October 28, 2012

Cold War Camping - Val D'Or, Senneterre, Ramore, North Bay

To update you on what I've been up to... The Val D'Or/Senneterre/Belleterre trip happened (October 19th - 22nd)!  But without Belleterre... There were a few on-the-fly changes to the camping trip; we couldn't get to the Senneterre GATR, and scratched Belleterre off the list after a major brake failure on the Suburban.  Both will need to be re-attempted in coming trips.

Here (below) is (more or less) where we went; I'm going to break out stories of the trip into multiple blog entries so they can be easily searched for down the road.

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Overall my impression of Val D'Or was much better than I expected.  It is clearly a booming town.  There is clearly money being spent there by the local workers, the local companies, and the local municipal government who's getting the taxes from everyone.  Good for you Val D'Or, you're not the armpit town I was expecting!  I mean that as a complement, honestly; from all the mining I was expecting a very dirty run down town - it was anything but!  Another surprising thing, to me, being from Montreal, Quebec - I was expecting at least some of the people in customer service to sneer, look down their nose, or otherwise be indignant to my traveling partner who spoke mainly English.  However, at no time anywhere in Val D'Or (or Senneterre) were we treated poorly, or given anything but welcoming smiles, when speaking English we were replied to in their best English.  I felt very much welcome.  Val D'Or was a picturesque town, with a busy main street, lots of parking, and clearly hopping with a booming economy driven by the local mining operations.  I'd go back again and again, I was very impressed with Val D'Or.  It surpassed all my expectations... and the food was *fantastic*.

As we failed to get to Belleterre, we headed to Ramore, and took a lot of pictures of what is left of Ramore AS / RCAF Station Ramore / CFS Ramore.  It was my first time checking out some of the domestic site, as the last time I concentrated on the operations site.

CFS Senneterre's buildings have has some holes punched in them, but generally they are intact, minus the Radomes, and provide a good idea of the footprint of a base.  The sloppy fence line allowed us to take pictures of things we shouldn't have on Telebec property.  No harm, no foul, I say...

On the way past North Bay (with 50% of the Suburban's brakes blown...) we stopped at CFB North Bay's BOMARC site to take pictures.  If we'd had more time, I would have talked to the owner and gone through the front door, but as it was I approached from the back and took pictures through the fence.

Here are all the pictures I have, I haven't excluded any, they are not very artsy, they are meant to document the trip :)

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