Quebec Road Trip Day 6
Writing the title of this blog was confusing because while it appears that we visited 2 Canadian National Parks in one day, the truth is that by the definition of the word 'National' and the fact that, thus far, Quebec is a province and not a nation only one of those parks is actually a National Park. Now, I'm sure that the Nation of Quebec would disagree with me, but in fact Forillion National Park is the only park we visited this day that is actually a National Park. I know this because of the beaver emblem on the park's sign. And the fact that the entrance to Forillon National Park was almost half the price of the Quebec Parks. The campsite was much cheaper, AND most useful for us was that all the staff and park information was happily provided in BOTH of our Nation's official languages. But I digress.
Our morning at Bic, the National Provincial Park was great and not to be undermined by the park's confusing designation. We woke up early and walked the Chemin du Nord again . It was completely different but just as beautiful in the morning light.
There were a couple other short hikes we wanted to check out in the park before heading up the coast to Forillon National Park. First we drove over to another one of the park's peninsulas and climbed a lookout at Point aux épinettes for a great view over the water and park. A tour bus of older French tourists were leaving as we pulled up. As we passed them an older gentleman proudly presented me with his pre-loved walking stick. A gnarly, weathered piece branch with a perfect, natural handle. It was awesome! And although it was not much help for climbing up the stairs to the lookout it was EXACTLY the fire poker we'd been looking for our nightly campfires. Huge score. Merci, mon ami!
Hoping to continue our good luck streak we stopped in at Cap Caribou with seals on our minds. We were not disappointed. There were many, many seals at Cap Caribou. They were further out than is ideal for watching their slippery antics, but you could definitely tell that there were seals posing out on the rocks! We were there just in time for a presentation by a park employee. Sadly it was only in French, but happily he had set up telescopes in perfect positions to see the seals up close. Another successfully animal-filled morning in Quebec!
We left Bic National Park knowing that it was a place we could definitely spend more time... one day.
We had a long drive ahead us all the way up the Gaspe Peninsula to Forillon National Park at the very tip. The day was sunny and clear and perfect for the scenic drive. It was the kind of September day you long for both in the hot, humid days of summer and frigid, snowy days of winter. Our 5.5 hours on the road took us through cute, colourful maritime villages hugging the St. Lawrence the whole way. White caps on the river masked the whales frolicking amongst them, but we kept our eyes peeled anyways, just in case.
We got to Forillon National Park for dinner and cooked while overlooking the park's famous cliff at Cap Bon Ami surrounded by thick slopes of trees on the verge of their full fall colour display.
From our campsite we could see both the water when it was daylight and a sky chock full of stars from our tent at night. Nearly perfectly roasted marshmallows capped off our nearly perfect sixth day in Quebec.