.Some impressions on Monday, July 11, Day 17continuing on route 132 deep into the Gaspe Penninsula:
We arrived at Forillon National (just declared a NP in 1973 -- so even if Tom had been at this location in the 1960’s with his parents – he would not have visited the National Park!) We later learned Forillon was a Provincial park in the 60s. We were set up by 4:30 – in the first “real” campground that we have been in the past 17 days of this trip! On top of that, the weather was a perfect 72 degrees, and Tom set out the lawn chairs for an hour/half of relaxation – the first of it’s kind for this trip! After supper (Tom had pork chops and I had sautéed scallops) we drove the short road down to the end of the road-portion of the Gaspe Peninsula! At the parking lot there were people gazing out to the seaway (not sure if it is officially the Atlantic Ocean yet!) and discovered they were looking at whales diving around in the distance. No breaching – just the lazy up and out curve. They would then disappear for minutes at a time, making it hard to track their movement. Tom was able to catch one on camera that appears as a tiny black arc in the water. We also enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the water.
At the campground I enjoyed the luxury of the shower-house with all the water I wanted to use – before bed.
Waking to a beautiful sunny morning, we headed for the much-talked-about hiking trail Bon-Ami. There is not much opportunity to get lost in this National Park as there are very few roads – just highway #132 with some access roads branching off.
On the way to the trailhead we passed a little, baby, bear grazing along the road. He was much too little to be alone – but no signs of mom. Shortly after was our first sighting of Cap-Bon-Ami – a viewing platform HIGH on top of a mountain.
It was bound to happen sooner or later and it is a bit sad. I think both Tom and I had the stamina (at a slow speed) to climb the extremely steep, rocky trail. What stopped us is the thought of coming down that trail with weak ankles, bad stability, skidding on the rocks – falling – breaking a hip – ER ride to the hospital – surgery – end of vacation – you get the idea. The trail was easily a 15% grade and very rough with rocks.
Not to worry – there were plenty of trails that we could handle! The next was down at the “center of Interpretation” and was a boardwalk roaming out into the seaside meadow with views of the ocean and the cliffs, and nicely illustrated signs and benches for lingering.
Then “The Chute” trail. . . chute means waterfall. A steep trail, but with trail steps carved into the mountain and shored up with wooden beams. Easier on the downhill to prevent skidding, but quite the effort on the uphill to make the big steps! I hadn’t realized I had gotten to the point that I needed a simple hiking path to follow such a strict set of rules for my use. The waterfall was worth it, down in a deep ravine with a nice-sized fall and good amount of water – and a beautiful swimming hole at the base.
Then, back to the camper for lunch.
Our afternoon was a plan to go into the city of Gaspe and find a good hot spot for me to work on my blog. My own personal hotspot informed me I was out of data! In Gaspe, Tim Hortons was a bust, McDonalds was very sluggish, the library was only open on Wednesday, and the Hospital didn’t appear to have any wifi. It did, however, have a host of people waiting to be treated in what did not appear to be an emergency situation – free health care, maybe? My main observation – it didn’t smell too good in there!
The victory for the little trip was when we saw a fish market and got two lobsters for supper -- $11/pound. We bedded them down in Charlie Button’s doggie car seat and headed back to camp. After a nice afternoon nap/reading session at the campsite, we turned our thoughts towards dinner.
Tom had a high-powered small/hiking cook-stove and it boiled a large pot of water in no time. Because we had electricity I had the microwave for small red potatoes, mixed vegetables and Italian bread, and fresh cherries rounded out the meal. No more comments about supper – just pictures!
I opted to stay at the camper and tidy up while Tom took Charlie for an ocean-side experience. She thought the waves crashing in and rolling back were just about as exciting as the vacuum cleaner at home!
We don’t go camping any more . . . we go ‘streamin’ ! The “SIlvermine and His” is our 2016 23' Airstream, and ‘streamin’ is the name we use to describe our adventures. Stream along as we document everything from weekend trips to longer summer excursions and full-blown vacations. You know what they say: if you’re not in an Airstream – you’re just camping!
Tom & Ella Brown