I conclude this essay with some photos of a place I had never expected to stand: an overlook on North Mountain. Sadly, it was a “grey day”, though some blue sky broke through the clouds and every now and again the sun would pour through one of those breaks for a few seconds only to disappear once again. I apologize in advance for the poor quality of the photos I got, but so few photos of this area are found on the Internet that I think it worth while to include them in this essay.
Photo #1 shows the small aluminum memorial plaque in memory of Theodore Fricker placed in the ground at the side of a trail at a fantastic overlook on North Mountain. He was so beloved by the local people that they were able to prevail upon the provincial legislature to change the name of what used to be called Tenerife Mountain to Theodore Fricker Mountain.
Photo #2 shows the view from the overlook at the trail beside the plaque. MacEacherns Lake is the body of water seen in the far distance at the centre of the photo. The long rounded prominence to the left of the lake is the ridge above the east side of the Meat Cove Brook Valley and the long ridge at the far left to left of centre is on the west side of the Meat Cove Brook Valley. What I call “Black Point Mountain” is closer to MacEacherns Lake, but, given the poor detail in the photo, blends in with the ridge on the east side of the Meat Cove Valley. The valley below the point in the centre of the photo in the middle ground is that of the Salmon River, which enters Bay St Lawrence east of Capstick at the far right of the photo. The small notch in from the right edge of the photo is a peak behind Capstick that is visible from the Meat Cove Road through Capstick.
Photo #3 is the best telephoto view I have showing MacEacherns Lake, whose outflow, as best I can tell from the topographical map, is into the Salmon River. It is noticeably lower than the surrounding highlands.
Photo #4 is a wide-angled view looking well to the left of photo #2, though there is some overlap (the brownish coloured area at the centre right of this photo is at the far left of photo #2). The declivity in the centre of the photo is where two brooks meet to form the Salmon River. The overlook itself is just a hair north of due east of Polletts Cove. From this photo and photo #2, one gets a rather different meaning of the word “plateau”, for North Mountain is a plateau, but one riven with canyons and ravines formed by brooks. On the meadow-like area at the right middle ground of the photo, a moose was spotted grazing, but was gone before I could get my camera out to photograph it.
Photo #5 is another wide-angled view looking a bit south of west along the ridge of the overlook. The area known as McEvoy Barren is in this direction, as is the county line separating Inverness and Victoria Counties; an unnamed lake, smaller than MacEacherns Lake and hidden by the terrain in this view, sits in the middle of the barren and drains into the Polletts Cove River.
The overlook on which the previous photos were taken is not the highest point on the ridge; photo #6 looks south towards that point which would not have done much to improve the views and would have required fighting through brush to reach. As previously mentioned, the trees here are stunted (fortunately, for the views!) and cannot be said to thrive in this harsh environment.
Photo #7 is a telephoto view to the northeast, looking at the “notch” behind Capstick and the area to its right. In this poorly lit view through haze, it appears to be a continuous ridge, but that is due to the lack of detail in the photo; in fact, the mouth of the Salmon River marks the end of that ridge and an unrelated highland borders the east side of the Salmon River Valley, dividing Capstick from St Margaret Village and Bay St Lawrence.
The Bay St Lawrence Road passes below and to the east of North Mountain, crossing into Bay Road Valley on the north side of Willkie Sugar Loaf, the nearly isosceles trapezoid seen at the left of photo #8. The highlands spanning the right are the back (west) side of the North Mountain ridge that parallels the Bay St Lawrence Road. The smaller prominence left of centre is unnamed and sits between Willkie Brook on the left and Zwicker Brook on the right. Sams Mountain, which rises directly across from the Cabot Landing Provincial Park and is hidden here by the North Mountain ridge, is at nearly the same latitude as the smaller prominence. Willkie Brook, into which Zwicker Brook flows, crosses the Bay St Lawrence Road at the Cabot Landing Provincial Park and crosses the southwestern corner of the park to enter Burnt Head Cove on North Harbour.
Photo #9 is a closer look at an interesting area previously seen right of centre in photo #3. It sits at the top of the plateau on the west side of the Salmon River and the south side of the Lockhart Brook. What makes it interesting is its partial lack of trees. Some trees have clearly taken hold there, but they are apparently intolerant of close neighbours? A nice fringe of dense trees is found all around this area, but the centre is much more meadow than forest. I do not believe that this area was ever settled, so this cannot be an abandoned farm. Nor does it appear to be boggy. Something else must account for this strange lack of trees, but what?
Photo #10 is a look at the typical ground cover along the trail. It is a jumble of mosses, low-to-the-ground evergreens, and various wild plants, including the occasional blueberry (a few ripe berries can be seen at the bottom edge of the photo). Given the metres/yards of snow that cover this area every winter, it is truly amazing that anything can even grow in this harsh alpine climate.