Faire ses Adieux a, Merci La Belle Province

This post covers the last week and a bit of the MMM in the Province Quebec. I will say from our experience here that there is a great beauty in the geography of the province and our enjoyment of this was not hindered in any way by our decided lack of ability to communicate with people here in their native language of French. Without question our hosts went out of their way to steer us in the right direction. Merci!

Saguenay/ Lac St. Jean

August 22, 23 and 24

Arrived late afternoon in Saguenay on August 22, 2016 after a very scenic but hilly drive up Highway 75. Conveniently for some of us (BBB and DD) we parked right near a shopping mall so with not much time for anything else the girls managed to get in some shoe shopping!!!

The next day August 23, 2016 was very rainy so the day was spent doing laundry etc. and CC caught up with the last blog post. CC and LLL also scouted out a free dump and water site located at the Visitors Centre that we could use on the way out of town.

Our big trip in the area on August 24, 2016 was the 350 km around the well regarded vacation area of Lac St Jean. Lac St Jean is also a bicyclists haven as it boasts a 250+ km bike path around the lake. A problem we noted with the drive, like many other scenic drives we have taken is that the view of the lake is for the most part obscured by vegetation that has grown up over the years. Despite this there were many worthwhile sites and activities on the drive including some great rapids at Dolbeau-Matissimi where we stopped for a picnic lunch and the Visitors Centre there where we stopped to buy some farm fresh delectable blueberries.

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the rapids

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statues at the Visitors Centre

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One of our goals on the drive was to visit the White Falls at Girardville, as advertised in the local Guidebook as a place to see. After a 175 km drive to Girardville we were advised that the waterfall was actually another 112 km farther up an old forest road and would take another 2 hours. A quick vote vetoed this plan. One inclined to witticisms might be inclined to claim that the information in the Guidebook was perhaps “fallsified”. Another miss for us on this trip was a visit to the renowned Saguenay Fjord National Park.

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BBB visited the falls vicariously

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not a good place to run out of gas

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half human – half tree = the root of all evil

Andre Acres RV Farm Campground

A return trip down Highway 75 on August 25, 2016 brought us to the town of Trois Riviere for an overnight stay and a walk through the old downtown area on August 26, 2016 before making our way to Andre and Danielle’s “RV farm campground” where we would spend 3 nights enjoying the peace and quiet and the sleep enhancing dark night skies. We enjoyed an early morning country road walk on the morning of August 27, 2016 which Andre discretely steered us away from the local nudist camp.

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art in the Trois Riviere waterfront park

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the old prison used until 1955

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LLL plays to an audience of none

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statue outside the cathedral

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the opulent interior

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not sure DD should be at the Saints Door

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Cenotaph outside the Post Office

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pay toilettes downtown

Later in the morning RRR (Roland the Rocking Raconteur) and AA (Amorous Arlette) arrived back from their home in nearby Magog for another night of camping as they would celebrate their 45th Anniversary the next day. The rest of the day was spent sitting around and chatting and catching up. Andre also took the men folk on a tour of his summer project which has been the installation of a 5000 watt generator in the front compartment of his 5th wheel. This was basically a one man project that most mortal (sane) men would never have taken on and is a marvel of Andre’s innovation and ingenuity. The day ended with RRR’s musical entertainment around the outside wood stove. RRR was particularly brilliant with his rendition of one of CC’s favourites, Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row that left us blowing in the wind. Regardless that RRR had not sung this little ditty in a number of years he was able to get through all 10 meanderingly worded verses with only a couple of minor hiccups.

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Andres Acres RV Farm Campground

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BBB catches the group dining out

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the Campground owners

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RRR and AA ready to entertain

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waiting for the show

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RRR finally gets it going

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Andre’s work is never done

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DD’s Art Deco photo of the week

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the Anniversary Kids #45

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CCC seems to have BBB and LLL transfixed with something or other

RRR and AA headed back to Magog on their anniversary August 28, 2016 while we headed into town to pick up some supplies. On our way in to town we stopped by a farm just down the road and took in a Canine Frisbee Competition. Some of them dogs were really good.

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chasing down the target

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I know its up there, isn’t it???

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GOT IT

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GOT IT

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it’s a bit easier this way

Sadly, it was again time to leave the Farm Campground and our delightful friends and accommodating hosts Andre and Danielle but we will see them soon again in the desert. A very short drive on August 29, 2016 however took us to Magog and a visit to the humble abode of RRR and AA. Humble may not be the correct adjective as RRR and AA reside in a condo which provides a luxurious view of the park like condo grounds and Lac Memphremagog. After sharing an indoor picnic lunch we headed out for a tour of the grounds and downtown Magog.  RRR and AA also kept us entertained with quite interesting tales of their time spent living in the little known African country of Djibouti.

view of the rigs from RRR and AA's balcony

view of the rigs from RRR and AA’s balcony – RRR and the Captain caught outside the gate

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the Lac Memphremagog Lake Serpent

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the harbour at Magog

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this guy traveled along way to get there

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along the harbour walk

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a strange bird seen

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and then another one drinking chocolate milk

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these kids have been sitting here a very very long time

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Arlette’s pet turtles near the condo

A short visit, but it was nice to visit the homes of friends we have met in the desert. And as with Andre and Danielle we look forward to seeing RRR and AA later this fall at Imperial Dam. An overnight stay in Granby and another free sani-dump and water fill and we were on our way heading east on August 30, 2016 and within a couple of hours we crossed into Ontario where we would hole up at Cornwall for a couple of days before moving back up to Ottawa on September 1, 2016 for the Labour day weekend.

By stubbs99

Quebec City Not So Hip, Tragically  

Made our way leisurely to Levis (just south of Quebec City) on Friday August 19, 2016 with big plans for the weekend.  A bit of a shock to the system what with all the traffic and crazy drivers here. Besides intending to see the sights this weekend we had 2 grand celebrations to look forward to. First would be to watch the final Tragically Hip concert on Saturday night and then get up on Sunday to celebrate BBB’s 66th birthday.

CC diligently checked the CBC website which ensured that the concert would be broadcast on the whole CBC television network. Streaming is not an option when you are on a mobile internet plan so old fashioned TV was the only way to catch the concert. So there we were camped out in the Walmart parking lot at the appointed 8:30 pm Eastern Time with our popcorn and beer ready to sing along with the rest of the country. TV is on and tuned to CBC as we sat eagerly waiting for the cut from the Olympics to the concert. Unbelievably the cut didn’t happen. What a bummer. Seems the whole CBC network doesn’t necessarily include Quebec City?? I mean really why would you not want to join in with the rest of the country for a once in a lifetime event.

At least BBB showed up for her 66th although after listening to her and DD for the past 7 weeks go on and on and on about some kind of Princess syndrome her and DDs Bon Fetes seem a bit rosier in the rear view mirror.

Old Quebec City

We took the 10 minute ferry from Levis to Old Quebec City on August 20, 2016 and spent a good part of the day wandering and seeing as much of what the Old City had to offer as we could take in. Lots of walking up and down hills in the plus 38 degree humid X heat and we did get to take a tour of the old St Louis Forts which the remains of now lay beneath the Governors Promenade. Amazing to see the partial walls and rooms that were built over 300 years ago and some of the over a million artifacts that have been found on site,  most of which were found in the 2 latrines of the castle.

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Chateau from the Levis ferry

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the Princesses??

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Saint Louis Forts

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rooms of the fort

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artifacts from the fort

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Quite the place to wander about what with all the very old buildings still intact and some still in use and enjoy the splendid architecture of the Chateau Frontenac, the Citadel, the Basilica, the monuments and of course the famous Plains of Abraham. DD, BBB and LLL also imbibed in that cholesterol inducing Quebec favourite “poutine” at lunch while CC settled for a much healthier plate of regular fries. It was a long tiring day as we headed home to take in the Hip concert. See above!!!

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in the doors on bottom left in photo above

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Plains of Abraham Museum

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Samuel de Champlain

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toboggan slide from 1884 and still used

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the “poutine”

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DD and Bohomme

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no comment

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street performers

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a new doorman at the Chateau Frontenac

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street art

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on the ferry home

Montmorency Falls

As beautiful as it is,  Quebec City is still a fairly big and busy place and not a place to commune with nature. So to get in some communing with nature and make sure BBB had a more relaxing day for her birthday on August 21, 2016 a trip out of the city to Montmorency Falls would be just the ticket. And it certainly was a trip worth taking as the falls, although not as wide and powerful as Niagara (they are 30 metres higher however) are much easier to get up close and personal with as the walk over the top of the falls on a suspension bridge will attest.

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BBB dreaming of her birthday moose

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but gets a not so reasonable facsimile instead

Video of the falls.

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first view of the falls

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the staircase

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DD pauses for a rest (and we were going down?)

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the footbridge from above

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a long way down

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the end of the zipline

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In a contest between the city and the falls CC definitely would vote for the falls.

A pretty short stay for us in Quebec City considering what we didn’t get to see but rain is moving in and we are headed north to Saguenay on August 22, 2016 as our MMM traveling days gets shorter in number and we still have quite an area we want to cover.

By stubbs99

Gaspé(ing) for Breath

A long drive??? ahead (360 km) for LLL as we make our way on August 13, 2016 along the Gaspé coastline heading for our next local somewhere near the village of Gaspé. As we made our way along the Coast, LLL took over the lead and made what turned out to be a fortuitous error. LLL failed to see the NO TRUCK sign and missed the large vehicle bypass so we continued along and stumbled down into the little village of Percé which just happens to be the location of the magnificent Percé Rock. With nowhere to park in town we headed up a gear grumbling (down to 1st for CC) 17% grade where in short order we found a couple of sites at the Cap Rouge RV Park. A quick setup and we headed back to Percé for our 2nd stroke of luck on the day as we were just in time for low tide which presented a one hour opportunity to walk out to the “arch” in the Percé Rock. Despite the opportunity only CC successfully made the trek by wading through sometimes waist deep water to the arch and back.

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scenes along the Gaspe heading toward Perce

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our first view of Perce Rock

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a windy bendy road with the PP leading the way

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jellyfish washed ashore

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weird rock formations along the shore

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CC with Perce Rock in background

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DD gets her turn

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walking along the base of Perce rock

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BBB and LLL on the land bridge to the Rock

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CC just about back form the trip to the arch

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and very wet

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old building downtown Perce

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CC as the “old salt”

Continuing our stay at the Cap Rouge RV Park on August 14, 2016 we spent the day touring and taking in the sights around the Forillon National Park including the little known WW2 Fort Peninsula.

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BBB in the tunnel to the gun

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overhead view of the tunnel

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LLL inspects the big gun

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old abandoned cookhouse

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BBB looking for “sea glass”

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along one of the many beaches in the park

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and another lighthouse

On our way back to the campground we drove through a small town Griffin, that apparently had a scare crow contest. We counted well over 40 of these creatures in yards along the roadway.

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At the end of the day we stopped into the village of Gaspé and were treated to some really fine small town entertainment at the Festival Musique du Bout du Monde. We really enjoyed listening to the Chilean folksinger Akawui and watching M.Gazon a “circus tightrope juggler” who can be seen performing in the 3 following videos.

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the old sanatorium above Gaspe

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little red riding hood and her dog???

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talk about the “odd couple”

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always in tandem

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Akawui on stage

After laundry and other housekeeping chores we made the short trip into Gaspé on August 15, 2016 in preparation for another humongous drive the next day to Matane which we would use as a layover on our way to Rimouski. August 16, 2016 also was the 89th Birthday of MODD (Mother of Debbie Dewdrops) and despite her devotion to the Toronto Blue Jays, we called and wished her Happy Birthday. It should be noted that DD is also a Blue Jay fan!

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anyone for a roller coaster ride

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back on the St. Lawrence Seaway

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perhaps the lost “Noah’s Ark”???

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giant jax

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beached whale

We arrived noonish at the Walmart in Rimouski on August 17, 2016 which gave us time to do a bit of sightseeing at the Site Historic Quebec which included the Empress of Ireland Museum, the Onondoga and the Pointe au Pere Lighthouse.

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heading down into Rimouski

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Pointe au Pere Lighthouse

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LLL and BBB climbed the 130 steps to the top

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as did DD and CC

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views from the top

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looking down the spiral staircase

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the Onondoga

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the crew of the yellow submarine BBB, LLL and DD

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CC finally found a fish he likes

We also backtracked a little to Sainte Flavie to visit the “Grand Gathering” a memorial to the passengers of the Empress of Ireland which we wanted to see after our visit to the Empress of Ireland Exhibit at Pier 21 in Halifax.

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the Grand Gathering Artist’s home

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DDs Art Deco photo of the week

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the artist at work on another project

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things seen onthe roadside on the way back to Rimouski

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By stubbs99