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The Travel Bug - Georgina Parsons

A warm welcome is extended to all visitors to our province this summer.

We hope that the warmth of our friendly people makes up for the lack of warmth of the weather. Summer forgot to visit us this year.

While here on the Burin Peninsula we haven’t had the same level of ‘RDF’ - rain, drizzle and fog - as the Avalon, with the exception of a handful of days, it’s been cold with well below seasonal temperatures.

Although the weather may have had a negative effect on outdoor activities and venues, it may have prompted tourists and locals alike to visit many of our indoor attractions and museums.

At the end of June, I attended the reopening of the Seamen’s Museum here in Grand Bank, which had been closed for the past couple of seasons due to a fire. The restoration work is great, and the museum is well worth a visit.

While watching the fireworks during the recent Grand Bank Summer Festival from the front deck of my friends, the Bonds, on Water Street, several large burning pieces of debris from them landed on the road just a few feet in front of us. There were others standing by the breakwater not far from us. If either of those pieces of debris had fallen on any of us, I’m sure it would have resulted in a burn injury. Foolishly, we all continued to stand there watching the fireworks while ash and smoke continued to blanket us!

Great enjoyment may be garnered by attending local festivals, but we should also keep in mind some of the dangers involved and realize that injury may occur to us, or we may be witnesses to injuries to the participants.

I recall a few years ago, while living in Gander, a horrific scene that played out before hundreds of people at the annual smashup derby. One of the cars caught on fire and the driver had to be pulled from the burning wreckage, but unfortunately not before he suffered severe burns to almost all of his body.

During the summer months, we often hear of tragic stories on the news that involve visitors to our province. We love to have people come and visit our province. I’m sure we all wish them a safe and happy visit, so we hate to hear of any tragedy that involves them.

Two recent tragedies come to mind - a visiting 10-year-old boy died when fell over a cliff in a backyard in Bay Roberts and the driver of a motorcycle was killed near Churchill Falls.

There have also been several incidents in past years of people being swept out to sea by rogue waves at Cape Spear.

Then there are those that get lost such as the two female hikers from Ontario who recently became confused in the fog on the East Coast Trail and the two male kayakers from Quebec who got lost on a remote stretch of coastal Labrador during the same week.

Thankfully, thankfully they were all found - wet and cold but alive.

Our weather can be severe, and the fog can roll in quickly. Many of our highways are potholed and narrow, so we need to inform tourists to take extra precautions when visiting our province … to be prepared.

So while this is the summer that didn’t arrive, I am glad that most visitors, when asked about the weather, say that they come to Newfoundland and Labrador because it is unique, and they come for the people and the culture, not the weather.

For those of us who wish it were warmer, maybe we should all head to other parts of Canada or the Unites States where it’s been hot and humid all summer.

Maybe those who come for moose hunting in the fall will fare better. For years, we had a cabin up in northwest Gander, a prime hunting location. I recall many Septembers when the temperature was in the mid-20s. The hunters complained because it was too hot to hunt, and if they got their moose, they couldn’t hang it but would have to rush off to Glenwood to put it in cold storage immediately.

By the time this column goes to print the ‘RDF’ will have dissipated, and what remains of August will be scorching. Ah! We can always dream!

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