In the afternoon I drove the loop around our sector of the park to get a better idea of what it is like. Martha was happy to stay in camp. It was 3:00 when I left and planned to be back at 5:00, though I have learned over the years to never give a time. I turned left on Rt. 1 and soon found the junction of Rt. 14 and turned left. This road proved to be softer and gentler as it is hard-packed sand. This sandy soil made by thousands of glaciers crushing rocks is wonderful. The rains just go right through it, leaving few puddles and no mud. The truck happily glided along making hardly a sound. I stopped to look at lakes, tent huts, a campground, rivers and bogs. At first I didn’t want to drive any more gravel roads, but you just have to get over it. In Virginia if we drive a dirt road to a trout stream, we are quite happy. You have to think of this as miles and miles of sand and gravel roads that lead to hundreds of incredibly beautiful lakes that you can have all to yourself for a day or a week if you stay in a Huttopia. The best fishing is early and late, so I never saw a boat on a lake. Kelly belongs to a wonderful 65 acre fishing lake near West Point. There is an annual fee and there are work days. You have to have your own motor and report the numbers and kinds of fish that are caught. Think of this in that light. This is a HUGE area, all extremely-well managed for you. Now that I got the picture and understood better, I wanted to fish them all! There are so many, that it would be a lifetime project! This is a wonderful, beautiful park!
I was lost in the beauty and stopping to see lakes and take pictures. A truck with a trailer full of wood passed me, hurrying to deliver the goods while I was creeping along. To complete the loop, I turned left on a smaller, unmarked road that now looked like the road to RipRap in Virginia, only it was up and down hills. The Laurentides are mountains like the Blue Ridge that are older so they are beaten down with time. I put the truck in 4-wheel drive to get up the first hill. As I got to the top, I could see the tracks of another vehicle – probably the truck that passed me. With bushes scraping the sides of the truck, I thought I was on the wrong road. I looked at my watch. Suddenly there was a squirt of adrenaline. I remembered Genevieve saying it was an adventure getting to Lac Vierge, the small lake I wanted to fish. She said you need 4-wheel drive and there could be trees fallen over the road. Geez, if there was, assuming I was on the right road, I would have to turn around and go all the way back the way I came with no way to call Martha. As I crept along, I checked my GPS that has such a crummy map that it didn’t even show this road, but it did show lakes. I passed Lac Canard, which is on the map, but maybe this road was only to Lac Canard. What kept me going was the fresh tire tracks ahead of me. Well someone went through. After a while there was a trail marker and a sign that said Lac Vierge where we had hiked in the morning. I looked at the GPD and could see our morning track. Then I passed a turn to Lac Vierge and knew I was on the right road. On the GPS I could see Lac Normand in the distance…..with no road leading to it. At long last I ran into Rt. 1 and felt great relief! I arrived back in camp at 5:10.