Why I love the Saquenay

It was time for Andy and me to head back north. We planned to stop in the Saguenay on our way and camp one night, instead of pushing through in one day as was custom.

I’ve always delighted in the lovely lilt of the Lac St. Jean area. A “merci” for directions, service in restaurants and stores is met with a resounding “Avec plaisir!”

The words flow melodiously, rising so slightly at the end of the sentence, and always accompanied by a wide smile. I have no trouble understanding French of that area, unlike Montreal joual, which is still a foreign language for me.

We found a campground, just north of La Tuque, one of the last settlements before the Saguenay. It had the charming name of “Camping Haut de la Chute” (Camping on top of the falls). The owner, Josée, insisted that reserving a site was not required.

« Il n’est pas nécessaire, il y a beaucoup d’espace! »

When we arrived, Josée was there to meet us.

“You are the couple that wants a quiet, woodsy place,” she said, smiling and shaking our hands.

We asked her where the nearest store was so we could purchase milk for our morning coffee. “Oh, non! C’est ne pas nécessaire! She cried.  She insisted it was too long a drive and asked us to bring a container, which she would fill with milk for us.

She then crammed us into her Golf cart to show us our site, overlooking the waterfall. It was heavily guarded by a chipmunk. After given passage, we established camp. This is very simple with an RV. We just plunked down two chairs overlooking the bluff. Since we had nothing else to do, we pulled a couple of Coors out of the fridge.

After a lovely slumber, the cedars wafting their heady scent and listening to the cascades, we packed up.

Josée met us again, shook our hands and wished us well with her warm smile.

Our first off the ground camping trip was absolutely perfect!


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