60℉ at 5:00 am and high of 72
Wednesday, August 24, 2016
We only signed up for two nights, so today we would either have to leave or find another site. Martine was again very helpful, finding us a place with now power for one night and then we could return to #50 the next night. The Visitor’s Center is very nice, quaint, with a little shop and chairs and couches to sit and read your emails. There are great tables outside with views of these magnificent mountains, but you can’t get WIFI outside. By the time we got back down, site #40 was vacant, so we moved. Martha fixed some sandwiches and we drove an hour through the park to take a hike to the Chutes on Riviere Malbaie. The more I see, the more respect I have for this great river. It flows north through the park, turns east and then flows south through another National Park, Haute Gorge, then on to the town of La Malbie before flowing into the St. Lawrence.
The hike is supposed to take 3 hours round trip, but some of that is viewing time at the Chute, and it is certainly a chute. A well-traveled path, it is graveled all the way and not a bad walk, although there are several steep ups and downs. We got a few more looks at the river along the way. My truck said it was a perfect 72 degrees with a great breeze. I work a very light fishing shirt and long pants thinking we would be walking a path. I don’t know what it is. Maybe the atmosphere is thinner, and it seems the humidity is much less, but if you are in the sun, it is very hot! If you are sitting in the shade, it is wonderful. We stopped at the Visitors Center and got another fishing permit. By the time we got back to the trailer, the truck said it was 78, but the thermometer said it was 98. The sun was hitting the trailer thermometer full bore, so it really isn’t accurate, but it does give you a feel for the heat. I took a cold water shower.
Deciding on the Cobb Grill to fix dinner, I got the charcoal going while Martha went for a shower. As we were getting ready, a park ranger knocked on our door. She said something about having to talk to us about something. Wondering what we had done wrong, we went out to meet her. She wanted us to come to her talk tonight on black bears, and she pointed out the sign on the table. She said the talk would be in French and her English wasn’t so good, but obviously there was a problem with a bear at the campground. Martha fixed another great meal of Pepper Steak, onions and squash. I cleaned up the Cobb Grill at a spigot a few sites down, and we cleaned the picnic table. It was now a beautiful, cool evening, so I walked the trash bag to the bin. Grizzly bears worry me, but I think of black bears like a giant Labrador Retriever. If they smell food, they will come and lick the grill, or take your bird-feeder down for a bunch of seeds. I’m sure a campground like this is good hunting grounds for a bear, but it’s not like a Grizzly in Yellowstone that will rip the door off a Honda go get a pack of Nabs. Again, though, I am happy to not be sleeping in a tent.
Martha and I looked at the map and decided to go north on 381 to Saguenay next. A lady at the shower house told her there were great bike trails there, and fiord cruises. Haute Gorge is only 50 miles from here, but you have to go back down to Rt. 40 and back up, so going north first makes the most sense, and there is a lot to see in that area. Where the Saguenay River meets the St. Lawrence, there are whale cruises.