There used to be only the Big Three automakers – Ford, GM, and Chrysler. That was it. None of the others that populate our driveways today were in sight back then. Life it seems was much simpler then.
So imagine my surprise when I heard about fjords. I was certain some under-educated person misspelled the ever-oh-so-easy name of Ford. Never mind that its usage in the sentence was peculiar, I figured they just spelled it wrong!
But noooo, I was the ignorant fool. Every Norwegian child worth their salt (and much salt is used to keep and preserve cod and other delicacies – don’t even mention Lutefisk to me!) knew what a fjord was. No Ragnar, a fjord doesn’t have four wheels! Yes, Bruce (the teacher said patiently), a fjord is a u-shaped valley carved out by glaciers a long, long time ago. Pay attention!
So, right about this time you’re asking yourself what does this have to do with Newfoundland? And my book “Arn? Narn.”? Good questions. As it turns out, a lot. On the western coast of the island is Gros Morne National Park. Gros Morne is French for the less than poetic sounding “large mountain standing alone.” And in this park is the Western Brook Pond fjord. It is your typical, everyday, run-of-the-mill, drop-dead, central casting beautiful fjord.
The western coast is the final stretch of the Appalachian mountain range and it alone is worth the trip to Newfoundland. An area of unimaginable beauty, it is home to mountains, fjords, caribou (more on them at a later post), moose and the Tablelands. There was also very fine salmon fishing here, but it too like cod fishing is highly restricted. This is a problem that affects the entire island and it’s been learned a global one as well.
So if you go and I do recommend it, get yourself a Ford. It’ll give you a certain symmetry.