To read Week One first, start here.
Day Eight — Lion’s Den Hike, Fogo Island Inn, local music
Hands down, this was the best breakfast of my life! Cod fillets we caught ourselves the night before, fried in butter in our little Air Bnb cottage. On the side was watermelon — we’d had a big old melon rolling around in the back seat of our rental car ever since our first grocery shopping trip in St. John a week ago.
Then we went for a hike. Lion’s Den was a loop trail of 5.5 km, most of it along the north coast of the island. The views were so stunning that we took our time.
Along the way we hiked past the remains of several communities — the largest of which was Lion’s Den. [Read more…] about Newfoundland — Gros Morne, Tablelands, Lanse Aux Meadows, Whales!
Our recent trip to Newfoundland reminded me of our 2010 trip to Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, which I remember fondly.
I had blogged that trip quite thoroughly, so I went through those posts and cleaned them up — software updates over the years had added stray characters. Now the posts are readable again.
If you’re curious about PEI and Nova Scotia, begin here!
What have you done to restore your soul this summer? I hope you’ve carved out a bit of down-time. I was so fortunate to take a 2-week trip to Newfoundland with my husband, Doug. Here are some highlights and photos from the first week.
Day One — St. Johns — “Newfoundland Time”
When we flew from Washington, DC to St. John’s, Newfoundland we left behind a hot, humid day and emerged into a cool, drizzly evening. That wasn’t a surprise. What was a surprise was the time change — 1.5 hours. One point five. Apparently Newfoundland is the only place in the world that splits the time zone in half. Perhaps that says something about the independent spirit of the island.
Day Two — Bay Bulls & Witless Bay — Whales & Puffins
We woke to a sunny day and made last-minute reservations to go whale watching and puffin viewing. A 2-hour tour left Bay Bulls at 11:30. The large double-decker boat heads into Witless Bay, to an island that’s an ecological preserve for seabirds.
In the mouth of the harbor we saw a pod of three humpback whales. From the top deck, you could see their long white fins, which look like aqua patches in the water. Their dorsal fins and blows were clearly visible. [Read more…] about Newfoundland: Wind, Whales, Puffins, Gannets, Cod!
The Museum of the Bible opened in Washington, DC last November. The owner is Steve Green, who also owns Hobby Lobby. Green is a conservative Evangelical who is anti-gay and anti-choice. He appears to seek political influence and to court the press. Some of the recent press was negative because he acquired artifacts from Iraq illegally, for which he was fined.
Because of all these reasons, I wasn’t in a hurry to visit the museum. But a couple of my congregants went and were enthusiastic about their experience. As their pastor, I knew it was important for me to go. Also, I am preparing to return to Israel and Palestine in March (my first visit since I wrote Chasing the Divine in the Holy Land) and I was curious to see how the exhibits treated the land and political situation.
When cold weather closed school for a day, my husband (who’s a teacher) and I decided to draw on our steely Minnesota backbone and venture downtown. We used the website to print free timed tickets (there’s a suggested donation of $15). I would not have gone if I had to pay because I will not support Steve Green and his agenda.
The museum is big on drama, in terms of scale, lighting, and sound effects, with heavy use of films featuring Dave Stotts. [Read more…] about The Museum of the Bible
Last weekend we took an overnight trip to Maryland’s Eastern Shore to view the wintering waterfowl at Blackwater NWR and take in the new Harriet Tubman Underground Railway site. I’ll admit that the “Eastern Shore” terminology confuses me.
The region gets its name from the stretch of Maryland’s Atlantic shoreline that’s sandwiched between Delaware and Virginia — but the part of Maryland’s “Eastern Shore” we explore (closer to the metro area) wraps around the Chesapeake Bay, which has both eastern and western shores. As someone who has trouble with time zones, this confusion of west and east seems unnecessarily complicated! I suppose a person always needs to know which direction they’re pointed, no matter which body of water is in front of her. Basic orientation — now that’s an appropriate thought for the New Year! No wonder I appreciated Harriet Tubman’s words about the North Star (we’ll get to her below).
The Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge is a marsh that’s actively managed to have freshwater, brackish, and saltwater areas, to provide for a variety of species. The Blackwater “River” spreads rather than flows. Nearby is the Choptank River which flows into the Chesapeake Bay. The closest town is Cambridge. The new Harriet Tubman site is entirely surrounded by Blackwater NWR, which is appropriate because these marshes and inlets provided cover as Harriet escaped slavery, and then returned to lead other enslaved persons to freedom.
My husband and I arrived around sunset and saw thousands of geese in the marsh and the air, continually rising and resettling — huge flocks of Canada Geese and Snow Geese. We also saw a lone pair of Tundra Swans enjoying a moment on the tidal flats, their white bodies forming the two halves of a heart shape. Later we saw [Read more…] about “God Set the North Star in the Heavens”