Attaboy.ca

Over There (in the UK)

June 11, 2001 at 12 PM

And we’re back

I’ve been away from the computer for a little while. In the meantime I discovered a few things.

1. Quebec is a big ol’ province (err... ‘nation, je m’excuse). With long, tedious, long stretches of long highway. That are long.

2. A long drive can, however, culminate (eventually) in reaching a heretofore unknown (to me) jewel: the Charlevoix region. Rolling mountains, secluded rocky beaches, roads that twist and wind into the sunset... c’est un vrai paradis.

3. Those of us lucky enough to be born in British Columbia have been spoiled by its temperate rainforest camping splendours.

Despite the overall aesthetic charm of Charlevoix, the one place there that would’ve seemed ideal to camp, the Parc des grands-jardins (“Park of the Great Gardens”) turned out to be little more than a graveyard for trees. I remain curious as to what sort of ailment could kill that many living organisms; the campground there was one of the most depressing sites I’d ever laid eyes on.

And it sure didn’t seem like a grand, old park. It seemed more like decades of imprudent forestry practice and toxic chemical dumping had all but destroyed a large swath of land, so some government official said, “Okay, now that we’ve destroyed this once great place, I guess we should let it recover awhile. I know, let’s make it a park!”

Not to sound jaded though — the rest of Charlevoix is marvelous. My kingdom for a hill, a bump, or anything, is sometimes how I feel here in the broad, dull St. Lawrence Valley that surrounds Montreal. Charlevoix’s closely-nestled mountains and daring cliffs were just the answer for that age old question: What does one do when the tourist hordes descend on your city for the noisiest, least thrilling, most commercially-bombastic event of the year? Glad to have missed it.

Comments

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Previously: The Sexes

Subsequently: Love at First Bite

June 2001
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