Region One Caravan to the 1st Nation Region One Rally in Ste. Veronique, Quebec
Published: October 31, 2011
By Rich and Dottie Walbridge
Quietly to QuebecWe wanted our Quietly to Quebec caravanners to enjoy a short trip (about 400 +/- miles) to the 1st Nation Region One Rally (located in a community of 6 towns named, Riviere-Rouge, Quebec) in a relaxing way, without rushing to and from the rally which, itself is usually busy with tours and daily activities. Since we have never toured in Eastern New York and Ontario, we knew we could depend upon other caravan leaders, Rich & Kathy Griffin for some direction and they came through with excellent suggestions for stopovers and activities along the way.

Due to logistics and extremely hot & humid weather, we changed our minds about boondocking overnight at the Danbury, CT I-84 rest area campground and instead, rendezvoused at a rest area in Glens Falls, NY off I-87. This made our first drive just 55 miles into our 4-night stopover smack-dab in the middle of the Adirondack Mountains in Indian Lake, NY at a small family-run campground named Thornbush Acres RV Park. We all enjoyed the pull-thru wooded sites and the friendliness of the owners who set up a large shelter-canopy over a dozen picnic tables. This is one of those very few campgrounds where the pricing does not include the cost of electricity and payment for your stay is collected on the way out after the electric meters are read. It was still very reasonable camping.

While in Indian Lake, we attended an all day self-tour of the wonderful Adirondack Museum which depicts early life in the Adirondack area. This is a museum where the locals donate items of interest and are restored by craftsmen to their original condition; the boats of various shapes and sizes with their steam engines and vintage outboard motors gave us a feeling that we’ve come a long way in the last 100 years or so. We also toured Raquette Lake on board the W.W. Durant, a family-owned and built, steel-hulled ship with plenty of seating inside and on deck. We all enjoyed a wonderful gourmet luncheon that would hold us over until our first potluck supper and surprise birthday party for one of our caravanners.. We had a day to ourselves for those looking to bike or tour the area more on their own.

Our next stop was just less than 100 miles up the road to Lake Placid, NY. This 3-day stop allowed us to tour the factory at Colin Hyde Airstream Restoration in nearby Plattsburgh, White Face Mountain where one can drive to the scenic top or take a gondola there or just shop till you drop on the main street in downtown Lake Placid. The Whiteface Mountain/Lake Placid KOA is an excellent place to stay. It is in the woods with all big pull-thru sites with top notch services and free Wifi. The owners of the campground allowed us to use their commercial cookout station in an undercover picnic area overlooking the swimming pool. Here, we had a BBQ put on by the Leaders and Assistant Leaders and again celebrated a birthday of the Cape Cod Unit President. By far, this family-run resort is the best KOA we have ever stayed in. We will be back here to do some fly fishing someday.

Red Bus Tour of OttawaWe crossed the border into Canada at Cornwall without much delay and arrived in a suburb of Ottawa called Gloucester at Camp Hither Hills. Again, it is a 3-day stopover so we can properly tour Canada’s Capitol City on a “Red Bus” tour and a buffet luncheon at the Rideau-Carleton Raceway. The sulky races were fun to watch and some adventurous campers even made bets; only one winner prevailed but with not enough winnings to declare at the border. Our full-service campsites with Wifi, were back-in and put us close together so we could enjoy our happy hours, Caravanner Tour Meetings and Ice Cream Socials easily. Our free day allowed some of us to shop, tour some more and ride bikes along the in-town river walk.Ted Price sits with a friend

The 130-mile drive to Ste. Veronique was fun and adventuresome along some very winding and hilly country roads through some very neat little villages. Our arrival to the Region One Rally site was welcomed by the Quebec Canada Unit parking committee and we were all parked within just a few minutes of our arrival time. We were all parked together and set up within just a few minutes. The location was an area just outside of a Municipal-run campground nearby a very picturesque lake. The rally was fun and included lots of food, tours of the Indian 1st Nation nearby and the local tourism industry in that area. Sunday morning brought an outdoor Catholic Mass celebrated by a priest from South America and joined in a celebration by the 1st Nations Indian Tribe where many of us smoked a peace pipe with the tribe members. Quebec City tour

Back street in MontrealAfter rallying for 5 days, we traveled to the hustle and bustle of Montreal; although, New York City is rated as busy, this city isn’t far behind with wall to wall traffic moving along at 55 mph or better. We had a super campsite outside the city to the south named Camping Allouette. It was a good stopover with excellent services, but with a construction detour at the prescribed exit that made for some difficult directions. We all made it, though some of us took an unplanned tour nearby the campground. Some of us took an all day bus tour while others chose to take the walking tour of Old Montreal nearby and including the Basilica of Notre Dame. Ice Cream socials complete with homemade brownies rounded out our on site camping activities.

Our final stopover was across the Ste. Lawrence River from Quebec City at a family-run “Big Rig” campground named, Camping Transit. These folks run a good campground with super facilities. Our group had a private mini-bus tour of Quebec City with a very knowledgeable tour guide who loved his job. Pierre was excellent! We enjoyed plenty of downtime too, but some of us could not get enough of Quebec City’s little shops while others drove to other tourism sites themselves. Our farewell banquet was a BBQ put on by the Leaders and Assistant Leaders at the campground hall nearby their pool.

All the campgrounds were excellent with plenty of power, good water and sewer connections and for the most part were easy in and out sites. We did not pre-drive or scout this caravan which kept the cost down; we depended upon the knowledge of others before us and we used all highly rated campgrounds found in the Trailer Life Campground Directory and investigated more thoroughly on the Internet. Google Earth, Google Maps and a Garmin Nuvi 760 were used for directions. We found that seeing the actual campground access road via Google is a failsafe way of knowing where your caravan members are heading.

Each member of the caravan was given a Driver’s Manual with directions and optional suggested places to tour if they so choose. To remind our caravanners of their fun times on our caravan, we sent them all a DVD with a music accompanied-slide show.

We are a caravan club… is in our name.

Rich & Dottie Walbridge, Region One Caravan Leaders