Family Trip to Newfoundland

Corner Brook, Western Brook Pond, Gros Morne

by Ryan Rowell

This summer we drove out to the East Coast of Canada for our annual family trip. This year we finally had the chance to see the last Eastern Province on our list, Newfoundland. We met my mom in NewBrunswick and then drove to North Sydney, Nova Scotia to catch an early morning ferry to Port Aux Basques, Newfoundland. The main reason we decided to visit the rock was because for the last few years my mom has been tracing her roots, and being a natural born “Newfie” my mom wanted to finally head back to the place of her birth. She only spent a few years as a child in Stephenville Crossing before moving with her family to Saint John, NewBrunswick. So everything was just as new to my mom as it was to us. I am so happy we took this trip with her, it was adventurous, exciting, exhausting, completely rained out at times, and absolutely gorgeous. I know why people love it out here, its huge and so very quiet. We camped for 2 days at Gros Morne National Park, it was supposed to be 3 but we got poured on. We took a beautiful boat ride through the Western Brook Pond and saw a bunch of tiny waterfalls. We stayed in Corner Brook for a few days as well at the Grenfell University campus summer lodging and researched my family roots at a local library, and museum. We stayed at a B & B in Port Aux Basques which was the home of the first radio station in Western Newfoundland, and after a dinner at the very famous Bob’s Chicken Coop (every local we talked to recommended this place) we headed over to the boardwalk and listened to some local music before heading back on the ferry ride home.

Around here our mantra regarding travel is that “We are not taking trips but rather collecting experiences.” Seeing all my mom’s hard work with researching our family history actually come to life was an amazing sight. Taking this long journey and experiencing this trip with family made it all the more special. I highly recommend  adventures like this, where everyone is exploring and no one knows what way to turn in the road, and where the best place to eat dinner is. Trust me, we made tons of mistakes on this trip, but we have so many great stories because of it. I wouldn’t trade them for all the money in the world. Don’t wait until you are too old and miserable to travel, don’t wait until you have the perfect amount of money, don’t wait for promotions, next year, babies, mortgage payments, or the courage to face your own fears. Have experiences with the people who mean the most to you NOW! One of my favorite quotes is by Amy Poehler from SNL, and I think its really fitting for this blog post.

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of you’re comfort zone, taking risks like that- That is what life is. You might be really good. You might find something out about yourself that’s really special, and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.”– Amy Poehler.

A big special thanks to my mama for being such a great sport on our crazy trip to Newfoundland.

We loved traveling with you and hopefully we can plan a trip for next summer. One without the insane amount of bugs, torrential downpours, and gargantuan puddles big enough to devour our car.

I love you Mom!


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The gorgeous landscape on the Western Coast of Newfoundland as we get closer to Gros Morne National Park.
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The church my grandparents were married at in Stephenville Crossing, Newfoundland.

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My Gorgeous Mother in her hometown: Stephenville Crossing, NFLD.

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The 45 minute hike to Western Brook Pond in Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland.

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Boat ride through the fjord at Western Brook Pond, Newfoundland.

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We did a little off roading and got lost while looking for a beach near Port Aux Basques. When we got to the gigantic puddle in the road we were not sure if we should risk going through it. But the road way was too narrow to turn around. As the water level raised ever so slightly my mother’s reaction grew. See photo below.

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Hahahahahaha!! This is my mom freaking out at Ryan when he decides to go through the puddle. Priceless expression on her face. This is the highlight of the trip!
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Ryan’s sister decided to try walking through the puddle and got covered in the most disgusting bog mud. This is her cleaning up in the lake.
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This is the the fam jam on a great day in Corner Brook, Newfoundland. We found this gorgeous vista behind a Wal-Mart parking lot.

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