Road Trip 2015: Day 9. The Tablelands

Sunday | Aug. 16, 2015
Today was a very tiring but very good day. We woke up at the usual 6:30am and headed for the tablelands. The sun was just rising, which made the shadows sort of long across the mountains, but the early timing meant there was no one on the trails yet. We were to become thankful for this later on as there were large crowds of people entering the trail as we were on our way back. The trail was quite easy and didn’t go very far…it ended at a view up the valley, looking into the heart of the tablelands with a river passing by. The sign said that we were allowed to venture further, so we hiked free style up the rocks into the valley. Everything was a redish brown colour, which is in stark contrast to the surrounding area in Gros Morne, which is generally grey rocks with green trees. There is also very little vegetation in the tablelands. Apparently the area is likely a part of the earth’s mantle that as pushed up by tectonic activity. Evidence of this was seen on the rocks as we hiked. At first I noticed some rocks that looked cooked like coals from a fire on one side. Then further up the valley there were lots of rocks that had marks on them that looked like they had been melted. Eventually we just chose a spot and sat for a while taking in the view. To our one side we could see the head of the valley, where some snow was visible on the high parts of the rocks. The other side was a view downwards, with other mountains visible including Gros Morne.

 

The road into the Tablelands
The road into the Tablelands

Burnt Rock on the Tablelands

In the Valley

The hike down was pretty easy and we still had time left, so we decided to hike the lookout trail. We didn’t really give a lot of thought to the fact that it gained over 1000ft of elevation. Part way up we realized that we had been going up for a long time and we still didn’t appear to be anywhere near the top. So we walked some more. There was one time near the top where the view was decent and we could see that we still had quite the climb left, that we almost turned around, but I wasn’t about to be beaten, so we continued to the top. At the top there were some chairs that overlooked the valley below, which included a great view of Gros Morne mountain. In all it was a little bit disappointing as I was expecting a bit more of a 360 degree view. The hike down was kind of tough because my knee was hurting as it has taken to doing on this trip when going downhill. By the end my legs were getting pretty shaky too…but considering we hiked up 1000ft and back down again over 5km in 2 hours, we did really well.

The view of the Tablelands from the Lookout Trail
The view of the Tablelands from the Lookout Trail

We went back to the campsite and had an early dinner before heading back to Deer Lake to go to an evening service at Humberview Baptist church. The address that was listed online was wrong, so we had a bit of trouble finding it but eventually did. The people there were quite friendly and we wound up going to a campfire with some of the people afterwards.

We came back to the campsite later than usual and it was raining, so we went to bed while it continued to rain. Tomorrow should be a less strenuous day.

Our wonderful site at the Lomond Campground in Gros Morne.
Our wonderful site at the Lomond Campground in Gros Morne.

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