|A moose near Western Brook Pond. Photo: Paul Martin|
When a cottage friend invited us to St. Anthony for a few days to experience winter, we were skeptical, yet curious. A winter holiday in Newfoundland? Post Christmas blues accompanied by endless days of RDF ( rain drizzle and fog ) in cottage country on the Avalon Peninsula, combined with our yearning for winter activities soon convinced us to seriously ponder this invitation in our snow starved minds.
Apprehension of motoring the 1000km trip to St Anthony in Winter, finding an overnight accommodation on the Northern Peninsula, and the ever lurking hazard of moose along the well renowned route known as moose alley almost convinced us to decline the invitation ,but legends of the hospitality of the people of St. Anthony and the beautiful scenery of the town convinced us to take the plunge.
Being curious and adventurous and the promise of clear weather we headed off on our first winter vacation off the Avalon. Lack of green vegetation was the only clue that we were not driving in summer and with a clear, dry highway underneath our roaring studded snow tires, we reached Deer Lake without incident. With plenty of daylight hours left, we decided to go north to Cow Head in Shallow Bay. Thanks to a little research we were pleased to find out that Shallow Bay Motel was open and serving a full menu in their restaurant. We had stayed at the Shallow Bay cabins last September and were very pleased with the amenities offered, and the clean comfortable restaurant and wireless pub. A traveler can visit the pub with laptop in tow and enjoy a brew with the friendly locals while checking e mail.
|Shallow Bay Motel. Photo: Paul Martin|
As we neared Western Brook Pond a burly cow moose grazing on the frozen vegetation with the gorge outlined in the background was too big of a temptation to resist. Scrambling for cameras and lenses we soon had beautiful digital shots of this majestic creature and as an added bonus I managed to capture a good shot of her yearly hiding behind the brush closer to the highway.
What a truly wonderful way to end our long drive for the day, and as we pulled into The Shallow Bay Motel parking lot we couldn't wait to download our moose photos and send them to family and friends.
Our overnight stay at Shallow Bay Motel would rival any Five Star accommodations. The large room boasted a bay window overlooking Shallow Bay just twenty feet from the water's edge. The combination of the ocean view, a large Jacuzzi tub, cozy fireplace and the sound of the waves licking at the small beach pebbles, provided a truly relaxing experience.
The dining room also offered uninterrupted views of the ocean .A private table next to a fireplace provided the backdrop to a delicious dinner of fresh cod au gratin and salads with fresh crisp ingredients… an added bonus.
A quick after dinner drink in the pub and a check of our e mail and we were soon bid good night by one of the many friendly staff.
Day two of our trip to St. Anthony began with a full complimentary buffet breakfast in the dining room. As we pulled out of the parking lot after checkout we were so taken with the sheer calm and silence of this beautiful village in Winter we didn't dare even turn on the radio. Having driven this leg of the journey once before during summer we were very curious of what this rugged, diverse landscape had to reveal during winter, especially as low gray clouds loomed overhead!
Part two of Winter Vacation In NL...Destination St. Anthony will appear on the March issue of our feature page