2010, Daily Log, Personal, Travel

Riley Goes to Gaspe, August, 2010

Friday August 6, 2010

Once again I feel like a foreigner in my own country. My inability / unwillingness to (re?) learn French makes me feel and act differently than I do in all other parts of Canada. I should just try to pass myself off as an American (which is only mostly a lie).

I have forgotten a couple of key things: a water jug, a lamp, scissors. [Actually didn’t forget the scissors.]

I couldn’t light a fire tonight to eat dinner. I am exposed as a fraud or I am very, very tired.

This drive was totally insane. I should have listened to mapquest / Margaret. “Too much!” It’s beautiful (but only at the end) but it’s so unrelentingly long and parts at the end are hairy. At a couple of points there are warning signs that waves could take a car off the road. I can’t believe I have to do it again backwards on Tuesday.

I am being anti-social because of the French thing.

Two weeks without sex because of my ambition. Seven months ago I wouldn’t have cared.

The only thing to do now is “do Forillon” and “do Gaspe” as best I can and enjoy it as much as possible so that Tuesday doesn’t suck so much.

I hear waves. They are beautiful.

Oh yeah, the fees here are pretty bad but the place is in rough shape. I lucked out though, I didn’t get a shitty site (and there are lots of shitty sites).

Saturday August 7, 2010

12PM? 1 PM?

3 hour hike. 1 roll of film. 282 metres? + a tower. Took the roundabout way to the tower (clockwise, most appear to go counter-clockwise). Did the full loop but it is a less extreme climb.

6.5 km I think. I need to drink more water. I am going over to the south side. I have to drive because to hike over would have taken all day and I probably wouldn’t have made it back by nightfall. From here to Cap Gaspe it is 9.2 km. So I take that back. I would make it back but I would be done and I would have no lunch.

I’m [illegible] though. It’s busy here and it looks like this is the less busy part.

The next hike looks easy.

It’s not very hot here, except in the sun. I was cool most of the hike. [Illegible] think I had enough water, which I’m pretty sure was because I feel like I’ve got (very) minor heat exhaustion (what is the least bad version of heat stroke?): my face is dry and feels flushed.

The rest of the sites here have no clear boundaries. It’s very communal, which doesn’t suit me right now given a) my fear of French, b) my complete inability to light a fire last night. The best I can compare my (protected, private) site to is that park in Labrador (Pinware). But this one is considerably longer. Both had hedges to the sides though. Shit, water and I’m off again.

5:20 or 5:30 PM

Before I can say anything about the afternoon’s activities, I have to say one thing: I fucked up. I watched others back into their campsites and I thought: why can’t I? But I told myself whenever I was parking that I was too tired. This is and was true. I tried anyway (after 15.8 km hiking today + some other short walks) and I hit a post. The result: I scratched the car (no big deal in itself as dad and I have both done this repeatedly and he never fixes it) but I knocked off the back left mud-flap. It’s gone from two inches clearance (actually 2.5) to less than 2 cm! I think this is likely dangerous. The post is minorly dislodged. That’s all. It casts a shadow over the whole trip. Hold on: fire and [illegible]. It is about fucking time. Finally a real fire. So, I walked to the Cape. Beatitude but less staggeringly beautiful than the morning’s hike.

Oh yeah, for lunch I had a poutine! No Village Grec but still better than anything in Ontario. That brought me back. That was when all was right with the world. Now, it is not. Fuck. What am I going to do? Tomorrow is a Sunday!

A lot of people were headed out on the Cape hike (3 hour roundtrip?) at 3:30 or 4. I was sort of surprised. Late in the day for me to contemplate a hike.

I have to go to Gaspe tomorrow anyway to get more money (yes, almost all the way through the original money, thanks to few Essos and fewer with Speedpasses).

It’s funny here: sunny all day and now overcast. Last night it rained for like five minutes and and was totally clear thirty minutes later. It is the coast after all.

So many birds. So many birds.


  1. I would have laughed out loud so many times but my goddamned tummy hurts too much.

    Two weeks is much, much, much to long to go without sex; I imagine that you are in fucking paradise but you are just too horny to actually look around.

    My advice: get laid before you drive back.

  2. By the way… did I ever mention that I hate hockey? That, I lived two doors down from Don Cherry's childhood home, and my grandpa worked with Del Cherry at the elevator.
    My homes (three places I lived) were less than a block from the Memorial Centre and know a few of Kingston NHL gang – been to the weddings even… but not the games – never the games.
    Last time I went to see a hockey game I was about 10 and overnight at my cousin's so I had to watch Johnny and his team including his best friend Kirk play. I found it cold, boring and uncomfortable and since I did not yet have my own money, I couldn't get a taxi the hell out of the place!

    Kirk, he was such a a cute boy! Awesome swimmer, shy but nice and fun too. We spent hours at the lake at Johnny's cottage. Hands down, Johnny had THE BEST COTTAGE. Anyway Kirk, I tell you about him because he went on to the NHL, and he is a great guy and I had a lot of fun with the guy, as a kid in play and later as a colleague during his stint at Queen's – but see a game… not so much. Thing is, given the fact that I was 10, and had no job and therefore little control over my destiny, I guess I saw an NHL player do their thing, despite my great anti-Canadian attempt at avoiding all things connected to the H word!
    So there it is my own little H story stuck to your blog.

  3. Well thanks. I can't imagine living near any of the Cherrys. Don makes me crazy. The Canadian reverence for Don perhaps crazier…

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