Genetically Friendly People

If you leave the US and drive northwest on the longest road, you’ll see some pretty amazing things in Alaska. If you do the same thing but drive northeast on the longest road, you’ll get to ferry terminal in Sydney, Nova Scotia and drive onto a HUGE ferry for a six hour trip to Newfoundland.

Alaska is so memorable for the scenery and wildlife.

Newfoundland is so memorable for the scenery and people.

Canadians are genetically friendly. Not friendly in that superficial Have a Nice Day friendly, but really, really sincerely friendly as in Welcome to our Country, We’re SO Glad You’re Here. And when you talk to lots of Canadians, and listen carefully, you hear over and over that whilst they know they are a friendly bunch, the folks from Newfoundland are known throughout Canada as being REALLY friendly.

It was a bitterly cold late August wind blowing off the North Atlantic, so cold that once the gas pump was engaged it only made sense to get back in the truck. We were catching up on emails when there was a quiet but firm knocking on Susan’s window. We both looked up and were surprised to see a grandma standing there smiling, wearing a warm wooly sweater and sporting that famous Canadian suntan – pale white everywhere with rosy red cheeks.

Susan rolled down the window and her “Hello” was met with a very full paragraph the essence of which was: I see you have license plates from America and you have a camper, so I guess you’re here on vacation, and I just wanted to say Welcome to Newfoundland, where are you going, how long will you be here, and what will you do? Susan popped out of the truck and the two of them proceeded to have a 10 minute conversation – Grandma literally just wanted to welcome us to Newfoundland and share some ideas of places to visit on the wild west coast.

While this was memorable, it was far from unique. These Newfoundlanders (Newfies we learned can be a bit of a pejorative) were truly the friendliest people we had ever come across and made a lasting impression on our trip.

Some of the best hiking ever in Newfoundland
Canadian National Park Rangers just love to carry bright red Adirondeck chairs kilometers down trails – you see this all over Canada
Qidi Vidi, near St Johns
More great hiking
The Fogo Island Inn – a story of its own
Near the Fogo Island Inn, just not paying $2,200 per night
Historical photo of sealers walking on ice flows with harpoons in search of seals. Represented one of the first cash basis jobs in Newfoundland as everything prior had been barter only. High risk, high reward.
Newfoundlanders are funny people
Open mic night during a Kitchen Party – everyone welcome, some even bring their own instruments. Anything goes and everyone has fun.
Getting screeched in – vaguely recall it entailed reciting an oath paragraph, kissing a cod, and drinking
Dave is a really good listener

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