We decided to do a hike in the Tablelands today, which is an area where the upper crust of the Earth's mantle has been pushed up to the surface due to tectonic activity. We didn't want to hike once the day was really hot, though, so we got up fairly early to beat the heat.
The drive to the Tablelands area from Rocky Harbour is just over an hour, and the scenery is fantastic the entire drive. Then as you start to approach the Tablelands, you can see them looming ahead, which is a pretty cool view. There is very little vegetation in this area, and the tablelands are this barren, brown looking area, but all around it the other mountains are extremely green thanks to the many trees - such a contrast! The hiking trail in the Tablelands starts at the base on the north side and takes you into a valley; it's only a 4km return trail and an easy trail to walk, but you can also keep hiking further past where the trail ends if you choose to. Parks Canada has also developed an app that you can download onto your phone that provides sort of an interpretive guide as you do the trail, so I downloaded that and used it on the trail. It was pretty cool to have - its linked to GPS and as you proceed down the trail, every so often it makes a noise and then it has information on the area. For example, you walk along and all of a sudden your phone makes a noise, and then information pops up saying "Look to your left. See that boulder - notice how it is different than the other rocks in this area? That is because it was dropped here from a glacier." The app also pointed out what the provincial flower - the Pitcher plant - looks like and talked about (it's a carnivorous plant!), why there was a stream flowing through the Tablelands, why the rocks look rust coloured (because they are actually rusting!), and so on. If you're ever somewhere that has an "Explora" app, download it! It sure adds to the experience when you have some background on what you see all around you - definitely worth it! The hike was also worth it to see the Tablelands - such a unique place to see. (Side note for any science nerds: The theory of plate tectonics was proven by geologists here because of the complex geology that you see all around you!) Worth a stop if you're ever in the area.
Once we had finished checking out the Tablelands, we stopped in for a quick visit at the Discovery Centre in Woody Point, and then drove through Gros Morne park. In the Discovery Centre, there are pictures of the different geological features found throughout the park and one of the places that had caught our attention was Green Point. This was along our drive, so we made a stop in here to check it out as well. If I was a geologist, this would also be a very cool place to check out. (It was still cool even though I don't really know anything about geology!) Here, from years of the Earth changing, you can see different kinds of rocks in the cliffs - different layers from different time periods. The layers of the rock here contain fossils that allow geologists to correlate the ages of sedimentary rocks from different locations around the world, and it was here that the boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician periods was set. The Cambrian period was app. 429 million years ago and the Ordovician was 545 million years ago - so, basically, those are some really, really old rocks. (It still boggles my mind every time I think about the ages of rocks and fossils, etc, and how the heck scientists can figure out how old these things are. I just don't get it - guess that's why I'm an accountant and not a scientist!)
Other than our stops at the Tablelands, the Discovery Centre and Green Point, we drove up to Cow Head to check out the town quickly and made a couple pit stops along the way, then headed back to Rocky Harbour for dinner. People rave about how great the seafood is on the coast, and so I figured that I cannot leave here without trying lobster at some point. (I've never really been a huge fan of seafood, and have not tried eating a lobster before, so this was on the bucket list.) We decided that this evening would be a good time to try it so we found a restaurant that was serving fresh Atlantic Lobster in town. Mom has had lobster years ago (and wasn't really a fan), so Dad and I were the two brave souls who ordered lobster for dinner. Dad was thinking about ordering something else, but as the saying goes "When in Rome…" so he decided he had to try the lobster too just to say he had it. So a little while after our orders were placed, our lobsters arrived, and let me tell you - I am not a fan of foods that have their eyes looking at me from my dinner plate! Since I've never had a lobster I also didn't really know how to crack open the lobster to get at the meat, so the waitress was kind enough to help out Dad and I with that. We weren't the only people that had it explained to us how to eat a lobster though - the people at the next table were also having it explained to them. The waitress was laughing when we commented on that - "Yeah, we explain it a lot!" And so Dad and I ate our lobsters. My conclusion: well, eating lobster once in life is enough! It wasn't horrible, but not my thing; I'll stick to a good steak or chicken from now on. But at least we can cross that off the bucket list!