We are camped right next to a huge “Chute” on the Mistasibbi River. I don’t know how many waterfalls are in this region, but it’s a lot. This one is more like a huge, class VI rapid. I’m surprised there aren’t raft trips, but if you made a mistake, that would be your last adventure. Last night I saw a crazy guy come up to it from below on a jet ski.
Riding our bikes about 10km north to Chocolaterie des Peres, we rode along the Riviere Mistasibbi, where it looks so calm and peaceful. There was a small airport for sea planes, and just north of that, houses had small planes docked like you would a boat. One can only imagine where they go, but like Alaska, it opens access to so many places north of here where roads do not go. There was one very old plane that looked like the old Grumman planes, which were so highly regarded.
Arriving at the Friar’s Chocolate, we parked the bikes and started reading signs that were scattered around. They told the history of how the Trappist monks came to this region in 1892, farming and working the land. A giant fire caused by humans burned a huge area around the lake, but the side benefit was the growth of blueberries. For a long time, the monks canned blueberries and made taffy. Then they began making chocolate and covering blueberries, cranberries and marshmallows. Later they began making Easter chocolates and shipping all over the world. Before you can buy anything, they give you a quiz on paper, so we had to go back to the signs to get the right answers. We bought some chocolate-covered blueberries and blueberry syrup you can pour over ice cream or croissants.
After lunch, we decided to drive north along the Blueberry Bike Route. Martha wanted to get ice cream at the Creamery du Nord. There is an Abbey right next door, so I suspect monks make this chocolate and maybe the ice cream. I got a cup of dipped ice cream while she got soft ice cream dipped in chocolate. This was not your Dairy Queen cone. The chocolate on it was to die for. We drove along another beautiful river, stopping to find a place to throw a few lures, but couldn’t find access. Popular in this area are house tours, so we followed signs for a Christmas House. An odd-looking place, it had been deserted for some time as it was a long way from anything. The paved road turned into a big logging road, so we stopped to see if we could get back to town by crossing one of the two rivers we were between, but apparently we could not. While Martha was studying the GPS, a four-wheeler slowed down looking at us with the look of, “Are you OK?” I gave him the thumbs up and he zoomed off, followed by another four-wheeler. A pickup truck passed without hesitation, then another sped by going about 55mph. I laughed at a sign in front of us indicating that something was ahead 112km away on this dirt and gravel road! Later I learned this road follows the Mistasinni 100 miles to it’s origin.
Martha had taken Zan’s advice for using the crockpot to make dinner. We were glad dinner was ready any time we wanted it. it was a very good chicken and vegetables stew, along with toasted raisin bread we had bought au Pain restaurant in Baie St. Paul.