Kelsow does Gaspé, again.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by kelsow, Sep 14, 2013.

  1. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    I decided to take in Gaspé once again. This would be my 5th trip around this beautiful part of the province of QC.
    However, I got off to a slow start. Turns out there was a big accident and I got stuck in traffic for about an hour,
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    I got off the highway in Truro and headed to Pugwash,
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    It was getting late so it was time to start looking for a place to set up camp. One thing about the road signs in NS and NB. The tent/trailer
    don't necessarily mean tents. I stopped at 4 in a row that wouldn't allow tents.
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    I finally found one in Grand Digue at 8:00. I had to set up in the dark but I still had time for a fire before I hit the hay.
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    Morning,
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    Random lighthouse on the side of the road,
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    One thing I admire about New Brunswick is that the people are proud of their heritage.
    The blue means the sky and the sea. The harmony and loyalty.
    The white means peace, hope.
    The red means the blood, a reminder of the suffering and hardships in their history.
    And the yellow star signifies the Virgin Mary or the North Star that the fishermen used to follow to get back home.
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    Shipwreck?
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    Bridge crossing the Miramichi (I think)
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    Interesting house/business inhabited by Engineers,
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    Another random Lighthouse,
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    Pokeshaw? lol
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    When I rode the Cabot Trail this summer http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=902129&highlight=kelsow) some of the lads I met
    talked about this campsite they found along their way. It's West of Grande-Anse and it features converted fishing boats.
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    Back on the road,
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    Beautiful summer home in Riviere Jacquet,
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    I LOVE stopping to take pix of old barns and houses. Here is one of a few I found on this trip,
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    The bridge to the start of the Gaspé Peninsula in Campbelton NB,
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    I had talked to a gas attendant and he warned me of torrential rain in the forecast.
    It was getting very dark and was spitting throughout the day so I figured I'd see if there was a cabin available.
    There wasn't, but there was a trailer,
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    Even though rain was in the forecast, it never showed. Good thing I had a fire regardless,
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    Next up, Gaspé.
    #1
  2. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    The next morning was looking to be an exceptional day. It was 10°c and sunny.
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    I wanted to do part of the TCAT (Trans Canada Adventure Trail) that Deadly99 has organized.
    I started up the first section and was greeted with some amazing scenery.
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    The North road leading up the mountain is quite a bit of fun and is a constant climb.
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    Here is the turn around point of the trail.
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    Here is a warming shack for the snowmobile folk.

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    This is where I decided that I had the wrong tires. Once the trail narrowed, it got very slippery/muddy
    and there were big baby head sized rocks to navigate.

    The last time I was riding alone and in difficult conditions (IE: frost) I went down.
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    I didn't want to repete that so I figured I shouldn't do the rest of the TCAT on these tires. That sucked.
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    Just before the trail pops back out on the 132, you'll see this nice old house.
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    An interesting art piece in the town of Maria,
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    This is where the weather changed,
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    It started to spit on and off all day.

    When riding Gaspe, it pays to keep your eyes peeled for little gems like this. (If you like bridges that is)
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    Much of the South Shore of Gaspe features a shore line like this or beaches,
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    Old train station in Haus LeGrand featuring some interesting characters,

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    A little bit farther down you'll see a sign for a tunnel so I took a detour to see what it was,

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    It was completed in 1908 and is still in use today. From the other side,
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    You aren't supposed to go in...
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    Random barn on the way up the road,
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    Perce Rock.
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    I find it's much better to ride Gaspe CCW. That way you're in the outside lane, next to the ocean and when you see Perce Rock
    for the first time, it's a surprise. If you ride it CW, you see it from quite a distance and it's not as impressive.
    But really, you can't go wrong either way.

    The weather wasn't great for nice pix so I'll post this one from a previous trip,
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    If you look on your GPS or map, you may be able to see a road going up to the top of a very large hill.
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    You will see this so beware,
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    PHEW! Made it.
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    Now here is where things got interesting.
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    On the way up, I had just enough traction to make it to the top.
    Not so much on the way down. With ABS turned off, there was NOTHING I could do to stop on some sections of the road.
    There were several sections that were very steep, covered with 2" round rocks. I was sliding down sideways and
    picking up steam. AAaaaaaahhhhhhhh!

    Somehow I managed to make it, but I don't know how I didn't fall down.
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    Church at the bottom of the hill.
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    Make sure you look behind you as you leave the town,
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    Mmmmmmmmmm twisty roads,
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    At this point I decided to skip what may be the most picturesque part of the peninsula.
    I had seen it before several times but the weather was threatening and I was feeling a little short on time for this trip.
    Do not miss the road around Forillon National Park.

    I made it to the North Shore where it began to rain and get even windier. I have experience this wind on my last trip
    and it will try to lift your helmet off your head it's so strong.
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    WOW,
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    And then the sun came out,
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    but was still very windy,
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    I had started looking for a place to camp, especially as I gave up on camping in Forillion Nat Park.
    There were no camp sites anywhere around that I could see of find on the GPS.

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    So at 7:00 or so, I gave up looking as I found this place for 55 bux. Perfect!
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    I'll take the cabin in the middle please Alex.
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    Out my window I see a strange glow so I grabbed the camera but missed the best part.
    This was about half of what was there,
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    #2
  3. NovaMoto

    NovaMoto Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2011
    Oddometer:
    138
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Lovely photos! & RR
    #3
  4. Polaris01

    Polaris01 Adventurer

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2012
    Oddometer:
    13
    Location:
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Great shots Kelsow, looks like a nice ride.
    Glad you missed the rain I got nailed on the103.
    Fun though!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
    #4
  5. Klay

    Klay dreaming adventurer

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Oddometer:
    106,158
    Location:
    right here on my thermarest
    Very nice images. I'm going there.
    #5
  6. agent of orange

    agent of orange Adventurer

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Oddometer:
    79
    Location:
    Nova Scotia Canada
    Great pics... I hold in the hotel in lab city wondering what way to make my way back to Halifax.. Was planing on camping in your spot in fermont but hit rain out side of the city. With wet gear from running the 510 in rain mist and mud. On aside note getting off the ferry after dinner makes a late night arival in goosebay. I am still wanting to ride some more gravel... And some camera lessons because none of my shots are as good as yours. But the acadians sure love to decorate with lots of color!!
    #6
  7. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Thanks everyone. It really is a lovely place to see from either direction and for multiple times.
    #7
  8. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    The day was looking promising as sunlight was shining into my room.
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    I got up and went outside to take a look around and there was barely a cloud in the sky,
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    I love riding first hing in the morning. Everything is fresh, including me.
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    The North Shore is quite a bit different than the South. Most of what you'll see looks like this,
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    and this,
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    Notice the layers of rocks and at the top right of that pic where some layers take 90° turns.

    Lots of places to take a break all along this section of road,
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    Lots of little towns about every 20k or so. Not all have fuel so be mindful of that.
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    Here is where my day got really interesting,
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    Nobody was there to take my money so I decided to just go up to see what was there.
    It never even entered my mind to look up to see how high this was going to be. I'm not sure I would have gone up.
    The road is in very good shape but I don't think I have gone up anything so steep and for so long.
    The payoff at the top is well worth it. Different than Perce but equally as nice.

    This is where you would launch your para-glider or whatever,
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    The edge goes straight down.
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    Nice place to camp if one were allowed,
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    Heading down,
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    and down,
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    and down,
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    It took longer to get down than to get up.

    Back on the pavement,
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    One of the lighthouses you'll see along the way,
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    It was time for breakfast in Sainte-Anne_des-Monts. There is a fine diner attached to the Petro Can
    where I met up with a bunch of riders from QC heading to ON. We chatted for a bit and I headed off,
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    I decided to head down the 299 toward Parc National de la Gaspesie,
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    It's a very nice road and would be even better 2 weeks from when I was there as the leaves were just starting to turn,
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    Here is Mont Hogs Back,
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    Apparently there is a hiking trail to the top.
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    Wide angle,
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    Tele (lens compression)
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    Pano,
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    Once back on the 132 you'll have to ride through Maria again. This time I took a pic that I missed from before.
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    The bridge back into NB.
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    From this point on I had no idea where I was going. I had planned a route on my GPS but I had never ridden the roads before
    so the next few hours would be all new.
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    A little bit more dirt,
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    There would be much more to see there as there were dirt roads leading off but I didn't have too much time to explore.

    Here is where some local knowledge of at least a little bit of research would have paid off.
    I took the 108 from Plaster Rock to Renous.
    Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES take this road.
    There is NOTHING to see for 138k. Nothing. Nada. Except (if you're lucky) a snake if you stop in the middle for no reason whatsoever.
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    There are tons of dirt roads all over the place as they are logging but I didn't want to get lost.

    The road there is covered by something that looks extremly slippery. I can't imagine how slippy in the rain,
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    So I head South West on the #8 and start looking for a camp site. (you know where this is going...)
    There was ONE place to camp that was brand new. I thought cool. New facilities, nobody else around.
    Have a fire and cook supper. Be great. I pays me money and go to the site. There was nothing there.

    All the trees were taken down. There was gravel filling in where the mud was. Literally no place to pitch a tent.
    I really regret not taking a picture but I was kinda giddy at this point. I got my money back and hit the road again.
    From Renous to Fredricton is 134k and there were no other camp sites.

    It was getting dark so I had to start looking for alternatives,
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    Here is the place in the morning,
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    but I did manage to cook supper on the deck the night before. KD and beef jerkey.
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    #8
  9. novaboy

    novaboy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Oddometer:
    648
    Location:
    Rothesay, New Brunswick, Canada, eh
    Nice Kelsow, as usual nice pics. The Gaspe is on my list for next year.
    #9
  10. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,118
    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Cool NB. If you need a tour guide or info, let me know.
    #10
  11. zaner32

    zaner32 In over my head

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Oddometer:
    683
    Location:
    Moncton
    Very nice.!! Thanks for sharing. Gotta do more adventurizing in Gaspe. I'm surprised you didn't head into Serpentine from that road that crosses from Mount Carleton to Plaster Rock. Blackville/Doaktown is about 1.5 hours away from Serpentine.
    #11
  12. inbred

    inbred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2011
    Oddometer:
    193
    Location:
    Weedsport, NY
    I am glad to say that I am heading for Gaspe and the Northern shore in a couple of days. Like you ill be alone and hoping to camp in my tent. What's with the no tents policy? With all that space around, I can't see not being able to find a small patch of ground to pitch a tent.
    #12
  13. RPD1

    RPD1 We don't

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2006
    Oddometer:
    24,745
    Location:
    East PA
    Me too.

    Great pictures.
    #13
  14. BKMLWR

    BKMLWR Wondering around...

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
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    5,071
    Location:
    North Carmel
    which way did you go at the heating shack? We went to the right and after a couple km came to a large beaver pond flooding the road
    #14
  15. Hevy Kevy

    Hevy Kevy ADDRider

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2010
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    Location:
    S. Ontario
    Great RR, thanks for taking the time :clap:clap:clap
    #15
  16. ClearwaterBMW

    ClearwaterBMW The Examiner

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2005
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    Location:
    Clearwater, FL USA
    thanks for a great ride report.... and taking us along for the ride
    it is much appreciated
    #16
  17. veesick

    veesick Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Oddometer:
    137
    Location:
    Poutine Land, Québec
    Great pics and thanks for taking me back in time!!!! Spent 12 days with Université De Montréal (geography) for a seminar while l was a student back in 92 (ish) . Most of it was in Mont St-Pierre (paragliding spot) and Forillion. Lots of BBB (Beer Bonfire Bunnies) on the shore every night :evil... Life was good. Time to go back for a long bike week-end with either the wife or one of the daughters...
    #17
  18. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

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    Halifax Nova Scotia
    I know! I saw the sign but it wasn't in my schedule. I'd love to get back there though.

    The leaves should just be starting to change by then I would guess. I suppose if I wanted to go down a side road I could have found something. I'm a little leery of ninja camping sometimes. I just wasn't feeling it much this trip.

    Thanks

    Yep, I went right as well. I didn't see any beaver dam but it did get wet and the puddles were muddy and deep.

    You're welcome.
    #18
  19. kelsow

    kelsow Long timer

    Joined:
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    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Halifax Nova Scotia
    Woke up to an overcast day but at least it wasn't raining. Within 20 minutes of leaving Freddy, I saw 3 or 4 camp grounds, all open to tenting.
    I also saw a big potato,
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    I rode along the 105 and it was gorgeous. Too bad it wasn't a little bit brighter but it was still nice,
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    It's starting...
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    Another abandoned house along the way,
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    I love the helmet protecting the bulb,
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    Another old house or cottage. This one was very cool,
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    LOL. Like Satan is into tagging.
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    After getting all screwed up and heading in the wrong direction I managed to find home,
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    Mappage.
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    I wanted to post a few additional pix from previous trips to give an idea as what you can expect to see.
    You just have to get off the beaten path sometimes.
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    Yes, that's a fox,
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    Thanks for coming along.
    #19
  20. Wdwrkr

    Wdwrkr Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
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    3,184
    Location:
    Lost at sea
    First let me say your picture quality is second to none.. You have a great eye, and the resolution and colors are incredible.... Top notch

    Secondly I've ridden the gaspe peninsula twice now and you have shown me so many things I missed... I live out east (southeast mass), so this is more less my back yard, and a quick day and a half trip to the area. I just returned yesterday from 12 days in PEI,NB, NS, and CB, but I was two up so my off road legs were very limited (had to keep mama happy). I'll have to go back on the other bike and explore more in the Gaspe... The Lauretian Mountains on the north shore are packed with incredible trails and roads....

    Thank you for allowing me to hitch hike on your journey. It was so worth the time
    #20