Ice, on the rocks. A peek from the Crow’s Nest

Near Rogers Cove, NL
Near Rogers Cove, NL

I work days, he works evenings. The secret to our success.

On weekends, we catch up and on really good weekends we do a road trip.

We briefly discussed FLYING to Fogo Island  but only if the ferry was cancelled and we could take advantage of the subsidized fixed wing service just to see it from the air. I’ve never flown in and Leo hasn’t done it in years. We’d spend a few hours. Go to the Inn for a meal or a drink and then come home.

The ferry was running (just barely) with icebreaker support and really, you KNOW once we got out there we’d want to spend a night at the Fogo Island Inn so we put that plan on a back burner for another time.

And before you jump to conclusions, it was HIS idea…..

Plan B.

A drive to Twillingate to see the ice from land rather than air. That’s much more doable and affordable for this weekend.

Saturdays start with coffee and then going out for breakfast. Our new favourite spot is the Gander Bread Box. We’ve been customers for their great bread for a year or so but they’ve recently relocated and opened a small eat in or take out lunch area with a menu that is posted daily on their Facebook site. A few weeks ago they started doing a few breakfast options and we’re stuck on the bagel sandwich. A homemade bagel, toasted with a freshly fried egg, cheese and bacon. At the date of publication, this sandwich is $5 with a coffee!

Bagel sandwich at the Gander Bread Box
Bagel sandwich at the Gander Bread Box

They also do croissants too but this is so good and fresh that we haven’t tried anything else yet and when we walked in today they just laughed and asked “Two?”.

“Yes, one each, please!”

In addition to great bread, they do popular local style cookies like Five Star Squares and Snowballs and you can buy touton dough! Toutons are panfried pieces of bread dough, traditionally served with molasses. I’m sure this was how kids were kept quiet while waiting for the bread to proof and bake.

Leo's favorites. Snowballs and Five Star Squares, Gander Bread Box
Leo’s favorites. Snowballs and Five Star Squares, Gander Bread Box
Touton dough. Also makes great pizza dough! Bread Box, Gander
Touton dough. Also makes great pizza dough! Bread Box, Gander
Traditional 3 bun white, wheat or molasses raisin breads. Gander Bread Box
Traditional 3 bun white, wheat or molasses raisin breads. Gander Bread Box

We picked up some bread too and some cheese buns for our grand daughter, who was much more interested in the two chocolate candies Poppy produced from his pocket. After a Dora puzzle and a couple of books, we got home around noon and got ready to hit the road again.

We had a leisurely drive to Twillingate noticing lots of moose and bunny tracks on both sides of the road.

Moose or REALLY BIG bunny tracks.
Moose or REALLY BIG bunny tracks.
We saw lots of fresh moose and rabbit tracks. Also fox and possibly coyote and lynx, which I should have stopped and taken a picture of. Sorry.
We saw lots of fresh moose and rabbit tracks. Also fox and possibly coyote and lynx, which I should have stopped and taken a picture of. Sorry.

Moose tracks were evident lots of places where they’d crossed the road over night. Rabbits were definitely running last night and there were signs of predators, probably coyote and fox in some areas. I saw large pad prints that must have been a lynx, near Fairbanks. Most of my pictures are taken at 40 to 100 km/h so I’m not in the habit of shouting “Stop!”. I should have when I saw those tracks. Now you just have to believe me.

We saw ice fishing at Jonathan’s Pond, Boyd’s Harbour and near the lumber mill on Cottrel’s Island.  There is lots of ice. Not too sure about the fish.

We did the usual direct line through Twillingate and Crows Head and to the lighthouse.

Yes, there are the touristy elements. We just don't want you to miss anything.
Yes, there are the touristy elements. We just don’t want you to miss anything.

Even on a cold winter day, there was one vehicle parked when we got there and another pulled in after us.

The lookout stairs and sidewalk were very icy. NHL playoff quality ice, so I didn’t venture far. Leo did join two more men, all with binoculars, to look for ‘birds’ that were apparently in the area. Sea birds are a food staple in outport NL and keeping track of where they are and how many are around is part of the tradition and culture. No birds today.

Checking for birds from the Long Point Lighthouse
Checking for birds from the Long Point Lighthouse
Ice from Long Point Lighthouse look out, Feb 8, 2014
Ice from Long Point Lighthouse look out, Feb 8, 2014

After a couple of quick snaps we worked our way back to the Crow’s Nest Café in Crow Head. They had posted a decadent dessert sundae as a Valentine’s treat and we’d both seen it on Facebook before we ever hit the road. We started with a coffee and a café au lait and I decided to try the potato and cheese soup while Leo went with their always great chili. This is a favorite spot for us and keeping winter hours Thursday through Sunday, they have established and maintained a regular clientele of local residents. There seems to be a good balance of eat in and take out customers and most spend some time checking out the various prints and original works by Newfoundland artists.

Great chili and artisan bread at the Crows Nest Café, Crow Head, NL
Great chili and artisan bread at the Crows Nest Café, Crow Head, NL
Potato and cheese soup had a great curry like spice and bacon bits and sour cream topping. Crows Nest Café.
Potato and cheese soup had a great curry like spice and bacon bits and sour cream topping. Cheese biscuit had dill and was so good we got two for the road. Crows Nest Café.
Original and print art works available at the Crows Nest Café
Original and print art works by various artists available at the Crows Nest Café

Well, we forget each time how deep those cone shaped bowls are and once again, too full for dessert. We did take a couple of cheese biscuits and a peanut butter bar for the road, just in case.

Steady clientele makes it hard to keep the sweets stocked. Crows Nest Café
Steady clientele makes it hard to keep the sweets stocked. Crows Nest Café

A few pictures around the water before starting back towards Twillingate.

Crow Head, NL
Crow Head, NL

20140208_151108 20140208_151135

Durrell is across the harbour from Twillingate so we went to visit our friends who are never home and once again, they were not there. They are consistent.

A few quick pictures of the never ending ice and we started back towards home.

You'd think with this view she'd stay home now and then.
You’d think with this view she’d stay home now and then.
Durrell, Ice on the rocks
Durrell, Ice on the rocks
Gorgeous sky over Durrell, NL
Gorgeous sky over Durrell, NL
Looking across towards Twillingate, NL
Looking across towards Twillingate, NL

We had a beautiful clouded sky with serious sun fighting through for most of the drive home. I use my Samsung Galaxy Tablet for pictures and video and considering we are usually driving and shooting through dirty windows I think it does a pretty fine job. Leo does someone slow when he sees something he knows I`ll want a shot of or when he notices the tablet coming out.

Boyd`s Harbour area
Boyd`s Harbour area
Iced in, in Virgin Arm, NL
Iced in, in Virgin Arm, NL

No moose or bunnies to be seen on the drive home. Just the tracks they left last night.

We did see a great tricked out quad with tracks put on for the winter. Those Gander Boy boys got it going on.

Quad equipped with tracks traveling on the Gander River.
Quad equipped with tracks traveling on the Gander River.

A great day of driving, chatting and our Irish music soundtrack in the background found us back in Gander around 5:30, just in time for a great dinner at the Bistro on Roe.

Yes, we`ve got it good.

And I just remembered there`s cheese biscuits in my purse and I`ll finally get a dessert when I find the peanut butter bar. Got to go!

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