Friday, July 4, 2014

The Rock

Last Thursday at the crack of dawn I boarded a plane heading to St. John's Newfoundland for a urology conference. I would be there for 5 days. This conference is always on Canada Day weekend - not ideal considering I have IM Lake Placid in 4 weeks but I try to make the best of it.

Beautiful Lake Ontario from the air.

Once I landed in Blow Me Down NFLD - I kid you not, the airport is in Blow Me Down - I gathered my stuff and headed to the hotel for my first meeting. The fog here is unbelievable. We were literally 500 feet above the runway before I could see it. I also noticed it was quite cool here - 6C when I landed. After the meeting some co-workers and I headed to Signal Hill for a run. Signal Hill has some amazing trails across the rugged landscape.

As photographer I was always at the back of the bus but I got some cool shots. One thing for sure there is no shortage of steep hills here. Above pic - after some considerable climbing we went downhill quickly to meet up with the trail start.

The trail hugs the rock face. In a couple of places there is a chain to hold onto as the drop off the cliff is big and you're only on a singletrack trail.

Two-thirds of the way up. A cool view with a couple of icebergs in the background.

We had a brief descent before the final climb to the top of Signal Hill.

You can see the trail snake it's way up to the summit.

Final push - no running up this!

Up top with (L-R): Cory, Marc-Andre, Jean-Francois, and some Dork

Signal Hill

View of the harbour from Signal Hill

I told Cory to pose with the cannon - this is what he came up with! Cory has done IM Lake Tahoe and is doing the Lake Tahoe 70.3 this year.

Once we descended into St. John's again we paid tribute to Terry Fox. The statue is dedicated to where Terry dipped his prosthetic leg in the Atlantic and began his Marathon of Hope. I've had the privilege of getting pictures at the 3 monuments for Terry Fox - 1 in St. John's, 1 in Ottawa, and finally where he stopped in Thunder Bay. What an amazing individual.

On Day 3 we went on a cruise. The sun was out but still cold.

Preet cool how the houses are built into the rock.

Hard to see but here's a shot of the Signal Hill Trail.

The little structure on top is Signal Hill building.

This is the iceberg we were tracking down.

This thing was 8 stories high and went 300 feet under the water. The guide said it was 20, 000 years old and had traveled down from Greenland. He also said it would break apart over the next 24 hours. The ice is so compact and the locals will collect some floating chunks of ice to be used in bars and restaurants for drinks - the ice causes the drinks to bubble and lasts a long time due the compressed oxygen.

The iceberg ice is also used in the production of, you guessed it, Iceberg beer. You can only get this beer in Newfoundland. It was delicious!! By the way I haven't mentioned this yet - the people here are SO warm and welcoming!!

Just amazing! Finally the last surprise on the tour came with the 2 Humpback whales that were following the boat for a while. I couldn't time the camera right so I didn't get a good pic. Needless to say they were majestic!

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