Rising To The Road | Land's End in Gaspé's Forillon National Park
Forillon National Park offers the not-oft available chance to adventure to the end of the world
We didn't have to go far beyond Percé to find more stunning beauty along the Québec Maritime; just around the bend of the Gaspé Peninsula into Forillon National Park. It was our first national park stop along this journey, and for some reason, knowing that it was a more primitive hookup (no sewer or wifi, though it did have electric) made us slightly (and we now realize, unnecessarily) nervous. However, the disconnect turned out to be exactly what we needed.
We had been jamming on our trip at this point — in a good way, between my weekend in Toronto, moving The Blog from Wordpress to Squarespace, trying to catch up on posts (my ever-present challenge), and taking in endless new sights and experiences around Nova Scotia and Cape Breton — and it was a lot. After all, this lifestyle is simultaneously exhausting and invigorating, and we were still getting used to the entire operation during the first month, let alone mastering our own ways of doing things.
My exhaustion revealed itself on this stop. Just a few moments after we pulled in, as I was helping to set up our stabilizers and unhook the trailer from the truck, I suddenly felt uncontrollably dizzy. On the verge of blacking out, I grabbed the picnic table and sat down.
"Mama!" My daughter cried, putting her little hand on my leg, "Are you otay?"
She sat by my side as My Love ran to get me a spoonful of Nutella (sugar burst) and water, and after a few moments' rest I began to feel better. So I got up and continued to help set up our site. The vertigo-like symptoms hit me again, harder this time, and I gave in. My Love excused me from the hikes and adventures we had planned for the afternoon and put me in bed (I was a willing patient, not that I had much choice) to sleep the day away.
The next morning I woke up feeling miles better than I had when we arrived, and more than anything, I was ready to take in the adventure and beauty that surrounded us. We threw our bikes on the truck and headed for Les Graves Trail (how could we not? It's my namesake) to Cap-Gaspé and "Bout du Monde," or Land's End. We hadn't researched too much about it — it was a recommendation from a park ranger (we usually take those, and are almost never disappointed) — and had we only biked/hiked as far as the lighthouse, we would have missed the most incredible sight: the land's end itself. We observed many fellow hikers taking in the sights from the lighthouse, pointing their binoculars out to sea (you can sometimes see whales from this point), then turning around to head back after a quick rest.
But you must — must! — hike down beyond the lighthouse to a perch that looks back on the cliffs of Land's End. It is such an incredible and mind-blowing sight, it's hard to take in and react to at once. It's beyond breathtaking. Totally stunning. And truly captivating.
My Love and I hiked down separately (neither of us wanted to carry the World's Cutest — but becoming heaviest — Human down and back) and we both experienced an almost paralyzing feeling of not being able to move (or even breath) as we took in that scene. It's indescribable, really, and neither the feeling of being there nor the sight itself is even remotely captured in a photo. So I can only recommend you put it on your list of must-see's in this lifetime.