Monday, August 08, 2005

Yet more gratuitously beautiful scenery

Went for a 2hr hike today all over and around Signal Hill. One of the things this province has done brilliantly is make all kinds of hiking paths that cross and crisscross not just St. John's but pretty much all of the Avalon Penninsula. And not for the faint of heart! These contain some narrow paths on the sides of sheer rock, some steep walkways and lots and lots of stairs. Exploring Newfoundland is good exercise, something they should probably work into their recent tourism blitz -- "Newfoundland: Blast Your Quads!"

What's kind of fun about the Signal Hill paths is that, while sort of touristy, they're also packed with locals out getting their exercise. In particular, we passed an awful lot of middle-aged women in spandex shorts with Evian bottles slung over their shoulders in those special neoprene holders. In other words, this is where the soccer moms of St. John's come to do their power-walking.

And I'm all about signing on to that! I kept thinking as I hiked through this amazing landscape -- this is an enjoyable walk. I'm thinking every weekend, weather permitting ... partially to supplement my running with something a bit different, partially to get myself into shape for the Eastern Trail in a couple of weeks.

And what, pray, is the Eastern Trail? You may well ask ... it is a further network of hiking paths, actually connected to some of the ones in St. John's, which take you down the east coast of the Avalon Penninsula. They are broken down into day-long outings ... each trail is just long enough to connect outports with handy B&Bs. I've been thinking that one of the things I want to do is explore on weekends ... of course, this might turn into a pipe dream once I realize just how much work I'll be doing here at MUN. Hopefully I'll be able to get out once or twice before winter sets in, though ...

Seriously though, that actually has me worried. I've been told, vis a vis starting a full time academic position, that what you thought was a full schedule before was positively leisurely. I've actually been told by more than one person to make sure I've made a point if unpacking everything before classes start, because anything still in a box on Labour Day will still be in a box in April.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm still loving being able to answer, when people ask me what I do, that I'm a professor ... and not have to follow up with explanations about what it means to be part-time, etc etc. And I get to use those lovely words "tenure-track." Ah. Oh, and there's that added bonus of getting a job in a field you love. That's kind of cool too.

In sadder news, today is Kristen's last full day here ... she flies home tomorrow afternoon. I'm guessing that's when the full impact of moving this far away will finally sink in ... her being here has made for an interesting continuity between London and Newfoundland, and the week-long vacation of driving out east has merged with the settling in process here in St. John's, to the point where it hardly feels like I've left home at all -- it feels rather (and I know how weird this sounds) that London has suddenly grown some extraordinary landscapes, to say nothing of vaguely Irish accents. This last element sort of came through about an hour ago when we had drinks on the patio of a bar that, for all intents and purposes, could have been Barney's.

So I guess my vacation effectively ends tomorrow ... I've been putting off getting my administrative stuff done on campus, but that will be the new project -- along with putting together all my new courses for next year, finishing off the distance studies course I'm still technically teaching for Western, and breaking out all the research work I'd been doing post-thesis and which has been languishing in file boxes.


1 comment:

syl said...

oh no, the honeymoon of NF is ending way too soon!

I hope you are settling in very nicely though!!

Western misses you. :(