I'll admit it. This trip was NOT Plan A. Our first idea was that we were going to the Ukraine. There is certainly no shortage of things to see that were left behind by their former Soviet occupiers. Unfortunately, as the plans were being formed, Russia decided to repossess the Crimean Peninsula, and looked like perhaps they had their eyes on the whole damned country. In light of that, we decided to re-examine our choices.
Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia, had an extensive collection of animals, acquired personally or as gifts from others. His son, who inherited his throne, did not share this passion. Thanks largely to the efforts of Martin Hinrich Lichtenstein, a professor at the Berlin University, animals, land and buildings were donated by the king and in 1844, the zoo was opened.
Founded in the 1840's, Petites, Newfoundland, has been home to generations of weather-hardened souls who made their living on the sea. By 1859, a methodist church was constructed that later became the Bethany United Church. There were 212 people living here in 1946, and only 146 by 1956. In October, 2003, the last remaining residents of the community were resettled.
I had the privilege of visiting the remains of this abandoned town with my father, and spent two days exploring and photographing as much as I could.
There was a skiff of snow on the ground as we rolled along Highway 101 and pulled up to the closed gates. As we began walking along the road into the park, I thought back to my earlier visit to Greenwater Provincial Park and wondered if it would be as well preserved.
In little time we were greeted by a ruffled grouse, another similiarity to the aforementioned park. I was suprised, however, to flush about 5 more before we left.
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.
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,