A week of whirlwind road traveling. From Newfoundland in the far east to Oregon in the west. A short touchdown in Vermont to savor the late summer lushness. Dinner on the porch, dark descending, crickets chirping loudly, rudbeckia and goldenrod bright yellow in the meadow. Early morning mist, soft bird-song, patches of blue sky emerging from the dawn light after a rainfall. Then, on the road again, images of Newfoundland and the Bonavista peninsula in dramatic contrast to the changing landscapes along highway 80.
The Bonavista peninsula – an alpine landscape, where the sea crashes against a land of dwarfed coniferous forests and wind-washed headlands. Where blue of sky and sea meld on the horizon, sounds of whales blowing across the boggy earth, a heady mix of moss and sea-salt. Green tufts of grass clinging to headlands, tumbles of rock, sheer cliff-sides, seagulls overhead. Grand landscapes that contrast with small-scale alpine vegetation and berries tucked into rocky crevices. A tradition of fishing treasured, but no longer viable as a way to make a living. Artists, craftspeople and writers finding new and second homes. The young looking for opportunities elsewhere, a strong sense of home and family always by their side. And sometimes coming back to start a business, make a living, raise a family. Government funded cultural attractions to draw visitors. A changing landscape, a shifting economy. Signs of boom and bust. Everywhere, beautiful vistas, restored and weatherbeaten buildings that ask to be photographed, painted, preserved in song. Buildings reclaimed, others abandoned, a whisper of lives lived. Restorations that treasure original design and colors, honoring the history. Repurposing the old, and building new with traditional materials, craftsmanship and styles. With love and tenacity – and a touch of romance.