Finally Entering Quebec After a Week off Trail

ECT Day 187&188

IAT Day 18&19 

Day 187: zero day

This morning I woke up around 3am and couldn’t fall asleep for the life of me. But I eventually did and then was knocked out until 8:30am.

Trucker had already gotten up and out of the room probably to go get breakfast. Once I got up and ready, I headed down as well. Trucker and Sparkles were doing there drinking coffee. I joined in and made some waffles for breakfast. Then we wound up sitting down at the breakfast for almost an hour just talking and hanging out.

Back at the room I laid in bed and debated what to do today. I need a couple more things from Walmart but would rather not walk another mile and a half to the store. In the end though I decided to go and Trucker went with me. Rather than going all the way to Walmart I managed to grab everything that I needed from a pharmacy store. I’d compare the store to a Walgreens or CVS, but it was bigger than those two.

I got what I needed and grabbed a couple snacks. More than anything I wanted to get KT tape. Ever since I taped my foot and ankle yesterday it’s felt better. Though I do really believe that more of my discomfort has been caused by the days off. I’m thinking that once I get back on trail I’ll start to feel a lot better. This must rest is not ideal on a thru hike. You start to feel all kinds of things that you wouldn’t when you’re continuously walking.

As we walked back from the grocery store it began to rain lightly. But we got back just in time before it really started. I had gotten food at an A&W which was next to the pharmacy. So once I got back, I dove into that. I got a big spread of things like a burger, poutine, and sweet potato fries. It all really hit the spot. We watched Face Off which is such a good movie. Then just laid around at the room.

I did some writing and lounged for the rest of the day. It’s been so good to take a break from hiking. After 6 months of walking pretty much every day a break was definitely in order.

Later on in the evening around 7:30pm we made one last grocery store run. I’ve eaten from the grocery store for nearly every meal in town so far. The store has just about everything, and it was certainly cheaper than getting takeout for a week straight.

All of us got microwave boxes of potatoes and all the fixings for loaded baked potatoes. Then back at the room we all heated our potatoes and made our own bowls. There was sour cream, butter, Italian cheese blend, cheese curds, and hot sauce. In the end it wound up being the best decision ever. My potato bowl was delicious and I was so content! Plus it was a ridiculous amount of food.

All of us made big bowls of loaded potatoes for dinner tonight!

We spent the rest of the night watching John Wick movies. Then eventually called it a night. Tomorrow we are actually getting back on trail!  The last week has been an unexpected but nice zeek (zero week). I have no regrets. But I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. Plus I think the couple of aches and pains that I’ve developed in town are going to fade away once I start walking again.

Day 188: 24 miles

This morning I woke up around 7am and laid in bed for a while. Today is Trucker’s birthday! We’re not planning to get back to trail super early today. So no one was in any kind of rush.

Eventually everyone got up and ready. It felt so good to put everything back inside my pack and be ready to head out. Before we left, we went down to the continental breakfast. Sparkles got a cake for Trucker for his birthday and brought it down to the breakfast area. We all had coffee and carrot cake for breakfast. What a wonderful way to start the day.

Finally leaving town! Hiking out with Sparkle and Trucker.

Around 9:30am we got a ride back to the trail at Tide Head. And finally after 7 days of rest I was back on trail. From Tide Head the IAT followed the road for about 6 miles. We were following the water most of the time. At one point we crossed through a construction zone. All of us walked and talked together which made the time go by so quickly.

Then we crossed over the interprovincial bridge into Quebec! Onto the next province along the IAT. Just after we crossed into Quebec, we stopped off at a roadside ice cream and food spot. I got poutine and a 7up. I’ve eaten so much poutine recently and it had been fantastic. It’s the perfect thru hiking meal.

Crossing into Quebec! My second province in Canada.

All of us hung out at the restaurant for a while and ate. Then we continued along. Just after we resumed hiking the trail left the road! We headed up along a dirt path and came to a super cool overlook and IAT signs. Then we headed back into the woods and for once in hundreds of miles I felt like I was actually on trail again. There was a small climb to start but it was gradual. The biggest obstacle was the slick muddy potions of the trail.

The sign read “hold children’s hands”

A really cool sign and arch for the IAT.

The trail definitely wasn’t the most defined in areas but was well blazed. We went on for 6 miles until we got to Pico Falls. There was a picnic bench right in front of the waterfall. The waterfall itself reminded me of a smaller Amicalola falls. Directly to the side of the waterfall was a steep set of stairs. That is the route that we would be following after our break.

A big staircase climbing up from the waterfall. It reminded me of Amicalola falls

We hung out at the waterfall for a while. I filtered water and ate some chips. Then I made sure to sit and stretch. Sitting there with the incredible views of the waterfall was lovely. What an amazing place to take a break. The trail today has been so exciting. We have passed so many lovely areas and lots of infrastructure.  I’ve really enjoyed looking at all of the enclosed shelters which are called refuges. Most of them have had glass sliding doors with screens, bunks with mattresses, and picnic or eating areas. They’re so nice! I’m looking forward to camping at them.

A massive waterfall on the IAT. Reminded me of amicalola falls.

When we headed out from the waterfall, we had a steep and long climb. But I enjoyed doing the stairs up from the waterfall. Then after a couple miles we were mostly walking along dirt road. We walked the road through a town which didn’t have anything open. Then the IAT headed back into the woods. Because it was getting late, we decided to power through and go straight to camp. We’d be arriving just as it got dark which was perfect.

Sparkle and Trucker walking the dirt road ahead of me

A sign for the SIA-IAT

I never pulled my headlamp out, so I just followed behind Sparkles and Trucker so that I could see enough. It worked out perfectly. Then just after 8pm we arrived at the Corbeau Refuge. It was fully enclosed with a big porch and a swing. Inside was a large eating area with a picnic table and counter. And there were two separate rooms each with bunk beds. 8 beds in total. We chose the room that had small, padded mattresses on all of the bunks.

The porch of the refuge that we spent the night at.

I was so happy to be there! What an amazing place to spend the night. The last few miles my knee was bothering me. In a place which has never flared up on the AT before. I’ve experienced pain in this area before but never while thru hiking. It usually will flare up when I’ve taken time off and gotten back into exercise, especially steep uphill hiking. I KT taped in the method that I’ve done in the past. It felt a bit better immediately thankfully. Hopefully it feels a whole lot better tomorrow. I realize that I’ve taken off 7 days. And now getting back to trail we are actually climbing again. We did 1000s of feet of elevation gain over the course of the day. In the last 300 miles prior to this there was pretty much no elevation gain at all.

Sprawled out at the picnic bench inside the refuge.

I set up in the refuge and then made dinner. All of us sat at the table and ate. Then around 9pm I decided to lay down and stretch. I want my body to have as much time to heal as possible.

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Comments 2

  • Al S : Sep 14th

    Glad you’re enjoying Canada. Thanks for the updates. Please be safe with Lee set to hit the IAT hard. 2-4 inches of rain and 40 mph winds forecast for Campbellton. I can’t imagine what the situation will be like in Gaspésie with blowdowns and swollen water crossings.


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