|[ Sizes: Orig | Large | Med | Small | Thumb ]|
The town of Parent located immediately south of the Gouin Reservoir in north central Quebec within the outback. The place itself located along what was the trans-continental rail line built at the beginning of the 20th century is only attainable for practical reasons using a lengthy gravel road from the town of Ferme Neuve north of Mont Laurier. Despite the distance to travel there are occasions to refill at the numerous outfitters which transforms an ordeal into a rugged adventure that is a little more thrilling...
I once personally attained the town by riding up from the town of LaTuque on forestry roads ( I had previously occasionally used the train to first start off from there once going to Clova on the gravel road, encountering monstruous trucks along the way ! ).Although in order to discover most of the other hamlets subsequently the rail had to be taken with the bike being used to carry the luggage ! Considering the many old abandoned houses to encounter beyond the beaten track, discovering what history has left on the rail line became a delightful adventure (at least for me ! ). I thus one summer decided to further investigate the rail line attaining this town (by bike ) in north central Quebec which is situated along the portion of the rail which runs from LaTuque on towards Senneterre. Actually I got interested in the area after reading a novel by french author Bernard Clavel titled "Harricana" which describes the colonisation of the area.
If you take the time to uncover the area by map you will realise that there are many hamlets to uncover along the rail line south of the Gouin reservoir. In my quest to further explore such hamlets (most of which don't exist as such anymore) I first set out on bike from LaTuque on the 25 forestry road which runs up towards Sanmaur and the native reserve across the river which is Weymontacie. At the start a major hurdle had to be crossed which was a one lane high bridge without guard-rails just outside of town. Once such an amazing feat accomplished I set out to discover the area which appeared mostly devoid of topography but appeared densely wooded . After a whole afternoon of pedalling I camped at KM 54 which has one of those roadhouses which serves fabulous breakfasts . I camped there for the night and set off the next day (after a hearty breakfast !) towards the first town being Sanmaur which despite having approximately 5 houses does have a restaurant which , as suspected, also serves great breakfasts !
The really tough part occurred the following day when I used what looked more like an atv trail than a road to further discover the outback and the hills (there is some topography) in my quest to attain Parent only to take a wrong turn to end up at the abandoned hamlet of Hibbard (4 buildings left standing). Despite what is assumed I actually arrived in time at sunset to be served a hearty supper in the old school (some folks were vacationing there ) !
The next day I took the track and discovered more of the past to encounter along the rail ultimately arriving in Casey towards late afternoon . The hamlet in question (which I arrived at towards nightfall) is a model for those which enjoy solar power lacking any power lines. The houses themselves (there are approximately 20 or so dwellings many of which are of a certain age... ) mostly serve a recreational purpose. Although some people live there full time way beyond the reach of civilisation, except maybe the rail line making travel easy...
After eating a hearty supper in Casey I followed the rail in order to investigate the stray buildings and potential hamlets (I could have taken the road such as I did some summers before when I ended up in Clova) and had an overnight stop beyond the old rail bridge. The next day I discovered more of the outback and the noteworthy stops to uncover (which are visited by rail) such as Sisco which is the site of a mica mining operation (the actual mine is 10 or so miles away along the road,the rail line site serving loading purposes...) and in the past was associated with a rail-line tragedy, a set of crosses bearing witness to this. A little east at mileage 102.5 the old roundwood house is a delight to discover giving a true outback experience ! I also took the time to do some grass roots mineralogical exploration without forgetting the basic siteseeing visually discovering the hills. I also visited the odd outfitters (such as the one at Manjobagues) before arriving in Parent. To be honest the feeling one gets being totally isolated in the woods on a rail line is unique considering the reality of an enveloping wilderness with no presence whatsoever of any soul for countless hours except maybe the passing train which may arrive precipitously despite hearing its presence miles before...
Parent is the major town in the area and considering it's age and preservation has and old western feel to it. The town of under 1000 souls is at the crossroads to many destinations most often towards the local outfitters (some of which are far in the outback)and thus hosts many services without mention of a nightclub open 24 hours ! Since it was the site of an ex radar base situated on top of a summit predominating over the area the moment suits itself to climb a hill to get a bird eye view of the surroundings. Many building to encounter in proximity to the ex radar station date from such an era. As for the existence of other vestiges dating from that era, despite finding a jeep further east along the tracks , I haven't found the tank which remains as elusive despite being told of it's presence which seems odd considering the formal role of the radar base...
That summer I concluded the treck on bike in Clova (which is a small hamlet which had a POW camp during the second world war. ) without going further . Although I did some summers before attain Senneterre by rail visiting more of the forgotten hamlets (the adventure is described on my WEB site..in part) which gave me the occasion to immerse myself in history discovering old turn of the century houses (such as at Beaudin and Gagnon sliding -which has an old well on the perimeter of the hamlet giving a tasteful and what in my opinion is a sweet elixir obtained from the depths of the earth that is a refreshing change from the murcky railside liquid I'd occasionally try. )
No need to mention that wildlife can be a potential threat mostly for folks like myself which enjoy travelling alone. In that regard the old hermit that had called the old Consolidated Bathhurst camp (west of Clova) home was found devoured the potential culprits being unmasked by the hairs found in proximity which occasionally may include oddly enough the hairs from the great ape which despite being extermely elusive and potentially extremely rare is to observe in these woods (the creature tends to be peaceful). In order to prepare for any unforeseen encounter I carry my slingshot which works wonders to dissuade the curious.
For a comment on the radar bases click on the following liink towards the image in my profile : http://www.mbpost.com/image/271396//laurentian-scenery.html.
For those in their quest for mountainous scenery, the old road going north from Parent on towards Weymontacie and LaTuque leads towards more prominent hills which some deem as mountains approximately 30 miles out (a picture of such a road -with the indication sign and the familiar # 9- is to uncover with a close up of the main image )
Considering what I uncovered once travelling along the rail line my curiosity begs me to further explore the area at some point in the future such as the embranchment leading further east into higher hills south of the "Reservoir blanc".
Link to the comments accompanying another image describing the vicinity of the other rail line : http://www.mbpost.com/image/271061//st-maurice.html
The most recent image was taken this year in late autumn .
For additional information on the the electrical generator whose blueprint is included in one of the sub-images check the comments which follow in the comments section... (actually I loaded the wrong image by including the electro-generator. I subsequently left the image there considering the comments I included on the subject...) The simple idea is not that bad for a moron so often compared to that fictitious character depicted in that song by the group Van Halen titled "Got it made"... Like the folks of supreme intelligence with the prevalence of influence which have consistently complained about my stupidity over the course of decades like to point out, I must have gotten it made that way to make it through college...They might as well take me to court over it even if it looks like if the cops and criminals are well aquainted on the matter...I wonder what the folks from France have to think of it...