Road Trip: Day 1 - Ottawa to Matagami
Kilometre 0/Ottawa - I didn't leave our Nation's Capital until 11 am this morning, or about two hours behind schedule. As you can see, left, it's not like I needed a lot of time to pack my kit in the X6's hatchback-like rear cargo area.
Oh well. I have three days to make up for any lost time. And I certainly don't have any challenges on the navigation front.
Basically, the morning's directions involve a straight shot north into Quebec following the Gatineau River. Toggling between the Hwy 105 two-laner and the sporadic Hwy 5 four-laner that peters out after Wakefield. This route, from Camp Fortune to Mont Ste. Marie, is familiar with area skiers and boarders in the winter.
Km 148/Maniwaki - Once I get through town here, and make a left onto Hwy 117 for Val-D'Or, it will officially be the farthest north I've been in Quebec. The last (and only) time I was in Maniwaki was for a hockey game when I was 14. Very cold, and very dark.
Cell phone coverage is sporadic at best up here (damn you Rogers!!) So the city wimp that I am, I've borrowed a satellite phone and personal satellite messenger from Globalstar. Called Spot, the PSM uses GPS to figure out where you are. You can then setup email addresses to send notices to whomever so they can track your travels.
Here's an example I sent to my editor so that he doesn't think I'm hanging out in the local ballet club.
Km 423/Val D'or - Gas stations are less frequent the farther north one goes. So instead of taking a chance, I fill up the BMW's near half empty tank here in Val-D'or. The X6 has been averaging 12.4L/100 km. That means 50L of premium @ $1.50/L.
Km 600/Border of the Municipality of James Bay - It took awhile, but I finally shed most of civilization after going through Amos on Hwy 109 (see video above.) From here on out, traffic is mainly logging trucks.
Km 699/Matagami - Day 1 is in the books with the start of the actual James Bay Road only a few kilometres and a night's sleep away.
Here's the scorecard so far:
Drive time: 7 hours, 8 mins
Fuel consumption: 12.6/100 km
Average speed: 101.5 km/h