July is Done

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It’s hard to believe how varied our July has been. We spent July 1st gazing out at icebergs wearing our winter hats and ended the month with a beautiful day at the beach, building sandcastles and riding waves. We hope that your July has been an amazing month as well! Here’s to more great adventures in August!!!

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The Fives’ Best of Newfoundland

We’ve only been away from Newfoundland for a few days now, and we’re already feeling nostalgic for all that we did and saw during our six weeks there. To help us get through this hard transition to life on the mainland (if you can call Cape Breton Island the mainland), we’ve put together a list of some of our favorites.

Most Spectacular Sights

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Waterfalls (this one is by Blow Me Down Mountain).

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Icebergs (we spotted many on our travels through the Great Northern Peninsula from late-May through early-July),

Best Place to Visit

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Goose Cove: A short drive from St. Anthony, we spent hours here watching whales and icebergs, climbing the rocky shoreline, and playing on the playground.

Favorite Thing to Do

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Rock Climbing (the rugged coast offers endless opportunities)

Best Place to Go Swimming

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Pistolet Bay Provincial Park (the water was refreshing, to say the least)

Best Food

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Partridgeberry Jam (we put this on EVERYTHING)

Best Hike

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Camel’s Back Trail, St. Lunaire-Griquet

Best Animal Watching

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Moose, Caribou, Whales…Do we really have to choose?

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What We’ll Miss the Most

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The St. Anthony Public Library and the wonderful librarian there.

The Berg in the Bight is No More: The View from St. Anthony, Newfoundland

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For the past month we have had the daily ritual of checking in on an iceberg just below our apartment overlooking St. Anthony Bight. Whether we were coming or going, we would take a look to see if the iceberg looked different (which it usually did). Alas, the warm weather over the past few days has finally melted our 10,000 year-old frozen friend that likely calved off of a glacier in Greenland close to a year ago. Here is a look back at a month of daily observations.

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Rolling Down the Camel’s Back: A Hike off Dark Tickle Rd, Newfoundland

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The Viking Trail, the area of northern Newfoundland extending from Deer Lake to L’Anse aux Meadows, is truly a hiker’s paradise. Even with three young ones, we have been dazzled by all the family-friendly hikes to choose from. In our experience just about every town in the St. Anthony area has a well-marked, gravel trail at the end of the road. We have enjoyed finding them unexpectedly during the course of our travels, but we must admit we have also peeked a few times at the Viking Trail Tourism Association’s user-friendly map and list of local trails.

Of the nearly dozen trails that we have had the pleasure to explore during our time in St. Anthony, the Camel’s Back trail off of Dark Tickle Rd. in Saint Lunaire-Griquet has been the most spectacular (and given the quality of some of the other trails, that is quite a compliment). The 2 km round trip trail winds through woods, up over a moderate hill with picnic area overlooking the coves, and then winds through more woods to reach the higher Camel’s Back. Breathtaking views of the surrounding communities take a back seat to the icebergs floating just off shore. Of course, when traveling with young children the highlights of the day can come from the most unexpected places: in this case, a solid hour of rolling down the juniper-covered hillside with icebergs bobbing in the water just below.

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These informative signs greet hikers with some useful facts and tips at all the hikes along the Viking Trail.

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A glacial erratic gave us a chance to refine our climbing skills before the final ascent.

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Another satisfied hiker at the top of Camel’s Back.

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A view out into the harbor.

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An iceberg with a ring of smaller pieces already broken off.

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Another iceberg with an inviting green hollow in the middle.

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Half an hour into rolling down the hill. Dizziness must not kick in until you’re older…

476 Stairs for Dad

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Five String is one incredibly amazing dad. So, for Father’s Day we had been saving one incredibly amazing hike. With the wait finally over this morning the kids jumped out of bed and straight onto a sleeping dad to wish him a happy Father’s Day and to let him know that we were finally going to hike the Santana Trail.

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Located at Fishing Point Park, the Santana Trail caught our eye on our very first day in the St. Anthony. The kids were immediately taken with the 476 stairs that wind up to the top of Fishing Point. They couldn’t wait to scramble up the stairs, but agreed that it would be the perfect activity to save for Father’s Day.

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So, after a quick breakfast we put on several layers of clothing and went out into a surprisingly mild Newfoundland morning (49°F). After stopping for a photo op at the bottom of the trail we started our climb. All in all this was probably one of the fastest hikes that we have ever taken as a family because there are zero distractions to pull us off trail. Besides stopping from time to time to look out at the view the hike consists of climbing set after set of stairs.

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The kids were very proud of themselves for making it all the way to the top. As we enjoyed a snack overlooking the ocean we had fun gazing at icebergs and remembering past Father’s Days. Then it was back down the stairs and home for an elaborate Father’s Day tea that the kids had planned. For a family that drinks out of our water bottles at every meal using real China made it a very special celebration. Nothing but the best for one truly fabulous father!

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