June 24th, 2015 | 6:00am

Photo by Flickr Creative Commons user rubyblossom.

North of the Long Range Mountains in spring time, where the road swings east off the long northerly climb up the west coast, and a little farther on, back to the north again to the land’s end on the Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, a place where Norsemen and women came ashore 500 years before Columbus, and the great icebergs, calved off the great Greenland ice sheet, march along the eastern shore with the currents of the North Atlantic: here, in this place, a polar bear passed by.

“Have you heard?” the Parks Canada employee said to my partner, Karen, and me. “A polar bear sighted on the road this morning, about ten klicks this side of the airport.”

“We hadn’t heard,” Karen said. “That’s not far from here, is it?”

“Not far at all,” the woman said. “I guess it...