Jump to content

Quebec Trip


Recommended Posts

"The boat just docked at Tadoussac, a little nest of greenery tucked into the mountainside, and near-famous for its ancientness.

Huge rocks loom up, hauty and proud, indescribably majestic and disdainful of the weak and tiny mortals who walk at their feet below.

Truly this is virgin nature at her greatest, untamed, unconquered and always grandiose. The sight is both terrible and sublime; it fascinates, subjugates us like those infinite mysteries of which the eye can never get its fill.

In some places, however, the mountainsides are covered with rich and luxuriant vegetation. The startling green of fir trees, larches, the flashing white of birches lent yet another kind of charm to this picturesque landscape and seem to animate its haughty and pretentious physiognomy, as if with a smile... "

Robertine Barry, 1895

Maybe I saw something that Mr. Barry saw in this region when I did this same trip, same time last year. Something drew me back, something more than Don Eva's invitation to join the group again. As my local friend Don Hannon put it the other day after experiencing the natural beauty surrounding him, "you know there has to be a God when you come here" I'll be back - next year, I hope.

Quebec Trip: Sept. 12 (Thursday) thru Sept. 17th (Tuesday) 2002

Description: 6-Day trip to Les Escoumins, 3 hrs northeast of Quebec City, 20 miles across the St. Lawrence river northwest of the Gaspe Peninsula. We’re 30 min beyond Tadoussac, the oldest village in North America (settled 1580) with a ferry ride across the Saguenay Fjord. Staying in 2 modern attractive chalets with full baths & kitchens, sitting 40' above small cove and overlooking the St. Lawrence River to the Gaspe and some of the best whale habitat in the world. We're in an ALL french-speaking world, and $100 Canadian bucks cost $64 American. and gas is $.75 per litre; our chalet is $480 Canadian per 4 people per five days... thats $80 American per person for the duration! Water temps are real chilly - 32 to 34 degrees, so full wetsuit; and better yet polypropylene clothing under drysuit is even better. The tides here run a good 12-14 feet. Interesting is that though water temperature is posted in Celcius (-2 to +2 degrees), the tides are NOT in meters, but in feet. This may be a maritime standard.

Trip is the mastermind of Don Eva, NSPN member (trip posted on NSPN bulletin board; NOT an official club trip). All except my friend Don Hannan are back this year after having done the same trip last year.

NSPN members Peter McLaughlin with Don & Gayla, and Marc & Natalia, and my good friend joining us this year, Don Hannan, from Plymouth (choosing to leave his boat at home)

Wednesday 9/11

Don Hannon (without his boat) & I came up from Plymouth late afternoon after stop at Piantedosi's Butcher Shop in Plymouth for steak tips and Pearl-brand hot dogs. Business stops in Wellesley & Woburn; quick dinner at Wendy's in Derry, NH & on to Epsom, just east of Concord for a good early start the next morning. Marc & Natalia arrive quietly around midnite; waking neither of us.

Thursday 9/12

7am loaded M&N British P&H boats on with my P&H Sirius (interesting, 3 narrow British boats I'm carrying?), gassed up in Chichester & met Don & Gayla, at the rte. 9 Concord Friendlys at 8:20. Breakfast at Tilton BK (exit 20), up thru NH into VT to food, gas stop in Newport. Thru customs, up rte 55. Stop in Drummondville for ATM to get our Canadian money, M&N got videotape at Wal-Mart and Don H. treated us to Frosty's at Wendy's. Rte 20 to 73 which took us over the St. Lawrence into Quebec City at 4:15pm in some heavy traffic that fortunately dissipated quickly. Took Rte 40 around the north of the city and picked up Rte 138 in Beauport, got into St. Catherine to the Saguenay ferry at 7:30, arr. Tadoussac 8pm, and Escoumins - Essipit Indian Reservation 8:45pm. I drove the whole way! Quick cold-cut sandwiches, & off to bed - I was wiped.

Friday 9/13

After breakfast of coffee & bagels went into town shops then to marine museum where some of us bought postcards & we booked a 1:30 whalewatch. Back for lunch, I wrote out postcards, and off for whalewatch in a 22' Zodiak. We first suited up in orange "survival suits" - kind of an insulated coveralls that will float. Sarah was our interpreter. Very windy, choppy. Everyone soaked and pounded by heavy seas; but we did see blue and finback whales off Cap Bon Desir. Went to post office, then back to chalet to change and unload boats. Don, Marc and I paddled NE to ferry dock then down to marine museum & back. I was really wiped out at arrival to our cove; took a refreshing shower. Got back as it was getting dark to great meal of steak tips, potatoes, Natalia's green beans, Gallo of Sonoma cabernet and followed by carrot cake. Bon Appetit!

Saturday 9/14

Up at 7:40 for shower and next door for coffee, bagels and Marc's oven-puffed pancakes Nobody is ambitious, and sore after yesterday's whalewatch. Load boats, make sandwiches and start dressing for paddling - we decide on Tadoussac. We eat there at beautiful panoramic overlook, looking out over the Saguenay, the hills and village of Tadoussac, and its intimate harbor. We unload at the harbor ramp, paddle out of harbor adjacent to red channel marker & view numerous Minke whales and a lone seal for the next 2 hrs. Don found a great coffee shop with espresso - shopped at specialty store, Epicerie Cote; M&N got chicken; D&G got piping-hot french loaves; Peter got a awesome looking chocolate cake, the fancy kind with the chocolate bars over the top arranged like fan blades. Back for showers & Marc's herbed-under-skin chicken with Walnut Crest cabernet, mashed potatoes & beans, followed by the Gateau au Chocolat.

Sunday 9/15

Don's Buckwheat pancakes, Peter & Don H. hiked out to the Essipit Outlook at the end of the new x-country trail, then back to gear up to paddle no. to Grande Bature des Escoumins, beyond the harbor. Watched beluga from 200yds. Short break on rocks (wp #6) & back. Did 7 mi. Burgers & dogs for lunch; another hike with the whole gang out to the outlook and checked out the 40 new condo units. Dinner is Gayla's lasagna with the rest of the Walnut Crest Cab and garlic bread, the other half of the Gateau au chocolat.

Monday 9/16

Up 6am to load for trip one-way 12 mi. down the fjord from Anse-de-Roche, planned with the ebbing tidal currents. First we went up Rte 172 thru Sacre-Cour to Bai St-Marie to the interpretave center, which was closed. We launched from a steep ramp at Anse-de-Roche. Left D&G truck while Don H went on to park at church in Tadoussac. Putin 11:30 (wp #7) - lunch on rocky outcropping at (wp #8); followed by rigging tows for the women, who are having trouble takeout Tadoussac (wp #9) @4:30 w/ shuttle by D&G while rest walked up to coffee shop for moccachinos; the shop has a petit photo department, note & greeting cards, and even a little bookstore in another corner. They suggested & we did dinner at la Bolle in Tadoussac. Very good - appetizers, steak, chicken, fish, pasta & we all had creme bruléé for dessert. Magnifique!

Tuesday 9/17

up @6:00 just before the sunrise to finish packing around a light breakfast. Left @ 8:20 with mileage of 730 (from Epsom). Spectacular beluga show as we crossed the Saguenay on the ferry. I'd estimate 4-6 pairs behind us thruout our crossing. Got pictures. Stopped at the Montmorencey Falls just east of Quebec City to check it out up close. These falls are 100' higher than Niagara Falls, and a wonderful visit. Drummondville for Wendy's and our last Quebec gas (.759/liter); took the backroads out for quite a ways before picking up 55 again. Duty-Free shop, customs & then to gas up in Newport. Departed D&G at Rte 9 Wendys in Concord, to Epsom to transfer M&N gear to their car in Epsom & reload my boat on roof. Don home @ 12:10am

Home (Plymouth, MA) 12:25am, total mileage 1500.

Trip Cost: Gas $100 Chalet $95.40 Whalewatch $23.60 (CA prices converted to US)

Recipes from the trip

Marc's burned hand pancakes (you can guess how he named this?)

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup skim milk

2 tbsp sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg

1 large egg white

1 tbsp butter

powdered sugar & fruit

preheat 425degF

combine 1st 6 ingredients, stir ‘till moist

melt butter in 10" skillet on med ht,

pour batter in & cook 1 min (no stir).

Bake @ 425degF for 18 mins,

sprinkle w powdered sugar, cut, serve.

Natalia's Ultimate string beans-

blanch in boiling water until bright green. Quench in ice water. Saute minced garlic in olive oil, add beans to heat, add S&P; fresh squeezed lemon and serve.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...