Roadside viewpoints, even with fantastic scenery, sometimes aren’t worth the anxiety getting to them causes.
You can’t really tell from the picture how high above sea level it is.
This is a promised post about a lighthouse visit forever etched in my mind.
In our average sized unit for Alberta, a 4×4 crew-cab truck and 30ft. fifth wheel RV, we set out on a cross Canada dream trip, celebrating Mister’s retirement.
The further east we traveled signs that a smaller unit would have been more practical started to occur. Like outside, Quebec City, when we pulled into a roadside rest area for lunch and the road back onto the highway made a tight half circle that was narrow and curbed on both sides with jagged rocks. Mister knew we were too long to make the bend, but it was the only exit. He drove slowly, and we hoped for the best, which was only one trailer tire’s sidewall being ripped open and the wheel hub damaged.
Thankfully, that was the only costly incident we encountered,
his driving skills were tested multiple times, and white knuckling on my part occasionally took place.
We started asking size related questions when heading to attractions. Then, if needed we would leave the RV at a nearby campground, or a couple times Mister got permission to park the 5th wheel for a few hours at tourist information centres.
I wish we had gotten a second opinion for one nerve-rattling adventure I call, “The road to hell.” Slightly inappropriately named, because in fact the road zigzagged up a mountain, and the destination was not hellish.
Before leaving our campground near Hopewell Rocks, NB. we asked a local fellow about getting to Cape Enrage Lighthouse. If we should pull our 5th there or not? If there would be parking? He replied, “It should be fine, tour buses go up there.”
That was good enough for Mister. The next morning we headed down highway 114 which became rough enough to make us wish for air ride seats.
We took the lighthouse exit, and soon it opened into a flat stretch. The ocean glittered on one side of the road, a marsh was on the other, but a massive, tree covered mountain loomed ahead.
There was a roadside gravel area there big enough to park, probably used by fisherman to get to the ocean, but a sign indicated several Kilometers yet to the lighthouse.
A squiggly switchback warning sign and a high incline percentage one also came into view, and that’s when my anxiety began.
I told mister, “It’s fine, we don’t have to continue.”
I suggested, “Since there’s room here, let’s just turn around.”
I reasoned, “There will be other lighthouses to see along our route.”
I even tried straight out stating, “Honest, I don’t want to go up there.”
I rambled and muttered more, but those were my main arguments.
Mister simply replied, “We’ve come this far, we’re not turning back. Quit worrying! If a bus can make it, we can.”
But, worry is what I do best.
I pleaded some more, but our speed remained steady, the discussion was over.
A cliché comes to mind, “Come hell or high water,” he was taking me to see that lighthouse. (Now, isn’t he sweet, or maybe he needed revenge for some previous nagging I’d done? Smiley face)
Don’t get me wrong, Mister’s driving skills impress me. He can also maneuver a trailer pretty much anywhere, but I really never wanted to find out if controlling a rig sliding backwards on a narrow mountain road was in his repertoire.
When we slowed for the first corner, I braced my feet on the floor and one arm on the console between us. My other hand clutched the dashboard, “Oh sh…!” handle. Why, I’m not sure, we weren’t going fast or off-roading. Another smile.
With only slight exaggeration, I swear on the tight switchbacks I could have stuck my arm out the window and been able to touch the side of the 5th wheel.
Oh, have I mentioned the road was hard topped but was littered with small pebbles.
When we crept up a particular steep and sharp hairpin turn, the truck began to spit those loose pebbles. My worst fear came to life, the tires lost traction, and we were sliding backwards.
Mister, all calm and collected steered and engaged the truck’s 4 wheel drive. We started to inch forward again.
I on the other hand, broke into a sweat, muttered curses and silently prayed.
Finally we got to the top where we had to stop on the road and help guide another unit around the corner so they could head back down the hill.
The actual parking lot had a designated spot for tour buses but the public part was not big enough for larger RV’s.
Mister found a grassy plateau before the lot and wedged our rig in so we could get out to explore and take pictures of the lighthouse. The views were spectacular, but I’m not sure they were worth my stress.
If I’d known this story would become a blog post, I would’ve tried taking better or at least more pictures, and maybe washed the bugs off the windshield. Who am I kidding, between hanging on and my shaking hands I’m impressed I got these few. Pictures don’t do justice to heights, inclines, etc. anyway.
The trip down wasn’t much better for me because I couldn’t stop picturing those darn loose pebbles causing us to careen off the edge.
How busses negotiate the trip, I’ll never know, maybe traffic is stopped for them. For sure, I would never want to meet and have to pass one or any other big vehicle for that matter.
If planning to visit this sight, the scenery is gorgeous once up there but be aware of the road getting there, especially, if you are pulling an RV.
Do certain road conditions cause you anxiety?
Do you like road-trips?