Saturday, August 1, 2009

Forillon National Park-Aug. 1

Yesterday we drove northeast on the Gaspe peninsula(in fact John figured that here we reached the most northern area for us since we started our travels six months ago). We took highway route 132,noted on the map as a scenic byway. And the scenery was spectacular. On one side of the road we had the St.Lawrence seacoast,on the other were towering mountain walls with an occasional waterfall. We are now parked at the Indian Head campground- given that name because of a bluff overlooking the sea(on the grounds here) that gives the impression of an Indian head. I will post that picture here. Today we toured Forillon National Park. In this park we first toured an underground fort which Canada built during World War Two to defend a naval base in the bay. From there we toured Mr.Hyman's general store in which there were exhibits showing the cod fishing industry as it existed in this area during the late 1800s to the middle of the twentieth century. Our final stop for the day was Cap Gaspe,or lands end for the peninsula. It was a 4 km hike one-way,so we decided to use our bikes to save time. And it was about a 300 feet climb. After pedaling up the second hill on that trail we were close to giving up. Then a couple of people stopped us and pointed out a whale diving up in the water of the gulf. We decided to keep going,and saw several more whales on our way up. At the top we could also view seals swimming around. It was worth every bit of pain getting up there. And of course I have to share with you a picture from there. Also at the top was a marker announcing the end(or the beginning,however you want to consider it)of the International Appalachian Trail. We considered taking that trail down the mountain,but realized that our bikes would not do well going over the tree roots on the forest paths. It was scary going down,I pulled hard on my brakes most of the way! I had visions of me sliding on the gravel and flying into the sea. As we later drove out of the park we had to make one more stop. The people in the car in front of us saw a porcupine climb a tree so we also stopped to look at him- he was very large and seemed quite content to view us from his lofty perch. One other item before I close. I have pictured here a field of purple fireweed. It was located at the 100 year-old home of a local fisherman. That home has since been bought by the park. A lot of Canadian tour books touted those flowers as something very important to note when touring the house and its grounds during July and August.

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