“Do you sell worms?”
…is not something I frequently ask when visiting a supermarket. But I did ask this and was rewarded with a positive answer in the General Store in Norris Point. Macsen has taken up fishing and needed some live bait. He spends as much of each day as we will let him fishing from the wharf and passing time with the local fisherman. Bob Howell, who is 85 years old, has become a particular friend and has given Macsen a new lure that has been most successful in catching connors and sculpins.
Bob and his wife Julianne are both from Labrador and have been married for 64 years. They have 9 children, 42 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. When the children were young Bob would head out for months on end to work in the woods while Julianne kept the house and cared for the 9 kids. This in a time without electricity or running water and often in temperatures that would freeze the what-nots off of a brass monkey. But Julianne tells this story with a great smile and a lovely sparkle in her eye “That’s just how it was and we was used to it.” What an incredible strength.
And the lovely Zack, who drove us up to Rocky Harbour to visit the fish market (not yet having caught enough of our own) and up to the look-out point. We celebrated Emma’s birthday in Norris Point and as soon as he heard of this he arrived with a bag of treats for her, including some very tasty and handy canned cream that was “Made in Holland.” And in the evening before we left, knowing that we planned to depart at the uncomfortable hour of 0400 for Port aux Choix, he turned up with some of his wife’s freshly baked chocolate squares to cheer our journey.
In addition to fishing, Norris Point gave us access to Gros Morne which offers some fine hikes and we have been taking full advantage of these opportunities. Each morning the conversation runs as follows:
Monkey: “What are we going to do today?”
Me: “We’re going on a hike.”
Monkey: “Awwww, but I hate walking.”
And after about an hour into the walk, “This is amazing, cool! Best walk ever!”
And the walks are lovely ones deep into the woods, high up the cliffs, meandering along a river, scrambling up a slope. So much beautiful space all to ourselves. And on these hikes along the coast between Wood’s Island and Norris Point, we have seen copious mounds of fresh moose dung (really, these creatures poop an awful lot) and seen many extremely recent hoof prints. But we have not yet been treated to the sight of a real live moose. Each walk begins with a little nervous optimism “What should we do if…” and ends with “Well, hopefully next time…” Keep following the footsteps of the illusive moose.