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Thread: Long weekends

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Long weekends

    One great thing about living in Quebec is that we get to celebrate two holidays two weeks in a row in the middle of the summer : on the 24th of June it is the "St-Jean-Baptiste" and on the 1st of July, we celebrate Canada Day, which means...Two long weekends ahead!:-)

    Hum, what am I gonna do with all this extra time off? This weekend, one of my girl friends and I decided we should go on a canoe camping trip in western Quebec. It's been a while since I've done such a trip and as for her, she never tried canoe-camping. Needless to say it's going to be an interesting trip!:-) We decided to go to the Outaouais Region (about 4 hours west of Montreal and 1,5 hour from Ottawa) at the Réserve faunique La Vérendrye which, I believe is the biggest park in Quebec (13,615 km) and offers a choice of over 4 000 lakes for kayakers, canoe-campers and fishermen. We are going to canoe and camp along the shores of Cabonga Reservoir (404 km). There are about 800 km of canoe-camping circuits to explore and many many animal species to observe starting with birds, mooses, deers, bears, foxes and many more. Of course, I'll have my camera ready to capture as much as I can. I'll try to post some of them when I get back if I didn't drop it in a muddy hole somewhere down there.

    Next weekend, I was thinking about doing a little pic-nic at Lake Willoughby, VT and maybe drive to Cape Cod for a day at the beach. I'm open to any suggestion you might have about a day-trip to ME, NH, VT, CT or MA starting from the Montreal area. I'd like to avoid crowded and some before seen areas (Boston, Hampton Beach, Ogunquit, Mt Washington, etc). Too bad we don't have the 4th of July off too, I'd love to go under the Gateway Arch to watch the fireworks!

    Have a great evening!:-)

    Gen
    Last edited by Mark Sedenquist; 06-23-2005 at 05:44 PM. Reason: format error?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default You and Thurman are serious roadtrippers

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    Next weekend, I was thinking about doing a little pic-nic at Lake Willoughby, VT and maybe drive to Cape Cod for a day at the beach. I'm open to any suggestion you might have about a day-trip to ME, NH, VT, CT or MA starting from the Montreal area. I'd like to avoid crowded and some before seen areas (Boston, Hampton Beach, Ogunquit, Mt Washington, etc).
    You seem to take almost as many roadtrips as Gerald Thurman -- it is really amazing the places you can get in a few hours time -- Looking forward to those photographs and the field reports!

    Mark

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default I'm back!!

    We had a wonderful weekend, sunny and warm with just enough wind...except on Friday! It was so windy we weren't even going forward, it took us hours to cover a distance we would've done in less than half an hour! We slept not very far from Le Domaine the first day which is the main "service center", we picked a great campsite with a nice swimming area so we swam part of the afternoon, drank some wine and relaxed. It was needless to try to paddle further, it was far too windy anyway. We saw all kinds of animals : loons, beavers, squirrels, a bear, deers,...

    Our first night was quite stressful though. It was dark outside, we were getting ready to go to sleep in the tent when suddenly, we heard ab growling noise. We were terrified of course. We heard another growling noise and some water splashing (our cooler with all our food was tied to the canoe and secured with bungee ropes). I had my pepper spray, my knife and my whistle ready but I didn't feel very courageous... Then we heard foot steps, it was coming towards us. I tried to whistle but there was something stuck in the dran thing, I manage to remove it and I whistled real loud. Nothing. I whistled again and then somebody shouted "hello?"... It was not even a bear, it was just some guy from Ottawa who got very late at the gate of Park and it was the only free campsite he managed to find in the dark. I never was so glad to see someone, despite the fact that I usually don't like having to sleep beside other people when I go canoe-camping. The growling sound was actually him grunting trying to pull his kayak out of the water. It turned out, he was really nice and had traveled all around the world, we both talked for a couple of hours while my friend was snoring inside the tent:-)

    But we DID saw a bear, the next day, as we were paddling along an island, we saw a young cub up a small cliff looking down on us. When he realized we'd seen him, he went back in the woods before I had a chance to snap a good shot. We were supposed to sleep on that island at first...needless to say, we found another campsite for the night!:-) I think my friend liked her first canoe-camping experience, she was pretty good with the map too. As for me, I think I prefer my good old road maps!

    On our way back, the traffic jammed at about 250 km west of Mtl (the bad thing about having long weekends). So we made a "little" detour south towards Ottawa, through Ontario on I-417 (Ontarians don't celebrate St-Jean-Baptiste Day so there was no traffic there) and then to avoid Montreal we crossed the St. Lawrence River at Valleyfield. I really liked driving through the Outaouais Region : small towns, rural sceneries and hundreds of lakes. We spent 8 hours on the road on our way back while it only took us 5 hours to get there...So this was more like a road-canoe-camping-trip after all...:-)

    Gen
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    Last edited by Quebec Gen; 06-29-2005 at 10:13 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default Day trips

    Mark,

    -- it is really amazing the places you can get in a few hours time --
    Road tripping has actually changed my perspective on a few things like distance for example. A few years ago, Boston, Portland and even Quebec City seemed kind of far to me. Now, all these places seem right next door! I've been doing quick day trips to Boston, Maine, Hampton Beach and Cape Cod since I'm 16. I usually wake up early, I drive for 4-6 hours, spend a day at the beach (ME, NH or MA) or walking the North and South End in Boston and I'm back at 10-11 p.m. the very same day. I even managed to find some people who were "willing" enough to follow me on these trips and they actually enjoy them more and more. I actually have more and more requests for this summer, don't know if I'll be able to satisfy everyone!

    See? I'm working hard trying to find new people for our constantly growing road tripping community!:-) Ah, today would've been a great day to go at the beach, it is a beautiful 42 degrees (C) outside and very humid! But don't mistake me, I'm not complaining, I like that temperature, we're freezing 8 months a year here, so I really don't mind switching the other way around for a change!

    Have a great day!

    Gen

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Location
    Las Vegas, Nevada
    Posts
    10,060

    Default Great Field Report

    Quote Originally Posted by Gen
    we picked a great campsite with a nice swimming area so we swam part of the afternoon, drank some wine and relaxed. It was needless to try to paddle further, it was far too windy anyway.
    That always is my preference on a canoe trip! I enjoyed the tale of the scary intruder as well. Thanks for the photos.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Washington state coast/Olympic Peninsula
    Posts
    3,318

    Default

    Thanks for sharing, Gen. I'm still chuckling about the growling night-time visitor. I think I would have had to clean up and change before visiting with him! :-)

    Great photos, too.

    Judy

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