I would like to relate to you a short story of an incident that occurred to my family in mid-July while we were travelling to Port aux Basques to catch the ferry.
Our vehicle had a luggage carrier on the top. We were driving through the Wreckhouse area and I was explaining to our 12-year-old twin boys the significance of the area, especially the high winds. We were admiring the beautiful scenery when one of the boys said he thought he saw something fly out of the vehicle. I asked my husband to pull off to check the luggage rack. He did and to our dismay the wind had rattled the luggage carrier to the extent that it popped the lock open. In the front of the carrier were three heavy fuzzy blankets that we were going to use on the ferry as we had a night crossing.
My husband looked into the luggage carrier and advised me that our three blankets were gone. My son advised me that was what he saw blowing away. We immediately turned around to see if we might find them.
We drove back approximately 10 kilometres or more with no blankets in sight. We resolved ourselves to the fact that either they had blown away or someone had picked them up and they were gone for good. We proceeded on to Port aux Basques.
While at the terminal a while later, my husband got paged to the reception area. We all went inside and as he didn't have his boarding pass on him we waited outside the reception area for him to go back to the vehicle and retrieve it.
In the meantime, another passenger was paged. The boys and I overheard the other individual tell the ladies inside that he had not lost anything. He mentioned that he had heard that someone's carrier blew open and some blankets flew out. I immediately jumped up and cried “That was us.” The lady inside asked me if we lost some blankets and I said, “Yes, three of them to be exact.” She held up a reusable bag and sure enough inside were our three blankets!
I couldn't believe it.
I asked how she came across them, and he said some lady dropped them off. She said she saw them fly out of our carrier and went back to get them. She didn't know who we were but figured with the carrier on our vehicle we were probably headed to the ferry. So she dropped them off there. She told them to look for a certain color vehicle with a luggage carrier. Unfortunately, she didn't leave her name so that we could thank her.
It's funny — as I had explained to my husband who is not from here — we had a good chance of getting the blankets back, as Newfoundlanders are the type of people to try and return something they have found. And I couldn't be more proud to note that that is what that lady did.
Again, I don't know who she is, but if you print this and she sees this I just want to say thank you, for returning my boys furry blankets and showing them that there are still good people in the world. And we started our road trip on a much happier note.
On our way back from our holiday, we were travelling through the Wreckhouse area again. I got my husband to buy straps for the carrier just in case it blew open again. On our way through the Wreckhouse area on our return, a car behind us was blowing the horn and pointing up. We pulled over and sure enough the lock had popped again.
The straps kept it from popping completely open and losing anything again. (The boys would not put their blankets up there again!)
We drove over 3,800 kilometers on our trip and the only place the carrier popped open was in the Wreckhouse area. Our boys were amazed at the power of the wind in that area and are now convinced that the stories of the winds blowing trains off the track are true!
Jacqueline Mantey (on behalf of the Mantey family)
Corner Brook, N.L.