Country Inn Motel & RV Park, near Gander, Newfoundland
A Stop on the Phoenix's Grand Fossil Tour
By Jim Fulton
|Day of Tour||355|
|Map miles from last stop||231|
|Mileage on arrival||40,242|
|Actual miles from last stop||542|
|Accumulated miles for trip||21,725|
I stopped at Gander not only to break up my drive from Gros Morne to St. John's, but also because the airport at Gander is the site of a remarkable act of compassion on the part of the whole community.
Sadly, Gander has the dismal look-and-feel of most of the towns that grow up to provide services to large airports. Imagine Seatac, plucked up and plunked down in the middle of “nowhere”, all by itself, without any of the connections to the cultural richness of Seattle.
The Journey to Gander
I drove half way across Newfoundland to the town of Gander. I hate to say it, but an unvaried diet of winding roads, over forested mountains, along deep blue lakes, is becoming same ol', same ol'.
I was greeted in Gander by dark clouds and sprinkles on the way into town. That night it rained heavily for a long time. Fortunately, it let up while I was setting up the trailer. Seems that a cyclone, a tropical storm, that had been hanging off the coast of Maine, finally broke loose and headed straight for the Newfoundland south coast. I had been tracking that storm on my weather app, but I lost track during my stay in Gros Morne, because the wifi was too poor to get a connection.
Map of Gander
I am sad to report that I can no longer show the routes I took to get from place to place. Google, in its infinite corporate wisdom, now charges a fee to embed such"advanced" features, a cost which a pro bono site like this cannot endure. From now on, I will only show you the location of where I stay (at least until Google gets even greedier, and puts a price on those too). Nonetheless, you can still view my route, at no cost to either of us (yet):
- Click on "View larger map" to open the map in Google Maps.
- Click on the "Directions" button.
- Replace"Your location" with "Stanfield, Oregon".
- Hit Return.
Of course this procedure doesn't show you which among alternative routes I took, or what side trips I ventured on, or what strange adventures my phone's GPS might have sent me down, but I will give you an approximation of my route.
Country Inn Motel & RV Park
The Country Inn Motel & RV Park, where I stayed for the week, partakes of the same dismal look-and-feel that besets Gander and many other towns that grow up to provide services to large airports. The word that rushed to my mind the moment I arrived was ‘dreary’. The lanes were abundantly scattered with potholes, filled with the muddy water of the day’s rain, making any speed bumps irrelevant and unrecognizable. The camping area was a graveled knoll, with sites narrowly spaced and barely long enough for my 38’ trailer plus pickup. My recommendation to any camping visitors to the Gander area: look elsewhere.
Photo Gallery for Country Inn Motel & RV Park
Gander International Airport
There was a time when Gander International Airport was familiar to many travelers. Before the development of airplanes capable of long-range travel, Gander was a refueling stop for flights between Europe and the United States.
Then In 2001, when the infamous attacks of 9/11 occurred in the US, American airports were for a time quarantined. Planes destined for those airports diverted to alternative airports, many to Gander, which found itselt playing unplanned host to 39 stranded airplanes and over 6000 upset passengers. The town provided housing, food, and other support until the airplanes could move on. This episode is brilliantly depicted in the musical Come From Away. My son Greg played guitar in an early production of this play.
The photos below show the airport as it is today. I could find no memorial of the help they provide to 9/11 travelers, an act of compassion of which Gander can justly be proud.
Photo Gallery for Gander International Airport
My next stop after leaving Gander was St. John's, Newfoundland, from which I will visit many of the geological wonders of Newfoundland, including 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.
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