The Phoenix Nest

Pippy Park Campgrounds, near St. John's, Newfoundland

Pippy Park Campgrounds, near St. John's, Newfoundland

A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour

By Jim Fulton

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Abstract

I spent two week at Pippy Park Campgrounds, near St. John's, Newfoundland. This was a target destination of my tour, because it allowed me to visit both Mistaken Point, which has some of the oldest fossils to be found in North America, and Fortune Head, which is the official boundary being the Cambrian and Precambrian Ages.

Page Prerequisites
Page Specifications
Id Flights_GFT_2018_0717
Title Pippy Park Campgrounds, near St. John's, Newfoundland
Subtitle A Target Destination on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
Keywords St. John's, Newfoundland, Pippy Park Campgrounds, Johnson GEO Centre, Mistaken Point, Fortune Head, STORY
Author Jim Fulton
Author's URL https://fenixnest/Phoenix/
Copyright 2017
Status Published: 2018/8/29
Last Revised 2018-11-13

St. John's, Newfoundland

Arrived 2018/7/17
Day of Tour 360
Nights Stayed 14
Departed 2018/7/31
Map miles from last stop 208
Mileage on arrival 40,530
Actual miles from last stop 288
Accumulated miles for trip 22,013

I spent two week at Pippy Park Campgrounds, near St. John's, Newfoundland. St. John's was a target destination of my tour, because it allowed me to visit both Mistaken Point, which has some of the oldest fossils to be found in North America, and Fortune Head, which is the official boundary being the Cambrian and Precambrian Ages.

Page Contents

St. John's, Newfoundland

St. John's is the easternmost city in North America (if you exclude Greenland from the continent). It is also the capital of the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. (I am very glad that I don't have to recite a seven-syllable compound name whenever I'm asked for the state I live in!) Like most of the Maritime Provinces it grew up around the fishing industry, which has gradually sunk beneath coal and oil and tourism as the primary industries.

The Journey to St. John's

The trip to St. John’s was beautiful, if no longer remarkable: forested mountains, rocky cliffs, long lakes and small ponds. The roads are often rough, but when I think of the beating the highways take during the long, severe winters, I concede they do a better job than many states with ten times the population and economy.

Maps of St. John's and
Primary Destinations

St. John's
Pippy Park Campground
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Fortune Head Park Reserves

Around St. John's

Since I was here for a whole two weeks, I had plenty of time to wander around the town. I never did master the road system, which like those in many old, hilly cities, wanders around whichever way seemed simplest at the time the road was laid.

I took advantage of a free and dry day to take a guided tour of the St. John’s area, provided by McCarthy’s Party. It was one of the best guided tours of my trip. Larry Hann, the guide, combined the volubility, the gregariousness, and the gift of gab of his Irish ancestors, with the deep knowledge of a life-long local, to give us a loving yet unvarnished portrait of the history and economy of St. John’s, providing context for the sites he was showing us, where we had ample time at the major sites to take pictures and think about the history he had revealed.

The City of St. John's

These photos were taken from a hill overlooking the city from the south.

Photo Gallery for St. John's

St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland
St. John's, Newfoundland

Jellybean Row in St. John's

Not for St. John’s are the soft pastel colors of houses most elsewhere in the US and Canada. In this city, and especially in this neighborhood, aptly named "Jellybean Row", along Duckworth Street in St. John's, the colors are bright and varied, the better to be recognized in the frequent dense fogs formed from the confluence of the cold Labrador current and the warm Gulf Stream.

Photo Gallery for Jellybean Row

St. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland
Jellybean RoSt. John's, Newfoundland

Signal Hill in St. John's

Signal Hill is a tall headland overlooking The Narrows, the stretch of water that leads from the ocean to St. John’s Harbour. According to my guide Larry, the hill got its name from the semaphores used to signal the approach of ships down to people in the harbor, although the name also befits its being the site of the first wireless transatlantic transmission.

The hill was armed and manned by Canadians and Americans during WWII against the threat of Nazi attack. (Newfoundland and Labrador was then a dominion of Great Britain, and didn't become a province of Canada until 1949.) It previously served as a battery protecting the harbour in several wars.

Photo Gallery for Signal Hill

Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland
Signal Hill, St. John's, Newfoundland

Cape Spear

While St. John's is the easternmost city in North America, Cape Spear is its easternmost point of land. It too was developed as a battery to help protect the city during World War II, but the guns were never fired.

Photo Gallery for Cape Spear

Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Easternmost Point of North America
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
New Lighthouse
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
New Lighthouse
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
New Lighthouse
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
New Lighthouse
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Old Lighthouse
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Old Lighthouse
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Fog Horn Shed (LOUD!)
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
World War II Cannon
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
World War II Cannon
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
World War II Bunker
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland
Cape Spear, Newfoundland

Petty Harbour

Fishing is the traditional occupation of the Newfoundler, although it is no longer the dominant industry. Fishing villages abound along the coast, and Petty Harbour is the kind of fishing town that they all aspire to be: brightly colored, fog-visible houses, surrounding a good-sized wharf, lined with boats in good repair, and a fish-processing plant at the end.

Photo Gallery for Petty Harbour

Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour, Newfoundland
Petty Harbour PH.Fishermens Processor Co-Op

Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi (most commonly pronounced "Kiddy Viddy") is another fishing village, this one a suburb of St. John's, just below Signal Hill. It has also become the home of the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company, the source of a collection of beers very popular across Newfoundland.

Photo Gallery for Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland
Quidi Vidi, St. John's, Newfoundland

Pippy Park Campgrounds

Pippy ParkWikipedia is located in the outskirts of St. John's, near Memorial University and the Confederation Building, which houses the provincial government of Newfoundland and Labrador. The park and the campground are both very large and well-forested, with ample opportunities for family activities. The staff was friendly and helpful.

My campsite was lovely, set in its own wooded alcove, well separate from my neighbors. I had to back in, but there was just enough room. The bed of the site was gravel, and there were a picnic table and a fire ring available.

My only problem is that the park did not provide wifi service to the section of the campground where I was parked. None. Zip. Nada. Another section was supposed to have wifi, but when I walked over to try to connect my GPS, it was so slow and tentative as not being worth the bother.

It's a very popular park, though, and I suppose that most visitors accept being out of touch as part of the camping experience.

Photo Gallery for Pippy Park Campgrounds

Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Pippy Park Campgrounds
Address 34 Nagles Pl
St John'sNewfoundland A1B 3T2
Home Page https://www.pippypark.com/camping.asp
Phone (877) 477-3655
Associations
  • none
Rate (net US$) $34
Features
Amenities
Sewer Fire-Ring
Picnic Table   Paved Patio
  Pull-through Back-in
  Paved Gravel
 
Site Type
Lane Surface
Site Surface
  Paved Gravel   Grass    
  50 30   20
Playground   Swimming   Golf
  Tennis   Waterfront   Other
Power
Play Areas
 
Reviews (as of 2018/8/16)
Reviewer
 
Rating Out of
(Highest: Best - 1: Worst)
RV Park Reviews 7 Good 10
Good Sam n/r 10
KOA n/a 5
Tripadvisor 3 5
Phoenix 7 10
Attractiveness 7 10
Tree Cover 8 10: Dense - 1: Treeless
Site Size 7 10
Ease of Access 7 10
WiFiPhoenix 1 10
Pros
  • Well-wooded park-like atmosphere
  • Large sites in wooded alcoves
  • Easy access to St. John's
Cons
  • No WiFi at my site

Points of Interest

From a geological and paleontological point of view, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland are fascinating. I've already talked about the Cape Breton Highlands and Gros Morne. With St. John's as my base I was able to add both Mistaken Point and Fortune Head to my collection of awesome places visited, as well as the Johnson GEO Centre, which house the most informative collection of rocks that I have seen.

Some background: Newfoundland is a remnant of the ancient Avalonia continental plate, that was laid down half a billion years ago when it was down south of the Equator. Chunks of the plate are scattered along an arc from Africa to Britain to Greenland to Maine. The chunk that is Newfoundland extends from Mistaken Point in the southeast to Green Point in the west. And the plate as a whole is slightly tilted, so that Mistaken Point exposes rocks from the late Ediacaran Period (about 550 mya), Fortune Head exposes rocks from the boundary between the Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods (about 540 mya), and Green Point exposes rocks at the boundary between the Cambrian and Ordovician Periods (about 440 million years ago). Both Green Point and Fortune Head are internationally recognized boundaries (GSSPs)Wikipedia.

Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve

Friday, 2018/7/20, was a GOOD DAY! I visited Mistaken Point, perhaps my most important target destination of the whole tour, and on the way I got to see my first wild moose!

I was excited as I got ready. I had been reading for years about Mistaken Point.WikipediaWikipedia It is, I think, the site of the oldest fossils on this continent: roughly 550 million years old, from the Precambrian Ediacaran Period. It was during this period that multicellular life was beginning to figure out how to organize its internal body structure, with its various cells organized in a division of labor that distinguished it from a mere cluster or colony, so that it could perform the basic functions of survival: feeding, reproducing, and perhaps moving as a whole individual organism. Most of the experiments were failures; only a few survived the recent development of predation by their neighbors and the extinction at the end of the period to produce descendants into the Cambrian and later periods. Only a tiny few learned how to coordinate the activity of cells across the organism to generate controlled motion. This was a period of evolution’s most fundamental creativity. And I was going to see it!

Mistaken Point is down on the southern tip of the Avalon Peninsula, about 100 km south of St. John’s. There are a pair of roads - Routes 90 and 10 - that together form the “Irish Loop” around one finger of the peninsula. I started out on the slightly longer Route 90 along the western coast. At first the terrain was like most of the rest of Newfoundland, forested rocky hills, but as I reached the southern tip of the peninsula, the trees gave way to “the barrens”, where the plant life dwindled to a wide diversity of ground cover, the winds off the ocean being to severe to allow anything higher than a few inches, except in protecting gullies.

About half way down Route 90, I saw my moose. At first I thought it might a statue or a sign, since it seemed not to move, but there was no question that it was, or represented: a moose. Their shape is unmistakable. As I got closer, I realized I was seeing my first live, wild moose. Its eyes were clearly watching the strange shape of my truck speeding down the highway. I think it must have been a yearling: It was full-sized, but its antlers were not very big, and it seemed not to have the self-confidence that I (perhaps mistakenly) attribute to moose in their prime. Anyway, it seemed to want to cross the road, so I stopped and allowed it to do so. That gave me the chance to snap off a couple of photos.

An hour or so later I arrived at the interpretation center where the tour was to begin. Canada allows no unguided exploration of the Mistaken Point World Heritage Site. We had to follow the guide in our own vehicles about five kilometers along the coast, and then hike about three kilometers down to the cliffs. (Which meant that later I had to endure a laborious 3 KM hike UP from the cliffs!) And there they were: huge blocks of slate, granite, and sandstone that were the remains of an equatorial ocean bed 550 million years ago! I don’t think I have ever before felt so excited about rocks, or about nature in general. I was Charlie Brown taking the mound for the first time in a game, only I WON this game!

Then there were the fossils. We got to see two of what they called “surfaces”, flat , not quite level, layers of rippled stone that nature had brought to the surface. It took but a glance to see the shapes in the stone. Most of them looked like relief statues of fern leaves. Like the dinosaur footprints that I reported on earlier, these were part of the rock; they couldn’t be removed from the matrix like a leg fossil. But there was no doubt. These were no random patterns in the stone. These were the rocky molds of living organisms!

WOW!

It took me a bit longer than most of the rest of the tour to hike out, and I was exhausted when I got back to the truck. But this had been a GOOD DAY!

Photo Gallery for Mistaken Point

Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point
Taking the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Taking the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Moose on the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Moose on the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Moose on the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Moose on the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fishing Village on the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fishing Village on the Irish Loop (Rt 90) to
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Key to Fossils
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Bradgatia linfordensis
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Bradgatia linfordensis
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Bradgatia linfordensis
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Charniodiscusprocerus
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Charniodiscus procerus
Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
"Pizza Disk" Fossil on Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface D
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Surface E
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Key to Fossils
Surface E
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface E
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface E
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Fossil on Surface E
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Caribou Track
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Blue Flag Iris
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Blue Flag Iris
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Blue Flag Iris
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Purple Pitcher Plant
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Purple Pitcher Plant
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Flora
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Taking the Irish Loop (Rt 10) to St. John's from
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Taking the Irish Loop (Rt 10) to St. John's from
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve
Mistaken Point
Taking the Irish Loop (Rt 10) to St. John's from
Mistaken Point Ecological Reserve

Fortune Head

Fortune Head marks the official boundary between the older Ediacaran Period and younger Cambrian Period at about 540 million years ago. That is, it's a Global Boundary Stratotype Section and Point, or GSSP, for the Fortunian Stage, which takes its name from the site, and which is the first stage of the Cambrian Period, as recognized by the International Commission on Stratigraphy (ICS).

Fortune Head is just outside Fortune, Newfoundland. I was unable to find a suitable campground in the Fortune area, so I had to scrap my original plan to spend a few days there. Instead I parked my trailer in St. John's, and drove to Fortune for a couple nights in a hotel, an expensive double lodging.

Fortune itself is another small fishing village, which ekes out its living with the tourist trade, both from geology and paleontology nuts like me, and from travelers to the islands of St. Pierre and Miquelon, to which a ferry runs from Fortune. I was puzzled on my first drive through Fortune why there should be a Canadian customs office so far from an international border. But it turns out that the ferry to St. Pierre is a ferry to France, or at least to French territory. The acquisatory imperialism of the 17th, 18th, and 19th Centuries left intriguing if inconvenient borders for us to contend with today. Perhaps St. Pierre gets more visitors because it is part of France than it would were it just another Canadian island.

I awoke the day of my tour to the sound of wind and rain. And an unwelcome noise it was! Wind and rain were not good omens for a rewarding tour of oceanside cliffs. After breakfast at a charming little cafe in Grand Bank, 5 kilometers away, I drove over to the Fortune Head Interpretion Centre, to find that they were quite willing to provide a tour, now that the rain had let up. Apparently, walking around in heavy winds is as normal to them as walking through rain is to a Seattlite. So my guide Lauren showed me around their small museum, filled with a few local fossils, but mostly with exhibits from elsewhere to provide a reasonably good experience for local schoolkids. Then we climbed in their van and drove to the Fortune Head Ecological Reserve.

Viewing Fortune Head was exciting! And not just the intellectual excitement of seeing such awesome, ancient, and important site. In that respect, Fortune Head suffered from my already having visited Green Point and Mistaken Point. They were bigger, and some of the novelty was worn. But that novelty was replaced by a visceral, I’m-taking-my-life-in-my-hands kind of excitement as we climbed down slopes to the rocks, with gusty, gale-force winds striving to send us over the cliffs and down to the beach in the quickest possible way. There were times when hands and knees were the only safe mode of progress, and dignity be damned!

I could only photograph the boundary from a distance above, not up close. Nor could I view the Golden Spike marking the GSSP. The path to it was narrow and somewhat dangerous in good weather, certainly not a safe route during my visit. Besides, I understand that it has been restricted to credentialed professionals, not open to the public. But there it was: a darker band of Ediacaran rock, a extension of what I had seen at Mistaken Point, but some ten million years younger, rising two or three meters above the wave tops, to meet the lighter brown of the Cambrian.

The rock strata here were more like Green Point than Mistaken Point: relatively thin layers of shale, though not as thin as at GP, and here often coated with rust, occasionally a purple sheen that Lauren said was chemically similar to oil. The direction and orientation of the layers was not nearly so uniform as at GP, with blocks of layers here pointing different directions from those over there.

The fossils Lauren showed me in the Cambrian rocks we were able to get to, were “trace fossils”, the remnants of burrows made by Cambrian animals as they crawled through (or “over”, I’m not certain) the mud. Lauren said that experts had concluded from the traces that the animals tended to avoid crawling in each other’s tracks, so that would be eating new food rather than each other’s excrement. If so, this is evidence of among the earliest examples of purposive behavior. Lauren also said that the experts took the trace fossils as the defining mark of the transition between periods. I had read much discussion in the literature about the emergence of small, shelly fossils at the beginning of the Cambrian Period, an early form of armor to protect against predation, thereby rendering the fauna visible to geologists in a way earlier fossils were not, and providing a basis for naming the new Phanerozoic (or visible life) Eon. But I checked the official definition of the GSSP for Fortunian Stage:

Definition:

The base of the Phanerozoic Eon, Paleozoic Era and Cambrian System is defined in a coastal section near the town of Fortune in southeastern Newfoundland, Canada. The GSSP lies 2.4m above the base of Member 2 in the Chapel Island Formation, just above the transition to storm-influenced facies. The level is marked by the first occurrence of Trichophycus pedum (a trace fossil).

...

Primary Markers:

First occurrence of the trace fossil Trichophycus pedum.

Secondary Markers:

Trace fossils:
Member 1 of the Chapel Island Formation includes uppermost Precambrian sediments. It yields the trace fossils Harlaniella podolica and Palaeopascichnus delicatus. These trace fossils range into Member 2, where they are last seen 0.2m below the GSSP.

This confirmed Lauren's declaration that the boundary is marked by a trace fossil Trichophycus pedum. She also showed me a few stromatolites, fossils of microbial mats from the period. I had seen examples of these in museums, but never before in a “living” site.

Photo Gallery for Mistaken Point

Mistaken Point
Mistaken Point
Through the Burin Peninsula on the Way to
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Through the Burin Peninsula on the Way to
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Hotel Fortune
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Hotel Fortune
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Customs Office for Ferry to France
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
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Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Lighthouse
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Lighthouse
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Lighthouse and Windswept Traveler
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head Interpretive Centre
Fortune, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
The Phoenix at
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Lauren
My Guide
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
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Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Hydrocarbon-Saturated Rock
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Dropstone
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Dropstone
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
The Boundary between Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
The Boundary between Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
The Boundary between Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
The Boundary between Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
The Boundary between Ediacaran and Cambrian Periods
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Bluebells
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Bluebells
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Trace Fossils at
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Trace Fossils at
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Trace Fossils at
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Trace Fossils at
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Trace Fossils at
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Stromatolites
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fossil
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Fossil
Fortune Head, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Paradoxides davidis
Fortune Head Intrepretive Centre, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Paradoxides davidis
Fortune Head Intrepretive Centre, Newfoundland
Mistaken Point
Trilobite
Fortune Head Intrepretive Centre, Newfoundland

Johnson GEO Centre

The Johnson GEO CentreWikipedia is a geological, not a paleontological, museum. It has few fossils, but an astounding collection of rocks, with excellent laymen's descriptions of their differences and origins, much more useful than the little box of pebbles I got, to work (unsuccessfully!) on my geology merit badge, lo those many years ago. Almost all of the museum's collection are from Newfoundland, or from Labrador, the less-populated, wilder, continental part of the province.

I'm only going to include some of the most interesting photos of rocks here. The rest I reserve for the virtual museum I plan to construct next winter.

Photo Gallery for Johnson GEO Centre

Johnson GEO Centre
Johnson GEO Centre
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Avalonia Plate
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Anorthosite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Anorthosite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Anorthosite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Anorthosite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Anorthosite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Pillow Basalt
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Pillow Basalt
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Volcanic Breccia
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Volcanic Breccia
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Conglomerate
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Conglomerate
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Conglomerate
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Folded Gneiss
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Folded Gneiss
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Folded Gneiss
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Granite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Granite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Granite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Labradorite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Labradorite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Labradorite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Labradorite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Pegmatite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Pegmatite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Peridotite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Peridotite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Peridotite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Peridotite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Peridotite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Peridotite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Quartz Porphyry
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Quartz Porphyry
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Quartz Porphyry
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rhyolite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rhyolite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rhyolite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Process of Sedimentation
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Process of Sedimentation
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Process of Sedimentation
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Process of Sedimentation
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Process of Sedimentation
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Process of Sedimentation: The Result
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rock Wall
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rock Wall
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rock Wall
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Rock Wall
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Trilobite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland
Johnson GEO Centre
Trilobite
Johnson GEO Centre
St. John's, Newfoundland

Onward

My next stop after leaving St. John's was Argentia, Newfoundland, whence I took the ferry back to Nova Scotia.

Comments and Conversation

What follows are comments and conversations I have had with people about this page of The Phoenix Nest.

Dialog 1

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