog team and hired a driver. Two days before Christmas 1885, they were caught in a typical blizzard en route to the head of the bayto visit Daniel Campbell. Their course was taking them along the shore when the storm struck them in all its fury. Their first shelter was among the trees, where they burrowed into the snow and slipped into their sleeping bags. They stayed there until two o’clock in the morning.
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Between them, the minTheir sleeping bags were ister and his dog team made by the locals of sealdriver had ten raisins and a skin and lined with thick small piece of cheese. They woolen blanketing and devoured what they had. other warm material. Cutting a few tree Seven feet in length, they branches, they laid them enabled a person to turn on the snow. They over. There were two flaps stretched out their sleepat the mouth, to be buting bags and, despite the toned over from the cold, snow, hunger and inside. precarious situation, slept The sleeping bags were, soundly. according to Rev. Arminius Rev. John T. Newman The minister awoke at eleven that Young (1884-1954), “the Labrador night. The weather had cleared sometravelers’ salvation. Under the wildest what, but it was bitterly cold. Crawlconditions you can sleep safely and ing out of his cosy sleeping bag, now comfortably in a good sleeping bag.... buried beneath the falling snow, he The bag is your bed, whether caught shivered. out in a storm, or on the floor of a He and his companion now made Labrador hut.” up their minds to dash, under cover of When it seemed to clear a little, darkness, to Daniel Campbell’s house. Newman and his dog team driver Before setting out, though, Newman decided to resume their journey. Six had an act to perform: he baptized the hours later, caught in the grip of the point where they had slept “Raisins gale again, they were forced to seek and Cheese.” shelter for the second time. The temTwo hours later, almost completely perature had taken a nosedive. exhausted with both hunger and Unfortunately, they were ten miles weariness, the duo knocked at the from their destination and their food door of the Campbells’ hut. The bigsupply was virtually depleted. The hearted Scotsman and his Labrador inexperienced minister had not yet wife, Lydia, took them in and cared learned the hard lesson of taking suffor them. ficient food with him on his trips.
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Downhome has partnered with Them Days to bring you stories of how life in Labrador used to be. Them Days is a non-profit organization that publishes a quarterly oral history magazine, as well as maintaining an archive of Labradorâ€™s history in the form of photos, documents, and recordings. For more on Them Days, or to support their efforts in preserving Labradorâ€™s heritage and history, visit www.themdays.com
As told by Harvey Montague to Researcher Doris Saunders in North West River, 1992
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IN THE FALL, OF COURSE, we used to go off and
come back at Christmas and go back in January and then come back again in April, depended how far you were. Then there was nothing to do all the rest of the year, nothing to do only cut wood or something like that. If you got wood to cut, three cents a stick, you’d get along. Anyway you’d go huntin’ or trappin’. I started trappin’ up Grand River when I was 14 years old, 1924 when I started out by myself. I went up the river before that with my uncle in 1920. Uncle Willie had a place at Horseshoe, up there, and he told me he wanted me to go up with ‘en. That was awful young but I could keep ‘en company. I wasn’t much help but I went anyway.
I was eleven years old in 1920; I was born 1909. So he took me up, he had built a cabin and when we got to the cabin there was a canoe there. “All right, boy,” he said. “Now when we goes down, you got to run that canoe, you got to paddle that canoe.” There was a strong tide, fast water. There was no use in cryin’, I was too scared. So he said, “You follow me.” I followed ‘en as
fast as I could. When we got down to Gull Island Rapid ‘twas all white water and he stopped and we went ashore and he said, “See that rock? Go around that rock and go on straight and follow me.” “Okay,” I said. By the time I got in the canoe he was out of sight. I goes on down, he was gone, and I don’t know where I was goin’. The water was jumpin’ and bumpin’,
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rough, but I got down all right. Uncle Willie said, “Was you frightened?” “No,” I said. I was scared to death but I told ‘en I wasn’t frightened. Anyway, I paddled right down to the rapids in my canoe. He paddled one and I paddled the other one.
got drowned right ’longside. He got drowned on one side and Raymond on the other point. There was a real strong tide, eh, and the line went out – there was a line here [indicating the stern] and another one to the bow. When he was goin’ around the point
“I’d look out at the snow and I’d say, “By God, I don’t know if I’m going to find my way out or not.” All the rapids I went through I never turned or lost anything. My grandfather, John Montague, was drowned up to the rapid there at Gull Island. And Uncle Willie, the one I told you about, he stopped at the cove there and he said, “Harvey, that’s where my father was drowned around that rock.” That was my grandfather, eh. “Around that rock my father got drowned,” he said. “I wants you to go around that rock and go the canoe and follow me.” Up to Minipi two more got drowned. Raymond Mesher. Raymond Mesher got drowned up in the Minipi Rapid. And Uncle Fred Goudie
he let his line down and it got hooked around his foot and he got hauled in the water. When the canoe shot out, she hauled ‘en in the water. He went on, never found ‘en. Of course, you’d never find them – the water is too strong. I trapped up the Grand River for over forty years. I used to go in the woods, six days walk in, come in over the hills. Just meself. The first night I had by myself, I remember that very much. I camped out in the woods. ’Twas bad goin’ and I couldn’t make it to the tilt, the first tilt, so I camped Continued page 14
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Harvey Montague in 1992 out. I was lookin’ all night. I’d look out at the snow and I’d say, “By God, I don’t know if I’m going to find my way out or not.” My track was covered up, you know. I got up in the morning and beat the snow off my tent and I didn’t go no further, I stayed in. The next time I looked out it was all right so I went in that day and the night I went back out. I found my way out all right. I was around fourteen or fifteen. That was 1926. I’d go up along with people like
Charlie Groves or Uncle Dan or Henry Blake and then they’d go on, see. I’d go as far as that with them and then they’d go on. I’d go up to Horseshoe, that’s about ten miles above Gull Island Rapid. When I got up to my tilt I used to set my traps about twenty miles above that. But I would put my stuff off at a certain place. You’d take your stuff to a cabin and that’s where you left all your food in one place and as you go you take enough food for two days and a
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I didn’t find it lonely, not me, ‘cause I was so busy all the time. Always workin’ at fur or cookin’ or cleanin’, doin’ something and by that time you’d fall asleep and up again in the morning, four o’clock in the morning. night, whatever you wanted and leave the rest. Uncle Bob Michelin was the man that would come down here after we was gone up to our traps and he’d go up and he’d take up mail from down here. He’d take it up to Uncle Stewart Michelin up to Muskrat Falls and then Uncle Stewart would take it up to Charlie Groves and Charlie Groves would take it up to Juddy Blake, Juddy Blake up to me and I’d take it up to John Blake and Uncle Mark and go on like that, from tilt to tilt like that. That’s how they worked like that. You didn’t know how long it might get there, a week or more but ’twas always a word anyway you know. We didn’t do anything on Sundays,
cookin’ and cleanin’ up but never go out and work. I’d never go huntin’, but some people used to hunt on Sunday but I didn’t believe in doing that, not that I was better, but I didn’t do work on Sundays and I still don’t, eh. Sunday to me, when Sunday comes, is a day of rest. That’s how I took it, how I was always brought up, so I guess it’s in my head that’s the way it should be. I didn’t find it lonely, not me, ‘cause I was so busy all the time. Always workin’ at fur or cookin’ or cleanin’, doin’ something and by that time you’d fall asleep and up again in the morning, four o’clock in the morning. I used to be up four and five every morning. I didn’t find the time long, not me.
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WAY BACK WHEN… Matthew’s Cove in the 1940s PHOTOS SUBMITTED BY LINDA RUMBOLT-SOLIE
MATTHEW’S COVE, a fishing village near Battle Harbour, had its population peak in 1874, with 119 souls counted for the census that year. By 1945, the census counted a mere 31. Among those were the relatives of Linda Rumbolt-Solie, including her mother, who taught at the one-room school.
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The people of Matthews Cove made their living from the fishery, like most settlements along the southern Labrador coast. When the Cove was a permanent settlement, people also had sheep, and likely other animals. But the sheep we know for sure, thanks to a photo that Linda sent to Downhome, along with a note pointing out the old schoolhouse in the background behind Mr. Stevens and his sheep.
In the 1940s, that schoolhouse was a one-room school, taught by Lindaâ€™s mother, Lilly May Penney-Rumbolt. We donâ€™t have a photo of her, but we do have a photo of 18 students, taken sometime in the 1940s.
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When not busy with the fishery, or teaching, or tending to the livestock, or the many other tasks necessary for living a somewhat isolated life in 1940s coastal Labrador, the women found time for rug hooking. One large rug, and the women who made it, has been preserved on film. The woman second from the right is Abigail Rumbolt, Linda’s grandmother.
The region was resettled in the 1970s, with most of the families relocating to Mary’s Harbour. They didn’t abandon their former homes, though. Instead, they kept them as seasonal residences, returning during fishing season each year.
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WARRANT OFFICER JERRY KEAN
was once talking with canoe builder Joe Goudie – a legend, Kean says – and was told a story of Joe’s father, a trapper back in the ‘40s, who was out on his trapline when he came across a downed airplane. Along with the wreckage, he found six people who, having lived through falling out of the sky, were now trying to survive a Labrador winter. The trapper knew he had to go for help, a two and a half day hike through the woods back to the base, where he notified a search party. SUMMER 2019
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Representatives from the governemnt of Newfoundland and Labrador, 5 Wing Goose Bay and community leaders cut the ribbon at the Labrador Military Museum opening. Another time, someone else told Kean a story of a German U-boat that came into Lake Melville – it’s accessible by sea – and surfaced to have a look around before dipping below the surface and disappearing. He knows the trapper story is true, but he’s not so sure about the U-boat story – it could be fact, or it could be just a local legend. And then there was the rumoured antenna station set-up on the Labrador coast by the Germans,
which Kean also files somewhere between legend and history, plausible but unconfirmed. And there are stories that have no words, like the one told by the bent and beat-up propeller that now hangs as an artifact in the Labrador military museum, after being retrieved by locals. WO Kean is, among other things, responsible for the Labrador Military Museum at 5 Wing Goose Bay, which was re-opened in January of this year
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after being relocated and redesigned. The museum was always meant to be accessible to the public, but after 9/11 military bases across the country tightened their security. Fences went up, checkpoints were added, and the museum became difficult for the public to get to. To once again make the museum easily accessible, the decision was made to relocate it outside of the secure area. But first, they needed to find the funds. The museum, although it is managed by the military, is funded by the Department of History and Heritage through grants and other funding.
“It was decided that we had to move the museum away from the operational side to a more accessible area. So we decided to move it to the CANEX building, which is still on the base but it’s accessible to the general public.” They brought in some local engineers to confirm that the building could support what they wanted it for, then brought in contractors to do the electrical, painting and flooring work. For the museum design, they brought in GID, a firm from Quebec City who, after assessing the museum’s collection, designed the
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museum’s new display layout and look. “Between myself and the design team,” says WO Kean, “we spent a few days inside the museum going through all the artifacts and all the items and all the displays and deciding which pieces tell the best story throughout the decades.” THE EARLY DAYS The air base was built in 1941, when air travel was completely different. Non-stop from London to New York wasn’t a thing yet, and planes required refueling several times to make it across the Atlantic. The Goose Bay base location was chosen as a strategic refueling stop, providing a stopover point between Quebec and Greenland for planes on their way to Europe for the war effort. Canada had been fight-
ing since ’39, but it wasn’t until spring of ’41 that work began on the Goose Bay base. By December of ’41 the first plane was landing at the base, just in time for the Americans, who entered the war in December, after Japan bombed Pearl Harbour. The Goose Bay location was chosen in part for its flat expanse, but also for its proximity to the ocean, accessible through Lake Melville. Everything came in on barges, says WO Kean. The first item off the barges was a tractor to make a road to the base site. “It was a very ambitious project, but it was a project that needed to be done, and done fast because of the war effort.” Following the war, the base became a favoured site for military training Continued page 26
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exercises and boomed through the ’60s and ’70s, growing to an on-base population of 10-15,000, with a large contingent of American military personnel. For these enlisted folks and their families, the base had a chapel, three schools, a theatre and several clubs. The schools are gone now, but the trophies from at least one of the schools have survived, thanks to the efforts of Leo Abbas, who rescued them before the school was torn down. He recently donated them to the museum, and they are now on display. “A lot of the people that are coming back now are people from that generation, from the ’60s and ’70s that did time on the base.” Touring the museum, they will be reminded of how the base got its start
and given the chance to reminisce, while also learning what has been happening in the years since they left. These days, 5 Wing is a far smaller version of its former self. Advancements in flight technologies made the airstrip stopover redundant, the wars that kept it busy are done, and there are no longer foreign military stationed there. The base still has an operational mandate, with about 7080 people stationed at the base – the base, and the museum, still have a purpose. “The museum is here for the people of Happy Valley-Goose Bay, for them to come see some of the history of why their towns exist,” says WO Kean. “Because the towns of Happy ValleyGoose Bay came after the base.”
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Readersâ€™ Photo Album
Sunset on a lake at the end of a day moose hunting in Twin Falls ALICIA KAVANAGH Labrador City, NL
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Couldnâ€™t Get it Any Fresher Cooking just-caught Arctic char on a beach north of Nain
CONNIE PIJOGGE Nain, NL
My husband fishing for char from an ice pan that was in the cove where our cabin is located. TAMMY SMITH Nain, NL
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A STORY ABOUT WINTER ADVENTURES IN A SUMMER ISSUE? Sure, it may seem a bit odd at first, but if we waited until the winter issue then you’d miss the TV show this story is all about – a new TV show that, in a couple of its episodes, puts Labrador front and center for millions – yes, millions – of TV viewers.
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They call it the Big Land, but it could just as well be called the land of adventure. Of course, people who live here, in Labrador, know this, but for those who live in the island portion of the province, Labrador can be a bit of an unknown. And the unknown is exactly what producer/host Donny Love and director Kent Brown were looking for. The duo, who first worked together in making George Street TV, have rejoined to create Adventures Unknown, a travel show that will bring unique travel experiences to a television audience potentially in the millions this September, thanks to a deal with NTV and also England’s Sky TV. “Labrador is absolutely, unbelievably amazing,” says Kent, who visited Labrador for the first time during filming for the show. They had originally planned for one episode, but after reviewing the footage realized they really needed to do two episodes on their visit to Labrador. For the show’s first trip across the Strait of Belle Isle, Donny and Kent visited Labrador West. With an air date of September, it would seem that the show would take place in the
Not just highlighting the destination, the show shares the adventures of the journey as well, such as the flight to Labrador and renting a car for the 7-hour drive to Lab West.
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summer, but the lead times in television can be quite a bit longer than one would expect. Typically, a full season is filmed and edited before the first episode is broadcast, which explains why the Labrador episodes are from last winter. But before any filming or trips, they had to figure out what, exactly, the show was going to be. They knew they wanted to do a travel show, and that they wanted to focus on Newfoundland and Labrador first. But what, exactly, would be the storyline that drove the show? A travel show, says Kent “has to have a reason to live…has to have a reason for people to watch it.” Taking a cue from the everyday life of the show’s host, Donny, they decided to start with the fact that Donny was a guy in St. John’s who spent too much time on social media. And then they turned that potential negative into a positive by using social media to drive the show forward. “Let’s flip that on its head and use social media to find people and go places,” says Kent in explaining how the show was created. Donny followed up with a social media post about how he wanted to do a travel show, and asked for ideas and destinations. Throughout filming, they kept up the posting schedule, soliciting ideas and receiving invitations of places to visit. That pattern led them to Labrador,
as they followed a social media invite to experience some adventures, Labrador West style. “For us, that’s the reason for this show to exist,” says Donny, “going on this journey that is Facebook driven, meeting real people and doing really amazing things along the way.” The theme of doing real world things and getting away from social media – while also using it as a tool, instead of a time-suck, has resonated with the show’s online audience, says Kent. During filming, Donny has been posting clips on the Adventures Unknown Facebook page, and they have been receiving a respectable amount of views and interaction. THE LABRADOR EPISODE opens in Goose Bay, where Kent and Donny find themselves unexpectedly without a flight to Labrador West. Turning disappointment into opportunity, they find a vehicle and film the 7-hour
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Catching big air with a group of young riders in the backcountry of Lab West. drive. Once in Lab West, they discovered just how friendly and accommodating the locals were. Folks from the town office helped arrange necessities, like snow machines from local businesses, and acted as tour guides of sorts, connecting Kent and Donny to folks who could help them in their quest to create good TV. And, just like the show creators had hoped, some locals reached out to them through Facebook for an invite to join them on a backcountry snow machine adventure. Nathan West and five of his friends took Donny and Kent and their camera gear out for a day of backcountry snowmobiling. This wasn’t your regular, easy trail ride, though. Deep in the backcoun-
try, Nathan and his buddies enjoy putting some air between their tracks and the snow – a lot of air. Taking turns on a snow jump they had built, the crew were getting big air – 40 feet above the ground, and about 150 feet from takeoff to landing, Kent estimates. “It blew our minds,” says Donny. “We never thought we’d see that sort of extreme stuff.” Before heading out, Donny had a chat with the young riders – they were all 19-20 years old, says Donny, with good paying jobs at the mine to afford the not-cheap sleds they were on, and they didn’t want the riders to do anything beyond their limits just for the Continued page 38
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cameras. Don’t worry, they were told – this is what they do all winter, and although it may seem extreme to some, it was just a normal day out in the backcountry for these guys. In search of other adventures, Donny went on what he calls an “epic” snowmobiling adventure with the White Wolf Snow Machine Club, complete with an overnight stay in an off-grid cabin. “It was a constant journey,” says Donny. “There’s everything to do up there.” They also visited the cross-country ski trails and the downhill ski resort, and went snowshoeing, but you’ll have to watch the episode for the details on those visits. With so much to do in one small area of Labrador, the two realized there was still far more to discover, and they have plans to return for more filming, in the hopes of getting a full season’s worth of episodes from adventures in Labrador. Part of that plan includes returning in the summer, when Nathan and his buddies
Snowmobiling was not the only activity during the trip to Lab West - ice fishing, snow shoeing, skiing and more. Tune in for the full story. park their sleds and put their kayaks in the water for multi-day fishing trips. Summing up their experiences, Kent recalls a clip from the end of the Labrador episode, in which Donny finds himself telling a newfound Labrador friend that enjoying the outdoor Labrador life beats sitting at home surfing social media. In agreement, he’s told a truth about the Big Land: “There’s no reason to ever be bored in Labrador.”
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NL Tourism photo
Walk the Wonderstrands Across the bay from Cartwright is the Wonderstrands, a long stretch of sandy beach in an area that, legend has it, the Vikings referred to in their sagas of Erik The Redâ€™s travels. To get there, begin in Cartwright, where you can arrange a ride through a tour operator. Dennis Flynn photo
Saddle Island Trail, Red Bay Basque whalers used Red Bay for various land-based tasks in the 1500s. The area, including Saddle Island, is now a UNESCO world heritage site and visitors can opt for either a guided or self-guided tour of the island. The trail loops around most of the small island, and can be completed in about an hour.
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The Labrador Pioneer Footpath Before roads connected coastal communities in Labrador, people would walk from town to town when boats weren’t an option. This wasn’t that long ago, either – roads didn’t come to the area until the 1950s. While the road follows a somewhat inland route, the walking trail hugs the coast, making whale and iceberg watching a real possibility. Originally used by European settlers of the coast to travel by foot or sled, the trail is now used by recreational hikers.
MARY’S HARBOUR TRAILS Mary’s Harbour has several relatively short trails that can be done all in one day.
White Water Falls Starting at the town hall, follow the boardwalk and you’ll be on the right path. This trail, as the name suggests, ends at a waterfall, where you can enjoy the view and sound of rushing water or try your luck at salmon fishing. Along the way, you’ll be treated to views of the river as you stroll this pleasantly easy trail.
Gin Cove Walking Trail Before there was Mary’s Harbour, there was Gin Cove. The community is gone, but you can still explore the area by taking this 600 metre boardwalk trail over the hill and into the cove. You’ll be treated to ocean views along the way, where you can pause to watch the boats come in and out of Mary’s Harbour. If it’s the right time of year, you may even see an iceberg.
Dr. Moret’s Walking Trail Walk to the site of Dr. Moret’s home, the first resident doctor of Mary’s Harbour, down this short and easy trail. The house is no longer there, having burned in 1945, but the trail has information boards on the Doctor and his residence. The trail also offers a good view of Mary’s Harbour.
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GOING TO THE GROCERY STORE on
your ATV to do your food shopping is an accepted thing in Happy Valley-Goose Bay. So is going to Tim Horton’s on your quad. With a spiderweb-like network of trails around the town and air base, ATVs can be a viable means of transportation. They’re also just plain fun. But for those new to the area, how do you know where to go?
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Although there are downloadable snowmachine trail maps available, there isn’t a trail map of the all the quad trails around HVGB. The staff at Frenchie’s Outdoor Shack suggest just getting out and exploring the area. By exploring a little bit further each time out, you’ll soon become familiar with which trails lead where. Of course, having a GPS-enabled device with you is wise, in case you get turned around and are unsure of how to get back. In addition to zipping around trails close to town in a series of loops, following a trail could take you to a cabin area, or a boggy mud pit, or sand dunes, or down a longer trail to a berry picking area. For venturing further into the backcountry, download a snowmachine trail map to your GPS device. Keep in mind these trails cross frozen water at times, and in the summer that lake or river crossing can become a dead end for your quad ride. If you approach your ride with an attitude of exploration and adventure, rather than needing to get to a destination, you should have an enjoyable day discovering new trails.
TIPS FOR RIDING RESPONSIBLY Ride sober Wear a helmet Be aware of your surroundings In fall and spring, test ice and snow over water crossings Ride with someone familiar with the area Avoid riding alone, if possible Be aware of weather conditions Tell someone of your travel plan and expected return time Obey trail speed limits and trail closures Give wildlife plenty of space – especially bears and rutting or mothering moose Avoid widening the trail Ride within your ability Pack an emergency repair kit Obey provincial/municipal road rules
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THE CANOE IS THE IDEAL WAY to navigate rivers and lakes. It has plenty of room for packing goods needed for an extended stay in the backcountry, is light enough to be carried by a single person, is maneuverable and durable enough to run whitewater, and can be made by a single person from locally available materials.
Destination Labrador photo
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Great Labrador Canoe Race photo
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Although now used mostly for recreation, the canoe was once a vital means of travel for the people of Labrador. Motors and changing trends and tastes have largely put an end to this way of life, but the canoe lives on, providing a means of escape and exploration for anyone willing to dip a paddle into water. For paddlers looking for something
Labrador Canoe Regatta photo
In the Great Labardor Canoe Race (top) participants may use a canoe of their choosing, while the Labrador Canoe Regatta uses traditional Voyageur style canoes (right).
a bit more social, thereâ€™s the Great Labrador Canoe Race, held August 17 on the Goose River.The race was first held in 2010 on the Grand, or Churchill River, before moving to the Goose River in 2017. According to the posted rules, canoes must be 32 and 40 inches wide, with a length between 15 and 20 feet. There is no restriction on construction material
g a photo
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or style of canoe, so feel free to bring your favourite boat. But you can only bring one favourite boat companion, as teams are limited to two people per canoe. Although the race is open to all, it’s not for complete beginners. The rules state paddlers “are expected to have previous canoeing experience and are capable of maintaining an appropriate pace that keeps them from being left behind other competitors.” With previous races attracting between 32 and 43 teams, the event has proven popular. For those looking for a short race experience, the Classic is a 13.5 km downstream paddle. The expedition race, which took a break in 2017 but is expected to return this year, has a planned 40 km route. To register or get more details, visit www.labradorcanoerace.com. The Labrador Canoe Regatta, held last year on Gosling Lake, offers a completely different paddling experience. Six-person teams race in Voyageur style canoes provided by the organizers. This year’s race is scheduled for August 3-4. For more info, visit the Labrador Canoe Regatta’s Facebook page.
THINGS TO BRING ON A CANOE TRIP Bug spray GPS unit Map and compass (for when the GPS batteries die or it gets dropped in the river) Floating throw rope in a bag Whistle (or other signaling device) Pump or bailing bucket Dry bags to store everything in Food or snacks Drinking water or water purification tablets/device Fishing line and lure PFD, aka life jacket
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BY AIMEE CHAULK
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I’VE BEEN WORRIED ABOUT WASTE for as long as I can remember. I’ve always hated the idea of something being used once and then heading to the dump. So now that zerowaste has become a bit of a buzzword, it’s a relief to know I’m not alone! There are other people out there who also feel that our environment just can’t handle the production and disposal of mass quantities of goods, particularly plastics. Hearing about these other people and learning from them has been refreshing. There’s just one problem: the typical zero-waste advice doesn’t apply in Labrador. For example, urbanites often cite going to the bulk store with their own containers as the easiest way to cut down on their waste. Well, that’s a bit difficult to do when the nearest Bulk Barn is in Corner Brook! The grocery stores in Goose Bay don’t even offer bulk bins to buy anything without packaging, and it seems like even produce is
mostly wrapped in plastic these days. The other things zero-wasters do is, if they must purchase something with packaging, recycle everything possible. Also difficult to do when the official recycling depots take only refundable beverage containers. Because of challenges like these, going zero-waste – or even close to it – can seem impossible. However, Labradorians are taking matters into their own hands and making small adjustments that have a big impact, waste-wise. I’m one of them, and in
Left: Allison Keats and Cora Hamel-Pardy doing their part to keep recyclables out of the landfill
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creating and finding groups of likeminded folks, I’ve met many others who are working towards similar goals. Bea Johnson, considered the most influential zero-waster, has said that to follow the zero waste principles, the traditional “3 Rs” must be expanded to five: Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rot. All five of these “Rs” are being implemented in Labrador, helping make sustainable living more attainable for everyone. Several communities across Labrador have been working on the “Refuse” portion of the waste-reduction strategy at a municipal level. Nain led with its single-use plastic shopping bag ban in 2009. The rest of the Nunatsiavut communities followed suit, and so did Cartwright. Most recently, Mary’s Harbour passed a motion to ban plastic bags, and Happy Valley-Goose Bay, after much consultation with residents and businesses, has declared their intent to implement their own ban. On a household level, Sandi McRae has been striving for zero waste for almost two years. Her efforts to reduce waste come primarily from reducing her consumption of the products that come with packaging in
the first place. She credits a big part of it to her vegan diet. “It helped us make more ecological choices,” she says. “My husband plants our own garden, and once it gets growing, we reduce quite a bit what we purchase at the store because we eat a plant-based diet,” she says. “We plant a big variety of lettuce, and it regenerates. We grow baby kale, peas, potatoes, green and yellow beans, a rainbow of carrots, radishes. The potatoes get us through to about Christmas time. The carrots we eat, juice, or blanche and freeze. This is all in raised beds in a teenytiny backyard on the Base.” In terms of drinks, Sandi credits her Soda Stream with reducing her purchases of drinks in single-use beverage containers. “We can make our own soda, and you can now recharge the cylinder in town, which has been so convenient,” she says. If you can’t reduce your use of something, the next best thing to do is reuse it or repurpose it to give it new life. And that’s the principle behind Boomerang Bags, a movement founded in Australia in 2014 by two women who wanted an alternative to singleuse plastic bags. They started making bags from textiles that would otherwise go to the landfill, thereby reduc-
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ing waste in two capacities. The bags are given away for free. Boomerang Bags has spread worldwide, even here in Labrador (full disclosure: I started the local chapter). Cora Hamel-Pardy is one of the dedicated bag-makers. She combined her love of quilting and her love of the environment and has made over 100 bags so far, many of them from men’s button-up shirts. “We have used recyclable shopping bags for several years now. And the thought had never occurred to me to upcycle old material until I was introduced to Boomerang Bags,” she says. “It caught my attention and sparked an interest. I enjoy sewing the bags and would rather repurpose material than throw it away.” Cora also attributes her involvement to changes beyond shopping bags. “Being involved has somewhat changed my consumption habits because more things are upcycled. For example, several years ago as part of the swag for the Trapline Marathon, participants received a nylon bag and it was something that we had three of because myself, my husband and son
Amanda Dinsmore ironing Boomerang Bags logos participated. I modified one of those and made it into my clothes pin bag. I’ve repurposed some of our t-shirts into shopping bags.” The next R, Recycle, wasn’t available outside of beverage containers until a group of Happy Valley-Goose Bay residents took it upon themselves to organize (another disclosure: I’m one of the co-founders of this group as
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Cora Hamel-Pardy works the sewing machine while Koshina Hunt Brotherton, Raelene Vickers and Amy Norman prepare textiles to be made into bags.
well). Alison Keats is a dedicated recycler and volunteer with the HV-GB Recyclers. She and other group members have put hundreds of unpaid hours into this group, collecting and sorting household recycling, preparing it for shipping to Newfoundland and seeing it off to its destination. “We recycle because it makes sense. If given the opportunity to minimize the amount of waste we are putting into the landfill then we’ll take it,” says Alison. She says that since becoming involved in recycling, she and her fiancé have changed their consumption habits. “We are a lot
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We are a lot more aware of packaging in the items we purchase, and buy as much package free as we’re able…” more aware of packaging in the items we purchase, and buy as much package-free as we’re able,” she says. And it’s working – they put out one garbage bag every three weeks. Rot is the final piece in the zerowaste puzzle. No community in Labrador has curbside pick-up of compostable waste, so other solutions have come about. In Happy Valley-Goose Bay, the Town has started a Yard Waste disposal site for leaves, grass clippings, and other outdoor organic waste. The Town has also installed two compost stations in the community where residents can compost their kitchen scraps. Jenni Rideout started using the bins last summer. “We previously lived in Shearwater, NS, and the Halifax Regional Municipality had a great recycling program so I learned about composting then,” she says. “I didn’t want to have my own compost bin in my backyard, so when I learned
about the Town’s compost bins it seemed to be the perfect solution.” Jenni and her husband have greatly reduced what they put out at the curb by composting and recycling. “Between bringing my compost bags to the Community Compost bins at Husky Park, recycling the paper, cardboard, plastic and cans with HVGB Recyclers and returning our beverage containers to Rodger’s Recycling, my husband and I estimate that we have reduced our household waste by 75%,” she says. So while potential zero-wasters may read some of the mainstream advice offered by bloggers or media from large urban centres and despair that it doesn’t apply in Labrador, it doesn’t need to be doom-and-gloom. Just like everything else in Labrador, sometimes things just take a little more ingenuity and a little more elbow grease. Who knows – someday we may be able to buy in bulk too!
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Readers’ Photo Album
An iceberg passes by Battle Harbour on its way south. TANYA NORTHCOTT Ottawa, ON
A Noble Club
The Masonic Anik lodge in Labrador City, 1976. My father, Fred Rossiter, is in the first row, first one on the left. BOB ROSSITER St. John’s, NL
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Watching the northern lights dazzle the skies over Labrador City TIMOTHY COLLINS Labrador City, NL
Measuring Up! One-year old Carter stands next to a salmon caught in Muddy Bay.
CLINT CLARKE Happy Valley-Goose Bay, NL
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THE SALMON RIVERS in these parts are legendary – books have been written about them, and people will travel thousands of kilometres to fish their waters.
They are the sort of rivers an angler dreams about – where the fish are large, and the location is so remote it’s easy to imagine begin the first person to fly fish the river. It’s man against nature at its purest, where the nearest road may be hundreds of kilometres away, and where the only access is by plane, canoe or by hiking in. But then there are also prime fishing rivers running alongside the Trans Labrador Highway. And even here, with your back to the road, it’s easy to imagine being far from everything, in part because aside from that highway, you really are far from everything. If a fully catered and guided experi-
ence is your thing, where the meals are made by a culinary expert and the sleeping quarters rival those of a fancy hotel, you can find exactly that sort of thing at one of the remote, fly-in fishing lodges. But be forewarned, the experience does not come cheap – a week at a fishing lodge will typically cost several thousand dollars. For those new to Labrador, or to salmon fishing, we’ve chosen a few rivers to highlight. These selections show the breadth of what’s available – from remote, fly-in lodge destinations, to sea kayak adventures, to fishing holes accessible by parking on the side of the highway.
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PINWARE RIVER A provincial park, a fishing lodge, road accessibility, both salmon and trout – there are several reasons to put this river on your fishing trip list. The Trans Labrador Highway runs alongside a portion of the Pinware River, making it one of the more easily accessible fishing rivers in Labrador. Like many other rivers, this is a scheduled river, so be sure to know the rules before heading out.
Pratt Falls Salmon Lodge photo
Home to several fishing lodges, the Eagle has a reputation approaching legendary and is considered one of the top salmon rivers in North America. The fishing lodges are fly-in only, ensuring privacy and good fishing. This river isn’t accessible by road, and although it’s difficult to get to, it’s not impossible. The river empties into Sandwich Bay, which will sound familiar to anyone familiar with Cartwright. This coastal town is on the Trans Labrador Highway, making it easily accessible (if you consider a long drive through the wilderness easy) to anyone with a vehicle. Add a kayak to the mix, and you’ve got the beginnings of an unforgettable fishing adventure.
Flowers River Lodge photo
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FLOWERS RIVER Located north of Hopedale, this river is home to the Flowers River Lodge. It’s known for being a good river for beginner anglers, as the waters are relatively soft flowing and the bottom is wader-friendly. In these clear waters you’ll find large salmon. This scheduled river is unclassified. It’s also rather difficult to get to. If you’re not an experienced ocean boater, booking a stay at a fly-in lodge is the best way to experience this river.
Know before you go A license is required for salmon fishing. Salmon fishing is permitted from one hour before sunrise until one hour after sunset Only a single barbless hook may be used on scheduled salmon rivers Anglers cannot keep any salmon longer than 63 cm There are several other rules anglers must follow, as well. For a full list, pick up a copy of the 2019 angler’s guide or visit http://www.nfl.dfo-mpo.gc.ca
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An open flame – whether it’s a campfire or your backyard barbecue – is one of the tastiest ways to prepare your freshly caught or bought Atlantic salmon.
2 portions of salmon, skinless 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp black pepper 1 tsp celery salt 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Mix spices and oil together to form a light paste. Rub both sides of the salmon with the mixture. Allow a grill to heat up, over high heat. Spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray and place the salmon on the grill. Once the grill marks have formed on the salmon’ s underside (after 3-4 minutes), rotate it 90° to make a lattice-type pattern. When the second set have formed (about 3-4 minutes), flip the salmon over. NOTE: do not flip the salmon more than once. It damages the meat and allows too many juices to escape. Allow the salmon to cook for another 5-7 minutes (depending on your preference). The salmon is done when the centre is still a little bit cool and pink. When you press it with your finger, it should feel like a somewhat firm sponge, not hard or stiff. Yield: 2 servings.
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Unlock your Potential Join us and become a part of the transformation. Contact us at 709-237-6715 firstname.lastname@example.org @DaleCarnegieNL @Dale_CarnegieNL dalecarnegienl
David Price photo
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You’ve fished for salmon, trout, pike, perch and bass – but have you fished for Arctic char?
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Unlike other freshwater fish (well, technically char is both a fresh and salt water fish) the char is found only in the north. It’s a cold water fish, with the main population found in the Arctic Ocean, according to the federal Department of Fisheries (DFO). It’s also common in Labrador, where it can be found in the coastal waters of the Labrador Sea and in the streams and rivers feeding into it. Of course, if you live in Labrador, you know this. And if you live in Nain, you know this is where the Torngat Fish Producers Co-operative has their char processing operation. DFO lists char as being an important commercial fish species with a stable population. Char has long been a favoured meal of Labrador’s original people, and for good reason – it’s delicious. If you’d rather get one yourself instead of buying it in a store, you need to make a trip to Labrador’s northern region. Not out of necessity – there are freshwater populations found in Quebec, Newfoundland and Maine – but because fishing the rivers of northern Labrador is an experience worth having. Catching fish in the 10-20 pound range is possible. With the average
WHAT CHAR EAT AND HOW TO CATCH THEM Out in the saltwater, char eat capelin, cod and sand lance, among other things. Spoon lures and things resembling these food fish will find you success. In freshwater, their diet changes to caddisfly small fish and salmon eggs, among other foods. Fly fishing with something resembling the caddisfly or using fresh bait will lead to success. In Labrador, arctic char has a daily bag limit of two fish and a possession limit of four fish.
commercial catch weighing 2-4 pounds, these are bigger fish than anything you’ll find in a market. And you’ll earn that catch, too, as the char is known as a fighting fish when on the line.
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Calm waters with a beautiful sunset make for a perfect evening of boating in Rigolet. ELDRED ALLEN Rigolet, NL
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