After leaving the Swan Lake Mosquito sanctuary, we headed off to get a coffee at Timmy's in Kirkland Lake Ontario. I never knew what the reason for Kirkland Lake was but this became immediately obvious passing a number of operating Gold Mines coming into town and seeing at least one new pickup truck, snow mobile, boat and ATV in every driveway..pretty prosperous town.
We left our overburdened trusty steed for a much need changed of oil and headed off for a stroll. Came across a few other interesting historical pieces describing the origin of the town. Back at the Speedy Lube we tried to ask our Franco service guys what the 101 was like in Quebec (60 km away), but they had never been to Quebec.. We opted for this route on a chance and it turned out to be a very picturesque drive down to North Bay. Holly our GPS pointed us down a short cut route to bypass North Bay on a secondary road to Mattawa...if we were about 500 lbs lighter it would have made a fun rally course. This was one of the key towns for the voyageurs to take a left hand turn up the Mattawa river to reach the fur grounds.
We found a great campsite on the shores of the Ottawa river to spend the night. Interesting to find other people travelling and to hear their stories.
We had a date to watch a pistol shooting competition that Nick was organizing the team from Land Force Western at the Connaught Range near Kanata. They had a fun competition that afternoon which involved 2 teams of 4 personnel in a team each with 2 magazines of 5 shells shooting at a set of 12 targets (some rules about who could shoot what complicated the proceedings), but team with all plates down first won.
One of Nick's teams won overall CF position (out of ~30 teams) and placed 2nd in the International...they were happy soldiers! We had an enjoyable evening with my Uncle Marcel and Aunt Jennette at their house in Kemptville where we were staying.
September 10, 2011
We collected Nick from his favourite pastime while in Ottawa...fishing in Shirley Bay on the Ottawa river.
The big family reunion followed hosted at Uncle Mike’s house in Gatineau. We were able to visit family not seen for years, uncles. aunts, cousins, second cousins...lots of food and family photos.
September 11, 2011
Trip to Merickville in morn with Marcel and Jenne to see the historic town and the locks on the Rideau Canal...this would be a great trip to travel the whole canal system.
Afternoon biking along the Ottawa river, with lunch in the Bytown Market and scenic sites with Nick was very enjoyable. Intense encounter with two angry pedestrians re: bike right of ways. A little fishing and dropping Nick off again.
September 12, 2011
It was a sad goodbye to our wonderful hosts Marcel and Jennette who gave us a whole new view of RVing.
Off we were to Quebec City to rendevous with Carmel. We caught up on the news from Sidney. Carmel treated us to dinner and dessert in the historic city, impressing us with her with French, but nothing caught on tape! We camped out in a motel near Montmorency Falls (higher than Niagara Falls).
September 13, 2011
Walked back to view the Falls and get a chance to try out the largest stairmaster ever!
Forward to the Gaspe with our first stop in Restigouche, but the weather was theatening and we whimped out to find a very reasonable motel with kichenette as it was starting to rain. We had an interesting walk through the town in the evening to see some of the historic sites.
September 14, 2011
We continued north onto the Gaspe peninsula with a side trip to the Grotto/Gorge near St. Leandre. We were worried that this was going to turn into a survival trip as the road kept deteriorating as we travelled down the diminishing tract, but turned out to be OK. We were rewarded with a stunning river gorge with ancient rocks.
Driving further north onto the Peninsula the coastal scenery was spectacular, with awe inspiring vistas around every corner.
We overnighted in Gaspe as the weather was distinctly not favourable for summer camping so again opted for non-tenting accommodation.
September 15, 2011
We stopped by to see the Champlian memorial in Gaspe...quite a quotation.....
and then drove onto Perce to see the rock.
Driving down the south shore we stopped in at the World Heratage site Miguasha to see an exhibit of extraordinary marine fossils. We ended the day at the Restigouche Hotel in Matapedia on another rainy cold evening. We ran into a couple from Michigan at the hotel that we had met earlier in the day at Perce and invited them up to the room have a nice chat over a glass of wine...it was a pleasant evening to meet new people. Elaine discovered that Daphne Greig remembered this town from living in NB and going there for skiing. Our room overlooked the confluence of the Matapedia and Restigouche rivers which are home to world class Atlantic Salmon fishing....fortunately this was off season so we could afford the room.