Coffee in Quebec Topped With a Moose

Trip Start Oct 10, 2007
Trip End Oct 16, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Falls on Rt 201We visited "The Falls" a rest point area along RT 201. It still amazes me what happens when we get out of the car. Like at Ausable Chasm, just off the road about a 50 feet walk there is a beautiful waterfall. If you don't stop, get out, and walk just a little, it's a missed opportunity. The hike to the bottom of the falls was slick with wet leaves and algae covered rocks but the short trek was worth it. The water was fast, loud, and alive and we were the only ones enjoying it. Another reminder of how many secret beautiful things there are in the world to see, we just have to keep our eyes open. The Falls 2
              We took this one road around a swampy muddy area that was clearly only intended for logging trucks. The gnarliest of all our drives, we careened around huge rocks, branches, and dips in the "road". It's Maine, not Jurasic Park!The road came to a Y and while we were deciding which way to go, we spotted a full skeleton of a moose right outside the car window. Almost fully intact, this thing had been picked to pieces and cleaned by every living thing is sight. With only some fur left near the hooves, it was a reminder that we were certainly in the heart of wildlife. I instantly knew what Joe had intended when he rushed over to view the bones. Caveman JoeI could only imagine where he thought the bones would go "just perfectly" in our tiny home. I protested the skeletal adoption and we headed back on our way to seek out the moose near their favorite place, mud. We had found moose prints, moose bones, and even moose poop but no Moose and after hours of driving we decided to take a break from the rocky roads and head north for a touch down in the French Canadian Provence of Quebec. 
              Bonjour! Viva le Quebec! St Georges is north of the boarder near Jackman about 50 miles. The drive is easy but wooded mostly on both sides so a huge moose crossing area surrounded us for our drive to St Georges. No luck though, the Canadian Moose are as elusive as the American ones! On the way to St GeorgesThe town of St Georges was quaint and we definitely could have spent more time there but as the afternoon grew later, we knew we wanted to be back near Jackman before dark. After a cappuccino for me and an espresso for Joe at a Scarp booking/Paint-A-Pot/ Coffee Café, we headed back to the homeland for our evening. On our way back to Jackman, just north of our cabin Joe made his first spot. Off the side of the highway, just off the road, a female moose was making her way towards crossing RT 201. We stopped and Joe shot some pictures. As she became impatient, and made her way along the swampy area, Joe followed her and hunted her down. Driving her into further into the woods we felt a glimmer of hope. We had just seen our first moose so at least now we were sure they were really there! Back in the truck, I drove with one eye on the highway, the other on the shoulder. Moose 5Now that it was dusk, we were hoping to have another spotting. Sure enough only a few hundred feet ahead, we saw another car pulled over.  The couple had spotted an even bigger female this time and she was way less shy. Brooding out into the middle of the highway almost instantly we were able to really get a picture of how large and intimidating these animals are. Even without antlers, the females are a presence of their own and clearly not to be messed with. Joe got within 20 feet of this particular female. I was in the driver's seat and we waved me out of the car. moose 7I stepped out and he said "Be ready to storm her if she comes after me." "OK" I replied. Standing there waiting for this moose to storm Joe I realized the reality of what I had agreed to. He wanted ME to avert the approaching animal to keep him safe?? OK, I replied? I must be crazy and as I stood there watching her stand off with him as he shot picture after picture, I tried to recall all the nature shows he makes me watch about "What to do when..." I guess I would just have to apply the same principles for bear attacks or mountain lions. Somehow all this survival training didn't make me feel more comfortable. Finally, the cow got annoyed with Joe, turned her back to him and went on her way. Back in the truck we celebrated our first moose success!
             Darkness falls fast in Jackman and boy does the temperature drop when the sun goes down. We returned to our cabin, layered up, grabbed some blankets and a glass of wine and sat on the deck before heading to dinner at Mama Bears Family Restaurant downtown. The quiet and peacefully feeling we enjoyed on that deck was the whole reason we came on this trip. After such a grueling few days and so many miles on the road, it felt great to just be still for awhile. We decided to grab dinner before we got to comfortable (or poured another glass of wine) and headed down town. Mama Bears was fantastic! Joe had Prime Rib that even I thought tasted good and my Salmon Salad was huge! We filled our bellies and headed back to the tranquility of the deck where we finished our night in peace and quiet.
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