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Old 07-11-2014, 09:45 AM
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Trip Report: Vermont to Boreal Forest in Quebec

I wanted to share a brief trip report with my 2014 Limited EcoDiesel. My family and I loaded up our rig on July 3rd for a 7 day camping trip in Quebec. Our Jeep WK2 had about 2500 miles on it when we left. Another family accompanying us on the trip were in a Subaru Impreza.

Day 1. Our first day was quite uneventful [although see the amendment below], we drove from southern Vermont to Quebec City with a long stop in St. Johnsbury for lunch and to let the kids run around a bit. The Jeep did exceptionally well driving to Quebec city, averaging about 30 MPG, while fully loaded down with camping gear. Comfort level was outstanding. When we arrived in Quebec City in the evening we had to navigate into the basement of the hotel, aka a parking garage, and I'm really glad we didn't have a roof rack on. The vertical clearance was only 6' and the parking spaces were tiny. The Jeep's exceptional steering radius was much appreciated down there. After finding some dinner in the historical district, which has a very French-europoean feeling to it, we talked about our plan to travel to Du Bic national park on the Gaspe Peninsula the following day.

Day 2-3. We explored the aquarium in Quebec City in the morning with the kids and then did the 3 hour drive to Du Bic N.P. during nap time. On this leg of the trip, which was very flat, we averaged 32 MGP -- I was really, really pleased with this. At this point, we still hadn't filled up our vehicle. We dodged a lot of rain at this park and way too many bugs! Next time, I will definitely bring a screen tent, preferably one attached to an awning attached to the new roof rack (which will be another post.) The sun did decide to show up on our last day at this park:

IMG_4876.jpg

Days 3-4 which include riding the ferry with the Jeep across the St. Lawrence sound to be continued. After that, our excursion on the 4x4 road through the boreal forest.
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Old 07-11-2014, 10:33 AM
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Re: Trip Report: Vermont to Boreal Forest in Quebec

Nice trip report. As a displaced Vermonter all I can say is that I'm envious.
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Old 07-11-2014, 02:52 PM
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Re: Trip Report: Vermont to Boreal Forest in Quebec

Amendement to Day 1: I forgot about one of the most significant events of day 1. We stopped at gas station in northern Vermont to fill up before the price of diesel increased when you cross the border. So we pulled into a busy station that had a diesel pump inline with the regular gas pumps (good sign that you won't get stuck with a big nozzle only suitable for semi trucks.) When I pulled up, the regular size diesel nozzle had a bag around it with an "out of order" sign on it. I paused for a moment, then thought, "well maybe this Jeep can take a big nozzle, I know my old Jetta TDI couldn't, but maybe this rig can." Oh, look at that, it fits in their...kinda...maybe not quite all the way, but I'll try pulling the trigger and see what happens...kabooooom!!!! Next thing I knew, I had diesel fuel all over my arms, shirt and shorts. Oh shit, I quickly took off my shirt to keep it from soaking into my skin then I quickly began to wipe the fuel off my arms until my wife came out from the restroom. When she did, I explained what happened and then spent a long time trying to wash off the fuel in the bathroom sink. As many of you know, I couldn't properly rid the fuel from my skin until I had a good shower later that night. I did the best I could to clean up my shorts, but my shirt was left in the trash at the gas station -- it wasn't salvageable on a road trip.

So don't be a douche bag like I was, do NOT use a large diesel fuel nozzle...man what an idiot maneuver.
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Old 07-11-2014, 08:48 PM
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Re: Trip Report: Vermont to Boreal Forest in Quebec

Days 3-4: We departed Du Bic National Park in the morning to catch the 11:45 ferry from Trois Pistoles. The ferry was much smaller than I anticipated and some people on our group almost got seasick. The most exciting thing about the ferry crossing, beluga whales! We saw about 20 or so of them during the 1.5 hour crossing. Here is the Jeep loaded on the ferry:

jeep-on-ferry.jpg


When we reached the north side of the St. Lawrence, we travelled south to Tadoussac. Since Canada doesn't really do "cute towns" I was please to find Tadoussac was pretty inviting nestled between the Sangunay Fjord and St. Lawrence sound:

tadussac.jpg


Looking up the fjord when we hit the road the following morning:

fjord.jpg


After spending the night at very developed campground in Tadoussac, we woke early the next morning and drove through the rain to Grand-Jardins National Park.

Days 4-5: We arrived at Grand-Jardins National Park with heavy fog socking in the otherwise, looming mountains surrounding the campground. The Jeep did excellent driving there and I certainly put the rain-sensing wipers to test. One thing I noticed though was right before we arrived at the park's visitor center to get a campsite, we ascended a very steep 17% grade and only went about 25 MPH because the visibility was so poor. When I finally did stop the Jeep, I noticed the engine temp had climbed up a bit out of its normal position. It wasn't in the red, or even that close, but she was definitely running hotter than normal. That being said, I'm pretty sure that every day I drove the Jeep I told my wife and son just how much I liked this vehicle; it is by far the best rig I've ever owned.

Since the rain didn't look like it was going to let up, we stayed in a "Huttopia Tent" with our traveling companions. A Huttopia tent is basically a very nice canvas tent with wood floor and stocked with everything but food and sleeping bags (fortunately, we had both of those). The following morning we went on a great hike and got some nice pictures of the rocky cliffs:

grand-jardins.jpg

Next up...in our effort to info on how to get to the next national park, the park ranger asks in her broken english, "you have four wheel drive, there is other route you take." I was practically in heaven when I heard those words.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:33 AM
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Re: Trip Report: Vermont to Boreal Forest in Quebec

Beautiful pictures! Sounds like a wonderful trip (minus the big Diesel pump). Curious to hear how the 4wd road was.
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Old 07-12-2014, 08:08 PM
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Re: Trip Report: Vermont to Boreal Forest in Quebec

Day 5: We originally planned on driving through Grand-Jardins national park to Jacque-Cartier national park. However, after discussing our proposed route with the park ranger, they informed us that a bridge was closed and that there was an alternate route, if you have 4WD. I nodded enthusiastically to this question and the park ranger proceeded to give us information heading north out of Grand-Jardins, then heading west, then south toward Jacque-Cartier. The routes were all numbered on the map and she was optimistic that the routes would be marked on the road as well.

After heading to the northern part of the park we were well into the boreal forest. An old fire had left its mark on the landscape:

boreal forest.jpg

The burn certainly wasn't too recent, but it was obvious enough. Upon passing through the burn area we turned onto one of the smaller dirt roads that the ranger had indicated was 4WD only. We rumbled along on this road for about 10 miles going through sections of sand and rocks. I did switch to "Sand" on the Select-Terrain a few times, but I'm sure it would have gotten through without it. Our friends in the Impreza made it, but had to slow way down to dodge the larger rocks sticking up out of the road. This road eventually ended at a T-intersection with a much larger logging road. The track turned to compact gravel with loose sections. We continued on for another 30 minutes or so and eventually took another smaller dirt road, that was much like the first 4WD road: sections of loose sand with rock outcrops. We never encountered anything too technical, but I wouldn't have wanted to take this route in a 2WD vehicle, especially if it had poor clearance. Needless to say, the Jeep handled it without incident. After a total of about 2 hours, we finally emerged back on to a highway and bombed down to the our final national park destination. (I can't wait for the DEF protection plate, that will give me some missing piece of mind.)

All in all, we traveled around 700 miles or so and the Jeep was a dream to drive. I got to really test out the Adaptive Cruise Control, and I will admit, I wasn't terribly excited about this feature at first. But man, after a long road trip it was awesome. Combined with the blind-spot monitoring it really felt like the Jeep "had my back." If traffic slowed and I was slightly distracted, the Jeep slowed for me, when I would go to pass, it accelerated automatically. This is my first vehicle with ACC and BSM and I have to say, I'm quite impressed with this technology.

I would love to hear what other kinds of trips people are taking their WK2s on. We have one more tip planned for the Adirondacks later in August.
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