Tag Archives: Motion Path

May 24th Hike on Motion Path (With Company!), a Foggy Jaunt on Tinkers Point, and an Interesting Link!

Hello folks! It’s the 24th of May and we likes to get away, especially when we have new toys to play with! I was planning an overnight getaway for the May 24th weekend, the weather looked spectacular, and so I thought it’d be fun to hike with a couple of buddies of mine with whom I’d chatted about hiking. Our schedules all aligned for a Friday evening/Saturday morning hike, and so we settled on the Motion Path, given that the Miner Point campsite is close enough to one end that we could leave late in the afternoon and still make camp with plenty of time to set up and get a bite. Our second day would be a bit longer, but we had all day, so there was no rush. A good plan!

The walk in over Shoal Bay Rd. is as advertised; rocky, wet, and not very scenic. That said, it was a quick hike, and we were on the trail in no time. Making our way past Nippers Cove, we saw a pair of otters playing by the shoreline! Well, playing is the best description I can give to their behavior, as I honestly have no idea what they were doing. The first was chasing gulls, and once he had rid the rocks of them, he dove into the water. The second rubbed his belly on the rocks for a couple of minutes, and then proceeded to stand on his front legs and jump with his hind legs a few inches off the ground. He repeated this five or six times, and then walked away, with his tail sticking straight out, following his buddy into the water. We didn’t know what to make of it. We felt lucky to have witnessed the creatures in their natural habitat, though!

As we approached Miner Point campsite, a flock of gannets began diving into the water to the north of it. It was spectacular. With the sun starting to set, we arrived at the campsite and quickly got started setting up, Andy and I hanging our hammocks around the edges of the tent site, Evan’s tent between them. It was an ideal spot. It was a very cold night, though, and I didn’t get much sleep despite being quite comfortable in my new hammock. Andy and Evan did a bit better than  me based on the snores I heard!

The next day we got off to a slow start: we had the day in front of us, and only 11.3 km to walk, so we took our time packing up. The sun was hot by the time we got on the trail. Heading south from Miner Point, the trail is challenging in spots, with some significant altitude gain, starting with the climb up the Tolt. The trail and the weather was beautiful, but by the time we got to Motion Head, I was fairly exhausted, having gotten little sleep, and my companions were starting to feel the heat and exertion as well. We all spent the last of our reserves climbing up to the top of Big Hill, and were quite happy to see our vehicle in Petty Harbour.  An exhausting but exhilarating hike!

As someone who typically hikes alone, it was a really great experience  having my buddies overnight with me on the trail. I had a great time and I think they did as well despite their first overnight on the ECT being a bit of a challenging one! Check out the pics of our adventure below!

Earlier that same week I had a chilly, foggy jaunt on Tinkers Point Path. I was surprised by the fog… well, as much as a hiker from NL can be surprised by fog, but it kept me cool as I tried to make good time between Mobile and Tors Cove. The trail is in great condition and as always is one of the most spectacular when it comes to scenery, even in the fog. Check out some pics below!

Finally, a link to an interesting page. Somehow this came up in the statistics for my blog, as a visitor was somehow directed here from there. I was glad, at any rate, because I discovered this:

Amelie Hikes the East Coast Trail – a 2.5 year old who has taken up hiking!

Just too cute for words, and what a great way to introduce your child to nature! Check them out!

Motion + Spout Adventure!

“It’s the 24th of May and we likes to get away…”

Hi folks! It’s been a long time coming for me, and it was satisfying to finally accomplish: the Spout! Two nice days on the long May 24th weekend presented the perfect opportunity. My plan when approaching the Spout was always to do it as a part of the combined Motion Path and Spout Path hike, approximately 32 kms from Petty Harbour to Bay Bulls: it simply made more sense to me than hiking the 6.5 km in over the Shoal Bay Road. I’m certainly glad that I approached it the way I did, though I’d certainly make changes if I approached the hike again.

The Motion Path is a spectacular one. For folks familiar with the Cape Spear Path and its first barren 5 km or so, the section of Motion Path past Big Hill will feel familiar. The ground is easily traversed and the scenery, the barren land dotted with erratics and small ponds, is pretty spectacular. I took a quick break on the grassy shores of Alexander Pond, a scenic spot. Ascending a little, I was surprised to see snow along a ridgeline, which needed to be crossed at Lower Cove Head. The remaining snow was treacherous at least once: a gully, still filled with snow, but with holes showing undercut at least 5 feet deep, needed to be traversed at one point. I did so cautiously.

A bird of prey circled overhead as I approached the climb to Burkes Head; I recorded some audio of his call and I’ll try to identify him. He continued to circle and call until I had passed Burkes Head. The sun was starting to get low as I headed toward the Tolt, making for a nice picture as I looked back at Hartes Point. I quickly traversed the coastline to the Miner Point campsite, lay my gear down, and started scoping out the site for the ideal tent spot, as I was alone. Well, sort of: beavers have taken up residence at the back end of the site, damming both the river at the edge of the campsite and the one about 150 m to the north of it. I wouldn’t use either for drinking water, even with a filter. And the mosquitos: once I got my filter set up and my meal cooked, I headed into the tent for the night to avoid being carried away by these huge creatures.

I was surprised that, at about 11pm, another set of hikers made their way onto the campsite. They had hiked the last couple of hours in the dark with headlamps: braver souls than me. They told me they had come face to face with a moose in the dark who, when frightened by the hikers, charged past them, missing by a foot or two. Be careful out there folks!

Miner Point was lovely, but as per usual, I was awakened at dawn. A bird of prey was calling from one of the trees close to the camp, and a woodpecker seemed to be pecking a tree directly above my head, so I got up and started to break down camp. The other hikers were just stirring as a strapped on my pack and headed on my way. The campsite is only a couple of kilometers from the Spout trailhead, and I was there quickly, passing the spectacular twin waterfalls at Raymond’s Gulch along the way. Approaching Shoal Bay Road, I explored the remains of structures that are found there, and was surprised to see a Ruffed Grouse standing in the centre of one!

Leaving the Motion Path at the end of Shoal Cove Road, the Spout Path began much like the last ended. The rivers and coastline along this section are beautiful, to be sure, but the highlight is the Spout: the wave-driven geyser that is a highlight of the East Coast Trail. Spotting it in the distance from Long Point, it was a sight to behold. It put some spring in my step and I was at the Spout quickly, having passed an iceberg in Long Point Cove.

I spent a bit of time at the Spout, taking a break and taking it in. It’s an incredible thing. Some hikers who had spent the night at the Little Bald Head campsite were there as well with their dogs. I passed them packing up as I headed on past Little Bald Head. I passed my first hiker of the day going in the other direction at a timely moment: he pointed out to me that, right alongside us, was a view down upon the eagles nesting on the sea stacks at Landing Place. I was blown away. I hiked a ways beyond this, snapped a couple of pics of a spectacular view of these stacks, and packed my camera up for the last time: it was becoming too much of a burden. I’ve been meaning to get a strap along the lines of a Cotton Carrier Strapshot, this will be the excuse that I need. The unfortunate thing about that is that despite it being a great day for pictures, I got very few because I didn’t want to unpack the camera every time I wanted to take a picture.

I found the going for the 4 km or so of the trail between Green Hill and Freshwater fairly difficult. The trail follows the steep coastline, often rising high above it to avoid a gulch, and then dropping back down the other side. On a hot day, with a heavy bag, and with little sleep, I didn’t enjoy this section of the trail as much as I could have. That said, I was stopped for a rest and a drink in the shade at one point on this stretch, and was passed by a fairly large group of hikers heading from the southern trailhead to the northern trailhead for the Motion Path: they were doing the hike I did, but in a single day. They put me to shame!

Freshwater is nice but I was too tired to explore it and powered on. The last few rises lead to Bay Bulls Light; again, I didn’t stop to properly explore, powering on. Passing many hikers on the way in at this point, I was glad to see the trailhead after a struggle on the last couple of kilometers. Frustratingly, these crowds had the road basically blocked with vehicles parked everywhere on the narrow road, and with great difficulty, I managed to get around them.

Some lessons learned for next time: perhaps leaving the longest section for day two wasn’t the wisest idea: had I hiked to Little Bald Head on day one, I think I would have enjoyed day two more. I’m also going through my pack and lightening my load significantly next time around. Finally, sunscreen: I’m as red as a lobster today, which is far more painful than my achy muscles.

All that said, it was an incredible adventure and a huge chunk of the East Coast Trail completed in one fell swoop! Check out the pictures of my adventure below!