29℉ at 6:00 and 60℉ at 3:00
It was a bit chilly when we started out hiking le mont Ernest Laforce, but soon after starting the climb, I started peeling off layers. It is all a graveled path, so it’s not so bad. At the top is a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains, two of which have snow on them. We talked with a young man, Guilliam, who has been hiking for a week, doing day hikes to see if he would like to take a long-distance hike. The longer hikes have huts with beds and mattresses and a wood stove. He was lucky to see eight Caribou on Mont Jaques Cartier, as there are only 80 on the south side of the St. Lawrence. He is a long distance truck driver and talked of the beauty west of Colorado. Today was an easy day for him – just an easy hike with no backpack. It was fun to exchange adventures with Guilliam.
After making our way back down, we visited the Gite du Mont Albert, a beautiful hotel with cute little cabins behind. Then we had a picnic lunch beside the beautiful Sainte-Anne’s River. We drove up Rt 14 through the Faunique, but it was a rough road, and some of it was washed out. It is also hunting season.
We spent a nice evening by the fire listening to some James Taylor and grilling a steak. A gentleman stopped by and talked about camping here in the 70’s when there was no park. He hiked Mont Jaques Cartier with a man who would eventually turn this into a park. Once he fished for salmon for five days, finally catching two fish.
It was still early when we climbed into bed with books. I thought of being young and hiking the Grand Traverse, a trail that goes across the park, carrying a big backpack. That would be quite a hike!
39℉ at 6:00 am, high 56
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
There was a beautiful sunrise over the bay at Bic National Park. After a few chores, we set out east on #132 to Parc National DE LA Gaspésie. This road is a good one, much better than I anticipated, and it often travels right on the coast of the St. Lawrence. Dotted with cute, little cottages overlooking the Fleuve. Some parts are flat while others are cliffs or rocky coast. It was a beautiful day and the water was clear and blue. There are many beautiful coastal drives in the world, but this one is one of the prettiest I have ever seen. Were we not pulling a trailer and trying to get somewhere, I might have stopped many times for pictures.
We found a pretty park to stop for lunch in La Halte Cap-Chat. It was about 50℉ with the ever-present cool wind off the St. Lawrence, so we ate inside. On the other side of the highway, the Chic-Choc Mountains loomed in the distance. Stopping at Sainte-Anne-Des-Monts, we filled the truck with gas and picked up some groceries at the Metro. Good thing we did because it’s a pretty good drive into the park, which covers a huge area with two Fauniques on either end. This is a park for hiking the mountains. It is the end of the Appalachian Range and the International Appalachian Trail goes through the park, ending on the coast. I never knew it went this far. The Rivière Sainte-Anne runs through the park, where Atlantic salmon run, and it is a gorgeous river.
We checked in at the Discovery Center with a very nice lady, who once again, patiently advised us where to go and what to see while we are here. Mont Jaques-Cartier is the second highest in Quebec at 1270 m, from which there must be a great view. After getting settled, we opted for an easy hike to Lac Aux Americaines, which was very pretty, looking more like a lake in the Rockies. Returning to camp, we made a fire and grilled a salmon fillet and potatoes, onions and mushrooms in foil.