Category Archives: Quebec

20220708 – Parc national ‘ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher-Perce

FRIDAY 08 July

Rocher (the rock) from Bonaventure Island.

Our plan for today was to take a boat ride around “Parc national ‘ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher” (National Park Bonaventure Island and Rock) just off the coast of Perce, Quebec.  Linda’s research last night indicated that there were two boat companies doing these rides and providing service to/from Bonaventure Island.  She was going to make a reservation for the four of us, but they could only be made for parties of 20 or more, and appeared to be unnecessary anyway.  The cost would be 45$ per person for a 75 minutes narrated tour around the Rock and Island with the option of getting off the boat onto the island to hike and visit historic buildings.  Otherwise, the ride back to Perce was an additional 15 minutes.  The “Rock” and the island, together, make up the “Parc national ‘ile-Bonaventure-et-du-Rocher,” a Quebec provincial park, so exiting the boat onto the island would mean paying the 9.50$ per person provincial park entrance fee.

Birds on the east cliffs of Bonaventure Island (Linda). Photo stylized as an oil painting.

The rock is an iconic, often seen symbol of the province, and the island is a significant bird sanctuary.  With over 250 species recorded (migratory or nesting), the highlight of the island is the birds that nest in the cliff faces.  In particular, the island is a major nesting place for the Northern Gannett with over 50,000 pairs recorded this season.  But there are also Cormorants, Kittiwakes, and many other species.   It is one of those “wonders of the natural world” that we thought would be well worth the 90$ to see.  And it was.

Bonaventure Island cliffs—steep and rugged—with a few birds.

Paul and Nancy decided not to hike on the island and returned to the mainland for an early lunch while we went ashore.  We could have paid our entrance fee in cash, but a QR code marked “English” took us to the Sepaq website (Parcs Quebec) when Linda made a “reservation,” paid the fee, and got a confirmation code.  There was a gift shop, café, and restrooms in the dock area.







Northern Gannetts nesting on the cliffs of Bonaventure Island.

The Bonaventure Island cabin of artist Kittie Bruneau.

There was a system of trails on the island, three of which went over the top of the island and through the woods to the other side where the nesting cliffs are located.  These trails had enough elevation gain that they were all marked “intermediate.”  A fourth trail ran parallel to the coast facing Perce and was lined with the homes and other buildings of the community that once existed here.  Most of the buildings were well preserved and maintained.  Some were open for hikers, and others are opened only for escorted tours.  The island became a bird sanctuary in 1919 by international treaty, and the last human inhabitants were removed in the early 1970’s.

Bruce on the trail next to a Cow Parsnip plant.


There was a plant that we thought was giant Queen Anne’s Lace, but Google Lens identified it as “Cow Parsnip.”  (We had an excellent cellular signal on the island.)

Our boat left the mainland dock at 9 AM and arrived at the Bonaventure Island dock around 10 AM.  The available return boats after that were at 11:30 AM, 1 PM, 2:30 PM, and 4 PM with the final return passage at 5 PM.  We decided to  hike the coast trail for the views and photo opportunities, with the goal of taking the 1 PM boat back to Perce.


A Grey Seal takes a look around.

Along the way, we discovered informative signs about the history of the island and its inhabitants.  We also saw quite a few Grey Seals.  Their Latin classification is “Halichoerus grypus” which translates as “hook-nosed sea pig.”  They are a “true (earless) seal.”  Locally they are apparently referred to as “horse seals” as the shape of their heads resemble that of a horse.  They are not small animals, growing to a length of 10 feet, weighing up to 4,400 pounds, and eating 22 pounds of food (fish, squid and eels) per day.  They are curious creatures, and were often positioned vertically with the heads out of the water so they could look around and watch the passing boats and hikers.

Chalets Camping Nature Ocean on the hillside as seen from Bonaventure Island. Our Airstream is upper left in the yellow oval.

Since we could see the entire length of the island from our campsite, we figured we could see our campsite from the island.  I was fairly sure I had found it, but this photo confirmed it.  Our travel trailer is in the little yellow oval in the upper left corner.

We were back in the dock area by 12:15 PM, got something to drink and split a piece of raspberry bread while waiting for the 1 PM boat.  We visited the gift shop (boutique) looking for post cards, but they did not have any.  There was a larger boutique back in Perce, and Linda found several post cards there for our youngest grand-daughters.

Paul and Nancy had lunched at “La Maison du Pecheur” near the dock and were relaxing in some large wooden lounge chairs on the boardwalk, waiting for us to come back.  They had already walked the town, and we were not interested in window shopping, so we headed back to camp.  Since they had dined out, and everyone was a bit tired, we agreed to each take care of our own dinner this evening and retreated to our respective homes on wheels.

Rain was forecast to begin around 2 PM so I put the stinger in the F-150 receiver, stowed the two foldup lawn chairs in the truck bed, and positioned the truck with the stinger ready to back into the trailer hitch in the morning.  Linda took a load of laundry over to their rig.  We then settled in to get some work done.  Linda entered receipts in Quicken and reconciled bank balances while I worked on blog posts.  Dinner was a simple affair, after which Linda read and I continued to work on blog posts.  I was going to start reviewing e-mails and cleaning up my e-mail inboxes, but it’s a long and somewhat tedious task and I was too tired to start.

Rain was still in the forecast through 11 PM, and finally started at 9:15 PM with a flash lightning and thunder.  But we should have dry conditions for our final departure preparations in the morning.  We plan to pull out around 10 AM.  Check-in time at our next stop is 2 PM, and the drive is only about three hours, but we will be crossing into New Brunswick, which is currently on Atlantic Daylight Time where it is an hour later than here in Perce.

20220707 – Forillon National Park and Gaspe, Quebec


There were several reasons we booked an RV park in the Perce area:  1) It was a good distance from Saint-Anne-des-Monts, 2) our research had not turned up good options near Gaspe, and 3) It wasn’t too far from Forillon National Park (FNP).

The park was our focus for today.  We had to drive back north through Gaspe and then east into the park.  This should have taken about and hour but was closer to 90 minutes due to a detour around a bridge closure.  The sky was clear, the sun was warm, and the winds were mild.  A perfect day to visit a park and go hiking.

FNP is a true national park run by Parks Canada.  It occupies the easternmost tip of the Gaspe peninsula and, like all national parks, exists to protect a unique landscape, habitat, or cultural/historic site.  It also provides recreational opportunities when and where appropriate.  Even though most of the park is inaccessible, even to backpackers, FNP ticked all of those boxes.

The marsh by the west entrance and visitor center at Forillon National Park (Parks Canada).

Our first hike was out a narrow spit of land with the Bay of Gaspe (and a beach) on one side, and a marsh on the other.  We walked along the beach for a while and then found the trail and the marsh observation shelter.  FNP is heavily forested with a large and diverse flora.  Black Spruce thrive here, a tree normally only found much farther north in Canada or in Russia.

The Gulf of St. Lawrence from eastern end of Forillon National Park (at or near the eastern most point of the Gaspe peninsula).

We then drove over the mountains (on QC-132) to the main visitor center on the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  We hike a boardwalk trail, complete with informational signage.  Three of us then hiked out to the Irish Memorial (1.2 Km round trip), erected in remember of the lives lost when the ship “Carricks” sank of this very spot in the 1840s, loaded with people from County Sligo, Ireland trying to escape the potato famine and establish and new and better live in North America.

The “Irish Memorial”. Erected to remember those who perished when the sailing vessel “Carricks” sank just off the coast at this point, in sight of land after sailing from Ireland in the 1840s.

Though limited, we were satisfied with our time in the park and the time it took to get here was worthwhile.  On the drive back to camp we also noted that there appeared to have been more options to camp in the Gaspe area, including in FNP itself (although not with Paul and Nancy’s big rig) as well as many rental chalets.  We all agreed that we could have spent more time in this area, and would like to return someday.

We stopped in Gaspe for fuel and to do some minor grocery shopping at an IGA.  A minor disappointment was that we had not allowed time to just drive around a bit and see the city, which looked charming.

It was a long day for us, having left camp at 9:30 AM and returned at 5:45 PM.  We had already agreed on leftovers for dinner, so minimal preparation was needed for the evening meal.  I took the time before we ate to investigate the loose propane tank cover.  Fortunately, the threaded rod was not loose at the base.  The special nut on top that was slightly loose, but could not loosen any further due to a locking mechanism.  I removed the lock, repositioned the tanks slightly, tightened everything back down, and locked it.

There was already a chill in the air, but we decided we needed to have a campfire because, well, camping.  Paul drove to the campground office (it’s a long walk from our sites) and bought a bundle of firewood.  He built a nice fire—one of the best so far—and we enjoyed it until it dwindled and the cold became dominant once again.  We retired to our respective rigs and I think we were all early to bed as we had plans to head out earlier than usual to take a boat trip to the Rock and Bonaventure Island.

20220706 – Ste-Anne-des-Monts to Perce, QC


Today was the beginning of our third week on the road, which is about half of the time we will spend caravanning with Paul and Nancy and a bit less than a quarter of our total planned trip.  It was a repositioning day, leaving Camping Ancre Jaune in Saint-Anne-des-Monts, Quebec and driving to Chalets Camping Nature Ocean in Perce, Quebec.  We have three nights booked here, our last in the province of Quebec for this trip.

There was a possibility of rain overnight into this morning, so I did most of the exterior departure preparation last night.  The rain did not materialize in the morning, so it did not take long to finish the departure process in relative comfort.  It was strongly overcast, however, and remained so for the entire trip.

Our route was mostly QC-132 along the northwest coast of the Gaspe peninsula, with occasional turns inland to go around bays or headlands that plunged into the sea.  At one point we were even in the clouds!  Most of the bays had towns along them, and were fed by rivers flowing down from the mountains.  It was the most dramatic scenery of the trip so far.  It was a challenging but fun drive.

We saw a lot of this on the drive today. 14% grade with sharp turns and low speed limits at the bottom.

Challenging?  Yes, our most challenging drive yet, and the truck performed well.  The road was very good, the best stretch of QC-132 so far, but was rarely straight and had lots of ups and downs.  There was quite a bit of road maintenance taking place as well, and it seemed that every small town had a major bridge repair underway, reducing traffic to one lane controlled by stoplights at either end, perhaps a dozen places in all.  There was even one repair that was long enough to require an escort vehicle.  But it all went smoothly, and we were able to travel 90 KmPH much of the time, slowing down to 80, 70, or even lower (55, 45, 35) for some curves, which always seemed to be at the top or bottom of steep grade.  It was nice to have to slow down to 50 KmPH (~32 MPH) going through the towns as I was able to see them a bit better.

The sign is for a 17% grade downhill into Perce, QC.

Speaking of grades, this stretch of road had them.  7% to 10% grades were common, and we saw at least one 12% and one 14%.  And these were just the ones going down.  Uphill grades are not marked and there were an equal number of them.  The winner, however, was the final descent into Perce, at 17%.  While steep, most of these grades were not very long.  The F-150 powertrain (3.5L V6 twin-turbo ecoBoost with 10-speed, multi-mode transmission) handled all of the climbs and most of the descents with relative ease.  The F-150 has a hill descent assist feature to keep the speed to 20 MPH or less at 2,000 RPM, and I used this feature on the 14% and 17% grades.  The travel trailer has also held up well, other than the few minor things I have previously mentioned.


And here it is. The first viiew of Perce, QC. End of “the rock” at left. Bonaventure Island at the top.

Just as we reached the northwest corner of Forillon National Park, we took QC-197 along the west edge of the park rather than staying on QC-132 which follows the coast all the way around the park and into Gaspe, QC.  QC-197 is the designated “transit” (truck) route to Gaspe, so using it was the wise decision.  We also took QC-198 south from Gaspe to bypass the stretch of QC-132 around the small peninsula there that is a marked “tourist” route, and not advised for larger vehicles.  These two bypasses saved a few miles and additional steep grades in an otherwise longer than usual driving day.

Rain was forecast for much of our travel, including our destination, and we caught up to it before we reached Gaspe.  It was there waiting for us when we reached Perce, but it was always light.

Perce is an attractive little tourist town, the main draw being “the Rock” and Bonaventure Island, both part of the Parc national de Bonaventure, another Quebec provincial park.  The Rock was first visible has we got closer to Perce, and it is large.  It is possible to walk out to it during low tide.  Bonaventure Island is a major nesting and resting place for migratory and local birds.

As we drove through Perce to our campground on the south side of town, it was busy with tourists walking about in the rain with rain gear and umbrellas.  Chalets Camping Nature Ocean turned out to be an interesting and lovely campground, set up for both RVs and tents, as well as offering lots of rental cabins (chalets).  It looked and felt more like a really nice state park than a private/commercial campground, with large, well-spaced, sites separated by hedgerows of varied plants.

Our campsite at Chalets Nature Ocean. Paul and Nancy’s rig behind to the left.

Our site (W3W=disapperars.imperious.carpeted) was at the very back of the campground, which sloped up away from the road and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.  It looked dubious at first, but turned out to only be slightly out of level and was easily compensated for with our equipment.  We were parked with the trailer on a north-south orientation, facing north, and high enough up to have a clear view of Bonaventure Island.  We set up in a light/occasional drizzle; the first time on this trip that we have had to make camp in any sort of inclement weather.  But it wasn’t bad and we got it done.  And it’s not like we had a choice.  When you RV (or camp in general) you simply do what you have to do.

Both rigs on a nicer day, weatherwise.

I had noticed recently that the cover for the propane tanks was not sitting level.  When I checked, I found that it was loose.  My first thought (which always seems to go to the worst possible outcome) was that the threaded rod that secures the tanks and the cover was coming loose.  Yikes!  I did not take the time to investigate and correct whatever was wrong at the time due to the weather, and left it for the next day.

We could see all of Bonaventure Island from our campsite

The biggest problem we had was that the lids on several of our bulk food containers popped off and some of the contents bounced out.  This is the second time this had happened, and we have no idea why.  The container lids have a good, strong seal.  A serious change in altitude would cause an increase in the internal air pressure, but the mountains here are not that extreme.  In fact, the mountains in the Gaspe peninsula are the northern extent of the Appalachian Mountain chain.  Perhaps the bouncing of the rough roads had caused the ingredients to bang against the inside of the lids and push them open.  But that seemed unlikely, especially with things such as sugar and quinoa.

The view of the campground to east of our site. We are at the back of the park, at the highest point.

For dinner Nancy made vegan chili with jackfruit and lots of other ingredients.  It was great, one of the best we have ever had (and Linda makes a very good vegan chili too.)  By the time we finished dinner it was 7:45 PM.  It had stopped raining and there was still plenty of daylight, so we drove into Perce to look around and perhaps get some ice cream (P&N) or sorbet (us).  We selected a Creamerie and Resto we had noticed on the drive in.  The restaurant was open, but the ice cream counter had stopped serving.  They told Paul it was “too cold” for ice cream.  We stopped at a shop that sold t-shirts and other things, looked around, and chatted with the owner.  We made a mental note to return on Friday.  Back in camp, and lacking firewood, we retired for the evening.

July 5, 2022 – Errands and Chores


We are at 49.124… deg. Latitude and –66.511… deg. Longitude (W3W=constraint.magpies.fairly).  That puts us farther north than we have ever traveled by land and somewhere near the eastern edge of the Eastern Time Zone.  We are here only two weeks after the summer solstice, so the sun rises early in the northeast, travels high overhead, and sets late in the northwest.  At this location, it rises over water and sets over water.  With the right cloud conditions, the sunsets are beautiful.  The sunrises probably are too, but we are not up in time to see them.

My first awareness this morning that it was not completely dark outside was at 03:22, but I suspect the first glow of morning occurred sometime before that.  The winds calmed down a bit overnight, but started up again with the appearance of the sun.  By early afternoon they were steady out of the west at 20 MPH.  We don’t know if this is typical, but persistent wind seems to be a feature of this location.

Just a simple camping breakfast with our travel companions.

For breakfast, Nancy made baked vegan French toast.  She prepared it the night before using Just Egg and other ingredients poured over 1” thick slices of a freshly bough baguette from Metro market and topped with sliced apples.  The assemblage soaked overnight in the refrigerator and then baked in the morning.  She also made an apple/almond caramel sauce.  The French toast was paired with Mimosas, made with orange juice and the sparkling Maple syrup “wine” from Domain Acer.  We ate outdoors in the cool air and warm sun so, basically, a simple camping breakfast.

We then turned our attention to chores, Paul and Nancy are full-time RVers, and we are temporarily the same while traveling.  We had a big day yesterday, so errands and chores were on tap for today in advance of another travel day tomorrow. As retired people on an extended travel adventure, we are not on “vacation” and are not trying to cram every day full of activities.

It’s hard to miss Camping Ancre Jaune (the yellow anchor).

We paused to chat with our other neighbor, Guy, a thoroughly charming fellow.  He was cutting up some bread and I asked if it came from the Metro market.  He said they shop there but this bread came from L-Hotel Cie, just across the street from the Patisserie and Boulangerie, which was also very good.  Guy is a retired air traffic controller.  He and his wife reside in Montreal, but had been at Camping Ancre Jaune for the last six weeks while he working as an aerial surveyor on a crop-dusting plane flying out of the Saint-Anne-des-Monts airport, which was just across QC-132 from our campground.



Camping Ancre Jaune Office.

Our chores included straightening up and cleaning the interior of the trailer (Linda), dumping the waste water tanks (Bruce) and cleaning the truck (Bruce).  The truck bed, and everything in it, had a fine coating of grey dust as a result of our drive around the east end of Parc national de la Gaspésie.  I emptied out the entire bed and Linda help dust of everything.  She and Nancy then headed to the Metro market as grocery shopping was her major errand of the day.  While they were away, Paul cleaned the inside of their coach and I cleaned the truck bed, interior floors, and dashboard and dumped the waste water tanks.

One of the many driftwood sculptures at the sculpture park, and throughout the city of Saint-Anne-des-Monts.

Mid-afternoon we walked to a nearby sculpture park.  The sculptures were all made from driftwood, and were very interesting.  They were spread out in a way that did not allow me to photograph the whole place.  The wind was still strong from the west, but the sun was warm, which was a pleasant combination.  Linda knew we could walk all the way to the center of town on sidewalks and a boardwalk, so we kept on going.  We eventually turned back and came up QC-132 looking for the Marie 4 Patisserie and Boulangerie.  Once there, we each had a cup of coffee and split a small vegan brownie with raspberry puree and vanilla cream.  We bought two more to take home for dessert after dinner.

I wanted to wash the grey dust from yesterday’s drive around the east end of Parc national de la Gaspésie off of the truck.  There was an auto wash not far away so I drove over there.  It was a coin operated self-serve (pressure wash) facility in a separate building that was part of the Esso fuel station and pizza restaurant complex.  The machine took Loonies (1$) and twonies (2$) coins.  We had been collecting them along our way, but I did not have any with me, so I returned to camp.

For dinner, Linda made vegan fish stew.  While she was preparing it, I returned to the car wash and rinsed off the truck, but not before stopping at L-Hotel Cie and buying a loaf of orange-cranberry bread.  I got enough high-pressure spray to do the entire truck once for just one twonie, and concentrated on the wheel wells, wheels, tires, and windows.  As long as I was there, I topped up the fuel tank.  I knew I had not filled it yesterday, and it took another 25 liters.  The price was 2.06$, which the best I’ve seen since entering the Gaspe peninsula.  For the second time on this trip, the pumps did not take credit cards.  The young man inside the building spoke perfect English and confirmed that I filled first and then paid.  And they took American Express.

The vegan fish stew was outstanding.  We had this same dish on Christmas Day with the family’s Italian themed Feast of the Seven Fishes.  It was excellent then, and excellent again.  We had slices of fresh baguette and a Pelee Island un-oaked Chardonnay with the meal.  Linda split the two vegan brownies for dessert.  All-in-all, just another simple camping dinner in a lovely place with good friends.

Friends on the beach for sunset at Camping Ancre Jaune.

After dinner, I put the stinger in the truck receiver and positioned the truck in front of the trailer hitch, ready for docking in the morning.  We also disconnect all of the fresh water apparatus and stowed it away.  All that left for tomorrow morning was to disconnect the shorepower, raise the stabilizer jacks, connect the truck to the trailer, and remove/stow the wheel chocks and levelers.  Rain was forecasted for overnight through the morning, so this would minimize the time required to finish our departure routine.


Linda at sunset on the beach.

Last, but not least, we went to the beach to walk and watch the sunset.  As we headed west down the beach an older gentleman walked out towards us from the first house adjacent to the campground.  We thought he was going to tell us this was private property, which it is not, but he must have heard us speaking English and just wanted to talk.  He was a thoroughly delightful fellow, who winters in the Ft. Lauderdale area of Florida, and just wanted to chat with someone in English.  We picked up some good tips from him about things to see and do in the Gaspe and Perce area.  I photographed the sunset until the light was fading and then we returned to our rig for the night.


A lone fisherman in the St. Lawrence River at sunset from the beach at Camping Ancre Jaune.






July 4, 2022 – Parc national de la Gaspésie, QC

MONDAY, 04 July

Parc national de la Gaspesie from Discovery Center

The main part of today was devoted to exploring the Parc national de la Gaspésie.  Indeed, this park is the one of the reasons we looked for an RV park in Saint-Anne-des-Monts.  The park was created in 1937 to protect the flora and fauna of a unique ecosystem that included alpine, tundra, caribou and moose.  It is the last place that Caribou are found south of the St. Lawrence River.  Since that time, it has also become a mecca for hikers, bikers, campers, canoeists and kayakers, perhaps the preeminent spot in Quebec.  This was another of the Quebec provincial parks that they call a “national” park, but are not under the management of Parks Canada and do not recognize the Parks Canada pass.

Friends on the Saint Anne River Trail.

The park was about 40 Km from our RV park.  QC-299 starts at QC-132 in Saint-Anne-des-Monts and heads south towards the park.  The road was good and marked 90 KPH most of the way, so it took less than 30 minutes to reach the park boundary.  We expected to find an entrance station there, but there was just a sign.  Our map had indicated that QC-299 runs all the way through the park, out the south side, and r on going, so it’s a public throughway.





Saint Anne River rapids.

We knew there was a visitor (discovery) center about mid-way through the park and that was our initial destination.  At the discovery center, we learned that we did, indeed, need our paid reservations (which Linda had made the night before) and that there were staff throughout the Parc who might ask to see our confirmation if we came across them.  We also got a map that showed the trails and camping areas.  A staff member highlighted the three “easy” hikes in the surrounding area.

Saint Anne Trail carpet of green.

We decided to hike the La Chute Sainte-Anne trail which started just across QC-299 from the discovery center and ran south between the road and the Saint Anne River (Riviere Sainte-Anne) with access to a viewing platform for the Saint Anne waterfall (Chute Sainte-Anne).  Further along it crossed over QC-299 and became the La Lucarne trail back to the discovery center with the La Lucarne viewing platform at the highest point.

La Lucarne Trail. It was steep and rugged.

The park encompasses a dramatic terrain of modest (3,000 – 4,000 foot) but steep mountains with river valleys and lakes.  It was a dense woodland, and everything that wasn’t road or water seemed to have a thick covering of green trees and plants.  The Sainte Anne trail had its ups and downs, but the La Lucarne trail seemed vertical at times.  It might have been a language issue at the discovery center, or perhaps a different cultural calibration of the meaning of “easy,” “intermediate,” “difficult,” and “expert” as applied to a hiking trail.  In spite of being labeled as “family friendly” in the map guide, there was no way this was an “easy” hike.  The two trails combined were 4.2 Km (~2.6 mi) with a time of ~90 minutes.  It was not easy and it took us longer, but we made it.



Friends stop to rest on the La Lucarne Trail.

Back at the discovery center we rested on the deck and had a vegetable juice blend for calories and hydration.  Everyone was tired, but we looked at what other “easy” hiking options might exist.  The best options were down Rte 11, but Routes 14 and 16 formed a loop around the eastern portion of the park.  We decided to drive the loop counter-clockwise, starting with Rte 16 and ending up on Rte. 14.  The roads were gravel and often very rough.  Not “off road” but a good test of the F-150.  We had hoped to see Mont Jacques-Cartier, the highest point in the Gaspe peninsula at 1270 m (~4,128 feet), but most of the time the trees were close to the edges of the road and tall, so our views were out the front and rear windows of the truck, and some of them were very good.


A path in the woods.

By the time we got back to QC-299, everyone was tired and waved off looking for another hiking trail so we headed back to Sainte-Anne-des-Monts.  It was a worthwhile visit to a special and spectacular place and we were all glad we went.


When we got back to Saint-Anne-des-Mont, we crossed QC-132 and pulled into the Metro grocery store parking lot.  Nancy needed a couple of baguettes for dinner tonight and breakfast tomorrow and we went in to check it out for a possible reprovisioning trip tomorrow.  It was a very nice store.  Dinner was vegan cream of mushroom soup, made from scratch, with sherry and freshly baked croutons.  The remainder of the baguettes will be used for a special breakfast dish, to be revealed in a later post.

Saint-Anne-des-Monts from the beach in front of our campground at sunset.

When I got our folding chairs out of the back of the truck, I discovered that the bed cover is not dust proof; everything was coated with a fine grey powder, acquired on the Rte 16 -14 loop around the Parc.  Cleaning the back of truck would have to wait until tomorrow.  For now, we relaxed for a bit after dinner and then went to the beach to watch the sun set, something for which this area is noted.


Selfie on the beach at Camping Ancre Jaune.

There were quite a few people there already, some with lawn chairs, some sitting on large pieces of driftwood, and others sitting or lying on the sand.  The campground only allows fires on the beach and there were several already going, even beyond the borders of the campground, which is private housing in both directions.   We stood and waited, and finally started taking pictures as the color developed.  When the sun drops low in the sky the temperatures follow so once the color faded, we returned to our rigs for the night.

All good blogs end with a sunset, right?  So here it is.

Sunset over the St. Lawrence River from the beach at Camping Ancre Jaune, Saint-Anne-des-Monts











July 3, 2022 – Saint-Anne-due-Monts, QC & Camping Ancre Jaune

SUNDAY, 03 July

Caution – long blog post ahead without pictures.

Due to our experience trying to visit Parc national du Bic (provincial park) yesterday, Linda decided to try and make a reservation last night for Parc national de la Gaspésie (provincial park).  She was able to book entry for all day Monday for four adults.  Admission was 9.50$ per person, paid in advance by credit card.  (The $ following the amount indicates that this is Canadian dollars.)

Today was a travel day, and our destination was Camping Ancre Jaune in Saint-Anne-des-Monts, Quebec.  We were looking forward to the drive as most of it would be on QC-132 (RTE-132) along the coast of the St. Lawrence River.  We targeted a 2 PM arrival at Camping Ancre Jaune and planned an 11 AM departure from the Bas St-Laurent KOA.

Juniper (our cat) was in a bratty mood this morning.  First light was around 04:00 with sunrise around 04:50.  With the arrival of morning light, she started her routine of pawing at window shades and walking on and around us in bed.  I managed to hold out until 6:30 AM and finally got up, but I didn’t mind.  Being up early means a quite campground and coffee, with time to work on this blog or a few puzzles, have a light breakfast, and still prepare for departure at a leisurely pace.  Until something changes that.

While taking care of outside tasks, specifically dumping the waste tanks, I noticed that the bracket which holds the handle and shaft for the Main (black) Tank dump valve had lost two of its four mounting rivets.  Going down the road in that condition did not seem like a good idea so we set to fixing it.  We came up with a decent, albeit temporary, solution involving 3M VHB (Very High Bond) double-sided tape and a 12” cable (zip) tie.  That little repair took at least 20 minutes out of leisurely prep time.  We took care of most everything else and then set about hooking up the truck to the trailer.

This hitching process has mostly gone smoothly since we wrote down the steps and follow them, but not today.  Try as I might, I simply could not get the stinger aligned with the hitch.  Part of the problem was that the truck was casting a shadow directly behind itself.  The shadow obscured the stinger and then the hitch opening just when I needed to see them the most clearly.  I got out and looked (G.O.A.L) repeatedly and finally got it lined up.  The rest of the process and departure was smooth from there, but we had used up another 20 minutes of prep time.  We were still shy of the required noon check-out time, and did not have to be at our destination at any specific time, so we were not under any real pressure, but I was frustrated by having to make the unexpected last-minute repair and then struggling with the hookup.

Based on our previous relocation, we decided to put the center console up and put Juniper’s carrier between us on the front seat.  She seemed to do better there, but ultimately Linda put the carrier on her lap.  It was easier for her to reach inside the carrier and allowed Juniper to see outside and have some sun on her face (which she likes).  We set the destination in the on-board GPS and pulled out.

The drive made up for the delays and frustration.  We were on QC-132 Est and then the A-20 Est, through woodlands and farm fields, until it ended somewhere past Rimouski.  A left turn via a roundabout took us north a short distance back to QC-132 Est.  For the rest of the way we were usually in sight of the St. Lawrence River.  It was very wide by this point, but the far shore was still visible.  In some places the road was flat and next to the water.  In other places it rolled up and down and twisted left and right through large hills or along bluffs near the river.  This is beautiful country that reminded us a bit of the Maine coast, but not exactly the same.

The weather was near perfect, with temperatures in the upper 60s F and mostly sunny skies.  The numerous small coastal towns were generally neat and tidy and picturesque, although we did not get any photos.  The road surface was another matter.  Smooth in a few places, but very rough in many more.  The speed limit was usually 90 KPH (~56 MPH), but occasionally dropped to 80 KPH (~50 MPH), and anywhere from 70 to 50 KPH going through towns.  Somewhere along the way we left the Bas St. Laurent Tourist Region and entered the Gaspésie Tourist Region.

We found our campground without difficulty.  This was the place where we were “in the book” via a phone call, with no other confirmation of our stay.  When making the reservation Linda originally had a less than wonderful interaction with a male you couldn’t, or wouldn’t, speak English.  In a subsequent phone call, she spoke to a woman who was able and willing to speak English.  We knew we had sites 46 and 47, both full-hookup (3-way, or 3-service) 30A, but did not know the daily rate.  The same woman was in the registration office and as both sweet and helpful.  The daily rate was 40$ + tax, cash only.  She did not require payment before parking us, and said we could “go to town and get cash and pay her sometime while we were there.”  That’s the second time on this trip we got something before paying for it.  The first time was the day we visited Domaine Acer when I stopped at a remote fueling station where I filled first and the went inside and paid.

We were in our site 47 with Paul and Nancy in site 46, both parallel to the river with us one site closer.  That worked well as we had a view of the river and they could see past us in front and over the top.  Once the trailer was level, we went about “setting up camp.”  That’s when Linda found that the upper hinge on one of the under-sink cabinet doors had come loose.  This happened once before with a different cabinet door, and was easy to reattach.  No so this time.  I looked at it but could not see what was wrong.  I left it for later as Paul was working on a bay door latch problem and I wanted to assist with a possible fix.  The door had come unlatched while driving today, twice.

I also wanted to better secure the Main Tank dump valve handle support bracket.  A drill, drill bit, pop rivet, rivet gun, and a half hour to find and use this stuff, is all that was required.

I then returned to the cabinet door hinge but was not able to diagnose and resolve the problem.  There was a curved piece that was supposed to hook around a pin, but it wouldn’t hold.  Clearly it had not held up to the rough roads but I could not see anything that was broken.  The hinges are adjustable, and a bit complex, to allow the doors to be installed and then perfectly adjusted for fit.  They have locking tabs, and I could not get the bottom hinge loose, which would have allowed me to remove the door and examine them from a better angle or take them apart.  In the end, I snapped the hinge back together and wrapped it in tape while Linda held it in position.

We walked down to the water but the breeze was strong and cold.  Campfires are allowed on the beach, but not at the RV sites.  A lovely idea, but too windy for tonight.  We sat outside with Paul and Nancy, our backs to the wind and setting sun until the sun was no longer warming and went into their rig for a bit.  I brought over the bottle of Emilio Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado Dry Sherry that Linda bought for me at the LCBO in Ottawa.  Unfortunately, it was not to my taste, so the bottle was donated to future cooking projects.  What I like, but can rarely find, is Lustau East India Solera, which is a sweetened Oloroso.

When we returned to our rig, we both noticed an odor but could not identify it.  We had a few cookies while I worked on the blog and Linda played an online game.  We forgot to manage our meager 30A electrical supply, and I was running one of the heat pumps while the electric heating element for the hot water heater was also on.  The heat pump had cycled fine, but then tried to start and quit.  What?  A quick glance and I saw that the microwave clock was dark, as was the plug in volt meter.  I looked outside and the Hughes Power Watchdog EPO was dark.  We had tripped the circuit breaker and had no AC power to the rig.  It was also not at the location of our connection, but somewhere else in the park.  It was after 10 PM.

The overnight low was forecast to be 50 F, so we would have survived without power, but not been able to charge our various devices.  I walked up to the little registration office to see if they had an emergency phone number.  There were several names and phone numbers, but everything was in French.  I picked the first one listed and called Caroline.  She answered, and spoke enough English to be helpful, so I guessed that I had reached the same woman who registered us and us parked.  She patiently explained where the circuit breaker was located but I would need a flashlight.  Lucky for me I have one built into my phone.

I found the circuit breaker box in question on site 24 across for our site (46).  It had a lot of circuit breakers, but none labeled “46.”  As I was about to call Caroline back, she walked down and said it was a different box by site 48, just on the other side of the Class B parked next to us.  Yup, that was the one.  I apologized profusely for bothering her at this late hour, but she seemed to indicate that it was genuinely OK.  I left the hot water heater off, made sure the HVAC equipment was off, and went to bed.  If you have an RV and use it, things will have to be fixed.  If you have a “50A” RV (lots of electrical loads) plugged into a marginal 30A service, you will have to actively manage your electricity usage.  We knew this, of course, but forgot to pay attention.


July 2, 2022 – Parc national du Bic (Provincial), QC


I was up and 6 AM and Linda was up shortly thereafter.  I know that might sound crazy, but the sunrise here at the moment is 04:40.  Linda is usually in bed by 10 PM and me by 11 PM, so we have both had our quota of sleep by this time in the morning.  It’s also a great time to get online and take care of blog posts, play games, or research things.  Quiet hours at the Bas Saint-Laurent KOA Resort are 11 PM to 8 AM, and we see few, if any, people out and about in the morning before 8 AM.

My objective for the blog of one post for each location where we camp, with a few photos and even fewer words, has not worked out.  The fact is, it’s not my “style” and, to the extent that the blog is a travel log for us rather than entertainment for an audience, the short form approach does not work for me.  Besides, now that I am getting back into the rhythm, I am remembering how much I enjoy doing it, especially when seeing new things and getting to photograph them.

Paul in front of the bagel stand in St. Simon, QC

The weather forecast for today was a bit tricky, but we decided on a mid-morning departure even with a chance of rain between noon and 2 PM.  We took the F-150 again, and dropped off our laundry basket when we picked up Nancy and Paul at 10:30.  We headed to QC-132, and turned left/west (ouest) into St. Simon.  Our objective was to find the Bagel Vending machine, which we did, right next to a small open-air market (March).  We got the photos we came for, but took a pass on the bagels.





Yes, that is a bagel vending machine

Our main destination for the day was the Parc national du Bic (a Quebec provincial park) back east on QC-132 just past St. Fabian and St. Fabian-du-Mer.  I missed the turn into the main entrance and had to find a place to pull off and turn around.  There was a line to get in and when we finally got to the window, the ranger, whose English was marginal, said we could not come in.  Nothing personal, mind you, it’s just that we did not have a reservation and the park was “fully booked.”  Well shucks, we certainly did not see that coming.




Park Bic. Trees upper left are on the island, part of Parc national du Bic.

Paul was able to locate a nearby location named Bic Park, so we headed there.  A small twisting road took us along the edge of a golf course to a small parking area, beyond which we could walk to the St. Lawrence River and an island.  The tide was out, so we were able to get to the island along an elevated isthmus.  The high tide mark was obvious from the detritus line, at which the isthmus would still be above water, but just barely.

Not sure what this is. I called them Sea Grapes.

The island turned out to be part of the Parc national du Bic.  A sign said it was a protected area and seemed to indicate that we could not hike into the woods.  Not that we could have anyway as they were very dense.  We walked around the edge, both above and below the high tide mark.  Besides lots of rocks, there was evidence of crabs and mussels, but a sign on the way in said not to harvest them due to contamination.

Linda at Park Bic (lower left corner)

By this time, we were all ready for a bite to eat, so the search was on for someplace with vegan options.  It looked like Rimouski was our destination and I headed there.  A Korean restaurant appeared promising, but we ultimately decided on a Copper Branch location on the north/east end of town.  When we got there, we discovered a Thai restaurant and a “Risto 9” restaurant.  Having had a good experience in Ottawa, we stayed with our Copper Branch choice.  As before, three of us had an Asian Poke bowl.

Bruce at Park Bic

The drive back to camp took us through a residential area before getting to the A-20.  Just before getting back to the KOA, we detoured into the small town of Saint Mathieu-de-Rioux to have a look before leaving the area tomorrow.

Back at camp, we stopped at the office on the way in and Paul bought a bundle of firewood for this evening.  We then them at their rig and returned to ours, where Linda had planned on taking a nap and I had planned on working on photos and the blog.  But sometimes life has other plans, and a mishap with a bottle of Sandeman’s Ruby Port had us spend the next hour or so cleaning up the mess.  But these things happen, and when they do there is nothing to be done about it except to deal with it, which we did.

By this point there was no time or interest in cooking dinner, so we had vegan hotdogs and potato chips.  We then had a phone chat with Brendan, Madeline, and Sadie, but mostly Sadie, just ahead of their departure in the morning for a northern Michigan get-away.  The girls sang happy birthday for Ama, and then Sadie sang a song she made up.  It took quite a few minutes, but it was charming.  Nancy arrived (in her car) with our laundry just in time to catch the end of the song and then to take us back to their site.  We brought the blankets from our beds, which had wine spots, to lauder while we sat by the fire and finished the bottle of Madeline mead from Schramm’s.  As the sun set, the air cooled, the sky lit up with color, and the fire was warm.  When the fire and light had faded, we walked back to our rig with our blankets.  We folded and hung laundry, made our beds, had a few cookies (more than usual) and went to bed.


July 1, 2022 – Oh Canada – Domaine Acer “Winery”, BSL, QC

FRIDAY, 01 July

We went exploring today.  After studying maps and guide books for a while this morning, we decided to head up QC-132 (NE) along the coast as far as Rumouski.  From there we planned to head inland (SE) and then southwest before turning northwest and working our way back to QC-132 and then back to camp.  Along the way we passed Bic National (Provincial) Park, which we planned to visit tomorrow.  I (Bruce) was driving, which left Linda and Nancy free to research places where we might find baked goods, including bread and pastries.

They found three of them in Rimouski that sounded promising, so we picked one,  Patisseries & Gourmandises d’ Olivier on St. Germaine and headed there via “Business” QC-132, unsure if they would be open on Canada Day.  They were, the offerings were spectacular, and they accommodated us in English.

The second one was closed so we put in the address for the third one, Boulangerie Folles Farines.  It was back about 8 miles in Bic.  Road construction after we exited QC-132 resulted in an interesting detour through a lovely little town, but we found it.  Again, they were open and the products on offer were very nice.

The final road into Domaine Acer. Gravel and steep. 4-wheel drive engaged, because I could.

We still wanted to do our “loop” so I headed back towards Rimouski, this time on the regular QC-132 (Autoroute Jean-Lesage).  Near Rimouski, we exited onto Chemin Sainte-Odile heading southwest into the “hills” with Lac-des-Aigles as our initial destination.  By this point Nancy was already researching wineries in the area.  The only one that was at all convenient to our route was Domaine Acer – Magnifier l’erable in Auclair.  It was a bit further south from where were had planned to turn north, but we were not pressed for time.




In the parking lot of Domaine Acer

Auclair is east of Lac-Temiscouata “National” (Provincial) Park in very hilly country.  The final few kilometers where on steep gravel roads, and I got to put the F-150 in 4-wheel drive.  That was fun!

Were we ever glad we decided to visit this place?  Yes, we were!  It was not technically a winery.  All of their beverages are made from fermented maple syrup using traditional winemaking techniques, including a “champagne method” (2nd fermentation in the bottle) sparkling version.  No grapes or other fruit are used.  The young lady tending the tasting room was very friendly and knowledgeable and spoke enough English to make the tasting experience educational and fun.

Domaine Acer tasting room and store building

The tasting included four offerings (not the sparkling one).  Two were dry – with only a little residual sugar – one from early harvest and one from late harvest.  There was a slight difference between them (to may taste) and they reminded me of delicate wines.  The other two were on the sweet end, again one from early harvest and one from late.  These two were more distinctly maple, with the late harvest being a bit more intense.  They reminded me of ports, both in the mouth feel and richness.  Guess which ones we bought?  ?

Domaine Acer tasting room and host. We didn’t get her name, but she was very sweet.  We liked this place very much.

The tasting also included two different maple jellies and two different maple butters.  The jellies were early harvest and late harvest, while the “butters” with and without walnuts .  They were all excellent, but the maple butters where more unique, and the one with walnuts was our favorite.  BTW: there is no butter in maple butter.  It’s just maple syrup that is whipped to a creamy, butter-like consistence.


The Domaine Acer cafe. Rustic but refined. An assortment of tapas (but not called that). (Linda is trying to be as tall as Nancy.)

By this point it was after 3 PM and everyone was a bit hungry and we had at least an hour drive to get back to camp.  No problem, Domanie Acer had a small, quaint café in an adjacent building.  Nothing fancy, food wise, but a nice assortment of small items that could be shared.  All of them were very tasty.  Our energy restored, and pleased to have discovered Domaine Acer quite by accident, we headed back to the Bas Saint-Laurent KOA Resort.  With a forecast of rain, we skipped the evening campfire and retired to our respective rigs for the night.





Our patio swing


June 30, 2022 – Happy Birthday and a Travel Day


Happy birthday, Linda.

Our drive today was to the Bas Saint-Laurent KOA Resort near Saint-Mathieu-de-Rioux, QC.  Check in time was 2 PM and our estimated travel time was ~ 2-3/4 hours.  With no major construction slowdowns or urban traffic to deal with, we targeted an 11 AM departure.  That allowed for an early breakfast and a leisurely departure routine.  We pulled out of the Quebec City KOA Holiday at 11:08 AM.

Lac Saint-Mathieu from the upper campground at the top of Rue Principale. It’s steeper than it looks.

The first part of our route was, once again, the Trans-Canada Highway (T-CH) which was still the A-20 in this area.  We were on a NNE track all day, roughly parallel to the SE edge of the St. Lawrence River headed into the Gaspe peninsula.  The road was mostly good, traffic was mostly light, and the scenery was all new to us, a lovely, a mix of beautiful lush green farm fields, rolling hills covered in trees, and occasional massive outcrops of rock.  The temperature and partial cloud cover allowed us to run without the air-conditioner on.

Our patio site.

Our only navigational mis-que came near the end.  Near Riviere-du-Loup we left the A-20 for QC-132.  At Trois-Pistoles, both the F-150 GPS and Google Maps on Linda’s phone told us to turn right.  I saw a sign for our next destination that indicated 22 Km straight ahead, but Linda didn’t see it and we decided to follow the GPS route.  We ended up on some smaller back roads, driving past farms, and eventually along the south side of Lac Saint-Mathieu before arriving at the RV resort from the south instead of the north as planned.  Our GPS units do not know that we are towing a trailer and thus are not routing for an RV.  On the plus side, I got to use the F-150 downhill assist feature on a 13% grade.  I’m happy to report that it works very well.

The road into our site. We were not at the very top.

We caught our first sight of the Bas Saint-Laurent KOA Resort as we rounded a corner and saw the southwest side of large, terraced hill.  Our initial impression was that the campground was built vertically rather than horizontally.  It was unlike anything we had every seen.  We pulled in to one of the multiple check-in lanes around 2:30 PM and Linda went in to register us.  We were registered for a 50A 3-way (full hookup) back-in patio site, but Linda had sent an e-mail before we left to see if we could move to a pull-thru site with same amenities.  She never got a reply to the e-mail, but they had us on a pull-thru site at check-in, so them must have gotten it.

The area around the resort looks like this. The ridge to or SW has a ski slope.

This was a big, busy campground with lots of rigs already here and more arriving in advance of Canada Day.  One of the women at the registration desk spoke English, so Linda was in-n-out fairly quickly. They had at least three people on golf carts (probably more) leading folks to their sites and I followed one of them as instructed.  Our site was in the “mountain top” area, and the road up (straight up) probably a 12% grade, plus or minus.  The resort was, quite literally, built around, up the side, and on top of small mountain (hill) and was unlike anything we had ever seen.  It also turned out to be one of “those” places with lots of “rules.”  Although apparently in the middle of nowhere, we had to have a different colored wrist band each day for access to the swimming pool area.

The road to the lower campground from Paul and Nancy’s site.

As always, it took a few extra minutes to get the trailer parallel to the edge of the patio with the truck sufficiently straight ahead that we could lower the tongue jack.  It took quite a few quick iterations of G.O.A.L. (Get Out And Look) but we got it done.  We were 2” low on the passenger/patio side, but the Anderson levelers took care of that.  We chocked them and the tires as before but got out the X-chocks for the first time on this trip and secured the tires on each side of the trailer.  We then proceeded with unhooking the truck.  The X-chocks did the trick and the stinger slid out of the 3P hitch smoothly with no movement of the trailer.  Success, finally.  We had the trailer/campsite fully set up by 3:30 PM and sat down to a light snack and cold beverages.  (W3W=scams.sunken.itches).

A warm fire on a cool evening with friends.

Paul and Nancy had arrived a bit ahead of us, having stayed the course on QC-132 and coming into the park from the north.  They were in the lower campground, but had to go up a hill in order to go back down the hill to get to that area.  We could see the lake from the front of our site, but they were much closer to the beach, which was part of the small portion of the campground on the other side of the main road.

Linda holding a bottle of Madeline mead from Schramm’s Mead. Paul and Nancy saved this for her birthday.

Even though it was her birthday, Linda made dinner for the four of us.  (Nancy burned her right hand on one of the homemade vegan marshmallows and has been on light kitchen duty until it heals.)  She made a nice green salad with strawberries, blueberries and peanuts to start.  The main course was cascatelli pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, garlic in olive oil.  And wine, of course.  She prepared the meal in our rig and we ate at the dinette as it was too sunny to use the patio table.

After dinner we all went to Paul and Nancy’s rig to enjoy a campfire.


June 29, 2022 – Chores and Errands


No photos from today; just words.

Not every day is an epic adventure.  We had good weather on tap for today up until around dinner time, but we had various chores and errands to attend to in advance of a travel day tomorrow and decided not to venture back into Quebec City.  We had also planned to go out to dinner to celebrate Linda’s birthday, albeit a day ahead of time, to try and take advantage of restaurant offerings in the greater Quebec metropolitan area.

The main chore was laundry and the main errands were grocery shopping and fuel for our pickup truck.  We have been making use of Paul & Nancy’s washer/dryer, so no need for campground laundromats yet.  Errands necessitated that I drive all of us in the truck (which everyone likes).  Everything was close by, less than a mile (1.2 Km) from the KOA, and close together, so very convenient.

Our first stop was Costco and it was crazy busy, with the parking lot almost full and people up and down all of the aisles.  After experiencing this, we understood better how folks here drive; it’s a cultural thing, apparently.  Individually, everyone we have interacted with has been pleasant and accommodating of our lack of French language.  Collectively, there seems to be a certain “me first/only” rudeness.

The next stop was Home Depot for a short fresh water hose, but they did not have any.  We then stopped at a Shell station for fuel.  I did not notice the button on the touch pad for “Language” selection, so I bluffed my way through the French.  But the sticker said they accepted AMEX.  It worked, and the screen switched to English, so voila.

Next up was the IGA Extra for our main/fresh groceries.  Although it did not say Super Marche, it was a very nice supermarket and we found everything we needed except for some first aid supplies.  A search using the GPS in the truck showed a pharmacy (pharmacies) close by, so we went there.  Our shopping done, we returned to camp where we spent a quiet afternoon before going to dinner.

Paul and Nancy wanted to treat Linda to a birthday dinner out, so she and Linda had researched vegan restaurants in the area.  One was closed on Wednesday and another one said it was open but didn’t answer the phone.  The best one in the area appeared to be Don Vegan, but it was back in Old Quebec by the Frontenac Hotel and required a reservation with a credit card deposit.  We opted instead to go to Boston Pizza nearby.  It was fine, they had a vegan pizza offering, and none of us had to cook or clean up.  Back at camp we all had a little wine, and then turned in for the evening.

It started raining, off and on, while we were at dinner and then steadily for awhile starting around 10 PM, but was forecast to be done by morning.


June 28, 2022 – Old Quebec City, QC


Today we finally ventured into Quebec City proper, specifically the old/historic part of town that is enclosed by the original stone fortification walls.  This post will have a few more photos than usual, as we were both using on phone cameras, and around every corner was a new view.  The weather was perfect for a stroll around town.

The St. Louis Gate into the walled city

As luck would have it, that part of town was setting up for a major music festival that starts in mid-July and runs for 11 days.  As with our trip to Montreal, there was a lot of construction and setup taking place, along with some road closures and detours.  Like Michigan, Canada seems to only have two seasons; winter and road construction.  The roads were not a problem for us, however, as we found a nice parking lot on Rue Saint-Louis just outside the walled city next to the Parcs Canada Plains of Abraham Museum (Musee des Plaines d’ Abraham).  And it was only 9$ for 12 hours; a bargain based on what we had seen elsewhere and online.

Rue Saint-Louis

Rue Saint-Louise is one of the few streets that passes through a Gate (The St. Louis Gate) into the old/upper town. It also ran straight down to the Fairmont Hotel (Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac), the iconic building that anchors the entire area.  It’s a 5-star hotel, impressive both inside (lobby) and out.  Part of it’s historic significance stems from 1940s when it hosted high level conferences between the Allied powers.  Operation Overlord (the invasion of Normandy, France) was planned here.

Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac and boardwalk









A boardwalk starts by the plaza in front of the hotel and extends southwest along the top of high cliff.

Looking back at the Hotel Frontenac from the boardwalk

Underneath the boardwalk is an archeological site, preserved by Parcs Canada.  Admission was required, and our Parcs Canada pass would have been accepted, but we did not have it with us.  This also proved to be the case for the Fort (La Citadelle de Quebec) which is still an active fort by accessible to the public.  These would have to wait for another visit and we had lots of walking to do.

Old Quebec is a very walkable, charming place, with a distinct European look and feel.  The buildings are all well-maintained and very much in use, as hotels, restaurants, shops, or government functions.  Even the US Consulate is here.  But no “families” reside here as there are no grocery stores, pharmacies, or schools.  We also found that shop keepers were able and willing to communicate with us in English.

The Governors Promenade, 301 steps, mostly up in our direction of travel

An interesting sculpture shop


We were not sure what they were selling here, but appreciated the sense of humor



The “lower city”. Old Quebec is not level and some of the walks were steep.

I have still not figured out how to use What 3 Words to navigate, but it did confirm that we had, in fact, returned to where the car was parked.  When we got back to our travel trailer, I had a text message from Keith (our lawn care guy) with a photo of the site where the Bus Barn/Workshop will be built.  The pad and driveway approach had been cleared of grass and top soil.  This was the first evidence that site work had finally commenced on the project.

Our bus barn/workshop and driveway site prep has commenced

… la fin

June 27,  2022 – Quebec City, QC – Chutes-de-la-Chaudière-Falls

MONDAY 27 June

First off, I forgot to include the What 3 Words location of our current campsite in my blog post for June 26 (it’s spacesuit.prestige.evens).

The rains that were predicted for last evening and overnight into the early afternoon today arrived, but not exactly as forecast.  I was first aware of the onset of rain at 03:24.  Once it started it continued, with a variable rate, until around mid-morning.  We waited a bit after that, just to be sure it was done, and then headed out to a nearby park.  We then went to a nearby Walmart for groceries and sundry items.

The Chaudière River (Riviere Chaudière) is on the other (south) side of the A-20/T-CH from the KOA.  There is a dam (barrage) just before the Chaudière Falls (Chutes-de-la-Chaudière) that was built to create a hydroelectric station.  Either side of the river, downstream of the falls, is “le parc des Chutes-de-la-Chaudière.”  Our destination was the part of the park on the south side of the river.  The park was not far from the KOA, as the crow flies, but a bit of a convoluted drive to get there by car.

Chutes-de-la-Chaudiere and tidal flats at low tide.  Power station behind trees to the right.

Chaudiere River tidal flats downstream of the dam with suspension bridge (passerelle)

Linda on the passerelle


The river beneath the falls is a tidal flat and we were clearly there at low tide.  There was a good set of trails with excellent staircases.  There is a suspension bridge (passerelle) over the tidal flats connecting the two halves of the park on opposite sides of the river.




I was familiar with the word “passerelle” from a Youtube channel (Aquaholic) where it is used to for a gang plank that can be extended and retracted from the stern of a boat for “stern to berthing,” such as in the Mediterranean Sea.  I did not know, however, that it means “bridge”, although this makes perfectly good sense.  We ae trying to pick up a few words of French so we can make sense of signs.

Deciphering signs in French.  “p” is the abbreviaion for “pied” which is foot.

We both needed to resupply our food.  The choice was IGA or Walmart, but we also needed a few non-food items, so Walmart got the nod.  We did not find all of the non-food items on our list.  There was a Home Depot in the same shopping plaza, but we wanted to get back to camp and get our food in the refrigerator/freezer.


S’Mores with homemade vegan marshmallows. Yum.

For dinner, Nancy made a green Thai curry with rice.  It was a great way to use up asparagus (Nan) and broccoli (Linda).  After dinner they made vegan marshmallows.  It took a couple of hours before they were ready, by which time we had a nice campfire.  Dessert was S’mores.





June 26, 2022 – Montreal to Quebec City KOA


Just a quick, retrospective note:  It was hot today with the afternoon high temperature near 90 F.  The same was forecast for tomorrow in Quebec City.  Linda called the Quebec KOA to see if we could change our reservation to a 50A site.  The had one, so we took it.  More on this later.

SUNDAY 26 June

Today was a travel day that took us on the Trans-Canada Highway (A-20), parallel to the southeast edge of the St. Lawrence River and deeper into the Province of Quebec all the way to Quebec City.  (We were too far from the river to see it.)  Breaking camp was a leisurely and smooth process and we pulled out as planned around 10:30 AM.  We had studied our route carefully, but the highways and signage did not match our maps and we missed our first exit from the A-15 Nord (North) to A-30 Est (East).  I find navigational mis-ques distressing when driving a vehicle combination that is 50 feet long.  Nonetheless, we were able to exit relatively soon, make a U-turn near an entrance ramp, get back on A-15 Sud (South this time) and then exit onto A-30 Est.  We were only on the A-30 for a little while before exiting onto the Trans-Canada Highway (A-20 Est).

The A-20/T-CH was very rough in any places, nice in few others, and had some ongoing construction work.  Traffic was also quite heavy; not like the 401 through Toronto, but there were lots of vehicles on the road in both directions, with many of the exceeding the posted maximum speed limit of 100 KPH (~61 MPH). We took special note of the number of RVs on the road.  Most of the ones that passed us traveling east had Quebec license plates, and we presumed that most of them in both directions were headed home after a weekend (or week) of camping.

Roads and traffic notwithstanding, we pulled into the Quebec (City) KOA around 1:45 PM, got checked in, and moved to our site close to the entrance.  By this time of the day, it was 90 F with no cloud cover and the upgrade to a 50A “Patio” site proved to be a good choice that was worth the few extra dollars.  (Patio sites include a concrete patio with furniture.  There are a small number of these site together as you come in, but most of the campground is around the corner and down a hill, and is rather large.  But mostly we were glad to have the 50A electrical hookup.)

Our 50A “3-way” patio site, Paul & Nancy’s rig behind ours

Once we were lined up in the site, I plugged in the power so we could turn on the heat-pumps in cooling mode and switch the refrigerator to electric.  We were still getting level and un-hitching when Paul and Nancy pulled into the site next to ours.  Side-by-side again, as we had been in Montreal and Ottawa (put not Kingston or Milton Heights).


We relaxed for a few hours and then had cold salad leftovers for dinner, along with a Pelee Island Gewürztraminer.  Gewürztraminer is a distinctive wine that is very much to my taste.  After dinner we checked out the camp store and then strolled the main part of the campground.  Fantasy RV Tours began their 61-day tour of Atlantic Canada last Friday at the Montreal KOA South and moved today to Quebec City KOA.  The group consists of 23 RVs, a wagonmaster, a tailgunner, and 21 guest rigs.

The main part of Quebec City KOA

Quebec City KOA is a Holiday (middle tier) park, with cabins, playgrounds, and a water recreation area.  The later was particularly nice, so here are a few photos.

Quebec City KOA Swimming pool & water slide

The ladies playing in the splash fountain under Paul’s supervision

The hot tub area with part of the main campground behind









All-in-all this was a pretty nice RV park close to Quebec City and good shopping.  It should be an excellent base of operations for exploring the area and reprovisioning before moving on to the Gaspe peninsula.


June 25, 2022 – Montreal Botanical Garden, QC


There was a lot of Montreal that we did not see yesterday, most of it, in fact.  And with only today left to check it out, there was a lot we were not going to see.  The group consensus for today’s visit was the Montreal Botanical Garden.  Not only did it sound like a fabulous place, but it was far enough away from Old Montreal and the World Triathlon Championship that access, traffic, and parking would be easy.

Olympic Biodome support tower. It’s huge!

On the way to the Garden we passed The Olympic Stadium and Biodome.  The Biodome is directly across the street from the Garden main parking lot.  It is a very impressive structure that is visible from miles away in many directions, and towers over the Garden.  Parking was, again, handled at a self-serve pay station, which we have learned to navigate reasonably well.  We bought our tickets, good for the day with in-&-out use, and went in.


We did not do a lot of research in advance and so did not know exactly what to expect.  It turned out that there are three main themed garden areas—Chinese, Japanese, and Native—an area of “flower beds”, and a large area of trails.


The Chinese Garden

We did the Chinese garden first.  The plants and trees were wonderful, but equally so the stone slab paths and buildings.  The whole area was rich with vibrant colors and designs, and a highlight was a display of Bonsai threes, most of which were 60 or more years old and one of which was 140 years old.  Nurturing something for seven generations says something about a culture


The Chinese Garden

The Japanese Garden

The Japanese garden was equally wonderful, but very different.  Carefully placed trees and bushes were pruned to provide framed views of cascading water features and other aspects of the garden.  More serene than the Chinese garden, and almost entirely in shades of green, it had subtlety that required a slower pace to examine and contemplate.

The Native Lands garden was different yet again, devoted to the plant life of the “north” including the tundra.  No formality here like in the Chinese and Japanese gardens; just a lovely walk in the woods and by larger ponds.  Like the Japanese garden, however, there was a large variety of plants that required us to look at what was actually in front of us.












The Flower Beds

Last, but not least, were the flower beds.  “Beds” belies the fact that there were different sizeable areas each with a focus; such as medicinal plants, poisonous plants, decorative plants, food plants, etc.  They were all arranged in planting beds, however; mostly straight rows but some decorative.



It was a warm day without any cloud cover so we rendezvoused at an ice cream stand we saw on the way in.  Lucky for us, they had vegan vanilla frozen cups.  It was surprisingly good.  We discussed what else we might see/do while on “the island” and decided we would just head back to the campground.  That took longer than expected due to multiple navigational mis-ques, but the details are not important.


June 24, 2022 – Old Montreal, QC

FRIDAY 24 June

We made our first visit to Montreal today, specifically the area known as “Old Montreal.”  Getting there was easy enough as it was only 11 miles from our campground and mostly highway.  We had researched public parking options near the Notre-Dame Basilica and had one in the GPS.  The streets in this part of town are narrow, but generally one-way.  What we had not anticipated was the “Triathlon World Championship” that was taking place this weekend.  The running/biking course was laid out like a Monaco Formula One race course, with many streets blocked to vehicle traffic by a strong police presence.  Still, we found the parking lot, which had three spaces, one of which was open (W3W=guardian.rocket.approach).  As we had encountered in Ottawa (at the Whole Foods Market), payment was made via a pay station with the receipt displayed on the dashboard.

Old Montreal Street Signs (near where we parked)



Old Montreal was a very walkable, pedestrian friendly city, with many pedestrian malls lined with trees.  We headed first to the Basilica, but had no particular plan after that.  The weather was cloudy but nice initially, and near perfect later, and it was nice to just amble along and discover old buildings, cobblestone streets, plazas, shops, markets, and eateries.  We discovered “view” stations that featured a holder for a cell phone.  Set the timer on your phone and get in the group photo.



Notre-Dame Basilica & Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve statue

The statue facing the front façade of the Basilica is Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve, the French military leader who founded Montreal on May 17, 1642.  His outfit reminded me of The Three Musketeers.  The first European to set foot here, however, was Jacques-Cartier on October 2, 1535.  Their names appear on several versions (rue, place, etc.) of prominent streets.

Our walk took us to the port area where we could saw the large Ferris Wheel but did not ride it.  We could also see St. Helen’s Island and some of the remnants of the 1967 World’s Fair, which was later repurposed for the 1976 Summer Olympics.  It looked like an interesting place to visit, but that would have to wait for lunch.

Place Jacques-Cartier

The Montreal Ferris Wheel

Soon enough we were hungry and headed to LOV vegan restaurant at 464 Rue McGill St. in Old Montreal.  The setting was casual but nice.  Every table was set with wine glasses and real napkins, but we took a pass on the vin (as did most of the other patrons).  Our waiter was clearly a native French speaker but his English, which he willingly used, was more than good enough to interact with us.

Being a vegan establishment, everything on the menu was fair game, which is always a treat for us.  Paul and Nancy ordered smoked king oyster mushrooms with an orange puree and dumplings as appetizers.  Linda had fish and chips and I had a Caesar salad.  Paul and Nancy each had an oyster mushroom burger followed by Crème Brule and brownies with raspberry puree for dessert.  The restaurant was comfortable, and everyone liked the food.

Paul & Nan at LOV in Old Montreal

We found our way back to the car and put the Biosphere into the GPS.  Traffic was a bit more congested by this time, but we managed to extricate ourselves from Old Montreal and the Triathlon and get to the island.  It was essentially a big park and there were a lot of people walking and riding bicycles.  We just drove through to have a look and it felt strangely archeological, similar to our experience touring the old Kennedy Space Center launch pads at Cape Canaveral, with remnants of once great things that were clearly no longer in use.  From the island we were able to get directly on the 134 Jacques-Cartier Bridge and across the St. Lawrence River to Longueuil and work our way back to camp.

A typical Old Montreal alley

By the time we got back to the KOA, additional campers had arrived and more continued to come in and set up camp.  Although a crowed commercial campground full of families with dogs on a weekend would not usually be our preferred setting, we enjoyed the activity, especially the younger children who were obviously having a very exciting time.  Dinner was a simple affair of fresh strawberries and dumplings with homemade dipping sauce.  We rounded out the evening with a campfire.





June 22-23, 2022 – Montreal, QC

WEDNESDAY, 22 June 2022

Today was a travel day as we relocated from the Cardinal/Ottawa South KOA Holiday to the Montreal South KOA Journey (W3W=Shell.defeated.flicked), a distance of ~196 KM (~121 mi).  Most of the drive was again on the 401, paralleling the St. Lawrence River and eventually the St. Lawrence Seaway, with light to moderate traffic ad excellent weather.  At roughly the midpoint of our trip we crossed into Quebec for real.  (We were in Quebec briefly as part of our bus tour of Ottawa.)  We had numerous views of the water and crossed rivers and a canal as we approached the Montreal area.  Importantly (for us) the GPS in our F-150, as well as the Google Maps app on our phones, continued to work correctly and speak to us in English.

We ended up on a site next to Paul and Nancy, which was convenient.  “Making camp” went smoothly again, thanks to our arrival list.  Most of the sites here are “30A RV” electrical service, with only the outlet available at the site, with the circuit breakers are located elsewhere, a different arrangement than in the States or Ontario.  In a nod to their French heritage, the campground has a small Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower at Montreal South KOA Journey

After a snack, we walked the campground, which we almost always do after making camp.  It’s nice but does not have as many amenities as the KOA Holiday we just left.  And that’s fine.  Most of those extra amenities are for families with children, or provide “luxury” appointments at the sites, such as a patio with furniture.  We will be staying at a KOA Resort for a few nights when we get to the Gaspe Peninsula, the top of the 3-tier KOA system, and the only one in all of Canada.  Ooh, fancy.

We did not have any specific plans for sight-seeing today but noticed on the campground map of the area that there was a shopping plaza nearby with a Walmart Supercenter, a Costco, and other businesses.  I wanted to get fuel while unhooked from the trailer and, being Costco members, we decided to check there first.

When I finally got to the pump, the initial screen was all in French.  We knew that was going to happen eventually.  There was an attendant, so I asked for assistance.  I had my Costco Membership Card, which is also a VISA card, but the signs (and the attendant) said they only took MasterCard (and a couple of other local cards), so it appeared that I was not going to be able to buy fuel here.  He suggested that I scan (tap) my membership card to get started.  I did, and not only was it accepted/approved, everything else on the screen after that was in English!  I filled the tank and we returned to the campground.

Nancy was the chef for tonight’s dinner, with Linda as Sous-chef. Together they prepared an absolutely delicious ramen noodle dish with vegetables, mushrooms, and miso.  Linda also managed to do two smaller loads of laundry in their rig, which has a residential washer and dryer.

Rain was forecast to begin later in the evening and then continue overnight and all the next day.  I took this as an opportunity to process photos and start created blog posts.  The only “ding” on this campground is the Wi-Fi, a “ding” I am likely to report for almost every place we stop forte rest of our time in Canada.  Someone in the office explained how to use it.  It’s an open system (no password, ugh) that you can use for free for 30 minutes at a time.  You can reconnect, but you have to pay attention to the time so it doesn’t cut you off in the middle of doing something.  On the plus side, it’s fast enough to be useful when not overloaded with users.

THURSDAY, 23 June 2022

As forecast, the rain came and the rain stayed.  All.  Day.  There was a chance of thunderstorms, but they did not materialize.  In the time we’ve had the Airstream, we have had very few weather days that made staying inside the preferred option, so we were pleased to find that we were quite comfortable doing so.  We both have a variety of games and puzzle we can play on our iPads to pass the time, as well as social media (me, should I so choose).  Linda is keeping up with our expenditures (charges, mostly) on a daily basis, made more interesting by the exchange rate adjustments.

By mid-afternoon the rain was just an intermittent drizzle and we decided to find a winery with a tasting room to visit.  We (Linda and Nancy) decided on Le Vignoble Du Domaine St-Jacques.  It turned out to be a good choice.

Winery & Tasting Room at Le Vignoble Du Domaine St-Jacques

The winery is modern (started in 2002) and the tasting room is contemporary but elegant.  All of their wines are made from grapes grown on the 23 acres adjacent to the winery and tasting room on 120,000 vines and yielding about 160,000 bottles per year.  I only mention this because it’s the first place we have been that gave us an understanding of the relationship between these parameters.

The 23 acre vineyard

We tasted 6 of the 9 wines on offer, a mix of whites, rose’ and reds.  All of them were delicate, done to a dry finish, and distinctive.  I was intrigued by this refrigerated wine dispenser, a first in our experience.

Refrigerated wine dispenser

We bought a bottle of Pinot Rose’.  We use our American Express credit card wherever possible as they do not charge an exchange fee.  It’s been hit or miss, and the winery was a miss.  Ditto for Discover.  Quebec likes MasterCard (apparently) but it turned out the VISA was also accepted here.  Whew.  We had enough Canadian currency to cover the bill, but decided we should carry a bit more of it going forward.

Linda was this evening’s dinner chef, with Nancy as sous chef.  She made black bean and butternut squash burritos.  Just like at home, our meals are tasty and healthy when we travel.  I think wine and/or cider was also involved in this meal.