For a change of pace (*g*) more photos, less bla bla bla.
We left this site at the Ottawa Municipal campground mid-morning on Thursday September 4th. Right on 'schedule.' I gassed up (oh, the cost of freedom these days) and without much fanfare made my way through most of the places I've called home for eight of these past ten years. Highway 105 north was the hardest as the string of familiar hamlets passed behind me, to be seen again, perhaps, in a very distant future: Alcove, Farrelton, Kazabazua, Low, Blue Sea, Gracefield... Maniwaki was a non-event, but the town has changed since I was there last, perhaps four years ago.
The drive was difficult because of construction, but the weather made up for that.
Finally, we reached the first major milestone of this first leg of my journey:
Loosely translated, turning right meant civilization and turning left meant heading into a northern frontier of mining towns, granite cliffs, and forests of black spruce.
I turned left.
When I reached the southern access point of Verendrye Park I was glad to almost be done driving for the day. It was getting close to mid-afternoon and my 250km done that morning had worn me down. So, I selected to stay at Lac Roland, 40km from the entrance and right on the 117. Cost for the night was the same as when I tent, 15$ and change, since I didn't want hookups.
Then came the taking of a calculated risk that will have a lot of people saying "YOU IDIOT!", but I repeat that it was calculated, and it paid off big time.
I drove all the way to the end of Lac Roland campground, right to a dead end, with no way out except backing up about a half kilometre. Or doing what I did. I unhooked the toad, and moved it onto a site, then I manoeuvred Miranda into that site, too. That took some precise driving, but I'm actually more comfortable operating her in reverse than I am the toad. The square shape makes it very easy to know exactly where I am and what I'm doing.
Why did I do such a seemingly foolish thing?
The view outside my study, of course:
If I had played it 'safe' I would have taken the first pull through I found where all the RVers gathered last night and partied hard, instead of being quietly ensconced in a private site with a great view.
And I wouldn't have had the chance to gain so much confidence about my Miranda driving abilities. Driving out of there was actually tougher than backing in!
Next order of business was dinner. Mmm, charred bird!
(It was very tasty!)
This wonderful device was very useful for doing a preliminary cleanup on the greasy BBQ tools:
I then set up the computer and settled in to watch a couple of eps of a favourite show since it was way too early to sleep, but I was too tired to do anything useful.
Went to bed ridiculously early last night, so was up ludicrously early this morning. It was pouring rain and damp inside, so I decided not to hang around. Next stop: L'Abitibi.
Which is where I am now, parked outside the Canadian Tire in Val D'Or making full use of a free wi-fi signal I'm picking up. I have errands to run and am debating whether to leave the coach here and set off in toad, or to go off coach and all. There are so many RVs here that I suspect I'll be able to get away with spending the night here. I hope so. The other place I have lined up is 25$ per night and that doesn't include hookups!
"Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."