Lac de la Tonne - 49° 04' 56" N, 65° 54' 53" W
A birthday misadventure!
We packed up our camp in the beautiful Forillon National Park and, being able to go no further east, we started our journey back towards Canmore. We drove along the north coast of the Gaspé Peninsula along road protected by a seawall against the worst the St Lawrence could throw at it. And birds, birds everywhere. Those you expect to see and others I am not used to seeing bobbing on the ocean such as mallard ducks...
Although the weather was getting chillier and car camping less inviting, on impulse we decided to drive through Parc national de la Gaspésie and Resérve faunique des Chic-Chocs and wild camp for just one night. The weather was overcast and threatening rain, the autumn colour was finished and there was the chill of winter in the air. The landscape was hilly and with many small lakes dotted around.
|Lac de la Tonne - looks like a lovely place to camp!
Around 4pm, we were about an hour from the main road and decided to find a lake to camp on and enjoy a birthday drink. Lac de la Tonne fitted the bill perfectly and had a road down to the lakeside. We decided to back down, raise the hatch, sit and enjoy the evening.
Not our finest hour...
|... and beautiful view for a birthday drink!
|Our track out -
much worse than it looks
Front-wheel drive, a heavily-loaded car on slick summer tyres, no cell coverage and no-one knew where we were ... so of course we got bogged. The next 45 minutes involved a lot of grunting, pushing, head scratching, internal panic and stuffing things under wheels - darkness falling and spitting rain the whole time.
Finally, after unloading the weight out of the back of the car and finding a stout limb to use as a lever, we managed to inch the car forward and with an almighty rush of relief, the tyre caught and the car pulled itself up the rise. Jeez did we need a drink!
We were too flustered to snap photos of the car slipping and sliding on the mud. But as you can see, it wasn't particularly steep, an incline at best - but just enough!
With the car safely parked at the very top of the path with wheels on the gravel road, we took our lawn chairs back to the lake and enjoyed a beer until the rain started coming down. Our relief was immense with each of us staying outwardly calm. We both confessed to internal panic and were imagining riding our bikes back to the main road to get help. We were VERY careful to make sure we had the car keys.
Was it an adventure or a harrowing episode averted? Is there a difference?