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Newfoundland And Labrador

June-July 2012

One of the gems of North America.

Unless you're Canadian, you've probably never heard of Newfoundland, and certainly not Labrador. These two frigid, remote and fascinating places are joined together as Canada's far eastern province. The scale of the wilderness here is too vast to comprehend. The taiga is seemingly endless, as is the mud, the rain, the mountains, and, above all, the black flies in Labrador. This unknown place is something else.

I came here on a monthlong road trip, alone, the day after classes let out one summer. It was a three-day drive from Philadelphia, including a six-hour car ferry ride from Nova Scotia.

The place was everything I dreamed and more. Campsites are abundant, there are few travellers, the infrastructure is excellent, and the people, with their own unique accents and culture, are incredibly welcoming. 

I did a lot of planning for this one in advance. Simply showing up and hoping for adventure is unlikely, as most of the best places here are not so publicized or even well-known to locals. I studied photos and maps of different regions to decide where to go. 

After a few weeks in Newfoundland, I took the ferry to Labrador, across a sea scattered with icebergs, and drove the Labrador Highway. There are several stretches on this highway of hundreds of miles without a single person as it cuts through untouched wilderness.

Americans keep making beelines for the same places in Colorado and Montana hoping for solitude and wilderness. No one considers Newfoundland and Labrador.

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