Bryson, Grand Calumet Island, Campbell’s Bay, Litchfield, Vinton and Waltham are only a few of the towns and hamlets along Hwy. 148. This highway follows the Ottawa river or Outaouais River as it is called in Quebec. To my ear it is pronounced “Ootaway.”
I was following the gently curving highway when I saw the most curious thing. A church without a spire?
You really can’t tell in my photograph but the spire is missing. It actually is situated on the ground next to the church. Apparently they are doing repairs. It looked so strange to see this short square castle like tower. The church is one of the many wonderful stone churches in Canada. Even I can tell that faith really is what settled Canada. There is a most amazing cemetery next to the church of St. Elizabeth of Hungary.
I continued on my way and came to Mansfield-et-Pontefract and Fort Coulonge. A very curious amalgamation of two cities? I didn’t dally to figure it out. I turned left following the signs pointing to Fort Coulonge and past a huge cemetery on my left. I came to Rue Principale and followed that along the Coulonge River. This road took me to the “Félix Gabriel-Marchand Bridge. I stopped puzzled?
After a little passage of time, I observed cars driving across this very long covered bridge from either side. I reviewed the signs posted at the entrance and there was nothing saying I could not drive across. So I did. What a kick! It was not flat but wavy so the car when slightly up and down as I drove across. It was one lane so apparently the honor system is in place and if you spy another car on the other side you either go or give way.
The Outaouais Heritage WebMagazine has an article under Historic Landmarks that states the bridge (pont) is one of Quebec’s oldest. http://outaouais.quebecheritageweb.com/article/marchand-covered-bridge-pontiac-giant If you just Google this bridges name you will find a lot of information.
Once across I turned left onto Hwy. 148 and the George Bryson house was easily found on the right side of the road. It looked like it was about to get a new paint job? http://maisonbryson.com/index_en.html I found this webpage which I thought was rather fascinating about the history of this house and a whole lot more:
“The historiography about the Bryson House in Mansfield, Pontiac County, Quebec: http://www3.sympatico.ca/larry.kenney/brysonhouse.html
I didn’t have time to dither so I continued on my way to Chute du Coulonge. The turnoff is not too far up the road from the Bryson House. Apparently I did not read the website very well because they charge a fee to enter the park. http://www.chutescoulonge.qc.ca/aboutus.htm I have to admit being yelled at in French was interesting. I was making my way to the falls when she stopped me from going any further. I felt bad for the attendant. There was no one there except me. So I did not see the falls and do not have photographs. Check out their website it looks like there a many activities for families. By the way getting to it is a little odd. You drive the highway and then you eventually get to a gravel road and the signs are somewhat lacking but eventually you find the big sign telling you that the park is not far. They do have a good-sized parking lot.
I continued on Hwy. 148 and past by Waltham. I was tempted to turn into the town but decided I was getting hungry and too tired to really enjoy it. So I pushed on to Pembroke where I had arranged for lodging.