Gander, Newfoundland, Canada

Highway along the way to GanderOn this 209 mile travel day from St. John’s, NF to Gander, all our hopes for a “Large” day came true. “Large” meaning in Newfoundland is a good sunny day.

At mile 160, we stopped at the Marine Interpretation Center. To our surprise we witnessed large jellyfish along the sea shore. Horst was brave enough to step into the water shin deep and touch the top of these jelly creatures. Awesome! A skeleton of a whale’s head captured our eyes at the entrance of the center. We also viewed a short documentary of the features and wildlife at the Terra Nova National Park.  Marine Interpretation CentreNeedless to say as we continued our trip we passed by many areas that were beautiful in every way. To mention just a few. Terra Nova National Park, Freshwater Bay, and Gander Lake.

We soon arrived at Country Inn RV Park where we all settled in very quickly. At 6pm, we were greeted with Newfoundland’s hospitality by the park owners with BBQ Steak dinner and all the trimmings topped off by ice cream with blueberries. Paul, the owner of the park spoke to us of the history for this area.  He gave previews of things we are going to see on the next day, specifically the Air Museum and the Silent Witness Memorial.

The next morning we had a Newfie breakfast also served by the park owners:  eggs, meat (bacon and baloney), Brewis, and Toutons served with syrup or molasses.  Brewis are made from hard bread biscuits also known as hard tack.  A package can be purchased in the local grocery stores around here under the Purity brand.  Basically, the hard biscuit is broken up and soaked overnight in water, then you add what you want and cook up the next morning — almost like stuffing.  Toutons are made from the frozen bread dough you buy at the grocery store.  This bread is normally thawed, placed in a bread pan, and allowed to rise before baking. Instead, the thawed dough is cut off in small pieces, stretched and kneaded then fried in a small amount of oil in a fry pan.  Much like you would pan fry fish.

After breakfast we ride-shared to the Air Museum and the Silent Witness Memorial.

Silent Witness MemorialSilent Witness Memorial: On December 12, 1985 Arrow Air Flight 1285 crashed on take-off from runway 21. The disaster claimed the lives of 8 crew and 248 soldiers from the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division who were returning home for Christmas from a peacekeeping deployment in the Middle East. The impact on the south side of the Trans-Canada Highway on the shore of Gander Lake left a charred clearing in the forest where a memorial now stands to those who lost their lives in Canada’s most deadly air crash.

Operation Yellow Ribbon:  On September 11, 2001, with United States airspace closed due to the terrorist attacks, Gander International played host to 39 airliners, totaling 6,122 passengers and 473 crew, as part of Operation Yellow Ribbon. Gander International received more flights than any other Canadian airport involved in the operation apart from Halifax (The airport that received the highest number of passengers was Vancouver, with 8,500). At the museum we saw some of the many cards and letters thanking the city for their hospitality.

Happy Hour at the lake sideWe also learned that the Gander airport’s runway 03/21 is designated as an emergency landing runway for the space shuttle.

We ended the day with a Happy Hour (aka, Attitude Adjustment) at 5:00 p.m. at the lakeside.

Please check our Newfoundland Photo Gallery for many additional photos.

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