Saturday, August 06, 2011

Romance and Reality

Gros Morne is a national park that is about 1.5 hours drive from our house. It also is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its unique geology. It is truly a stunning place and it is an amazing thing to live so close to it. It also has several towns in it or next to it, including Woody Point, where Molly White runs her shop Molly Made, which was our destination yesterday.

Did all that stunning natural beauty stop Finn and Lucy from fighting and complaining the whole way up, the entire time we were there, and the whole way back?


Although I wasn't much in the mood to fulfill promises after their shocking display of teenaged behavior, I did stop to pick up some strawberries at a roadside stand on the way home. Sounds romantic, right?

Local farmer sells delicious produce directly to the person who will consume it. It is what everyone is striving for these days, or so it seems. But this isn't Jamie Oliver in Sicily. This is Route 430 between Deer Lake and Wiltondale. This is a farmer with a pack a day habit, a farm stand that smells like it and a voice that sounds like it. This isn't romance. This is just getting by.

Fortunately, the cigarette smell did wash off the berries. They are lovely, aren't they.

My second promise was that we could stop at a craft store in Deer Lake where we have found some treasures in the past. Once we found a little hand turned bowl with a lid that we use as a salt cellar. On the bottom of the bowl, there was a tag put there by the maker whose name is G. Gordon. Forever after, we call our salt cellar G. Gordon Liddy.


But Mr. Liddy or Gordon has never produced another perfect salt cellar like that one. We have looked. Yesterday, however, other treasures awaited us.

This is a child's toy.

His companion. A little sunnier, don't you think?

When I saw them, I pounced. The shop was empty save for the two teenaged girls at the counter who were wearing what looked like prom dresses for reasons that could not be explained. Competition for the goods was not stiff so I probably didn't need to pounce. Anyhoo, before I looked at the price tag, I tried to imagine what my upper price limit would was a tough call. At first glance, I thought the tag said $35. A bit steep for my budget but....clearly these were works of great integrity. A battle raged in my head for a moment as I tried to justify the price, "just one!'s handmade....think of the time....who made this?? must have it!..." and on and on in a split second while I blinked and held the tag just a wee bit further away to get a better look at it (it goes like that these days).

Not $35. $3.50

Three fifty!!! Each.

At once wonderful and horrible. Wonderful: these two gentlemen (or whatever they are) were coming home with me. Horrible: how in the world could they charge so little? Someone was being taken advantage of here.

I thought about lecturing the two teenaged girls in the prom dresses about how handwork has value and should be priced accordingly and how it brings everyone down when things are sold for well under their worth. They were already looking at me as if I was totally insane and like they couldn't wait for me to leave so they could update their facebook status: "OMG!!! Crazy tourist lady just bought ugliest items! ROFL! LMAO!".

No. No lecture. I just paid my seven dollars + HST and we headed back for the car, clutching our little men or bears or whatever they are. Despite the complaining, despite the cigarette-smelling strawberries, despite the teenaged girls in prom dresses, all seemed right with the world.


OfTroy said...

this geology is typical of the entire north east of the north american continent. (its just shows up better in differenent places.

NYC is gneiss and granite, and overlaid with the same limestone/dolemites.
Mable hill (bronx) Whitestone (queens are 2 examples of the "newest" layer.
Manhattan schist is below that (a sparkly granite shot through with mica), and the bronx (mainland is the most eroded, with the gneiss being most prevent.

the coal of west virgina and PA (scranton) is the same coal bearing layers that are found in Nova scotia, (and at places there are just shales (blue stones) with no coal

The sea floor lava? the same layers, turned upright, can be found in NJ (take the Holland tunnel and see the fault lines between the layers as you spiral round to and from the tolls.

the deeply fracture granites--can be found in Palasage park NY (in NYC this fractured rock is known as trap rock (trap being an obsolete dutch word for "step"

the mid atlantic rift tore these land masses apart--but in old scotland (and norther england) the same coal seams exist (and extend into the european main land (see Van goth's "the Potato Eaters" images of dutch coal miners!)

NYC's trap rock appears in North Ireland as the devils staircase--the same hexogal fractured granites.

The great U shaped glacial valley of NY is sunken--(the hudson river!)

Much of NYC's geology is obscured.. (there has been some building done here and there. but much can still be seen--peaking out, here and there, in odd places--if you know where to look.

Robyn said...

You may be correct that bits of the story are visible here and there along the northeast coast but what makes Gros Morne worthy of UNESCO World Heritage status is that the whole place illustrates it on a huge scale.

I don't know about you, but for me, seeing a 200ft (?) tall cliff of almost 2 billion year old rock was pretty awe-inspiring. Likewise, the Tablelands, a mountain range that is the ancient ocean floor now above water level, is stunning for what it is and simply how huge it is.

It is nice to get hints of all this, even in places like Central Park - they surely offer their own interest and charm. But Gros Morne is a stunning place and, I would argue, unique in the way that it presents all that history on such a scale.

OfTroy said...

oh yes, i am sure you are right--I haven't been that far north but certainly i was overwhelmed by nova scotia--so far the most wonderful place on the east coast of North America that i have seen!

and gron Morne sound even prettier. It gives one hope that there are still protected and unspoiled places like this in the world.

Jennifer said...

Just found your blog. What a steal, $3.50 a piece.

Really enjoyed checking out your website too, your work is classic. It's amazing what can happen in 20 years, it's nice to see another Copper person still making work!

Robyn said...

Hey Jennifer!! It is amazing to find you here of all places. Thanks for leaving this comment. It is pretty amazing that anyone is making work after all this time. I have re-connected with a bunch of Cooper people via Facebook - it is very fun to see what everyone is up to.

And you! It looks like you are doing amazing things....


Jennifer said...

I was so surprised to find you! I can't even remember what path I took to get here! Catching up on FB would be fun too if your up to it. I checked and gosh there are a lot of Robyn Love's out there, so here is my connect, send me a request!