Once the Hudsons were North, we wanted more North, despite some warning signs. The Lonely Planet Canada guide, which is normally fairly chirpy about adventure, noted that “Labrador is cold, wet and windy, and its bugs are murderous. Facilities are few and far between.” Another hint, from history: In 1909 the government apparently tried to sell Labrador for $9mm but there were no takers.
Not deterred by this negativity, we pressed onward, crossing the Straits of Labrador on a ferry, with no set plans or reservations. Luckily, we found a pickup truck to rent and we started driving up the coast on the one road in this huge, sparsely populated province. Take a look – what do YOU think?
Yep, Stark, treeless, boggy, (and buggy)….mile after mile. According to current maps, the main/only road though the province is paved just 65% of the way. And even “paved” is pretty rough – in an area the size of Montana. An old, towering lighthouse became a beacon of Fun History. Turns out the Strait’s “shortcut to Europe” was proving to be a mess for ship traffic in the early 1800’s with its icebergs, wind, and fog. So after hundreds of shipwrecks, the lighthouse was built in 1850 and life got a whole lot better for southern Labrador.
As for the Hudsons, the road stayed rough and the bugs got rougher…and we finally did what smarter people would have done long before: returned the pickup and headed back to the ferry, bound for more lovable Newfoundland.
P.S. Labrador mineral production is now $2B a YEAR – should have bought it when it was on sale for $9MM.