Driving to Gaspè

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30℉ at 6:00 with a high of 72

We packed up and headed out to Gaspè by 9:30. Martha had read about a few things she wanted to see along the way. We have no cell service here, and I can’t connect to Sepaq’s (the parks) WIFI, so we aren’t sure where we will camp, or how long it takes to get there. We would just have to figure it out on the way. 

This is a beautiful highway to drive, right along the St. Lawrence, which is now the Bay of St. Lawrence. You can no longer see the other side. Pretty little villages are in every cove, each with its picnic area and walkways. It was a beautiful day with clear blue sky and ocean. We were amazed with some of the tiny houses sitting on a cliff overlooking the ocean, usually with two Adirondack chairs and a fireplace strategically positioned. Fishing, tourism and logging are the main jobs.

The last hour and a half of the four-hour drive was up and down steep mountains, then back down, always with big curves and a village at the bottom. It’s a bit stressful wondering how the truck will hold up, watching all the gauges and praying for the brakes to continue working. By the time we stopped for gas near the end of the trip, I talked to a nice dump truck driver while we both filled our tanks. He commented that Virginia is a long way away. I said it must be tough driving these difficult hill and curves, and he smiled, saying it is tough, but from here south and all around the other side, it is flat. Yippee!

We camped at Camping des Appalaches, checking in with the nice couple who own it, but they close tomorrow for the season. Fred told us things would start closing now. They told us of a good restaurant, Cafe L’Anse Griffon and two places to buy seafood. They also told us where to go in the park and the must-do hikes. 

After lunch and a quickly reading emails, we learned my sister had a fall and Laura spent a long day at the hospital with her while they ran all the tests. Apparently she is fine, but it is probably part of the disease process. So sad!

We drove to Forillon National Park, which is a Canadian National Park, not a Quebec National Park. I don’t know how they do it, but another very nice lady told us all about the park. We were happy there were available campsites, so we will move tomorrow. We drove through the campground and it is absolutely beautiful. There were two areas, one with electric and one without services. Almost everyone was in the serviced area, but the unserviced area is really pretty, with big, grassy areas. We passed a spot where a tent was set up and a roaring fire going with two chairs in front of it. They had the whole campground to themselves with a great view of the bay. Driving down toward the tip of the Gaspè Penninsula in the park, there is an incredible viewing area where the International Appalachian Trail comes to an end, the mountains meeting the sea in dramatic fashion. We were both excited about exploring the park. On the way back to camp we stopped at the Cafe L’Anse Griffon for a great dinner of grilled cod. It was a good day, but felt a bit guilty with the day Laura and Gayle had.

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