After years of planning, the vision has become a reality!
Nineteen Youth and Scouters safely completed the trip to Gros Morne and L'Anse aux Meadows; two UNESCO World Heritage sites in August 2009. Stay tuned for some awesome pictures as we sort through a couple of thousand images. We'll post the best shortly!
The trip highlight was the 5-day backpacking on the Long Range Traverse Trail. This trail is rated for "experienced backpackers only" and our Scouts and Scouters were up for the challenge. Safety is paramount on a trip like this and we had redundancies in navigation, communication and water purification.
Day 1 involved hiking up the steep gorge of Western Brook Pond (600m) after being dropped off by the boat. Day 2 we traversed to the second campsite where we saw a moose nearby. Day 3 we hiked past a snowfield and enjoyed a brief snowball toss then arriving at Harding Pond campsite. Day 4 we arrived to campsite #4 surrounded by cliffs. That night we saw a couple of caribou trek across water in the distance. Day 5 provided Scouts with GPS navigation opportunities and we ate lunch at the edge of a crystal clear lake. Late that afternoon we made the very steep 150 meter descent into campsite #5. On day 6 we made the ascent to the top of Gros Morne mountain with spectacular views and even meeting a family of Rock Ptarmigans! We hiked out to be met by our Group #1 who had similar experiences the day before Group #2. [Here is our Long Traverse GPS trek and other key locations.]
The trip to Newfoundland also included side trips to the Tablelands, Green Gardens, the Arches, L'Anse aux Meadows to see the Viking settlement and St. Anthony for whale watching.
The Leaders are already thinking of another trip to a distant location. We are so fortunate in 1st Kanata to have the right people, vision, skills and equipment to be so adventurous!
[For a larger slideshow click here.]
This trip of a lifetime comes at considerable expense and it has been made possible through these generous donations:
1) The local Kanata Community. The many bottles drives, Vesey seeds, Scout Popcorn, ScouTrees door-to-door compaigns
have been graciously supported by the community. We thank you for your support!!!
2) The Kanata Beaverbrook Community Association. The KBCA is the 1st Kanata Group charter sponsor since 1966 and through their support and this year's Lamp Post Painting Spring initiative have helped the youth experience wilderness camping and touring in another province.
3) The Turnbull Family Challenge, a supportive annual National Scout Troop award from the Scouts Canada Foundation and Turnbull Family, has graciously provided a very significant contribution to the trip finances. Our many thanks!!!
4) Thanks to Infosat Communications for their communication sponsorship. This sponsorship provides the 1st Kanata Scout Group with Iridium Satellite Phones, essential accessories, and confidence to safely take their adventures further afield. We used the phones nightly between the Groups on the trail and we received weather reports via text messages from home!
5) Mark's Work Wearhouse (Kanata Centrum location) has donated hiking socks for our trip! Comfort and moisture management are just the qualities we need. Thank you!!!
6) Trailhead (Ottawa location) provide us with a siginficant discount for our 6 Sierra Design Meteor tents. These lightweight tents will meet the demands of the interior backpacking trail and serve us well for future endeavours.
7) The nice folks at Chlorophylle in Westboro donated high quality hiking socks for each of us! With 5 days of interior hiking they kept our feet dry and comfortable. They also have very nice lightweight outdoor clothing too.
8) The people at Metro (on March Road) provide hundreds of apples that were dehydrated by a Scouter to make really tasty and appreciated trail food.
9) Many of the dried foods taken on the Trail were purchased with an appreciated discount at the Bulk Barn on Hazeldean Road in Kanata.
10) For a few meals we purchased light weight, nutritional trail food from Harvest Foodworks and they too gave a significant discount. The Mulligan stew was terrific!
11) Thanks to the Pasadena Academy for providing accommodations for the first and last nights stay in Newfoundland. With all the space and kitchen facilities it was the ideal venue to rearrange the supplies and prepare for the next steps.
We have truly created an "extraordinary chapter" in our lives with this trip. Thanks to everyone for their planning, donations and support.
The map is our route compared to the planned GPS route (click to enlarge). The route is available for download as an attachment at the bottom of this page.