The Twilight Zone
My first impressions upon deplaning at Gander International Airport were primarily eerie feelings that I had stepped through a time warp and been transported back about 50 or 60 years. At the outset of WW II, RCAF Station Gander, which was its name in 1941, was the largest airport in the world with four operational runways. The vast majority of Canadian and US aircraft being transported to the European Theatre during the war stopped at Gander for refueling. After the war most transoceanic flights had to stop at Gander, Bangor in Maine, or Rekjavik in Iceland because few, if any, turboprops and early jets had the range to fly non-stop from the major North American cities to the the major European airports. As more efficient jet engines became available, the world's largest airport moved incessantly toward becoming the world's most under-utilized airport. Today, there are two or three commercial flights but Canada and the United States still use the airport for military purposes. Inside the terminal, there are mid-20th Century decor, several interesting historical displays, several commodious passenger lounges, a duty-free/souvenir shop, and a too large cafeteria/grill. We were there just over an hour and although all of us had military ties, I may have been the only one who was not ready to leave. I love Canada, I love cooler climates, and I hope to be able to go back for a day or two someday.
Stopover with a difference
This was a stopover with a difference as the Aircraft had a slight malfunction that delayed the departure from Florida. When we stopped for refuelling at Maine, the crew couldn’t shut the back door. It was very late on a Sunday evening and there was a delay in finding an engineer with a big hammer, to “fix” the rear door.
The Town of Gander
"Gander, Newfoundland, Canada"
The Town of Gander is in Central Newfoundland: situated between Gander Lake, Gander River and Gander Bay.
Gander Airport, built on the eve of World War Two, is the economic engine of the community.
There are all of the modern conveniences and a vibrant nightlife too.
Hedley hitch hikes to Gander
"8 am, Saturday, January"
breakfast at the Irving Mainway in Donovan's Industrial park and then got a lift to the highway.
"10:30 am, Saturday, January"
It did not take long to get picked up.
An eccentric contrac tor-millionaire picked Hedley up in his new 68 thousand dollar truck and drove him to the Mary's Town Junction.
"10:40 am, Saturday, January"
Hedley gets picked up by a little old man and a little old woman who are dreiving to Clarenville.
The couple was wonderful-grand and regailed Hedley with stories of the time they moved to Toronto- in 1941.
"11:20 am, Saturday, January"
Hedley arrives in Whitbourne.
Hedley doesn't get picked up and chooses to walk across Clarenville.
when he found Dark Hole, it occured to him, "Whose God created this hole that I cannot hitch hike out of?
"1:25 pm, Saturday, January"
Hedley was getting desperate. He though he might die of boredom standing at the side of the road. But eventually. Vic picked him up and dropped him off right at the doorstep of his Gander destination at 3 pm