Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Riding Around Keels

Road sign in Keels (Photograph: Noah Morritt)
How do people in Keels get around? How do they access other communities and get supplies? In Keels, like in many other communities, the automobile and all of its various forms provides the essential mode of transportation. A quick trip in the car can get you to Selby Mesh’s shop for supplies or to Bonavista for a more extensive shopping trip. Local roads weave through the community and help people move from one side of the community to the other. Most importantly, the road from Keels through Duntara to King’s Cove provides an essential link to other communities on the Bonavista Peninsula. The vital importance of this single roadway out of Keels became especially apparent if the aftermath of Hurricane Igor in 2010, which washed out the this roadway, severing access to supplies and services.

ATV Trail to Barbows Pond, Keels
(Photograph: Noah Morritt)

While many people in Keels own a vehicle, many others also own boats, snowmobiles and ATVs. The paved asphalt roads of Keels are undoubtedly one of the first things you notice, but after walking around you realize that a series of ATV paths also link these roads to the outermost areas of the village. These paths are almost completely inaccessible to cars and trucks, and are used on a regular basis to access gardens, ponds, berry patches, cabins, and lumber. In the past these resources would have to be brought back by foot or sled, and it was often easier to haul lumber in the winter months when the fisheries had shut down for the season and snow made it easier to pull the sleds. Today, however, the ATV has imprinted itself on the local landscape in ways that are similar, but yet distinctly different from cars and trucks. The people of Keels have an important relationship with the outlaying forests, which provides lumber for their wood stoves and berries for jams and baking, space for hunting moose and snaring rabbits, as well as swimming and fishing. It is also not uncommon to also see people driving around town on their ATVs, visiting friends or getting supplies from Selby’s shop.

Road sign in Keels
(Photograph: Noah Morritt)

This transportation system that the people of Keels have created that makes sense for the way they live and the resources that they need to access. While cars and trucks are vital for access to communities outside of Keels, they are also limited to roads and paths not blocked by enormous rocks and steep, uneven hills. The ATV is therefore as much a part of Keels life as is the automobile or boat, and it is very unlikely that you will got for too long without seeing one zooming along.

No comments:

Post a Comment