Newfoundland

I apologize for the amount of time it has taken me to actually get this post up. Because this was, and still is, my biggest photo endeavor I wanted to do something special with the photos and not just throw them online. So... I made a book.
Newfoundland Book
Inside Newfoundland Book
The book is a 32 page hardcover book. It's completely hand made and I designed it myself. The book has a bunch of photos that will never end up on the internet. You're welcome to buy one from me but because of it's hand made quality it's 100.00. If enough people want them the price can be reduced, tho. I can also offer prints of any image you see on this or in the book. If you're interested in either feel free to e-mail me at dylanleeder@gmail.com. So... onto the post! Enjoy!
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If anyone knows me they know I have a strong sense of adventure and a true love of nature. I really had no plan on going to Newfoundland until I became aware that a friend of mine, Lexi, was living in St. Johns - we got talking and the next thing I knew I was planning a two week road trip to Newfoundland.

It's interesting planning a trip like this because it doesn't actually feel real until you get on the road. The day I left was absolutely beautiful - I couldn't ask for anything more. The car was completely packed and I pulled out of the driveway with a destination 2,700 km away.

Driving for two and half days by myself was a really good experience. I feel that most people feel uneasy when thinking about sitting in a car by yourself for that long - but I feel it was a wonderful experience. I was able to listen to more music than I ever have in two and a half days and I found myself truly enjoying my own company. I began talking out loud and becoming so relaxed I was comfortable enough to let out a solid laugh when I found something amusing. Maybe I was just going crazy... but it felt good.

The first day I was able to make it from my home in Brockville all the way to Fredericton, New Brunswick. Just before I hit Montreal my GPS died and I realized the charger wasn't working. At first I thought this was the worst thing that could happen but thankfully I realized my Blackberry had a GPS. I was actually able to use my Blackberry to navigate the whole two week trip... with the help of actual paper maps. After getting through Montreal's horrible traffic the rest of the day was a breeze (I had the windows down the whole way).

The first day I only really took one photo because I was literally driving all day.

Northern Quebec:

North Quebec

I ended the day in Fredericton, New Brunswick. I decided to sleep in my car that night so I drove around the city to find a good parking lot that I wasn't going to get hassled in. I found an abandoned hospital and parked in its back parking lot between the building and a river. Before bed I made sure to grab a beer and a few shots of whisky in celebration of a very long day of driving. I didn't realize how creepy the area I parked in was until I decided to sleep. Oh well, I'm still alive!

The car I drove the whole trip and my hotel that night:

CarHotel

(Taken with my Blackberry)

The next day I had to make it to North Sydney, Nova Scotia to make sure to catch my ferry to Newfoundland. This day was really exciting for me because it was my last day of driving before actually being in Newfoundland... it was also the first day I got to see my number one love - the ocean.

Nova Scotia

I arrived in North Sydney a few hours before the ferry left so I took a few photos while waiting...

North Sydney

The ferry:
NFLD Ferry

The ferry ride was 14 hours and travelled all night. At first I was really excited to be on the boat and heading into the ocean but it lost it's excitement once I had seen every inch of the boat. I headed to the bar and grabbed a few drinks to help keep me amused. There was a horrible acoustic artist playing that was so bad he actually made me leave - probably a good thing considering how expensive the drinks were.

A few photos of the ferry:

NFLD Ferry

NFLD Ferry

NFLD Ferry

That night I ended up sleeping on the floor in a room of other people snoring. It was a long night.

I finally arrived in Newfoundland on the third day of my trip. It was early and I was super excited to have finally arrived. Only another two hours driving and I finally arrived in St. Johns, Newfoundland. This was the last time I'd be driving alone for the whole trip.

Houses in St. Johns were painted to match the boats coming into the harbor...

St. Johns

St. Johns harbor:

St. Johns

St. Johns

Introducing my co-pilot for the trip... Lexi Fisher! She was a HUGE help for the trip. She did most of the navigating while I drove and she also cooked basically all of the amazing fire cooked meals. Without her the trip wouldn't have been even close to the success it was. It was also nice to have the company throughout the trip - we didn't know each other very well before we started so it made for a lot of interesting conversation getting to know each other.

Lexi

We stayed in St. Johns for three days to give me a break from driving. Throughout those three days we frequented the many bars on George St., I officially got Screeched In, and we got ourselves further prepared for the ventures ahead.

Here's Lexi the night before we left for our trip around the coasts of the province:

Lexi Planning

We left early the next morning. We had our trip pretty well mapped out but we made sure we had the freedom to adjust it as we went. A trip of this nature is not meant to be fully planned.

Our goal for the trip was to stay as close to the coast's as we could. The cliffs in Newfoundland are breathtaking and we wanted to see as many of them as we could. Our first destination was the Cape St. Mary bird reserve. What's cooler than a bunch of birds on the side of a cliff?

Cape St. Mary's Park Reserve

Cape St. Mary's Park Reserve

Driving through Newfoundland is interesting in itself. Unless you were on the one highway the roads were terrible. There were occasions where you would be driving forever without seeing another car or even a house. It was amazing. An interesting NFLD past time seemed to be shotgun drive-by's to road signs:

Stop Sign Drive-by

For our trip we made a point to spend as little money as possible - both because we didn't have much of it and it simply makes the trip better. We camped every night and cooked our own meals. We simply lived out of the car. Another one of our goals (or challenge depending on how you look at it) was to not even pay for camp sites. This proved harder in some of the major parks but there was a few nights that we we simply pulled off the road and set up camp.

Camp our first night:
NFLD Camp Night 1

First fire cooked meal:
NFLD Camp Night 1

The next day our first destination was the fishing village of Dildo. Yes, Dildo. Why did we want to go to Dildo? Because of it's name.

Dildo:
Village of Dildo

Village of Dildo

After Dildo we headed north to Terra Nova National Park. We were planning on not paying to camp but after a few hours of venturing around we realized that we had to pay for a campsite. Not too big of a deal considering it's usually under 30.00 a night.

Terra Nova National Park:
Terra Nova National Park

Terra Nova National Park

Terra Nova National Park

Yeah! Fire cooked meal!
NFLD Camp Night 2

A few months previous Lexi had hitchhiked up the eastern coast of Newfoundland and recommended we checked out a little island called Fogo. Next destination: Fogo Island.

We woke up that morning, did our morning hike, and left to Fogo. My biggest appeal towards Fogo was the fact that it's an island off of an island. Not only is Newfoundland secluded from the country but Fogo is even secluded from Newfoundland. Here's a few photos from the ferry to Fogo.
Fogo Ferry
Fogo Ferry
I really loved Fogo. The island had plenty of cute little fishing villages full of overly nice people. Such a strong sense of community.
FogoWaterHouse-1
Fogo
Fogo
We took longer than usual to find where we were going to set up camp that night but it was definitely worth it. It was my favourite camping location of the trip. We found a nice stone beach right on the ocean next to a small fishing community. We spent the night drinking wine on the beach - it was incredible. Here's a view from our tent:
Full moon.
Fogo
Our next destination was Gros Morne National Park. We saw pictures of it and I knew we had to see it. It turned out to be better than I could ever have imagined. The landscape of Gros Morne is unreal. Mountains with rivers running through them right next to the ocean. It was one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.
We got there after the sun had set and rain was coming in. We decided to quickly set up camp and call it a night.
Gros Morne Night 1
The next day we decided to head to Western Brooke Pond to go for a hike. When we arrived we got really excited - it was wild.
Gros Morne
Gros Morne
Once we got hiking we realized we had to cross a waist deep river. We were skeptical at first but it wasn't going to stop us.
Gros Morne Crossing
After we got through the river we came to a point where the path was actually impossible to cross. It was way too muddy and so full of brush that we had no idea what direction we'd be going in. Sadly we were forced to turn around... back through the river!
Because we were unable to hike the whole path we decided to go for a little hike up a little mountain by our campsite:
Gros Morne
The next day we decided to climb Gros Morne mountain. The mountain is 806M and is a 7-8 hr hike. It was definitely the most strenuous hike i've done but it was completely worth it.
Gros Morne
Lexi heading towards the mountain:
Gros Morne Climb
(I feel this photo doesn't truly represent the size of the mountain.)
The climb was an amazing experience. Here's some photos from the top:
Gros Morne
Gros Morne
A few photos of us at the top...
Gros Morne Climb
Gros Morne
Gros Morne
That night we were both exhausted so we treated ourselves to a restaurant cooked meal. What a fulfilling day.
We originally planned to head north up into St. Anthony but we would have spent most of the day driving and we decided we wanted to spend as much time as we could in Gros Morne. Since we climbed the mountain the day before we decided to take it relatively easy and check out a local light house - it was nice.
Gros Morne
Gros Morne
Later on in the day we took a little hike to swim in a water fall. It was also nice.
Gros Morne
I was stoked.
Me in a waterfall.
Our last night in Newfoundland we enjoyed another one of Lexi's amazing fire cooked meals beside the ocean.
Gros Morne
The next day we had to leave to catch the ferry back to Nova Scotia. It was sad leaving Newfoundland - I felt like I could have gotten used to staying there. The whole trip ran extremely smoothly and even the weather was fairly good to us (Newfoundland is known for getting a lot of rain). Having been to Newfoundland I now have such a strong appreciate for the province and it further reminded me of how beautiful Canada is as a whole. I really do love my country.
Once we left Newfoundland we were pretty determined to get home so I put my camera away and just concentrated on driving.
Here's the last photo from the trip:
Last Sunset
Again, if you're interested in more photos from the trip the book is full of photos you wont see otherwise. Thank you so much for the continues support - you guys are what pushes me through the days when the photography field gets overwhelming. Because of you guys and my pure love of my craft I will never stop taking photos.
- Dylan