Tuesday, October 7, 2008

St. Johns is quite nice

I just wanted to note a bit about my weekend trip to St. Johns, Newfoundland.
This wasn't the first time I had been to the province. In the early 80's I attended a provincial Boy Scout jamboree in one of only a couple of groups attending as guests from Ontario.
I remember that it was chilly all of the time and it seems that it was always raining.
We met some good people and had some fun but it wasn't one of the best trips in my memory.
Plus, we spent the entire time near Gander and didn't get to explore very much.
This time I wasn't in a tent in a wet field. I was in a nice hotel looking toward the St. Johns' harbour.
It didn't rain at all! The winds were frighteningly high a lot but the sunshine dominated the daytime. It makes a huge difference.
The entire Saturday morning was taken with the meeting. It was quite good really.
The lunch and afternoon event was to be a speaker.
I decided that I wanted to look at the sunshine and harbour from the other side of the window so I stepped out and took my GPS down to the Harbour for some geocaching in the city.
I'll tell you, this harbour is amazing.
If I was part of an attacking force coming into this harbour I would not like my chances of success.
Attackers would be sitting ducks.
This is not an original thought.
The history of the area reveals cannons and artillery have been placed in the mountains for hundreds of years up to World War II preparedness.
My target was to reach the top of Signal Hill. To claim the find of the Earthcache one needs to take a picture with the GPS held up in front with the Signal Hill tower in the background and answer some questions of the geology of this area.
I started my walk around the path off of Battery Road. At the end of the road the path around the mountain began.
I felt that it would be a simple path since everyone needed to use it to get to the top.
Wrong! This was a nasty goatpath on a narrow trail along the rocks.
It was scarier than that cliff that Frodo, Sam and Gollum climb to get to the spider's lair in Lord of the Rings!

The wind was blasting though the whole time. (not that it would have pushed me too far but the balance felt difficult).
I staggered about 3/4 around this cliff before I realized that I didn't see a road up to the tower.
So I decided to preserve my life and go back.
When I got back to the road I knew that there was no way I could walk all the way back about 6 kms.
So I acted the way a city slicker would and called a cab.
As we were leaving I told the driver what I had hoped to do.
He said "why didn't you just take the road?"
I lied and said I was in it for the exercise.
He drove me up in about 3 minutes and I gathered the details for my earthcache find and returned to the hotel.

That evening we were going to a comedy club dinner theatre so I just went back to the hotel and relaxed.
The dinner was a chef prepared affair and was very tasty.
I don't eat fish very often but when I saw that the cod involved sun dried tomatoes and feta cheese I was sold.
If only the portions were a bit larger.
The first act was Greg Malone who used to be on the CBC show Codco. He was pretty funny but seemed to be trying to sound and look like Scott Thompson of "Kids in the Hall".
I mentioned this to another person at the table and he said that "Scott Thompson was always trying to act like Greg Malone. I'm not sure I agree with that.
The second act was a woman singing a loud opera sounding cabaret thing.
I really didn't enjoy it so I went to sit down and relax in the bar.
When I sat down in the comfy bar chair one of the bartenders asked if it was okay that he closed the door so that they didn't have to hear the singer. That was fine with me.
Following the show I just returned to the hotel to sleep since I was exhausted from the day.
Some of the others including the CCTT president and Newfoundland's president went to party hard on George Street.
I would like to note that the president of Alberta and a representative from Ontario attended this weekend. I didn't realize that they were coming.
If you read my blog the other day you understand why this was quite interesting.
Could they have been there to gather support from Newfoundland for a national reorganisation plan?
I guess we'll never know since neither Alberta or Ontario had any time alone with Tony who is Newfoundland's president.
I'm glad that Stephen the CCTT president was there and partied with Tony.
I had a good chat alone with Tony and he was quite supportive of concerns brought up by myself and our E.D. Ed to the national thing.
I'm really looking forward to the national meeting in Vancouver in a few weeks.
I wonder if everyone will be polite to me or ignore me as is going on at present?

Finally, on Sunday I had a chance to visit a very nice park to walk and find some geocaches.
When it was time to leave I went to the airport with CCTT Steve who was also going to Halifax before going to his home in PEI.
I had a little chat with Canada's Minister of Defense, Peter MacKay who was also heading to Halifax to go home.
He was talking to Prime Minister Harper on his BlackBerry but asked him to hold on while he smiled for a photo with me.

A good friend of mine Brian Macdonald works for Mr. MacKay and was to be picking him up at the Halifax airport.
Unfortunately I didn't get to see Brian but had a quick phone chat.
I'm going to try and put in a link here to my Facebook pictures. I took some great shots of the sunset from above the clouds as we headed to Fredericton.

That's all for now.

1 comment:

muskan@dipak said...

ITs sound like a lovely experience.I wished too over there.