Welcome to Part 1 of my “mini” vacation to the beautiful Gaspé, Quebec on the eastern coast of Canada. I call it a mini vacation because this was to be a camping trip – not my usual extravagant, exotic getaway what with private jets and top-floor hotel suites.
But don’t let that understate it! It was a fun adventure as usual, and I’ll tell you all about it!
The Way There
Well, it started with a whopping 12-hour car ride just to get there! I’m used to traveling so I didn’t make a big deal of it, but after 6 hours I start to wonder when I’m going to get a chance to stretch these little legs!
Luckily Mum and Dad decided to stay in a hotel to break up the drive. This was appreciated, as it gave me one last taste of ‘luxury’ before my week of roughin’ it!
“When did you say my massage was booked for again?”
As many of you know, I’m a country dog turned celebrity dog turned city dog who takes regular trips back to the country. So when it comes to the outdoors, I feel pretty well at home.
Thus, the RV camping life was nothing I couldn’t (quickly) get used to!
I had to make a little aesthetic change to the camper though. I don’t know who this “Terry” is, but while I’m here, this is Crusoe’s Private Resort.
Plus, the beach was only a 2 minute walk from our campsite, and so for a couple days, my morning and afternoon
walk expedition was up and down the water’s edge, often involving a few flexing poses on driftwood.
Our first excursion was to be a lovely canoe trip down the utterly pristine Bonaventure river, which is also a haven for salmon fly fishing (Mmm, salmon).
Here I am, curious to where our adventure might take us!
The water was painfully cold there, so I was to (especially) avoid getting wet at all costs.
However, it was hard not to admire its crystal clear beauty though… Which is why I always had my eyes peeled for that silver flash of a passing salmon.
That other dog you see there is my longtime friend, Laffie, who I grew up with – and who showed me much of what I know about exploring and adventuring.
Despite being 13 year’s old, she still leads the way on many of our expeditions together.
When you think “country dog”, there couldn’t be a more prime example than her. At one point she left the canoe for a little dip to “cool off”, and then decided to swim across the current and climb up a fallen tree across the river – just for fun.
She takes expeditions to a whole other level…
I’m quite comfortable on the water – being a fleet admiral and all – but I didn’t like when we came to rougher parts on the river, as that meant I was about to splashed.
So it was at that point I would move to my position at the back to avoid getting wet.
But even as a celebrity out in the wilderness, the world still follows me…
My helicopter crew took this video of me as we approached a small rapid section!
[Full video to come in the last part to this blog series!]
And when we weren’t tackling the rapids, I was out sunbathing and working on my tan!
Finally we stopped for a little break on the rocky riverbank.
It was here that Mum and Dad were totally shocked to see me wade into the freezing water.
No doubt in search of those mysterious salmon!
Not being able to see one myself, I decided to pay a visit to The Salmon Lodge a bit further down the river where my Uncle Charles works as a guide (he’s the one who made the flies for my fishing vest).
Take a look at this view!
And I even took a quick gander through the lodge itself, immediately claiming the master chair in the common room where the gentlemen come to share their grand stories of big fish and smoke their cigars.
Not having caught my salmon (which you’re not allowed to keep anyway) and having been inspired by the lovely Salmon Lodge, we decided to head to the pier that evening to catch our dinner.
As usual, I was very interested in the whole ordeal, and watched Mum and Dad attentively through every step.
Mum, as well as some other people on the pier, seemed to find my dedication to fishing quite comical at times…
Not sure why.
And then I almost gave Mum and Dad a heart attack when I decided to jump up on the edge for a closer view, ignoring the steep drop on the other side!
I just can’t help my excitement, and sometimes I wish my paws could hold the fishing pole so I could do it myself!
In the meantime, all I can do is place my paw on the rod to feel for the vibrations of a bite.
We did end up catching a few of the flounder we were looking for, but they weren’t very exciting.
Nowhere near the intense fun of reeling in a salmon, I’m sure!
Back at Camp
That night we fried up the flounder and had a nice meal of fresh fish. But by the time the sun had set, I was starting to feel the chills from being in that cold water earlier in the day…
So Mum bundled me up on my own chair next to the fire.
Striking it Rich
You probably didn’t know that I am also an experienced miner, which I guess is a natural progression for a dachshund being born diggers and all. The next day we took a day trip over to the Agate Mine not too far away from our camp site.
Up on the mountainside (an old volcano) is an open-pit mine where the general public can come to dig for the special rocks that contain Agate, a semi-precious stone.
It’s not too easily found though, as the gem lies hidden inside a particularly-shaped rock (a bubbly sphere), and you never truly know what you have until you cut it open to see!
But the prospect of striking it rich drove me into a fever.
But I had my work cut out for me not being able to hold the pick and the ground being too hard to dig in..
So instead I started barking orders at Mum and Uncle Jack to quit jibber-jabbing and get back to work!
They had a bucket to fill and I didn’t have all day!
I kept a close eye on them the rest of the day as they toiled under the harsh sun.
I was also watchful as to any big bulges in their pants which might indicate they were trying to sneak away with any of my precious rocks… Luckily they’re not so easily concealed as let’s say, diamonds.
And when they finally filled my bucket, they were all strip-searched.
What can I say? I run a tough operation around here…
So when the bucket was full, they then had to carry it all the way down to the stone cutter so we could see what we got.
And look, we found some!
Or rather I found some!
All those colors you see within the rock are my precious gems! And some even have little crystal caves inside them.
However, when I realized they wouldn’t make me quite as rich as I thought, my fever wore off and I returned to my somewhat more mildly mannered self. All in all, it was a great experience and I’ll be polishing up my stones soon.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon, featuring a guided tour by Admiral Crusoe and more!
Keep paddlin’, pickin’, and fishin’,
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