I am in no rush, as I enjoyed the drive along the sea cliffs heading west from Forillion-National-Park, but I have become very mindful of the gas gauge hovering close to the empty line. With the truck in 2nd gear, I coast down a rather steep grade. When I see the sign for Grand-Valle, I am relieved to be approaching a populated area.
“Bonjour,” I greet the lady at the counter of the tourist information center. ” I read that you have a covered bridge in town and a rock that looks like a human face, is this correct? I also desparately need a gas station and a bank machine.”
“Oui,” she grabs a map of the town and circles the gas station and bank machine in relation to our current location. She speaks with a heavy French accent and overwhelms me with info. “Pont couvert Galipeault……; Le Gisant,….. Promenad du parc Alexis-Caron.” I think I have a grasp of where everything is, and I thank her and head out in search of the gas station.
Shaking the hose, I let the last of the fuel release from the nozzle then rack it back into side of the pump and make my way into the old-style service station to pay. A Mercedes is up on a hoist in one of the two service bays, an air compressor is loud, cutting on and off. Behind the shopkeeper is a wall adorned with old licence plates from Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick, Manitoba and one from Vermont, along with some vehicle emblems from Ford, Cadillac and BMW. It gives off a feel of a long-serving family business. I nod and say “Merci!” as I exit.
Sitting in the driver’s seat, I try to recall the lady’s instructions. I think I have to turn up the road with the enormous church, Eglise Saint-Francois Xavier. It is not where the rock sculpture is, but I do find the bank in a brand new building, quite a contrast from the gas station.
I pause again to stare at the map, but all the locations are written in French. With only the gas station, visitor info and bank circled, I am at a loss as to where I should go to find the rock Sculpt.
The map identifies De la Riviere Road as the access to the covered bridge and I make my way there. Tucked in behind the town are well-maintained residential homes. Flower pots flank porch and garden seating areas. Lilac trees are in full bloom, crowding the sidewalks. I pull over and take a few photos of the bridge. In spite of the spring flowers, it is darn chilly out. Add a breeze and a bit of drizzle, I have lost my desire to walk the trail along the river.
I drive up the hill to the place the map identifies as Belevedere-Halte routiere. Here is a far away panoramic view of Grand-Vallee. Apparently the rocky mound on the beach, in front of the sea cliff, is the rock that resembles a human face. I couldn’t find the trail to the beach. Perhaps I will get back another time. Please join me next as I camp and hike in the Chic-Choc mountains.
Happy travels from Maritimemac
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