NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I do, I do, I do, I do, I do

It's been so long since I posted anything on the blog that I may not even have mentioned that I was planning to go to Wisconsin for our daughter's wedding!  Even though they reduced their guest list dramatically and changed their venue, we decided that due to the pandemic it was safest if I was the only one to cross the border. 

Katrina and Charlie decided to take advantage of the closures caused by the pandemic and hold their wedding at the historic Riverside Theatre in Milwaukee.

Charlie's sister was their officiant and delivered a moving ceremony filled with words of wisdom gathered from relatives who were unable to attend.

Charlie and Katrina of course made it personal, from their entrance song of "I do, I do, I do, I do, I do" by Abba to their vows.  Charlie even counted the hours from their date at the Riverside Theatre where they decided that they were boyfriend and girlfriend: 48,567 hours from that moment to becoming a married couple!

They vowed to support and strenthen each other, and affirmed that they have chosen to love each other above all else.

Photography in a dim theatre was challenging and I was a nervous wreck about being their photographer.  I haven't done much with my camera in over a year and even though I fumbled with the settings and my new flash attachment I was able to get some nice images that captured the day.

We made sure to get photos that depicted not only their love and affection for each other, but their love of Milwaukee.  Katrina was thrilled they got to pose with the Miller High Life "Girl in the Moon" in the theatre lobby.  

Picking photography locations on the fly, we wandered the opulent halls and everyone pitched in with ideas to make it happen.

And, of course, sometimes the best photos are the ones that capture the memories of those moments when everyone is having a good time!

Too soon our small party of eleven people was kicked out onto Wisconsin Avenue. Perfect opportunity for the bride and groom to pose for some outdoor shots!

 But it's not a Riverside wedding unless you mosey over and take some by the riverside, right?

It's the small things that are important in a putting up with each other's family members shouting out instructions to you during your wedding photo shoot.

Katrina's Maid of Honor, Libby, is also a hobbyist photographer and was full of great ideas, which was lucky for me because my only idea was "let's go down by the river"!

And it also gave me someone to turn the camera over to so I could join my lovely daughter.

Charlie was very excited about posing under the Riverside Theatre marquee.

And Libby came to the rescue again with yet another great photo idea before they all piled into their van and headed to the restaurant.  Yes, they had a van down by the river!

My mother and I met them at Maxie's, where the bar was open and everyone was happy to mingle in our private room with their masks off.

Toasts were made...

...and a few tears were shed.

But don't worry, we had lots of fun, those tears were the joyful kind!

Before arriving at the newlyweds' home we stopped at a park in Waukesha to pose a little more.

Nothing like a few drinks with lunch to get everyone in the mood to goof around in front of the camera!

Throughout the day I had the opportunity to see Katrina and Charlie support each other, and I know their marriage will be strong because they truly understand that it's a partnership that takes work and commitment.

We missed those who couldn't be with us on this joyful day...

...but the most important thing is that Charlie and Katrina are happy together and we couldn't be happier for them!

When returning from anywhere outside the Atlantic Provinces all returning Newfoundland residents must self-isolate for 14 days.  Residents and those with a special work permit are the only ones allowed across our provincial border.  Travel to the U.S. is limited to air travel only still.  I'm on day 9 and I've spent most of 4 days fiddling with the images from the wedding alone!  Five more days to fill and a girl can only paint so many rocks in a day, so I'll post again about what it was like to travel to another country during the pandemic.

Friday, August 28, 2020

Staycation Newfoundland - Scenic Green Bay

 Newfoundland is still only allowing visitors from the Atlantic Provinces to maintain our non-existent (only cases in months have been from returning travelers in self-isolation) Covid-19 status.  Newfies are all on-board with this policy, and have also embraced the province's Staycation suggestion.  Newfoundlanders are exploring their own province like never before, and I figured I better get in on that before summer was over.

My first stop was the Appleton Peace Park which has a steel beam from the Twin Towers.  Appleton is a small town outside Gander, where 38 planes carrying 6,700 passengers were forced to land when the Twin Towers were hit. The generousity of Newfoundlanders is legendary, but you'll have to "come from away" another year due to the pandemic I'm afraid.

Then it was on to Springdale in scenic Green Bay, just 7miles off the TCH and home to Glassy Beach.  The tiny cove was the site of a former landfill and many shards of now smoothed glass.  Much less than in previous years though as many visitors take bags full home with them.  I left what I found for others to enjoy.

It was getting dark and I was without a place to put my tent.  Glassy Beach was too small and eventually I found myself at the trailhead for Indian River Walking Trail.  I set up in the dark and the rain, and woke to a beautiful morning!

The trail system starts with a boardwalk along the saltwater marsh and continues along the river.

I saw a few ducks and few crows, but luck wasn't with me to see any more birds than that.

The trail was 40 minutes roundtrip and completely flat, an easy walk with lovely views.

Appleton yesterday, Green Bay this morning, you'd almost think I was in Wisconsin. I wanted to show Newfoundland that my heart is with Kenosha and the troubles happening there as I roam the Green Bay area today.  Kenosha I love you, everyone be safe!

Sunday, August 2, 2020

King's Cove Lighthouse

I had thought about staying right out on the Skerwink Trail in my tent back in June (and next time I will!) but after I mentioned it to a fellow hiker I realized it might be safer not to advertise I was alone in such an accessible spot.

So off I went to King's Cove to have a new adventure before the day was done.  After a rough ride on a long gravel road I finally reconnected with pavement and arrived at the small town of just under 100 residents.

I parked at St. James church and began my trek out to the lighthouse with all my gear in tow.  Past the meadow and up the hill through the clouds of black flies waiting for me in the trees I went, sweat pouring off me and my arms quivering from the extra load in my arms and on my back.

While having a rest and letting the sweat dry I heard motorized bikes approaching.  Two local gentlemen accompanied me the rest of the way to the light, happily helping me with my gear and showing me around.

Even though it was solid rock at the light itself that is where I decided to pitch my tent to escape the flies.  The wind wasn't bad at all for being exposed to the water, and I thanked my new friends for their help and settled in for the night.

I'd been advised to make the short walk out to Fish Point for the view before sunset, and not only got a view of some fantastic rock formations but also a great view back to my tent.  As I've mentioned the black flies were numerous so I didn't hike the loop and will have to do that if I ever return.  Black fly season is short but miserable as they are tiny and their bite is painful.  Bug repellent doesn't do much to keep them away either so avoidance or bug net clothing is the best way to go.

King’s Cove received their lighthouse in 1893 and the cast-iron tower was erected on Western Point.  Designed and manufactured in the Chance Brothers factory in Birmingham, England, the separate sections for the tower were shipped to Newfoundland and assembled at King's Cove using overlapping riveted joints, common to 1800's ship building and boiler making technology.

With all the lighthouses I'd been to over the years, how had it never occurred to me to spend the night?  To be fair back in the States just pitching your tent any old where is not really as commonplace as it is in Newfoundland.  Here anything is fair game as long as there isn't a sign posted saying otherwise.

I was really glad I made the trek out once sunset finally arrived. Don't believe that is what it looked like? Here's the 17 second video shot from inside my tent panning from the sunset and then up to the lighthouse above me.

I was drifting off to sleep when I thought I saw a flash of light.  It was a bit windy but storms weren't in the forecast.  Then I saw it again.  And again. Umm, yeah, a LIGHThouse.

Once I realized what it was I discovered it was easy to ignore and drifted right off to sleep.  Thank goodness there wasn't a foghorn sounding!  Why don't people sleep overnight at lighthouse sites?  Maybe all the LIGHT?

The morning was beautiful but the flies were out again so I had to pack up quickly.  A word about the tent pictured here.  I bought it at Canadian Tire and the material makes a very loud plastic rattling sound even in very light wind that has woken me frequently every time I've slept in it so I am now back to my old tent.  Not all waterproof tents use the same material, just a tip for anyone who might be in the market for a new tent!

More adventures on the way...

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Trinity Views and Icy Feet - The Skerwink Trail Part 2

After rounding the headland on the Skerwink Trail I was eager to see if I would spot more iceberg pieces as I continued along the coast toward Trinity.

There was a section around about the 3 km mark that was a bit difficult with steep eroded trail and no handholds, making me a bit nervous about what was ahead.  Don't fret, it was just those few feet that were nerve wracking and then it was smooth hiking with gentle ups and down on well defined trail.

Before long I was in the woods with my bitty bergs behind me, and soon I had views of the lovely town of Trinity.

In the summer Trinity is normally a tourist hot-spot with shops, inns and the Rising Tide Theater to round out a nice getaway.  Of course there are no performances this year with the Covid-19 outbreak.

This might be a good spot to mention that Newfoundland is still quite strict compared to some other places with their outbreak restricitons.  We had over a month with no new cases, and that is due to that extreme vigilance.  Even now we only have 3 cases I believe and all of them are returning residents who had been in self-isolation when tested positive.

It's been over 3 weeks since we began letting the other Atlantic Provinces visit our shores, and so far so good.  Our Premier has said that if numbers begin to rise we will shut our border again.  We are still closed to the rest of Canada and the rest of the world.  We hope to welcome you all back next year!

 At the 3.5 km the trail winds down off the headland onto a rocky beach cove where I saw more bits of iceberg rolling in on the tide.

Sure ya knows I had to take off m'shoes! I actually had a harder time with all those tiny rocks poking my tender feet than the icy water. And hey, there's another bitty berg just over where I can't get at it!

A local gentleman observed my shenanigans and came over for a chat while I put my shoes back on.  I heard about the fox and her kits that he saw on the trail the other day, and stories of how they used to go swimming in the nearby pond.  Never hesitate to strike up a conversation in Newfoundland, it's always welcome and always worth the time.

The remainder of the trail is flat and winds past Farm Pond which is surrounded by lush pasture full of wildflowers and then a section of woods before you are looped back to the parking area.  I was a bit busy having my chat and didn't take any pictures, but here's a simple video of the hike that I made so now you can hear the sounds of the hike as well as see the views.  Sorry about the wind noise out on the headland, no way to muffle that on an iPhone camera that I know of!

There are other trails in the vicinity to explore, and I was there for an overnight in my tent so I had to choose one...