Gros Morne National Park: Green Gardens Backpack, Day 2, and Green Point
Saturday, June 25
The next morning dawned dry, but not quite as clear as the day before. A high layer of cloud obscured the eastern sky, robbing us of direct morning sunlight, but on the other hand it did not seem to threaten with any sort of precipitation.
Our objective for the morning was to complete the Green Gardens loop: this meant hiking southwards along the coastal section of the trail, then heading up through the hills and back to the trailhead.
The hike along the shoreline was easy and beautiful: sometimes down on the actual beach, sometimes higher up on a beautiful little track that traversed along steep, grassy slopes. We eventually reached the southern limit of the coastal section of trail. Here, we headed down well-constructed stairs to the beach to take in the beauty of the spot: sea stacks, multiple layers of diverse and interesting geology, and a pretty waterfall.
Returning back to the trail, we started up the relatively short and easy ascent away from the coast. We were soon back at the highpoint junction that closed our 'loop', and were looking down onto the open barrenlands towards the trailhead. Twenty minutes later, we were back at the car, having completed our overnight backpack in well under 24 hours.
Video, Green Gardens Backpack - Click on video above to start
If you are interested in reading more about our Green Gardens Backpack, along with a lot of extra pictures not in this main narrative, please click here
So, things were going well - we had finished our first Gros Morne backpack quite early in the day, and we felt like we had enough energy to do more. I had a second overnight backpack mulling around in my mind, and it looked like it was time to pull it out - an overnight backpack to a campsite alongside one of Gros Morne's other famous features: Western Brook Pond.
So, back we drove, all the way around Bonne Bay (stopping en-route for lunch at a wonderful little hidden sandwich shop above a convenience store at a small place called Youngs Point), back to the northern Visitor Center, where we had another talk with Trevor, this time about a backpack to Snug Harbour (a side-bay on Western Brook Pond). Again we had a talk about trail conditions (including another ford - this one bigger and deeper), and obtained another backcountry permit. Then we were off, under skies which had become nicely sunny again (wow, two days of consecutive sunny weather in a row in Newfoundland. Apparently, it _is_ possible!).
As we drove north, we listened to a CBC radio Ideas program about Gros Morne National Park. There was a section of the program dedicated to talking about the significant and interesting geology at Green Point, and, as it happened, we were coming up to Green Point on our drive to the Western Brook Pond trailhead. Intrigued by what we were hearing on the program, and feeling like we had enough time to explore before setting out on our backpack, we stopped at Green Point.
Green Point is significant because it has been selected as the Global Stratotype (the global reference, if you will) for the Cambrian-Ordovician boundary - two major (and very old) geologic boundaries.
The rocks at Green Point, which are shales, mudstones and the like, have been extensively folded since being deposited. In fact, they are slightly inverted past 90 degrees, and this 'on-end' orientation makes them both very striking and pretty and easy to read geologically. We spent an interesting half-hour walking through geologic time without having to go up or down!