Petty Harbour, Newfoundland

explore-petty-harbourFor the most part I kept my blog updated for the majority of the time I was home, minus the last 2 weeks. I’m probably stating the obvious here, but I clearly didn’t want people to realize our house in California was empty, even though a few of our neighbours were keeping a watchful eye. I mean, you never know. Especially due to me watching all these horror flicks on cable at my parents house. Definitely creepy thoughts have burrowed into my head of what could happen.

Meanwhile, let’s talk about some of the sights from my home town of St. John’s, Newfoundland (It’s in Canada for those who are geographically challenged like myself). Surrounding the city are multiple harbours, tiny towns, and quaint coves to explore.

My Mom and I took off on an afternoon one weekend to check out Cape Spear, and a few kilometres down the road from that is the smallest fishing town perfectly nestled away, called Petty Harbour. Known for its famous fish ‘n chips Chafe’s Landing, and home to musician Alan Doyle, lead singer of Great Big Sea, you can’t help but take in the exquisite views that east coast Canada has to offer.

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Harbour

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Most Easterly Point in North America

Whenever I fly home, I love sight-seeing and touring around like I’m a new visitor. My Mom is the ideal person to tour around with because she likes to drive off and explore new areas, unlike myself where I haven’t driven past certain points as I’m afraid of getting lost.Explore-Newfoundland

One of my favourite spots to go when I’m home is Cape Spear, or otherwise known as the most easterly point in North America. With incredible views of crashing waves, the sea salt swarming the air, and the crazy gusts of wind forever messing up your hair.

The two lighthouses were built in the 1800’s, and it’s a joy to go walking around the area especially checking out the old World War 2 bunkers.

For now, I’ll let the beauty of the photographs take over. Enjoy the view.

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Have you ever visited the East Coast? Or even better — Newfoundland?

What’s your favourite time of the year?

When is the last time you explored your home town/province/state?

 

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Flatrock Fest, Newfoundland

HeaderDuring my visit home in Newfoundland, I’m bound to meet up with my friends who, conveniently enough, are all rock climbers like myself.

Lori, my climbing buddy (we were each other’s first climbing partners—19 years and going!) mentioned to me that she was heading down to Flatrock, a small town, minutes outside of St. John’s where she was going to be volunteering for the day and invited me. You know I had to go to that.

Flatrock Fest successfully finished up its third consecutive year of inviting regular climbers, folks who’ve never stepped foot on a climbing wall or rockface, and the others who have been itching to try outdoor climbing. For fifteen bucks you show up, get the gear supplied to you, sit in on sessions, and climb til your hearts content for a full day of climbing and rappelling, down at Flatrock.

Wallnuts Climbing Centre, amongst many more sponsors helped out in executing the event held by the Alpine Club of Canada. There were goodie bags handed out to the first 50 climbers who signed up. Inside the bags were a variety of prAna tee’s, chalk bags, Rock & Ice magazine, and a rock climbing DVD. I was not one of the lucky contenders to sign up in advance, plus I was volunteering so I didn’t think it was fair for me to grab one from a lucky attendee. I sure wanted one though! I did end up getting a sweet door prize (Evolve boulder brush) and a Black Diamond cam keychain.

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It has rained continuously throughout my trip back home in Newfoundland, but we lucked out weather wise and had a fantastic day down on the rock with over 150 people in attendance. The guys from Wallnuts worked hard putting the event together, with more than 20 top ropes for people to get on and climb.

Leo (the owner of Wallnuts, who is like an older brother to me. My brother and him go “way back”) ended up staying overnight in a tent down at Flatrock the night before the fest, working hard putting everything together for a successful day. I was told he knew the tide wouldn’t be coming in throughout night, so he was safe and sound. Still wouldn’t be me down there, scary stuff!Tent-in-Flatrock

Lori set up the rappelling station — which I had a go at multiple times. It scared the crap out of me, since I don’t regularly climb outdoors, if anything I boulder.  But after a few tries I easily got over the fear of leaning bum back over a cliff and use an ATC to rappel down. That’s me getting ready to go! About-to-rappel

There was a special guest this year, Black Diamond sponsored climber J.P Ouellet was there giving a few talks throughout the day on trad climbing. I sat in on one of his two sessions (can you spot me?), and asked a handful of questions. Flatrock2014-BlackDiamond_GSL-6055(photo from ACCNL)

I felt a bit silly at first when he asked everyone in the group how long they’ve been climbing. Some answered 5 days, a few months and up to a few years. He pointed at me and I squirmed, answering “ninteen years” — and here I am sitting in on a beginners session on how to use cams, nuts, and bolts. J.P was pretty great, funny and informative with his talk at Flatrock, so I’m glad I sat down to enjoy it.

I’ll leave you with a few more photos that I took throughout the day at Flatrock Fest:

Leo-and-JoostLeo’s a Dad!

Flatrock-FestI’m the queen of inappropriate footwear, so I had to borrow Lori’s 5.10 accents for the day trip.

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Flatrock

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I’m glad I was home at the perfect time for the Flatrock Fest, and hopefully I’ll be back next summer for the fourth year.

Sponsors of Flatrock Fest 2014: Wallnuts Climbing Centre, The Outfitters, Black Diamond, Metolius, Rock – Ice, Flashed.

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