Today we drove up to the tip of the northern peninsula in Newfoundland, which is where the L'Anse aux Meadows national historic site is located. A significant portion of the day was spent driving as it is quite a trip from Rocky Harbour to L'Anse aux Meadows. The drive up follows the coastline primarily, and so we drove through a number of small villages, and it was interesting to see the landscape change from what it was like in Gros Morne National Park to what it was like further north. In Gros Morne, the park has a number of mountains and is very lush. As you drive farther north, though, the mountains aren't quite as high and the trees are not quite so lush and are shorter. It's a more barren landscape.
We had looked up campgrounds in the area surrounding L'Anse aux Meadows and found one near the community of Quirpon, so our first destination was to head there to see if we could get a campsite and to set up the camper. Once that was all said and done, we decided to head to the L'Anse aux Meadows National Historic Site. This was a place on Dad's list of things to see because of our family heritage. L'Anse aux Meadows is the site where the first Europeans - the Vikings - landed in North America (before Christopher Columbus discovered America). Vikings are originally of Norse descent and settled in Iceland and Greenland, and eventually traveled to what they referred to as Vínland, which is here in North America. At the site of L'Anse aux Meadows, they set up a camp approximately 1,000 years ago, which they only used for 5 to 10 years before it was deserted. Since Dad's side family is of Icelandic descent, we may have had some Vikings in the family back in the day - you never know! (Vikings were only those who raided villages. Not all those living in Iceland or Greenland were considered Vikings.)
At the L'Anse aux Meadows site, they have some small displays put together that talk about Vikings in the interpretive centre, you can see the bases of their sod huts that they built and which were excavated in the 1960's and 1970's, and there is a recreation of a few Vikings buildings. Overall, the site doesn't really have much there. The exhibits on the site are limited because there really isn't all that much that they know about the Vikings that landed here - so much is just speculation. But a visit to L'Anse aux Meadows can now be stroked off the bucket list!
After visiting the site, we went for a drive down to St. Anthony, which is south of the site and the largest town in the area. Along our way, we saw a number of icebergs from the coastline. At one point, we were passing through a village and saw a large iceberg not far off the coast. There was a side road that was off the main highway so we pulled off onto it, but as it turns out the road just runs into someone's yard. As I got out of the truck to snap a picture of the iceberg, I looked at a couple other people who were out there snapping a picture as well, and asked "Are we invading someone's yard here?" and a voice from beside me that had walked up said "Yup, you sure are!" It turned out that this woman lived there, but was very friendly so we ended up stopping to talk to her for a bit, and Dad talked to her husband. She was saying that they've had people pulling into their yard all day both yesterday and today; today, there was an RV tour that had gone through the community so there was a bunch of people from there that had pulled into her yard to take a picture, and an motorcycle tour the day before that had done the same thing. The traffic was never ending! Even as we were there talking for a bit with them, there were numerous other people that had pulled into the yard to take pictures too.
Once we had finished chatting to the lady, we continued on our way to St. Anthony, where we saw more icebergs along the way. We didn't do much in St. Anthony, other than drive through and make a stop at a gift store; then we headed back to Quirpon to the campground.
As we were turning onto the road that the campground is on, we heard a few honks coming from behind us and it turned out that Barrie and Ardith had caught up to us. We knew they were going to be in that area tonight as well, but we weren't sure what time they would be arriving and whatnot. And so we ended the day with a barbeque at the campsite with Barrie and Ardith.