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Newfoundland & Labrador 2003

Newfoundland

(Page 7 of 11)

Gros Morne National Park

  

The Tablelands

  
The Tablelands is a very unusual area of Gros Morne National Park. In fact, it is very unusual in a global sense. It is one of the very few places on Earth where the mantle rocks of the Earth's crust come to the surface and are visible.

Mantle rocks are not very conducive to life. As a result, the area is almost completely barren. In fact, lichens don't even grow in the rocks!

  
This is the valley through which the road runs - a pleasant alpine meadow. 

There are plants growing here, because it is in a sort of valley, and enough material has built up on the ground over the years to support some plant life.

The trail starts around here.

 

  
This is part way along the Tablelands trail. It leads into that valley to the right.
  
Typical rock outcrop along the trail.
  
The official Tablelands trail ends at the lower end of this valley - the end of the trail is visible in the photo.

We carried on and hiked up to the very top, at the end of the valley. My destination was the top of the plateau, just to the left of the snowfield in the distance.

Please note that Gros Morne National Park does not encourage hikers to do this, due to the fragile nature of the ecosystem.

**If you must explore past the end of the trail, please please walk gently and with care. Please avoid crushing the plants that are struggling to survive here.

 

  
Here is a juniper bush, growing in between the rocks. This shows how tenacious life can be! 

It grows flat against the rocks due to severe winter weather and winds.

  

This is about 2/3 of the way up to the top, looking back south across Bonne Bay. 
The mountain of Gros Morne is visible in the distance, just to the right of the center of the photo.

  
A closeup view of the rocks of the Tablelands.

Kinda looks like petrified animal scat! :)

 

  
Oddly enough, Pitcher Plants grow here amid the rocks! Normally you would only find them in bogs. They grow here because the same conditions as found in a bog are also found here: low nutrients and stagnant water.
  
Snowfields, in August! I scooped up a water bottle full of this snow to drink as it melted on my way up to the top and back down. Refreshing!
  

Here's a view of the route I took to the top. It's actually quite an easy climb - no technical skills are needed.
You just need a good sense of direction and an awareness of shifting boulders.

  
On top. The Tablelands are actually quite flat on top - hence the name!

Also note how barren it is. It's not all just a wasteland of rock, however. There are extensive areas of bogs and ponds.

  
Another view. This is actually on my way back down.
  
One of the many streams that flow off the Tablelands. This is freshly melted snow.
  
A very refreshing dip in the brook -- the water is fresh from the snowfield!!

Please note that I have made the picture "family-rated"  ;)

 
  
Pearly Everlasting. One of the several hardy species of plants that manage to thrive in this challenging environment.
  

As we hiked back down the valley in the late afternoon we frequently paused to look back. 
Here's one of our views. What a gorgeous day it was!!

  

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