Monday, June 25, 2018

Day 35: Dunromin

Finally! A wildlife sighting and up close as Shadow and I were on our early morning walk in the campground. A deer grazing among the camp sites and one of the few mornings I didn't have my camera.😒 I could use the h word with Shadow; we were going home.

We transferred my new microwave from Martha's compartment back to Harvee Too, used the provincial park's dumping station and were truly homeward bound shortly after 8:00. We stopped in Renfrew to give Martha  back her food we were keeping in our freezer. (Her freezer was full of lobster!)  We said our good-byes as Martha turned  in a more southwesterly direction and we continued on hwy 60. We made a comfort stop on Golden Lake, drove through Algonquin Park, stopped at a picnic area for lunch and made two stops in Huntsville for groceries and gas, $200 @ $1.26.6 / litre. 

We pulled into Dunromin around 2:30.  It looked like an abandoned property; the pasture grass was knee high. We  may have escaped the black flies but the mosquitoes were ferocious, impossible to escape as we  unloaded the motor home.

We motored 357 km, making our total for the trip 5309 km.

Footnote: I synced my Fitbit and learned I had walked the length of Japan. 
                And I thought I was in the Maritimes!!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Back in Ontario

We were on our way early, at 8:00,  directed along  the back roads by Rhonda and Judy (Martha's GPS),  to hwy  158 which took us through farmland north of Montreal to LaChute. Thinking gas would be more expensive  in Ontario, we gambled and stopped for gas @ $1.28.9 in Sainte Sophie. It was $1.21.9 in LaChute. Oh well, but more expensive in Ontario.

We crossed into Ontario at Hawkesbury, took hwy. 34 to hwy. 417 and stopped at the first service centre to regroup as it was early and we could travel farther than originally planned. We ate lunch and continued on hwy 417 past Ottawa as far as Fitzroy Provincial Park where we checked in at 1:30. After some difficulty finding two level sites together, we were set up and sat outside enjoying  a campfire left smoldering by the previous campers. We were able  to bring  the fire  back to life with Jean's efforts to gather wood.
Jean tending to the fire, still speaking to Martha 
 For our last dinner on the road, we bbqed steaks and Jean and Martha had lobster tails as well.  Surf and turf, a fitting dinner to a great RVing holiday. The showers held off until we were finished with the barbecue. The steaks were tender and delicious.

We motored 314 km.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Along the Saint Lawrence River

 It was our first day in weeks that we drove in summer like temperatures. The day started at 10Âș and reached 23Âș under partly cloudy skies. We split the drive between AutoRoute 20, the Trans Canada highway and hwy 132 which hugged the St. Lawrence. We didn’t want to be too late finding a campground on this holiday weekend in QuĂ©bec.

Our highlight of the day was a  very scenic stop at a viewpoint at St. Roch-des-Aulnaies. Dramatic rock formations along the shore and a beautiful view of the village dominated by a church viewed  from across the water. Jean and Martha found many wild flowers and some birds to photograph.

After a quick stop for lunch at a picnic area on hwy. 132, we continued as far as Trois RiviĂšres on Autoroute 20 and hwy 55. We crossed the St. Lawrence River to the north shore where we continued as far as Louiseville on hwy 138. The first campground we targeted, a small one  connected to a marina, was full. We  continued to another one much farther on  and several km off our route. After 372 km, we arrived at Camping du Vieux Moulin. It was 4:40 and the campground was full.  To continue  farther was not an option. We had no choice but to accept sites “sans services” in an open field @ $40 each. $40  “pour rien” as I put it. After we drove through the crowded campground to our spots, we were glad to be in an open field. We were entertained with fireworks as the QuĂ©beçois celebrated their fĂȘte nationale, after we had gone to bed. The rain did not deter them.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Homeward Bound in la Belle Province

After four weeks+  of wonderful sightseeing through Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, it was time to motor on home through QuĂ©bec. Traffic would be heavy as it was their FĂȘte Nationale weekend, Saint Jean Baptiste. We anticipated much higher gas prices in QuĂ©bec so topped up our tanks before leaving Campbellton.
We crossed le GaspĂ© to Mont-Joli on the St. Lawrence River on hwy 132 which follows the MatapĂ©dia River. It was very picturesque but there were  few pull offs and when there was one, the view was mostly obscured by trees. We were surprised to discover the area has covered bridges. We were able to stop for one.
We followed the St. Lawrence  River on the secondary highway,  still hwy 132 and avoided the faster Autoroute 20. We stopped to have lunch on the waterfront in Rimouski by the Point-au-PĂšre Lighthouse, 108 ft high, completed in 1909.
The scenery along the St. Lawrence River was beautiful if somewhat repetitive, to quote Jean. Quaint villages with ostentatious churches.

We passed Trois Pistoles where I took a six week French immersion course and was billeted with a family so many years ago.
We stopped at a campground in St. Alexandre about 20 km from RiviĂšre du Loup. It was only 3:00 E.S.T. as we gained an hour with the time change.  We were able to get two sites together but only one with  30 amp which Martha let us take. The campground  filled quickly with the holiday weekend. We drove 324 km.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Chaleur Region

It was a motoring day as we continued our scenic drive along the Baie de Chaleur but not before topping up our gas tanks @ $1.22.9 / litre, our best price yet.
We stopped in Caraquet at an IGA for groceries.

A first for us on this trip: we became separated from Martha when  I missed a turn to remain on the coastal hwy and ended up on hwy. 11 with no exits, driveways, etc. to turn around/back as Martha had made the turn. ( I was enjoying the scenery too much.) Martha waited 20 minutes on the side of the hwy. One woman kindly stopped to ask if she was lost/needed help. We were finally able to turn around in Bathurst and started back on the scenic hwy and voilĂ .. there was Martha motoring towards us.

We were very surprised to see  rock formations similar to the Hopewell Rocks. There was no mention of them in any of literature. Nowhere to stop but Jean got some pictures.

We stopped at the Daly Point Nature Reserve. The park consists of approx. 6 km of trails through 40 hectares of saltmarsh, fields  and  mixed forests. We walked part of two trails, heard plenty of birds but saw very few. No photo ops. We ate lunch before motoring on.

We made one more stop in Beresford intending to walk a boardwalk through a saltmarsh but discovered it was more of a beach promenade. Not a total lost cause: we made use of their free dumping station.
 We had beautiful views of the GaspĂ© as we continued up the bay to Sugar Loaf Provincial Park, named for the 1000 ft. mountain in the park, a popular skiing destination.
 We motored 211 km under mostly
sunny skies.
 No rest for Martha who got to work on her latest lobster. Lobster rolls for the next couple of days.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Acadian Peninsula and Miscou Island

 Shadow and I had our first walk together on the beach at Val-Comeau.  A beautiful morning.  No danger of skunks, not even some decomposing fish that Shadow might have been tempted to roll in!😁There were several lobster trawlers out.

                                                  We timed our departure for 10:00 so we could meet lobster fishermen returning to the local wharf with their catch. Martha bought a 4 lb lobster for $24 ( $6 / lb.)
We had a short drive, only 32 km to our next campground in Pokemouche which would be our point du depart for a side jaunt in Martha's rig to two islands, LamĂšque and Miscou off the northeast coast of the Acadian Peninsula.
LamĂšque, the bigger of the two islands, is attached to the peninsula by a drawbridge built in the 1950s.
 Miscou, meaning "low wetlands", is 64 sq. km and was only attached to LamĂšque by a bridge in 

We made three stops on Ile Miscou.  Saint John's United Church was built in 1912 by a local resident  who was paid 60¢ a day.
 Electricity was never installed. Oil lamps and an oil furnace are still used. A minister from Miramichi comes to the island  4-5 times a year between April and September. The church still has about 25 parishioners.

The lighthouse, built in 1856, is the oldest lighthouse in New Brunswick. Designated in 1974, it is the only National Historic Site in the Acadian Peninsula. It is located on the most northerly point of the island between Baie des Chaleurs and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The original octagonal tower is still in use today.

Our third stop was at Peatland Path, an interpretative boardwalk through a peat bog. We spooked a blue heron but saw several more later.

On the way back we did stop at a fish market on LamĂšque Island to buy some mussels to add to our fruits de mer dinner of scallops, a tasty indulgence after our 119 km road trip of the islands, thanks to Martha.

It reached a warm and breezy  23Âș. The skies threatened but the rain held off until the evening.
an Acadian Christmas tree

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Following The Red Sea Star

 The rain was very heavy overnight but ended by dawn. We woke to puddles everywhere.We were ready to motor after our unscheduled weather layover. It would be a longer travelling day, 299 km with a couple of sightseeing stops. We were on our way by 8:15. 
First stop was in Shediac at the "World's Largest Lobster." It took 3 years to construct and was unveiled in 1990. It is made of reinforced concrete, weighs 50 tons and measures 10.7 metres in length and 5 metres in height.
The   Scenic Acadian Coastal Drive, a.k.a. "The Sun and Sand Trail" takes on several different highway #s  as it twists and turns 
following the coast. The route is very well marked by the red sea star.

The highlight of our day was the Irving Eco- Centre La Dune de Bouctouche. It was developed by J. D. Irving Ltd. in 1997 to preserve and restore one of the few remaining dunes on the northeast coast of North America. The sand dune stretches 12 km across Bouctouche Bay. The boardwalk has sustained considerable damage in Atlantic storms. It was 2 km long before a particularly severe storm in 2010 reduced the boardwalk to less than 1 km.  We visited the interpretative centre which has very interesting exhibits. We learned all about local mussel fishing.

mussel trap
We continued north on hwy. 11 through Kouchibouguac National Park, an area of rivers, salt marshes, bogs, fields and forests measuring  92 sq. miles.  We saw mostly forests from the highway.

We stopped for the day in Val-Comeau at Camping de la Dune. We had a panoramic view of the sand dunes and Gulf of St Lawrence.  We asked about local  fruits de mer. The campground owner knew of a local fishermen who sells  "broken" scallops  @ $12 / lb. He called him and, well.....