A Northbound Adventure – Part Three

In Part Two, I covered our “Day One,” 725 miles (1,167 km) non-stop drive over just under 22 hours from New Jersey to Roberval, Quebec Province, Canada. “Day Two” began at 9:45 AM August 31, 1966, in that lakeside town, driving North-West among alpine lakes enjoying a smooth, well maintained paved road.

Within about 35 miles (56 km), however, we came across this worrisome signpost just inside another provincial park, (“Chibougamau Reserve”) indicating the end of the pavement. ūüė¶

65 mph (104 km/hr.) was no longer practical on the gravel surface that stretched endlessly ahead. Stones occasionally pelted the sides of the car; and as this was lumber country, massive logging trucks would fly by enveloping us in choking clouds of dirt and dust.

It would be 115 miles (186 km) before reaching pavement again, at the junction of Rt. 58 West (now known as Rt. 113.)¬† After hours of gravel, the Sprite’s ride felt smoother than ever! Eight miles (13 km) later we would be in the last town while heading north in this part of the world, Chibougamau, serving a growing copper mining region, logging, and the Royal Canadian Air Force radar services.

Continuing, …the pavement ended again just past the town, as we once again were on the gravel road. Thirty minutes later we arrived at the barrier shown below. Its deterrent-rousing presence seemed to emphasize increasing aches and pains, emotional drain and weariness to us, not to mention the effects of dust inhalation and a worsening cold, on my part. We decided this would be our turn-around point as the road would end about 100 miles (161 km) further with limited or no amenities, and likely little change in scenery.

   3:25 PM, 8/31/66, 918 car miles (1477 km) Р632 miles (1017 km) as the crow flies.

The non-stop return trip would first take us over 200 miles (322 km) on an unprecedented, unexpected overnight challenge of gravel and poorly maintained, primitive dirt road before reaching dawn and the increase of population, north of Ottawa!

See the conclusion of¬† “A Northbound Adventure,” (Part Four) here.

Thanks for viewing, and comments are always welcome. Zoom-in or finger-stretch for a closer view of the maps and images. M ūüôā

 

 

 

A Northbound Adventure, Part Two

See Part One Here.

Bergenfield, N.J. to Roberval, Quebec Provence, Canada

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Leaving Bergenfield in a car loaded with what we thought we needed, like snacks and juice, blankets and a spare five-gallon container of fuel between the seats, we began our odyssey about 10 pm, August 29th and drove through the night, reaching Canada by sunrise, 325 miles (520 km) later. Our general plan was to go straight north, as far as we could by car. However, back in 1966, there were few, if any, roads that penetrated the vast lake regions of Quebec Province. We would need to bend a bit North-East along the St Lawrence River, which would have us pass through Montreal, Trois-Rivieres, and Quebec City.

After entering Canada, it would be another 6 1/2 hours to Quebec City.

Above: Just after noon, fourteen hours and 536 miles (862 km) from home, we stretched our legs in this park.
The iconic Chateau Frontenac is where we paused to walk its boardwalk among the canons and a great views of the St. Lawrence River.

By 1:30 PM, we would be leaving Quebec via Route 54 North (today known as 175,)¬† eventually passing through “Laurentide,” one of several provincial parks, as we continued north. The well maintained road wound through incredible scenery with deep green-blue lakes and vast northern forested terrain under clear, bright skies. The virtual non-existence of traffic was a welcome contrast to the cities to the south.

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07.041 8-30-1966 Cananda-North Trip_edited-107.045 8-30-1966 Cananda-North Trip 3000 _edited-1After four hours, we surrendered our temporary permit for the park and continued on Rt. 54a (169) eventually passing Lac-Saint-Jean (above.) In Chambord, we tested our versatility with the French language, (clearly none as a request for ice cream brought cherry pie!) and managed to get additional food while a jukebox played French records – except for one “Beatles” and one “Dave Clark Five” song! A little later, after driving 725 miles (1167 km,), we stopped at 8:00 PM for the night, in a fairly good-sized town, Roberval, (as seen on the Google map above.) After walking around in the chilly air and watching part of a Kings Court softball game in a nearby park, we rented a room above a noisy bar for $5.00, giving us a chance to rest and warm up, although by now I was suffering from a nasty cold, and the loud “Thump, Thump, Thump” of the band one floor below was not particularly medicinal.

See Part Three here as we arrived at the northern most point of our journey.

 

As usual, thanks for viewing. Zoom-in by clicking on, or finger stretching the images. And, comments are always welcomed. M ūüôā

 

 

 

Rebirth in Great Smokey Mountains, Zoom-in Version

 

There is a wonderful five mile one-way roadway just east of Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, at 6,923 (2010 m.) The auto turn-outs allow access to old growth forests, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Recently, Sandy Paws and I found unexpected tranquility, and almost complete silence, among the resurgence of forest life, ten months after devastating fires sorched the region.

A short walk from one of the turn-outs, leads to a small summit, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m) as shown photographically in the last picture above, and located on the topo renditions here.

Special thanks to Crow Canyon Journey and Jessica for zoom-in attributes, and Le Conte spelling respectively! M ūüôā

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M ūüôā

 

Rebirth in Great Smoky Mts. – Serenely Beautiful

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A wonderful five mile one-way roadway just east of Gatlinsburg, Tennessee, in the foothills of Mount LeConte, the third highest peak in the Great Smoky Mountains, at 6,923′ (2010 m.) The turn-outs allow access to old growth forest, streams, waterfalls, wildlife and more. Recently, Sandy Paws and I found unexpected tranquility in the resurgence of forest life, ten months after¬†devastating¬†fires scorched the region.¬†

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A short walk from one of the turn-outs, leads to a small summit, elevation 2,900 feet (884 m) as shown photographically in the last picture above, and located on the topo renditions here.

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Thanks as usual for viewing, and click on for a closer look. Comments are always welcomed. M ūüôā

The Hudson River, Presidents, and Ghosts

A while back I pondered the source of the Hudson River, coursing 315 miles from the slopes of Mt. Marcy, (the highest peak in the Adirondacks of New York State,) to the southern tip of Manhattan. So I went there!

At 5,348 ft (1,629m) Mt. Marcy and other mountains of the High Peaks Region shed snow melt and rainwater via¬†thousands of trickling rivulets, forming creeks and streams that feed¬†Henderson Lake, 7.5 miles (12 km)¬†ESE of Marcy’s summit.
ABOVE: A portion of pristine Henderson Lake, of which its out-flow is considered the named start of the Hudson River. Folklore cites a small glacial pond, “Tear of the Clouds” (about 7 miles to the ENE, and higher up on the southern slopes of Mt. Marcy,) as the source of the river, spurring a debate based on “longest length,” vs. “highest elevation” as¬†relevent¬†to proper¬†naming.
¬†Immediately¬†coming out of Henderson Lake, this¬†stream¬†is officially the first water known as the “Hudson River,” seen from the first bridge. A¬†hiking trail¬†to the High Peaks starts here.¬†
Just south, the Mac Naughton Cottage, is one of a dozen or so abandoned buildings on the west bank of the “Hudson River.”

In¬†1827, a mining operation was begun here. Although certainly not a concern at the time, it¬†arguably affected the¬†downstream quality¬†of the¬†river. ¬†(Subsequent pollution sources, such as PCB’s far out-weighed the environmental impact¬†in later years but nonetheless, this operation was large, and spewed mountains of slag and tailings which are still prominent¬†today.) ¬†The initial venture closed in 1857 due to transportation costs and….mysterious impurities in the iron ore.¬†Many years later,¬†MacIntyre Mine as it became known, was obtained¬†by NL Industries, and before closing permanentaly in 1982 produced over 40¬†million tons of titanium ¬†…the strange impurity in the iron ore. ¬†See¬†here¬†for more information. 1982 would mark the end of mining¬†activity¬†leaving behind the Tahawus Ghost Town¬†.

Slightly over 300 miles to the south, the George Washington Bridge is the last span over the Hudson River, as seen in the header image. 

An interesting side note from this area is depicted on the nearby signage shown below. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was vacationing¬†at the above cottage in 1901. He was advised while hiking on Mt. Marcy, that the current President, William McKinley, had taken a turn for the worst after an assassination attempt the week before in Buffalo, several¬†hundred miles away.¬†Determined to get to the President’s bedside as soon as possible, Roosevelt¬†and a driver risked¬†treacherous¬†and frightening overnight conditions¬†on a horse drawn¬†buckboard to the nearest railroad connection in North Creek six¬†or seven¬†hours away. ¬†During this time, at 2:15 AM, President William McKinley succumbed, as¬†Roosevelt was still negotiating the dark, back country terrain. Contrary to the wording on the sign and elsewhere, he would be sworn in as the¬†26th President of the United States later that day in Buffalo.¬†

Note: At the time of my visit I shot these photographs on film.  Thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M :-

1958 Thunderbird – This Guy’s First Car

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Seventeen came with the privilege to drive Р a legal license for  liberation, freedom, wondrous opportunities to explore with friends or a date, and a major lifestyle advantage. But it would take 20 months before I would actually buy my very own car, a  1958 Thunderbird.

Unfortunatly with this particular great looking coupe, I had quickly become owner of an aging, poorly maintined chasis with unsettling grinding sounds, clunks and bumps and  serious (expensive) mechanical failures deemed likely. Bought relativelty inexpensively  for $500, partly financed by my older brother, I parted unscathed with a slight profit a month later.

¬†But for those few springtime days of happily¬†cleaning and waxing …while¬†ambitious aspirations and fanciful daydreams played along with its radio, this beautiful¬†classic car was mine.

 I wish I had it today.     

As usual, click on the image for a closer look, and thanks for viewing. Comments are always welcome. M ūüôā