Thursday was our first full day in the park and it started with a training ride from Woody Point to the top of what the locals call “the struggle”. This big hill is at the end of South Arm Bonne Bay from where you have your first glimpse of the Tablelands when you drive route 431 to Woody Point. Our ride from Woody Point to the top of the struggle and back took us just under two hours and was an amazing way to experience the south shore highway of Gros Morne. In the afternoon, we began our preparations for our meetings, finally collaborating in person on key items.
Friday was meeting day one of Wild Women business intermingled with beach walks, whale sightings and fresh ocean air. In the evening we headed around the bay to enjoy a gourmet meal at the Black Spruce Restaurant in Neddies Harbour before partaking in the opening concert of Trails, Tales and Tunes. This sold out event was filled with live music from the Once, Sherman Downey and the McHugh Brothers as well as stories from local author Nelly Strowbridge and even a opening note from Primer Dwight Ball! What a great way to kick off not only our Wild Women team’s togetherness, but also kick off summer!
Saturday we dove deeper into our team retreat agenda but ended the day with a lobster boil up, followed by a fire on the beach. Bonne Bay was like glass and with our local wine in hand, we sat and watched the sunset, listening to the whales blowing their spouts. The magic of Gros Morne National Park continues long after dark. As the stillness of night settled around us, the full moon rose into a sky full of stars and the fire crackled, there was no where else we’d rather be!
Sunday saw us all take a work break. My teammates visiting from Ontario and BC hit the trails, thoroughly enjoying Green Gardens all to themselves. Alice and I had been planning to participate in the Bonne Bay Loop event since the winter and finally the day was here! Alice rode the full Bonne Bay Loop (75km from Woody Point to Norris Point) while I tackled the 30km Lighthouse Loop. This event is a part of Trails, Tales and Tunes and this year saw the biggest turn out to date! It was a great day with cooperative weather, safe rides and food with live music the finish line. Thanks to all the organizers and folks who came out to support the event and the riders!
Our Wild Women Team enjoyed dinner at Java Jacks which is always a hit!