Québec, QC to Grand Falls, NB – Dec 5

We reverted to Plan A after checking New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island weather for the last couple of days.  The big storms must have veer off elsewhere and the forecast for the rest of the week is a mix of sun and cloud with a bit of rain and snow flurries.  We decided to head to Grand Falls, New Brunswick, which is about 50 km further south than our origial destination of Edmunston.

The majority of the day was spent on divided highway so not really exciting.  We did, however, make a couple of detours to find some geocaches and therefore drove for several kilometers on country roads.  This is still very much farm country with many large dairies and chicken farms. One of the little communities we drove through to find some geocaches was L’Islet.  There was a large Catholic Churh with an adjoining school.  At the back of the church was a small gazebo right on the shore of the St. Lawrence River.  There was supposed to be a geocache hidden in it but we could not find it.  The spot gave us a good view of the bunched-up ice chunks that have been pushed on shore by wind and waves. Just down the street from the church is the Québec Maritime Museum.  This boat, and the one behind it are moored at the museum and can be toured.Another geocache detour was a few kilometers along Chemin de la Desserte – a semi-maintained side road that was very icy.   John took his time and drove on the height of the ruts in case our rented Toyota Camry did not have enough clearance.The icy road joined a regular country road- Chemin Morin – which was bare and dry. There were 11 caches hidden along the side of the road but three of them were missing.  The caches were hidden about 400-500 meters apart so we would drive along, then as we neared the cache site John would pull over to the left side of the road where the caches were hidden and park.  One of us would get out and go down the snowy bank to find it on the fence or in a tree.  We had people in several cars that passed by watch us closely (one fellow stopped immediately he saw me walking around the back of the car toward the ditch and asked if I needed help, which I thought was very nice of him).  A few caches later as John was searching for one along comes a police car with lights flashing.  The office pulled along side the car and asked me if were were all right.  I said yes and told her we were looking for geocaches.  She had heard of the hobby so she thanked me nicely and drove off.  I don’t know if someone reported a suspicious vehicle on the road or if she was just going by, but she did have her lights on as she was approaching.

Also walking along the road for quite a distance as we looked for about three of the caches was an older couple.  We pulled behind them and in front of them and almost beside them on the last one.  They too asked, in French, if we were okay?  They did not speak English, but John had spotted the cache container hanging on the fence and went to get it and we showed them how the compass on our phone pointed to the cache, then we opened it, signed the log and put it back to demonstrate what we were doing.  They smiled kindly, wished us well and continued their walk.  We were driving alongside a nice big lake and couldn’t get a photo of it due to the guard rails.  John spotted a side road up a hill and drove up so I could get a picture or two.  We startled two deer up ahead.  The lake is called Témiscouata.  I have no idea what the translation might be.  It was a nice lake though. The rocks in Québec weep in the winter and form ice columns just like they do at home in BC.We crossed the Québec/New Brunswick border and continued south to Grand Falls. We were approaching Grand Falls at 5 pm NB time (four hours ahead of BC) and the sun was setting.  There is a lot more snow beside the roads as we go further south. The lady at the reception desk of our hotel recommended we have dinner at the Grand Saut Restaurant on Main Street.  Main Street is a divided road with a wide space between lanes, which is needed to put all the snow in winter.  All along the middle of the street are groupings of four or five fir trees; each one covered in different colored lights.  There is all so a pretty gazebo and a large Nativity.The restaurant looks like a large old house but was actually built for the restaurant in that style in 2003.  It was beautifully decorated inside and out.  And our dinners were really good. There was a geocache hidden about three blocks behind the restaurant near the curling rink, but there was too much snow to find it – plus it was pitch dark. This is a photo of a house across the street.We were told they get a lot of snow out this way and they were not kidding.

Tomorrow we drive to Moncton and hopefully we can locate a winter friendly geocache so we can cross New Brunswick off our to-do list.

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