01 – East Coast Trail: St. John’s to Freshwater Barachois

I suppose I’ll blog about why we backpacked for a solid month another time, for now, I’ll focus on journey.

On the eve of July 1, 2019, my son Blaise and I flew to St. John’s, Newfoundland and met up with my father, Robi. We spent Canada Day wandering around in the fog – literally and mentally (night flights do that) – and taking inventory of our gear and food. I showed my father how to pack his pack and convinced him to mail several items home.

On July 2, we buy fuel and food and mail 3 packages to future destinations and pack our packs, then around midday we start walking from east St. John’s (8 Gower to be precise).

The view across St. John’s Bay is colourful. We trudge by large ships being repaired or restocked. It takes us a couple hours and a few stops to get around the bay to the trail head near historic Fort Amherst.

We climb to the top of south head and get a sense of the trail: Lots of ROCK. Flowers dot the trail and little ponds appear and disappear along the ridge. Many breaks and a chat with a couple we met the night before at Yellowbelly before we finally descend to the barachois where we have a flat grassy site to ourselves – until a couple guys on quads show up and perform stunts in the water and on the boulders. But when they leave, it is quiet, the light diminishing and rain pattering as we drift into the beginning of the long rest that will continue for the next month.

Day 1: St. John’s to Freshwater barachois (12.2 km)

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