Tuesday, August 9, 2016
45℉ at 5:00 AM, high of 86℉
After breakfast we decided to hike to Chute au Rats. The hike starts at the office and is really a bike path – again they are wonderful bike paths, really a small pebbled road. Figuring we would bike this path in the afternoon, we drove up to the falls. Its a very nice waterfall coming out of Lac au Rats and is the origin of another pretty stream that wanders its way to the St. Lawrence. Martha was quite happy to find a flush toilet there.
Since that didn’t take long, we drove up Rt 2 and turned on Rt 28 (please see the photo) and turned again to a very small road to Lac Du Bois Franc. Coming to the end of the road, we parked and walked down to the lake. There was a tiny dock with a very large and heavy rowboat. You can rent these for $30/half day, which is $22 American. You have to pay at the office and either they take to oars up there or give them to you. I’m not sure which. That’s pretty nice. You would likely have this lake to yourself for the day, except for the two loons. I fished for 45 minutes, wading around the edge up to my waist with no luck. This was the shallow end of the lake, so the water was fairly warm. Any trout would likely be deeper where the water is cooler. Anyway it is a very pretty spot, and for the first time, we really felt we were in the wilds. Martha remarked that the dragon flies were huge, like small hummingbirds and they were all over the place.
We returned to camp for lunch and quite hour, then took the bikes out of the truck and just leisurely rode around to explore. Stopping by the edge or our lake (Lac Lajoie), we talked to a nice couple who had rented bikes. He said something in French that we couldn’t understand, so we asked for English. It turns out they were from New York and gladly spoke in English. He works at Olana (?), a house designed by an artist of the same name. Maybe he needs to speak different languages for his job, but his French was perfect. They were headed for a kayak trip on Riviere de Diable tomorrow, so we assured them they would love it.
Cooking over a campfire is not so easy. How hot is the fire? How long will it take? Where do you put different things to cook? Martha wrapped corn on the cob in foil and waxed yellow beans in another. Then she grilled salmon, and it was all excellent. I don’t know what it is cooking over a fire, but it is always good. Partly I am surprised how well it can come out and partly it is the atmosphere of being outside, by a beautiful lake with the sun setting.
Reading about camp cooking, I had bought three pie irons, for which Martha gave me endless grief. To her credit, tonight she suggested cooking desert in the pie irons. There are many recipes, but we had peaches and blueberries, so we decided on a pie. Using Pillsbury Crescent Rolls, she wrapped the fruit, sweetening with brown sugar and honey. Putting them in two pie irons, I put them right in the coals. The recommendation is to cook for two minutes a side, but it just didn’t seem like enough, so I went for three a side. Slightly overcooked in the smaller, round iron, but perfect in the other. We split one pie and saved the other for breakfast. It was excellent, and the irons cleaned up easily. I can see why people rave about these.