My Restigouche River Run part 7
by: Irene Doyle
I have not been here when it's real busy during the summer months but it is apparently nice to see the fishermen catch and release. They are great sports and keep only the grilts and release the big guys, then they can talk about the big one that got away and not have to lie about it.
We've come past Grindstone, Pat had to use a pole again to get us through the rough spots and low level of water but all is well, I'm relieved. We are coming up to a campsite now, it looks nice and clean, there are toilets here and wood that the boys left for the campers to use. Being here late in the year is also good for us because of flies. Apparently during the warm summer months they can get pretty annoying but today its just fine, we didn't even have to use our "fly dope".
Our next spot of interest is at what they use to call "The old Cheuters Brook camp", it was a fisherman's camp and they would motor in all their supplies until they built a new camp a little further down the river. Pat tells me this place use to be a restaurant of sorts, they would sell hamburgers and hotdogs and it was owned by Nova Gold he believes then it was sold to a man from Kedgwick, he had a bed and breakfast here then the camp was somehow burnt down and they never rebuilt it. We can still see the cement wall, the old cribbing and an old wooden shack on the land where the camp used to be.
Again I'm excited at the site of another Bald Eagle flying just ahead of us, soaring so gracefully over the river, probably looking for his supper. We can see at least a half dozen salmon swimming on the bottom of the river here and the water is a little deeper than its been so maybe our friend Mr. Eagle is waiting for one of them to make the mistake of coming to the surface, who knows?
Looking around now, for the first time today I really notice the color of the leaves, they are starting to turn brownish and reddish in places. Fall is in the air and a little later in the month it must be a gorgeous site. Not that it is not a gorgeous site now mind you, but the added colors must really change the look of things. On top of the mountain, up ahead there's a tower on the Quebec side of the river and a sort of little camp that overlooks the river, it seems to have a road that comes in to it. Pat says he believes it was built by "Nova Gold" or "Cheuters Brook" to keep an eye on what's happening below.
Up ahead is Chamberlain's Shoals, it is apparently a very dangerous place any time of year, when the water is high it's a very fast part of the river. If you pass in the wrong place you may just end up upsetting your boat and getting quite wet as there is quite a dip in the river here. When the water is low it's another story you can end up damaging your boat and motor if you do down the middle of it. But once again I'm glad Pat is my guide, he knows the river quite well and it shows, he can read it and knows where to pass and not to pass, he takes his time and even shuts down the motor here before we get to the bad spot which are beautiful falls once you look back. As we glide down the river now we pass by Toad Brook and on to Chain Rock Brook. The Toad Brook camp use to be on the Quebec side of the river but apparently a few years back there was a forest fire here and they rebuilt the camp on the N.B. side and a beautiful camp now sits there.
We stop on the beach here for a moment and admire the environment, breathe the fresh air, listen to the crackling of the wood on the little fire Pat has started and smell the tea from the kettle that he is boiling. I have not had a kettle of tea boiled outside for me since I was a little girl and my father use to do that. Sitting here I also notice that the wood is a good mixture of hardwood, softwood, pine, spruce, poplar and its all nice and straight. There are also some gulls here waiting for the leftovers and as we sit here having a lunch, I can hear Black-capped Chickadees, Blue Jays, Gray Jays or as we call them here MooseBirds. The latter are quite tame, as soon as they smell lunch, hear the ruffling of paper or hear voices they come flying down at you for a handout. A Hairy or Downy Woodpecker can be heard in the background, I'm not good enough with pecking sounds to know which is which yet, but there is a difference. And from a distance I can see ducks on the river below us, which I believe to be Mergansers.
It is getting late now and if we want to get back to the Rafting Grounds tonight we have to leave this beautiful scenery behind and be on our way. As we sat there another boat went by with two guys in it and they must be running the river in one day as they had nothing in the boat, no tent, no coolers, and I guess you can do that, you reach home sort of late evening but that's ok too. We head down river passing by Brandy Brook, Silver Waters, Camp Harmony and on to the Rafting Grounds (Seen below) where Pat had arranged to have his truck waiting for us. Hummmm quite the guy this Pat huh? :)
Looking back, taking a picture of the rafting grounds, it has been one heck of an adventure, a must for nature lovers. I will be back here next summer for sure and try to do the run in one weekend. As for the "yahoos" it would be much better for everyone concerned if they stayed home, 'cause try as you may and no matter what they say, you cant' teach an old dog new tricks - if he does not want to learn -.