Airstream Time

Exploring North America in an Airstream

Posts from the ‘Parc National du Mauricie’ category

Leaving Parc du National Mauricie

58℉ this morning with a high of 86.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

I prefer staying in a provincial or national park, but Rouillard Campground has grown on me. They gave us a nice, quiet spot, and they work very hard to make you comfortable and provide everything you need. Maybe a little early, but they are decorating for Halloween. Some people live here and go to every day jobs. Some are retired, while some come and stay all summer. Others, like us, are passing through. It is interesting to see the variety.

It rained very hard last night. I got up in the night to see if it was coming in the windows I had left open and closed one. Getting back in bed, I thought of those poor people camping along the lakes in Moricie. Having done it plenty of times in the old pup tents, there is nothing more miserable. Everything gets wet. If not in the tent, around the tent, and what if you have to go out to go to the bathroom? Sleeping in the Airstream in pouring down rain is such a luxury and even a pleasure, much like being in a house with a tin roof. When we got up, the sky was clear and it was a beautiful day. 

Mauricie is a beautiful park, but for me, La Faunique de la Mauricie is very special. I would love to come back!

 I have never worked so hard to find a campsite. For hours Martha and I sat at the WIFI cafe searching for something near Quebec City, but everything is full. It is the end of August and the kids will be back in school soon…..and it is hot! I asked if it was a holiday, but the answer was no. A nice lady at one of the campgrounds said many Canadians were traveling. They come to just vacation. They come to see Quebec City, and like us, they come to see Parc National du Jaques Cartier. You can get a site in the park in September! We had just about given up when we found a spot right next to the bathroom at Stoneham Campground, which is between Jaques Cartier and Quebec City. We booked it for three days, which was all we could get. We are hoping to get into Jaques Cartier after that. Maybe someone will cancel.

We drove south on Rt. 55 to Rt. 40 heading east to Quebec City, which is supposed to be 2 hours. The drive along Rt. 40 is beautiful with beautiful farmland, trees and glimpses of the St. Lawrence. Stopping once for gas and running to a big traffic jam in Quebec City, we made it three and a half. Of course there is road construction, and then people drive like crazy in the cities, so there was an accident. It is nerve-wracking enough driving a car in that stuff, but driving a truck pulling an Airstream will really try your nerves. We were fortunate to make all the right turns heading north of the city on Rt. 73, and then, poof, you are in the country and trees and forrest. Stoneham Campground is right off the road, and it is better than Disneyland for kids. They are happily floating tubes down one of the two streams surrounding the campground. There are playgrounds and a great swimming pool. Kids are riding bikes all over. Almost clipping the Airstream coming into the site, we backed into a shaded , tight area, but it was pretty. We took a walking tour around the campground before dinner – a big salad with chicken. 

They are the first idiots I have run into! I think they arrived late right across from us, where our heads were pointed. At 1:30 in the night, I was awakened by loud talking with no regard for their neighbors. They must have thought they were in their own homes. Surely they were not accustomed to a campground. After a while I got up, got dressed and looked out the window to spot the culprits. I knew Martha wouldn’t want me to go out there, and I didn’t know how to cuss them out in French, so I stuffed some Kleenex in my ears and turned on the Fantastic Fan on low, which did the trick. If I could make the truck backfire in the morning in front of their tent, I would!

Parc National du Mauricie

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

55℉ at 5:00 and high of 72℉

We decided on a hike today after getting off to a slow start. Martha picked a hike to Lac Waber, but you have to access it by canoe, so we tried another at the top of Lac Wapizagonke called View Brulis.  There is an iconic overlook on the other side of the parking lot where you see about half of the lake, which is a narrow lake that flows like a river. You could see canoe paddlers along the lake where there are eleven campsites you could sign up for. There are also canoe trails that connect different lakes and streams. This is really what defines the park. We groaned as we walked back uphill to the parking lot as we have hiked and biked a lot. The hike is about 7 hours, but our plan was to hike a while and turn around. We have brought rain to Canada, so there were wet, boggy areas where mosquitoes were hungry. Fortunately we had used a repellent lotion, which helped all the areas where we applied it, but the mosquitoes found all the areas where we had not. We decided to go to an scenic spot and then turn around, so the hike ended up being about an hour and 15 minutes, and that was enough for both of us. The temperature is great, but the humidity in the woods is high, so I was soaking wet when we got back. Carrying our lunch to the overlook, it was fun to watch people as they came and went. A nice 14 year-old boy smiled and said the usual Bonjour with a singing tone. His family was obviously a veteran outdoor group with good hiking clothes and backpacks that were well-worn. The boy had shorts on, and he looked like he had Chicken Pox from all the mosquito bites. This was the first time it had been bad, and it really wasn’t bad. I would say moderate. I am not taking another hike without my “Bub Pants”. 

We drove through the park to the other entrance, getting glimpses of other beautiful lakes and moose bogs. This is the park you want to come to if you like paved roads, a great visitors center at the east entrance, coffee shops and a food pavilion, and you want to put your canoe or kayak on one of probably a hundred lakes. There are guided trips and tours. I love those Huttopia and Hekipia tents, where you can stay for $120/night. We drove through the campground and it too is very nice, and they have electric! We stayed in Shawinigan at a campground called Rouillard because we needed a lot of laundry done and grocery shopping. Although I prefer staying in the parks, this is a nice campground with a different flavor. The owners are very nice. There is a very cute, little golf course that would have been fun to play. The problem with staying outside the park is you spend half the day traveling!  45 minutes to get there, 45 minutes to get back, and then a stop to get groceries and half the day is gone, but you just need to do it every now and then. 

It started to rain as we got back to the campground. We took showers and did another load of laundry. As we were on the road again tomorrow, It took me an hour to fix the broken closet door. Part of the plastic latch had been torn, so I couldn’t line it up quite right. Where the heck is Kelly! He’s the best fixer!