It was 10:06am. I’d been on the road right at two hours and it occurred to me I had no idea how many times I’d already thought—or said out loud—”God, this is so beautiful!” The drive from Saint Simón north up highway 132 for the most part hugs the shore of the Saint Lawrence River and then the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. It’s truly a wonderful road and it’s a wonder I didn’t drive off it because I couldn’t keep my eyes from looking at the incredible scenery. While it’s different, Quebec Highway 132 rivals Highway 1 in northern California. What an absolute pleasure to experience this byway. I took my time and eventually made my way to a cool little campground near Parc National Peninsula Forillon at the northeast tip of the huge peninsula. It was a 250 mile drive over the course of about seven hours and, no kidding, every bit of it was fantastic. Man, oh, man it was nice!
After I settled into the site—without disconnecting it was just a five minute chore—I took the short walk 75 steps down a wood staircase to the seashore. Really pretty and cool to imagine how big the waves can get to toss trees up onto the higher surf line. While this day was gorgeous, I imagine it can get rather raw out there! In total lazy mode, dinner was a repeat of the pork loin I’d grilled the night the before and prepared pasta salad I had picked up at at the grocery store. Paired withed a tasty Blackwells stout from nearby Microbrasserie Au Frontibus, which I picked up at the campground store, I was a happy camper. Watched a downloaded episode of Better Call Saul before hitting the hay.
Saturday I completed my cirque of the Gaspé Peninsula, heading south down the east side, following the coastline as it curved its way around many large bays formed by the lobster-claw shape of the land mass. Very cool little villages and towns, mixed with forests and river crossings. The scenery never got dull. About 1:30/2:30 I left Quebec Province in my mirrors and crossed the Rivière Ristigouche (at least that’s what it looks like in small print on a crinkled map) into New Brunswick and the Atlantic time zone.
With a choice of continuing to hug the shoreline or taking the slightly inland and faster Highway 11, I opted for the latter, ready to find camp. About 20 minutes into that road I came upon a wreck that had just happened. A car had gone off into the ditch & trees and was on fire. Since six or eight cars had already stopped, I figured I couldn’t add much to the aid effort other than to lift up a prayer for everyone’s well being. I knew it was the best thing to do.
Outside the town of Bathurst I stayed in a campground that was, how do I put this properly . . . Twilight Zoneish. Funky little restaurant from the ’60s or early 70s maybe, creepy miniature golf course, lots of long-term campers, some with not just decks and patios but ponds, fountains, dog runs. And, in August, lots of Halloween decorations! In for just the night again (thankfully!), I pulled onto my assigned site and left the truck and B coupled together (except I always disconnect the power tether while parked for a while, never knowing what kind of “power play” B might make when I’m not paying attention!).
Overall, my tour of Gaspé Peninsula added right at 400 kilometers (roughly 250 miles) at a fuel cost of $252. Worth every fuel sucking cent! In the morning I’m attending trailer church and then heading out for a few days, give or take, on Prince Edward Island, my next major stop!