Greenwater Provincial Park

As one who frequents Provincial Parks for camping, when I heard that there were a few that had been closed, permanently, I knew I would have to take the opportunity to have a look at how nature reclaims these spaces.  I spend a lot of time in Gogama, and that seemed the perfect jumping-off point for a trip to the former Greenwater Provincial Park.  As it turns out, once wouldn't be enough.

Salton Sea

I arrived in my nice, clean, white, rented Equinox.  The windows were up, and the cool air was coming from the air conditioner.  The sun was shining, and I was loving being away from the cold and snow of Canada.  When I arrived, first at Salton City, I drove close to the beach and stopped.  I looked out over the shimmering water, turned off the engine and got out...  THE STENCH!  Nothing had prepared me for the smell.  Like seaweed and rotting fish, yet somehow much, much worse.  I looked around, noticed that some of the houses were actually occupied and thought,

Unknown Blockhouse

There is conflicting information as to the purpose of this building.  Some information seems to indicate that this site was a World War II-era radar site.  Perhaps a transmitter site, associated with the large antenna atop the nearby mountain-top.

Other information suggests that this building was part of the communications system assembled by railway that would bring Newfoundland into Canada, and part of the viewership of the CBC.  Its proximity to the former railroad does seem to support that.

Stephenville AFS

Belonging to the United States Air Force, construction of this radar station began in 1951 and was completed two years later.

In 1971, control of the station was handed over to the Royal Canadian Air Force, and it was promptly closed.  Despite being part of the Pinetree Line, and having radar designed for use with the SAGE system, the station was never made part of the SAGE network.

Harmon AFB Hanger

Arriving in Stephenville, Newfoundland, it's easy to find yourself driving along an old runway.  As you look around, you will see many buildings remaining from the former Harmon AFB, some of them dating back to its original construction in the 1940's.

While driving along that runway, I noticed one building in particular that seemed no longer to be in use.  We pulled over to take a closer look.  It was a fascinating, large hanger and after peering through various broken windows, I came upon a way in.

Harmon AFB Bunker

I had, unfortunately, read about this a few months after being in Stephenville for the first time.  I marked it on my map for future reference with the idea that, someday, I would return.

I did.

We drove down the dirt road to the place I had marked on the map.  From there, it was a short walk along the path until we found what we were looking for.

Rose Blanche Lighthouse

Construction of this lighthouse began in July, 1871, as granite was quarried from nearby.  Advice and equipment were supplied by D&T Stevenson, an engineering firm from Scotland.  With a light standing 95 feet above sea level, it could be seen as far away as 13 miles in clear weather.

From this time until the 1940's, there were six different lighthouse keepers stationed here.  The building was then abandoned and slowly fell into ruin.

Rose Blanche Fish Plant

While driving along the South coast of Newfoundland, I was exploring every side road.  I was surprised to see a small harbour with a large building and a few vehicles parked around it.  Initially, I wrote it off and looked for a place to turn around.  After a second glance, I realized that there were some gaping holes in the wall and no activity inside.  Perhaps this warranted a closer look at what turned out to be a fish processing plant.