Mike was done with work early on Wednesday, so we packed up a picnic to go visit the lighthouse at Cape Spear. It’s the easternmost point on the continent, a good vantage point for whale spotting, and it’s only 20 minutes away from the city. We headed out of St. John’s and up into the surrounding pine forests. Up, up, up until it felt like we were crossing a high mountain pass, then finally down again, catching glimpses of the ocean ahead. Just as soon as we got there, we spotted a picnic table which looked to be perched on the edge of the world, atop the high cliffs looking out to sea.
There are two lighthouses there, one is the oldest surviving lighthouse in the province, built in 1863 (short and squat, with the red-and-white-striped light perched atop the lightkeeper’s house) and the modern light, a tall tower built in 1955. There’s a trail that leads all around the bluff, across windswept rocks and grass and wildflowers, up lots of steps, giving breathtaking views in every direction. There’s a WW2 gunning station facing out to sea, then the path winds around the cliff tops and up a lot more steps and finally up to the lighthouses. By that time we were starving and didn’t explore the lighthouses too much, just headed back down to that spectacular picnic spot for dinner. Of course it was reeeeally windy so we had to hold down our picnic with one hand while eating it with the other, but the view was worth it. Partway through dinner, everyone had to leap up and go look at whales! They were just coming up for air, so it was only a few spouts and fins, but still pretty exciting.