From Corner Brook to Robinsons

By Julie Chatelain and Simon Lacroix

Our rest day in Corner Brook was a time to resupply, wash our clothes, eat real food at Best Coast Café and get interviewed by CBC (Radio). Yes, our few minutes of fame appearing in the local paper increased or confidence… So, we walked into the CBC station to see if they were interested in our story. Apparently, the CBC crew had been discussing the dangers of the highway section of the Great Trail in their area and Lyndsay Bird wanted to know our thoughts. It was a fun experience.

On the 14th, we left Corner Brook and walked most of the day on roadways. The Great Trail App was again recommending that we use a large busy road, but we found smaller roads that followed the coast until we rejoined the T’Railway at Petrie.

It felt good to be back on the track. The going was good for the most part and we made good distance. As we approached the Georges Lake area it became busy again. This area had many cottages and on weekends folks came out on their ATV’s. A group stopped us as they recognized us from The Western Star article.

As was the pattern, we saw great spots for our breaks. At the end of a small lake, we soaked our feet in the cool water and chatted with others doing the same thing. But at the end of a hot long day of walking, we could not find a decent camping spot. We finally settled for an abandoned driveway near a small stream. The stream felt refreshing and lifted our mood. It rained that night but we were dry and comfortable in our tent.

The walk along Georges Lake was most challenging. The trail condition in this area was some of the worst we’d seen. Lots of fist size loose rocks and deep pools of water were the norm. It was a tough day and we chose to make it a 27-kilometer day. We saw a decent campsite and stopped at 2:30pm. The rain stopped and it was then that we heard and saw them all coming out – the mosquitos. Millions of them. The tent was set up in record time. Simon went looking for drinking water. He collected water from a nearby stream but it tasted of burnt wood, or petrol. We couldn’t tell but we both thought it best not to drink it. We felt parched that evening and vowed to stop more often to check on our water supply.

We awoke the next morning to a loud buzzing sound like a beehive. As the cobwebs cleared from our minds, we remembered the mosquitos. They had been waiting all night and they were hungry. Camp was taken down lickidy-split and our walking pace was fast, but we could not escape the mosquitos. We were both devoured that whole day.

We made it to St George and took a room at the Palace Inn, the grand old home of the Bishop converted into a B&B. A wash, good sleep, and a breakfast of eggs and bacon made us forget our struggles. Another marathon day got us to Robinsons, where the Pirates Hideaway campground seemed like a perfect stop. It also allowed us to get off the T’Railway and visit some coastal communities – Robinsons, Jeffrey’s, and McKay’s.

With only three or so days left on ‘The Rock’, we forced ourselves to take a zero day. Whether because we wanted to extend our stay on the island or because we needed the rest – it didn’t matter. The short walk to the beach during our day off was fabulous and the folks we met were memorable.

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