In the depths of a stormy winter, Spencer and I headed out by car, to our location shoot in St Anthony Newfoundland. Our first location shoot was Tuckamore Lodge, to Photograph 12 room interiors, exteriors and food for a website. We would be gone three weeks and have to hit it hard, to complete our various assignments. 

Travelling through much of Ontario and Quebec was uneventful. As we passed Quebec City, travelling along the St Lawrence River’s south shore, a vista burst forth, offering a stunning panoramic view of cool, blue ice, pristine, white snow and a distant north shore. This lasted for hours, but I still hated to leave it behind.

Onward through New Brunswick, with its thick forests and elevated views of The St John River valley. This vast country, we call home, possess’ a loneliness that appeals to me as an artist.

Nova Scotia is next. We were provided ocean glimpses before crossing the Canso Causeway, on the final leg of our trip to reach the Newfoundland Ferry to Port aux Basques. The crossing was seven hours (give or take) and the ship’s facilities were superb. There were no cabins left on this night and sleeping in your car was not allowed, so we rented a La-Z-Boy. No joke. Comfy, padded chairs that fully recline was pretty ok (it still wasn’t a bed and it wasn’t private).

We had been monitoring radio stations for weather reports to decide if we should proceed. The drive to The Viking Trail is about two hours and most travellers find the journey to be ok … until it’s not. 

We drove north through occasional white outs. We came to an abrupt halt, being stuck on a snow drift in the middle of the road. Our first concern was other cars running into us. Very quickly the snow piled around our van, creating a blanket of protection. I called CAA. They said, “we can’t come and help, the roads are closed.” I replied, ”no one told us.” Next, I called the RCMP, and was told again, that no help was available since the roads were closed. Hmmm … what to do. There were no towns nearby. We hadn’t passed a house or lane for miles. There was no traffic whatsoever. We were stuck in more ways than one. The weather report indicated 30 cm of snow over two days, with winds currently gusting from 60 to 80, rising to gusts as strong as 100 to 130 tomorrow. We had a full tank, sleeping bags, food and water, but not enough. Help wouldn’t be able to get here for two days. I was pretty sure we weren’t going to make through.

I called the RCMP again and said, ”come now or don”t come at all. By Monday it will be a recovery operation.”

Guess what they did next. Like true wonderful Newfoundlanders, they ordered the department of highways to plow ten miles of highway to our vehicle, turn around so we could follow the plow back to the nearest lodge. We made it. What a relief!

The nearest lodge turned out to be a compact ten room place, perched on a small cliff, overlooking a very windswept, frozen Atlantic Ocean. Five rooms had no hot water, but separate queen beds. The other five rooms had plenty of hot water, but single queen beds only. Hmmmm … after a mental coin toss, we opted for the hot shower. 

Jim Bennett, a local MPP, lawyer and proprietor of Bennett Lodge, was a wonderful host and dazzling chef in the kitchen. We spent two days there before the roads were passable, allowing the final leg of our journey to Tuckamore Lodge. The four hour drive was slow, with snow drifts stretching up to the telephone wires in some places. 

The forecast called for … you guessed it, more snow, a lot more snow. Two centimetres per hour for the next 39 hours. The snow began to fall just as we arrived. We had three full days of shooting. Except for ourselves, the chef and a somewhat friendly female Moose, lodge was deserted. As we worked, we would catch glimpses of her peeking in the windows. 

The snow fell, we shot. Our frustrated chef, cooked for us as though we were ten people. Everything was delicious and home made with portion sizes to match our hungry appetites. We joked that he even made the water from scratch.

The trip, although precarious and at times down right dangerous, was a great adventure. Why do we do it? At our core we love to bring our clients story to life, to interpret what they do and create imagery for web, print and Social Media.