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Spruce. Larch. Spruce. Bog. Spruce. Lake. Spruce. Bog.

The 320km (200 miles) of Trans-Canada Highway stretching through the heart of Newfoundland island are long and tedious, and travelers crossing this interior have been known to spend as much time cursing slow-moving RVs as admiring the scenery. This is widely regarded as an area to pass through as quickly as possible en route to the province's "star" areas, rather than one in which to linger. Still, you've gotta eat, sleep, stretch, and refuel.

Grand Falls-Windsor and Gander are the regional service centers along this lonesome highway, decent stopping points for stretching your legs, taking in an attraction or two, gassing up the rig, getting a bite to eat, and perhaps spending a night if evening is near. But neither town offers much else for travelers.

The area around Twillingate is a distinct exception -- it's well worth the 2- to 2 1/2-hour detour north off the Trans-Canada Highway and could easily occupy a traveler who enjoys low-key, off-the-beaten-path destinations. There are few places to stay in Twillingate, however -- and remember that it's 2 to 2 1/2 more hours just to get back to the main highway. Include the town only if you'll be in the province for awhile.