To Lac a l’Ecluse

1435540834_thumb.jpegWhen we left the KOA nearby the Safari Condo showroom, it only took us like 10 hours to get ready to pull out. Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration, but not by much. There is a lot to do even with a small trailer to get it ready to travel. We tried very hard to pay attention to everything during training, but it was still a lot of double checking and “Oh yeah” and extensive conversation around every step. All of the dishes had to have little shelf liners and packing material stuffed between them so they wouldn’t rattle themselves to death. Cargo netting had to be placed around all of the things on the bathroom shelves so we wouldn’t end up with a floor made of shampoo.
This is what the inside looked like (I remember thinking of these as “before” shots with no idea what it would actually look like when we arrived at our destination).

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Then we pulled on to the road.

Remember, I had only towed about three miles along a very quiet street to the KOA, so this was pretty much white knuckle time for me. Yes, the Alto pulls very easily, and yes, the Acura was purchased with overkill in mind, but navigating through traffic and over the bridge back through Quebec City gave me heart palpitations. The state of nonstop tension continued until we took a little break to get gas. I thought I was going to pass out I was so relieved to stop.

Our aim was to head for a region to the northeast of Quebec called Le Parc National des Grands Jardins. We intentionally didn’t have reservations at campgrounds during this stretch of the trip because we weren’t sure how far we (I) would want (be able) to tow every day.

I must say, it was a lovely drive once we got onto highway 381 North.

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I could feel that I was towing something but it wasn’t like it was making the car move in dangerous ways. It was more that I was constantly thinking “Holy sh*t! I’m TOWING something!” We had all the right equipment, thanks again to the people at Safari Condo. The brake controller I had installed in my Subie prematurely (like 10 months ago) that I then moved to the Acura didn’t end up working. So I’ve now paid for it to be installed twice in two different cars and still needed to get new one (a better one) installed at the showroom. Still, I could feel bumps in the road sort of echo behind me as the trailer went over them and it was freaking me out.

However, eventually we made it to some national park campgrounds. The first one was a large campground that would have been perfect, but was full. But they directed us to the next place down the road. Remember, there is a language barrier here. The nice lady at the front gate saw our rig and seemed happy to direct us to a site “au selvage” at the end of a road, 5 short kilometers. It would be next to a lake, sounded perfect. Then she said words in French and made wavy up and down hand gestures. I smiled and nodded. (dun dun dun…..)

The “road” was not what I had imagined dealing with on my first real day trailering, but once upon it, there would have been no easy way to turn back. Plus, I really wanted to stop for the day.

So that’s the background that leads us to some of these pictures. Not sure the photos truly capture the image of a shiny new luxury SUV towing a brand spanking new high tech trailer over some of these rocky roads, but just know that we got looks from the people on ATVs occasionally rolling past us.

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I’ll have some pictures of the final hill in my post for the next day because that is when I had to get back up it. It took us a long time to decide whether to go down the hill in the first place. We discussed employing the “caravan mover” to turn the trailer around and go back. We discussed just camping at the top of the hill for the night, and we discussed going down it and expecting that this is where we would now live.

All things carefully considered, we went for it. And if we could have managed to detach from the tension of knowing this might be the place our beloved trailer ended up spending the rest of her days, we would have been in heaven. As it was, we were able to appreciate the beauty and the fact that we had a simply magnificent view inside and away from the millions of little black biting flies.


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We had the entire area completely to ourselves after fishermen, ATV people, and hikers eventually left for the evening. We had a lovely dinner of stovetop warmed ham and cheese sandwiches, and remarked at how this was in fact exactly precisely what we had always dreamed of and specifically why we had gotten the trailer in the first place. Still, there was an edge. Richard was fairly certain the trailer would roll off its chocks on the very uneven ground and we’d end up in the lake in the middle of the night. I continued to try hard not to picture the car and trailer both rolling backwards down the hill (and also into the lake) the next morning. We somehow managed to let go just enough to enjoy the peaceful moment.

Total miles: 95.2, Total engine time: 4 hours, 1 minute (every second of which was experienced “fully”)

2 thoughts on “To Lac a l’Ecluse

  1. I’m not trying to skip ahead and just keep up the best I can. Great first ride and gorgeous pictures. Best tip I see so far is the neoprene bungie corded wine carrier! ha ha cheers

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