Howley and Grand Lake

It is sometimes much more fun to explore small local areas than to go on great journeys, especially on the last day of one's travels.  Today was such a day.  The only distance we had to travel was about 45 km from Corner Brook to Deer Lake where we had a B&B booked.  As an aside, B&Bs are the way to go in Newfoundland.  The people are friendly, the food excellent, and it's much cheaper than hotels and motels.

So today we set as our goal, the little town of Howley which is on Grand Lake, the latter a huge long and skinny lake roughly 150 km long.  Why Howley you might ask?  Well the other option was some very pretty falls in a provincial park, but that would have required travelling on gravel road again which we were loathe to do after our previous Labradorean experience.  The other reason is that Howley was the site at which moose were first introduced to Newfoundland.  Moose are not indigenous to the island, but were brought here from Nova Scotia, no more than 4 of them, but now there are hundreds of thousands -- though unfortunately we didn't see any.

A little park n Howley shows an appropriate sign.

But we are getting ahead of ourselves.  First, we said goodbye to Corner Brook by stopping at an outdoor store and getting a last glimpse of the harbour.

Heading to Howley, the terrain is much different from the coastal drive of yesterday. In fact, it looks much like northern Ontario with many places 'moose-suitable'.

Howley isn't much more than a small pub, a convenience store filled with everything imaginable, and a newer post office.    It is also a bit sad looking, as if having seen brighter days, and there are many for sale signs.  It has a rather interesting history nevertheless, for two reasons.

The first is that is was a stop on the railway.  This narrow-gauge railway connected St. John's to Port aux Basques all the way across the island.  The train operated for 90 years from 1898 to 1988 connecting 1500 km of harsh difficult country.  The government, so we are told by locals, quickly dismantled it before there was time to realize what was happening.  The entire line, stripped of ties and rails, is now the T'Railway Provincial Park which is available for hiking, ATVs, etc.

The bridge in the background was used for the narrow-gauge railway.
The second is that Howley was also a location at which the Americans set up a communications centre during WWII, seen in the next picture as the abandoned white building behind the post office.  It is for sale, by the way, and it would be an intriguing prospect to convert into something of interest for tourists in this pretty area.
The white building in the background was a signal house used by the Americans during WWII.

Our last stop was Trapper's Lounge for lunch where we had a very long wait since a table of about 10 people, mostly kids, was just ahead of us and only a single person was manning the kitchen, the cash, and the table-waiting.


We did, however, manage to eat our first 'moose burgers'!

A bit overdone, but with ketchup and mustard, tasted pretty much like any other hamburger.

And so now we close another blog.  If anyone is reading, we'll be home tomorrow, so see you soon!


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