Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perce, QC

On Sept. 5th, we entered the province of Quebec. It wasn't an ugly drive, but it wasn't as dramatic as we'd somehow come to expect. Most of Hurricane Early had passed, but it was still a little cloudy/rainy.

Some cool house painting! The eagle has landed (well, almost).

Really like this one!

And here it is - the rock! Or should I say, Le Rocher! Rocher Perce is Pierced Rock in French. Made primarily of limestone, this is one of the world's largest arches in water. It is in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, near the tip of the Gaspe Peninsula.

Perce is a tiny town but is quite a tourist stop as the rock is a Quebecois treasure!

The view from our campground (Le Cote Surprise) - not bad, eh?! Our cg, in fact, was where many taxis brought their tourist cargo for their scenic vista stop.

Bonadventure Island. Or Ile Bonaventure. You can take a boat ride over to see one of the world's most important and largest gannet populations (there are also puffins). I wish we'd had time to do that, but we were only there for one windy night!

Looking out from our campground.

Some decommissioned coast guard buildings (and The Rock in the background...).

Pretty view on the other side of town. And if you look real close (on an enlarged view), you can see the road leading out of town - UPPPPP the hill! Was the steepest section we encountered on the whole trip. We opted to stay disconnected and drive separately up this part! Even so, Bill could only coax the RV into a mere 35 mph top speed! I hear it's even more exciting coming INTO Perce this way!

A closer look at that steep road!

And a closer look at that beautiful water! And such pretty clouds. We were only there for one day - alas! - but what a day it was! We just had so much to see and not much time to see it in, if we were to make it to Quebec City in time for Bill's flight on Sept. 13th! The Gaspesie is pretty big to get around so quickly!

Maybe Prudential should've used THIS rock for its logo/commercial! Pretty impressive chunk!

Another look at the coast guard buildings, from the point near the cross.

Just a picturesque house and spot.

Wow, and there's that gorgeous ocean again.

OK, so here I am on a high point of that steep road, coming back into town. Probably can't tell from this photo, but you'd better be sure of your brakes on this patch of road!

The Rock, the coast guard buildings, and a bit of the town - from above.

Another picturesque scene. OK, indulge the photographer will ya?!

You've seen it before, but here are some more! Just look at that water color!

I'd say the tourists are onto something here, wouldn't you??

And just to prove it was windy... Check out THIS "blow-dried guy!" (thank you Ross Perot for that perfect description of so many of our politicians!) :)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dalhousie Days

Hurricane Earl was fast catching up to us, so we decided we'd best lay low, and the best-sounding area and campground to do that in was the Inch Arran in Dalhousie. We did good. Dalhousie is right at the mouth of a narrowing (it goes from Chaleur Bay to even smaller Tracadish Bay) where Quebec meets NB. so it is very sheltered. The worst we experienced was light rain and a few breezes. No big deal. But if we'd tried to reach our next destination - Perce - we would've been exposed to some probably dangerously high winds (remember, we're in a very high profile vehicle!!) and our stay in Perce would've started out pretty miserably too (or so we heard from the folks further north/northeast). And Dalhousie was an interesting stop.

One of the many new tastes/products we had to try while in Canada was dill pickle potato chips. They weren't bad. Bill - and most of the children - loved them!

And just to show the full utilization of available (not much!!!) counter space...
And Tracky gets in the mood and gears up for our Dalhousie stay (you'll see...)

We got our very own lighthouse! Well, we did have to share it with the entire campground and public in general, but it was within walking distance, so we felt a certain ownership over it!

You can see how it's nice and sunny...

But then things changed...just like the weather...?!

The kitties check out their first Canadian lighthouse, totally unfazed by the wet stairs.

Hmmm, does that bird know they're on leashes??

Looking back from the lighthouse to our campground.

Hurricane Earl clearing out...and it's soon time to go again. Next stop - Perce in Quebec!

Bog Trail

One of Kouchibouguac's coolest jewels (well, it was kind of cool in the early evenings and mornings at least...) is its giant peat bog (makes up 21% of the park).

From the parking area, you walk (quickly) on a boardwalk through the (mosquito-infested) forest...

At the start of the bog, you can climb up the neato lookout tower.

What an unusual view!

Back on bog level and heading out on the boardwalk...

Look! Blueberries!!!! I had to sample a few... Yum!

And more of the cool pitcher plants and their weird flowers! Bogs are home to a lot of our strangest flora, including Venus fly traps, etc.! I wish I could've stayed longer and explored it more. I would've loved to have found some of those oddities and seen them in person in their home turf!

The pitcher part of the pitcher plants, and colorful mosses, etc..

What looks to be a baby (or bonsai) larch tree, amidst the moss.

One of a few little ponds.

And...Mr. Frog!

Bye Mr. Frog. Take good care of the bog for us!

Cushy what???

Kouchibouguac. National Park. Back into New Brunswick on Sept. 1st, where we stayed at this park on NB's eastern coast for a couple nights - and two VERY hot days.

Hurricane Earl was working its way towards us, pushing a bunch of extraordinarily hot air in front of it. Temps were around 95 degrees (34 Celsius) during the day. And unfortunately our site only provided 30 amps, so we had to do some energy management again in order to run our AC (means putting everything possible onto propane or just turning it off, period!).
As you can see, Scratty decided the coolest hang-out was in this newly discovered (because newly available...!) nest.

This is what it looks like in everyone's house that has cats, right? Pure silliness. But very entertaining!

Kouchibouguac (pronounced something like Cushy-boo-shzwack, or at least that's how I say it!) turned out to be a really neat place - just like so many other spots I was a little unsure of...! It had coastline, riverfront, "swamps/lagoons," sand dunes, grasslands, forest, and peat bog! Anything missing?? What a mix! Here's some of the shoreline.

Some of the lagoony areas, where the tidal flux is most evident.

Marshy area in the forest.

One of the neatest aspects of this park were the dirt and gravel bike paths/roads. Miles and miles of them.

Good reason to observe those bike speed limits! Other path users!!

Your guess is as good as mine!?! It's another tiny-big thing! (I'm sure if I knew more French, this would make total sense, but it's more fun to remain in oblivion on this one!)

Very nice boardwalk over grassy/marshy stuff to the shore.

At river mouth (of Kouchibouguac River).

Possibilities for fun...

Beach scene.

Nice picnic spot looking out at the coast. And you can see the forest is right there too.

How much wood would a woodchuck chuck... Yup, I finally get to see one up close! Looks almost just like a marmot (and they seem to have similarly bad eyesight! This guy let me get pretty close)! Very cute.

On our second day's stay, the beginnings of the storm started to show up. First, just as some pretty clouds. They didn't stay however - it wasn't until the next day that it started to get more serious and cool off (figures, eh?!).

More of the ubiquitous bike paths.

Despite the heat (and getting the first owie on our RV because of a short wooden post at our campsite), we really enjoyed our stay at this park. The beauty, the user-friendliness, the unusual mix of various land types, and a few really friendly fellow campers (there were also unfriendly campers, but they were more than compensated for by the nice ones!).