Dave and I have been developing a taste for camping, so this winter we started gearing up for actual tent camping, instead of renting cabins. Dave bought himself a camping hamac, complete with bug screen and rain cover, and I bought a little two person tent. All winter we’ve been waiting for it to be warm enough to head out, and this weekend we decided to give things a try.
We decided to book a site at the L’Entremont site of Mont-Orford Provincial Park. We decided on Orford, since it was one of the few parks offering camping this early, and L’Entremont because no one else has reserved there on the same night as us unlike the Vallonier site. We figured the 3km hike to the site mentioned on the website would be fine. I walk about 3km to work everyday afterall, so how hard could it be? The list of trails listed it as intermediate, but considering in the past intermediate trails have been really easy for us, we were taking our chances. We knew we would be climbing a considerable incline, but we figured it would be on a path, not rocks.
We quickly discovered why no one else had reserved there: it was a really tough hike! It would have probably been really fun if all we were doing were hiking, but with a big camping pack? Tough stuff! Especially since we were carrying all our drinking water. At times it was more like mountain climbing. And I think the worse part was when we were over half way to the site (after an hour and a half!), and came upon a trail closed for winter sign. We tried calling the check in desk . . . no luck. The sun was starting to get lower in the sky, so our alternatives were pretty much: keep going . . . or keep going. Turning around would have meant hiking the last part back in the dark, which we were not prepared for. In total it took us 3 hours of intense hiking to get to the site. There were a lot of fallen trees (including trees with trail markers on them, making navigation a bit difficult at times).
The sites at L’Entremont are wooden platforms. The surrounding area is quite inclined, and mushy (there’s a stream running nearby). We got the tent quickly set up, made dinner, and crawled into our sleeping bags to warm up and doze. I woke up a few hours later and felt like I could see a light shining through the tent. Intrigued, I looked out the tent window and couldn’t see anything outside, but did notice that I could see the shadows of trees on the wooden platform. Even more intrigued, I got out of the tent and looked up to realize the brightness was due to the supermoon! It was very neat, to be able to see the moon shining so bright it was as though there was a huge light in the sky.
The next morning we woke early, packed up, and headed back. We were hoping it would take us less time to get back, being mostly downhill, but no luck.
So will we be camping at L’Entremont again anytime soon? Nope! That was way too much hike for what it was. Will we be returning to Mont-Orford? Perhaps! I did enjoy the camping aspect of things, and enjoyed a good challenge, but next time I’d like to up the relaxing aspect of the relaxing:challenging ratio.