December 2nd marks the day of my arrival in Newfoundland one year ago. I’ve seen a lot of things in this past year and I’m still discovering new places every week. Today I visited one of those new places: Cripple Cove.
After dropping off Marije at work I headed for Pouch Cove, which is up North. Driving into Pouch Cove I looked around for easy parking spaces for a future hike, and when I glanced into a sideway I saw a big moose standing in the middle of the road. I immediately turned the car around and drove up the road where the moose stood still. He gave me a puzzled look and ran towards the car, about 30 metres from me he flinched and took off into the forest. I got out of the car and pursued him on foot for a while but he proved too fast for me.
After Pouch Cove comes the long and potholed dirt road to Biscayan Cove, this is where you need to go to hike Cripple Cove Path. On the side of the road I saw a parked pickup truck with a dog lying next to it. When I got near I saw a lot of blood on the dog and when I inspected closer I saw it wasn’t a dog at all, it was a pile of moose skin. On the other side of the car there were some severed legs; somewhere a moose was having a terrible day without all his parts attached.
At the Cripple Cove trailhead I met an 84 year old lumberjack and we took off into the forest together. A storm had blown a lot of trees onto the trail and he explained he was clearing them out with permission from the East Coast Trail. A good thing too, the fallen trees were thick on the path. On the way in I could barely get through but thanks to his efforts I was able to hike the trail without any obstructions on the way back a few hours later.
The trail to Cripple Cove leads through the forest and then over a few bare hills. Today, the wind was even worse than two days ago and it is hard to describe how much ‘fun’ I had walking into the gale force breeze. On the way from Big Cove to Cripple Cove I passed a waterfall, where the river was supposed to drop about 60 metres into the ocean. However, with the winds being very strong, the falling water had a change of heart: instead of falling down it blew straight up into the trees, where it froze on the branches leaving behind a thick coat of ice. Down by the ocean I became a favourite target for the many small water spouts, blasting me with salt spray in the face. At Cripple Cove my fluttering camera strap decided to hit the shutter a few times when I was busy holding my tripod down on the rocks to prevent it from taking off, I now have two nice black photos the wind made for me.
After the hike, I returned home to prepare for the evening shoot. To commemorate my first year in Newfoundland I had an appointment with a full moon rising just after sunset. I enjoyed this festive occasion on Middle Cove beach, on the way to Marije.