RVing the Rock: Day one
From the RV office of Miss. Melanie Anne Chambers. www.gorving.caAT THE HELM OF MY SHIP!
The dishes in the back of the RV rattle and clatter. Hold er steady, cap-tn. I'm givin' er all I got! Newfoundland's Trans Canada Highway isn't the smoothest, but it sure is scenic: rock borders the highway -- like a giant flame torch blew a path right through the sucker. Beyond the rock, juniper trees give way to deciduous pine as you leave St.John's and head to the east coast."It's so cute! It's like the Barbie camper I had as a kid." What a girl thing to say! But this is my first reaction walking into the kitchen of my new house on wheels: a 24-foot class C RV. Patterned love seats, a bed bunk and an Easy Bake oven--well, it might fit a cornish hen! Oh, and enough room for my bike. I want to move in. No, really.
Just a short 15 minute ride from St.John's off the Trans Canada Highway (TCH) is Islander RV www.islanderrv.com. I've been nervous about driving a house on wheels, but Gwen Bannister at Islander checks the machine over like a mechanic at a race track. "These are your electricity, water and gas levels." Propane. Check. Generator. Check, check. Good to go!
The names of Newfoundland: Heart's Delight, Chance Cove, Dildo? Yes. Dildo. From St.John's it is about three hours to Terra Nova National Park, the island's first National park (1957), and my first stop.
In typical road trip style, the side trips are often the juiciest part of the trip. Signs on the road include cod tongues, moose meat and berries! Oh the berries. Pulling off on the Hillview exit, a shack by the highway is selling my favourites: mustard pickles and beets. Staples of a Maritime dinner plate.
Get a load of this: Newfie Jiggs Dinner (or, salt beef and cabbage) in a bag. In the 17th century when the Irish began setting up homes along the coast and growing root vegetables, and the British began bringing over the salt meat, all you needed was a pot -- throw in the whole kit and kaboodle of cabbage, carrots, turnips, potatoes, peas pudding (split yellow peas in a bag), salt beef, and figgie's duff (blueberry dumplings).
Oh the jams... blueberries grow crazy over here, as do bakeapples, or cloudberries. Kinda tart little things.
Loaded up on all these goodies, all I needed now was a good slice' er salmon. On my mini gas stove, I boiled up some corn on the cob, fried some fishy, mashed some tatters. I am beginning to sound like a Newf, don't you think?
I also had to buy some Moose Juice wine made from blueberry and partridge berry (another tart berry).
Either this is a giant glass or a very tiny bottle. You decide.
Turning in for the night, Barbie, I mean, I, tuck myself into the corner bed bunk, and pull the covers over. It doesn't get much cozier than this I tells ya!