48.6667° N, 65.8333° W
I have been wanting to go to the Gaspesie area as long as I can remember. I tried twice; once in early 90’s. It was late in the fall, maybe even early December. I remember it was cold, snow was collecting on the road and my inner voice told me it was a bad idea to proceed. I listened and turned at Riviere du Loup towards New Brunswick and onward to Nova Scotia to see family.
Then 10 years ago, I had another opportunity when I was moving back east from Ontario. For two days I held out, slowly driving northward from Riviere du Loup, on to Rimouski, inching my way to Mont Joli. My wipers couldn’t keep up with the torrential rain and with a white-knuckle grip on the steering wheel, I squinted through the windshield to see the road. I gave up and turned towards the Acadian coast of New Brunswick and kept going on to Cape Breton.
Since then I have had time to do research and I am glad that I didn’t make it on either of those two occasions. I would have missed out on so many places. When I was young I thought, I will come back again. Now that I am older, I realize how quickly years fly by and chances to revisit places don’t come around as we would like, if ever. I am lucky the Gaspe stayed on my list of must-see places. Other than missing the hike to Mont Saint Joseph, in Carleton Sur Mer, I had a mishap-free marvelous vacation. I highly recommend visiting.
Should you be interested in retracing my road tour, I did it from June 28th to July 5th 2019. I choose to drive the Eastern loop. Heading north from Campbellton, New-Brunswick be sure to stop at Miguasha-UNESCO-heritage-site. Next up is Carleton-Sur-Mer. then Saint-Alphonse for a hike to falls over a suspension bridge. Getting belayed down into the cave at Saint-Elzear was an adrenaline rush. A large cross marks the spot where Christopher Columbus held his first Mass in Port Daniels-Gascons.
I spent two nights and three days camping in Forillon-national-park, hiking to Lands End. I recounted my moose encounter in Forillon-national-park and some more hiking along the coast line and lighthouse area in Forillion-national-park.
Nearing the most northerly section of the Gaspe, I found my first covered bridge and took in some local culture in Grand-vallee. The Saint Lawrence River is beautiful along the western coast, where I turned off and and headed into the chic-choc mountains of Parc-national-de-la-Gaspesie.
Within the park I attempted to hike to the top of Mont-Jacques-Cartier not only because it is the highest peak in Eastern Canada, but it is home to the last herd of caribou south of the Saint Lawrence River.
My 2020 vacation will be a month in Peru starting May 15th 2020. A lifetime of dreaming and two years of researching will finally become a reality. Until then please join me again as I explore new places. Happy travels from Maritime Mac.