Archive for Quebec

Here Comes the Rain

Note: Nov. 23 – Pictures are now updated!

Day 122: August 14 – Riviere-du-Loup to Rimouski

Daily Distance = 112.27, Trip Total = 4,786.34km

This morning I said g’bye to Gail and headed out into the rain at 8am as a solo rider again.  My original stop tonight was going to be a campground at Bic National Park, however Gail’s husband Jim alerted me to the fact that dogs aren’t allowed at the National Parks in Quebec – thanks for the heads up Jim!!  This meant my closest dog friendly accommodation was Rimouski – over 110km away.

The forecast was calling for rain all day and it did not lie.  Today would be my first day on this trip where I had rain for the whole day, so I really can’t complain.  And I still stand by my statement that I will take rain over wind any day!  Around the 25km mark autoroute 20 merged with route 132, which meant I was sharing the road with the big rigs again.  For the first 45km today I also had a headwind, but a reasonably light one so it didn’t hinder me much.  I took my first break around the 45km mark where a group of individuals offered me a picnic lunch and showed genuine concern about me cycling in the rain.  I turned down the lunch only because the temperature was a bit on the cold side (around 10 degrees) and that in combination with the rain meant taking long breaks just led to the body getting cold.  So I quickly chowed down a protein bar and gel, went to the washroom, changed the batteries in my SPOT tracker, let Dash out to do her business and then jumped back on the bike.

Gail took this shot as I left the hotel this morning

Gail took this shot as I left the hotel this morning

Riviere-du-Loup

Riviere-du-Loup

Heading out of Riviere-du-Loup

Heading out of Riviere-du-Loup

The St. Lawrence from just East of Riviere-du-Loup

The St. Lawrence from just East of Riviere-du-Loup

Passing by a field of mustard flowers - the brightest part of my day

Passing by a field of mustard flowers – the brightest part of my day

A train passing through Trois-Pistoles

A train passing through Trois-Pistoles

Sharing the road with the big rigs again :)

Sharing the road with the big rigs again :)

After my break I was happy to find that the wind had changed direction and I now had a slight tailwind.  I would like to comment on the scenery that I passed along the way, but I can only assume it was beautiful.  Due to the misty/foggy/rainy haze I was only able to see anywhere from 100-500 metres ahead of me at a time.  Even though visibility was reduced I still felt safe on the road due to the wide paved shoulder and all my fluorescent gear must be doing it’s job because vehicles were giving me a wide berth.

A soggy water view

A soggy water view

The edges of Bic National Park

The edges of Bic National Park

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Still around the area of Pic National Park

Still around the area of Pic National Park

Skirting around Pic National Park

A valley skirting around Pic National Park

I was able to cover the full 112km today with only taking two short breaks.  I have been noticing over the past couple weeks that my body needs fewer and fewer breaks (and food) during the day while riding, water I always have on hand.  I generally still take the breaks when I come across a convenient location, simply ‘cuz I want to take in the scenery around me, however it’s pretty cool to see how the body adopts and improves over time and on a day like today it was mighty convenient to not necessarily need the breaks.

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Getting closer to my destination for the night - Rimouski!

Getting closer to my destination for the night – Rimouski!

Looking back at some of the climbs today

Looking back at some of the climbs today

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What are becoming some of my favourite things - a waterfall, a stream and train tracks

What are becoming some of my favourite things – a waterfall, a stream and train tracks

What luck?  These guys were going my pace!

What luck? These guys were going my pace!

Day 123: August 15 – Rimouski to Sainte-Flavie

Daily Distance = 30.95km, Trip Total = 4,817.29km

Because of the longer distance covered yesterday I opted to make today a shorter day.  And given the choice to spend the evening on the river or inland, I opted to spend one last night on the St. Lawrence river.  So my destination was Sainte-Flavie, I tiny little town on route 132 just before I would start heading inland.  The ride itself was pretty quick, only a couple hours to cover 30km going through several little coastal towns.  The biggest thing I noticed was the very, very distinct smell of salt water coming from the river – it smelt like I was already at the ocean and given that I could barely make out the sight of land on the other side of the river it had an ocean feel too.  Almost hard to believe that I am so close to the Atlantic!!

Dedicated promenade bike lane in Rimouski

Dedicated promenade bike lane in Rimouski

Watching a kite surfer with a scenic backdrop

Watching a kite surfer with a scenic backdrop

I had to zoom my camera as far as it would go to see the boats and ocean liner in the river

I had to zoom my camera as far as it would go to see the boats and ocean liner in the river

A lighthouse and submarine

A lighthouse and submarine

Close up of the submarine

Close up of the submarine

What most of my short ride looked like today

What most of my short ride looked like today

Bright coloured coastal houses

Bright coloured coastal houses

I arrived in Sainte-Flavie around 2pm and had a pleasant afternoon strolling along the beach and rocks and starring at the water as the tide came in.  Such a wonderfully relaxing afternoon.  Gail and I have noticed the tide influence on the river since our campground in Montmagny.  It seems like such a weird concept to me for a river to have a tide.

Dash checking out the view from our motel in Sainte-Flavie

Dash checking out the view from our motel in Sainte-Flavie

Taking a walk along the tidal bed

Taking a walk along the tidal bed

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Sainte-Flavie

Sainte-Flavie

Sainte-Flavie

Sainte-Flavie

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Watching the sunset in Sainte-Flavie

Watching the sunset in Sainte-Flavie

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Day 124: August 16 – Sainte-Flavie to Causapscal

Daily Distance = 95.58km, Trip Total = 4,912.87km

Today I felt strong.

How can you not feel good waking up to this view?

How can you not feel good waking up to this view?

Today I spent about 25 of the first 30km climbing, sometimes gradually, sometimes not so gradually and still I felt strong.

Not only was I climbing, but this herd of sheep were too

Not only was I climbing, but this herd of sheep were too

My last view of the St. Lawrence heading out of Sainte-Flavie and en route to Mont-Joli

My last view of the St. Lawrence heading out of Sainte-Flavie and en route to Mont-Joli

 

Lots of climbing today

Lots of climbing today

Hanging out on a quiet river

Hanging out on a quiet river

More climbing

More climbing

Looking back at some of the climbing

Looking back at some of the climb

A small town along route 132

A small town along route 132

The town of Sayabec and Lac Metapedia

The town of Sayabec and Lake Matapedia

On the outskirts of Sayabec

On the outskirts of Sayabec

Lake Matapedia

Lake Matapedia

Lake Matapedia

Lake Matapedia

Heading out of Sayabec

Heading out of Sayabec

The flattest land I saw today

The flattest land I saw today

These signs pop up every 10 or 15km in Quebec

These signs pop up every 10 or 15km in Quebec

 

Following the green route

Following the green route

Lake Matapedia

Lake Matapedia

Today as I approached Amqui (around the 70km mark) I looked at the skies ahead and saw that the 40% chance of less than 1mm of rain being forecasted was probably going to be closer to 100% chance of 10mm of rain, but it didn’t matter because I was still feeling strong.  I could have stopped in Amqui and missed riding in most of the rain, but I had so much energy I wanted to keep going.  Rain or not.  I did however take the chance to stop at the Subway in Amqui and have a sub thinking it might kill a bit of time as the worst of the rain passed.  As I sat on the front step outside of subway eating my sub a gentleman came by and started doing a thorough inspection of my bike.  No big deal, I’m used to the stares and the inspections, but when he started touching the handlebar bag and shaking my rear ortlieb panniers a line was crossed.  Especially considering that rear ortlieb pannier is attached to my back rack which does have that slightly loosening and shaved screw.  So I called out to him ‘can I help you?’.  He seemed slightly surprised this contraption was mine, but was quick to tell me about the time he cycled from Portland to San Diego and told me that he was just ‘testing’ how well my ortlieb pannier fit to the back rack.  Apparently my setup passed the test but I did kindly ask him to stop ‘testing’ my stuff as I still needed it to get me through the rest of this great country.

Amqui and a sudden downpour of rain

Amqui and a sudden downpour of rain

After letting the worst of the rain pass, I got back on my bike – and still I was feeling strong.  I flew the last 25km to Causapscal, the last 5km or so in the rain again.  Due to the rain I was going to try to find a motel, but the one I stumbled upon seemed to be booked up so instead I headed to the campground.  I must have spent about 30 minutes warming up in the shower and contemplating this surge of energy I have experienced today.  I have always been the kind of cyclist who prefers flat land.  I never quite understood those who said they like the challenge of the hills.  But today I got it.  The sense of accomplishment when you tackle a hill and still have energy to go for another 50+km is exhilarating!  Plus, there is more to keep you captivated on the scenery front when you don’t know what’s waiting for you at the top of the next hill or around the next bend.

Following La Route Verte 1 off the beaten path

Following La Route Verte 1 off the beaten path

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Between Amqui and Causapscal

Between Amqui and Causapscal

Crossing the river to get back to Route 132

Crossing the river to get back to Route 132

While letting dinner cook away I took Dash for a walk in the non-service area of the campground and saw another lightweight tent (albeit big – 3 or 4 person).  However I saw no sign of a car or bike.  As I turned around and headed back to my site I bumped into a fellow cyclist!  Ashleigh is the owner of the other tent, she had gotten in earlier and went into town to eat and pick up a couple beers which she kindly shared with me.  She is also cycling across Canada, she had started with two other gal friends on April 28th (around the same time as me).  So all the times through the prairies when I was being asked if I was ‘with those three girls’ – it may just have been her group that was being referred to (and here I was thinking it had to have been the Friends with Fenders ladies).  Anyway – Ashleigh spent a month in Quebec doing a french immersion program, so her trio ended up finding their own paths for the east coast.  She is hoping to get to Halifax by next Fri. to meet up with one of the trio (she’ll be doing much longer distance days than my relaxed pace!).  We spent a couple hours swapping stories, commiserating over the brutal prairie winds, seeing if we’ve bumped into any of the same cross-canadian cyclists, etc.

Today I went to sleep still feeling strong!

 

Day 125: August 17 – Causapscal to Campbellton

Daily Distance = 83.70km, Trip Total = 4,996.57km

I was really looking forward to today’s ride.  After pulling away from the St. Lawrence yesterday and climbing a bit to Lac Matapedia, today I was going to be enjoying a liesurely route following the Matapedia river back down to sea level in Campbellton.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Although there were a couple slight climbs, for the most part it was a gradual descent.  Along the way I saw several folks in the river fishing for salmon, apparently there are only specific locations where folks can fish, these are well signed along the way.  At more than one point I thought how cool it would have been to have a raft and just float my way (with gear) the 80km to Campbellton – and not because I didn’t want to be on the bike, just because I think it would have been a fun way to spend the day!

Near Causapscal

Near Causapscal

Causapscal

Causapscal

Passing by a logging company outside of Causapscal

Passing by a logging company outside of Causapscal

A monument to everyday workers

A monument to everyday workers

Old wooden covered tunnel

Old wooden covered tunnel

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Once again on the small country road

Once again on the small country road

A very typical view for the day - road with trees on one side and Matapedia river on the other

A very typical view for the day – road with trees on one side and Matapedia river on the other

Salmon fisher

Salmon fisher

The scenery was also quite stunning as I was passing through the northern reaches of the appalachian mountain range.  I’ll let the pictures do the explaining when I’m able to get them posted!

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A group of rafters enjoying a lazy river ride

A group of rafters enjoying a lazy river ride

Canoes with motors

Canoes with motors

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Lots of people on Matapedia river

Lots of people on Matapedia river

Campbellton and Sugarloaf Provincial park

Campbellton and Sugarloaf Provincial park

I continued along 132 until Pointe-a-la-Croix where I took the bridge over to Campbellton, New Brunswick – another province bites the dust!  And another time zone change.  My hotel is located right beside the bridge, so it was really easy to find.  After getting settled in and airing out my tent, washing my clothes, etc I headed out for a quick walk to check out the town.  I was immediately drawn to the wharf where I enjoyed an ice cream and a shrimp club sandwich in that order.  You know you’re in the maritimes when shrimp and lobster are standard food fare!

The bridge heading to Campbellton (connecting Quebec and New Brunswick)

The bridge heading to Campbellton (connecting Quebec and New Brunswick)

Shrimp club sandwich

Shrimp club sandwich

Walking along the promenade in Campbellton

Walking along the promenade in Campbellton

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Fishing for salmon

Fishing for salmon

Another salmon statue in Campbellton

Another salmon statue in Campbellton

 

Day 126: August 18 – Campbellton

I enjoyed an R&R day where I caught up on my blog and went for an 8km walk around Sugarloaf Provincial Park.  It was good to get on some walking trails where I could let Dash walk off leash for a while and explore.  Although I think the heat (29 degrees) got to her a bit, around the 6km mark she plopped herself on the ground near a gas station so I sat down beside her and poured some water into the left over fruit smoothie cup I had from timmies for her to drink out of.  After the past 4 or 5 days being so cool in temperature I wasn’t expecting summer like conditions to come back – hopefully they’ll stick around for more than just the day!

Walking through Sugarloaf Provincial Park

Walking through Sugarloaf Provincial Park

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Sugarloaf Provincial Park - my hike for the day

Sugarloaf Provincial Park – my hike for the day

Stopping for a much needed water break

Stopping for a much needed water break

Two is Better

Day 119: Aug 11 – Quebec City to Montmagny

Daily Distance = 64.39km, Trip Total = 4,537.49km

I woke up at 7am this morning not particularly rested, I’ve had a couple late nights researching a change to my intended route and booking some accommodations on the East Coast.  My choice to bring Dash on the trip certainly does add to the amount of planning I have to do, but I don’t regret the decision for a minute.  Regardless – I should have given myself one more day in Quebec City to research, rest and explore the city.  Oh well – the show must go on!  And for the next few days I have a new partner in crime as Gail flew into Quebec City last night and will be riding with me for a few days!

Schwabe Marathon tire after 1,600km of wear - only the middle tread left and green dots starting to show through the rubber

Schwalbe Marathon tire after 1,600km of wear – only the middle tread left and green dots starting to show through the rubber – in particular on the left side which is the side Dash’s trailer hitches to

We were able to roll out of the hotel around 9am and headed along the dedicated bike paths to old Quebec where we picked up a ferry over to Levis.  One of the workers on the ferry tried to get Dash to play with a rope but Dash was too distracted with all the new sounds around her to take much interest.

One last view of fort Quebec from the ferry terminal

One last view of fort Quebec from the ferry terminal

Well marked bike paths in Quebec

Well marked bike paths in Quebec

My bike waiting for the ferry to Levis

My bike waiting for the ferry to Levis

Gail stabilizing her bike.  The ferry actually had bike racks!!

Gail stabilizing her bike on the ferry to Levis. The ferry actually had bike racks!!

View of Chateau Frontenac from the ferry

View of Chateau Frontenac from the ferry

We were greeted in Levis with an easy to find trail that gradually climbed out of town.  After putting Dash back in the trailer after a quick washroom break a lady walked by with a dog.  Unfortunately Dash did not respond particularly well and actually ripped through her mesh screen door.  After calming Dash down Gail and I were able to finagle a temporary duct tape repair job on the trailer.  At this same rest area we had a conversation with a local cyclist who was quite impressed that I am cycling with a dog – Dash’s popularity across the country continues to grow!

For the most part the ride was pretty uneventful, we always had a dedicated trail or nice wide paved shoulder to safely travel on.  Gail led the way for the first 45km – I didn’t even try to keep pace, just stuck with my slow and steady mantra.  I completely expected my last four months on the road to make me a quicker cyclist even though I’m hauling a bit more gear than Gail, but this was certainly not the case!  Around the 45km mark, the pace started to wane slightly so we pulled over for a few breaks in the last 20km and to get fuel in the way of food.

Bike trails out of Levis

Bike trails out of Levis

Who is that riding behind me?

Who is that riding behind me?

And now strategically placed behind the flag...

And now strategically placed behind the flag…

It's GAIL!!!

It’s GAIL!!!

Taking in some of the farmland on Ile de Orleans

Taking in some of the farmland on Ile de Orleans

This is what most of the day looked like - Gail always 100 metres ahead!

This is what most of the day looked like – Gail always 100 metres ahead!

Passing by a classic car show

Passing by a classic car show

Once arriving at the campground we started the process of setting up camp and were greeted with a couple quick rain showers and a rainbow too – unfortunately I was too slow to get a good picture of the rainbow.

Watching the sunset from our campground in Montmagny

Watching the sunset from our campground in Montmagny

We could see the occasional bands of rain approaching from across the river

We could see the occasional bands of rain approaching from across the river

 

Note: Nov. 23 – Pictures are now updated!

Day 120: August 12 – Montmagny to Riviere-Ouelle

Daily Distance = 74.32km, Trip Total = 4,611.81

As we were riding this morning I mentioned to Gail that I would like to stop at a fruit stand for some blueberries.  The fruit stands are not near as abundant in this stretch as they were between Montreal and Quebec City and I had previously only stopped for strawberries and raspberries.  So just over an hour into the ride when we both spotted a fruit stand on our right advertising blueberries, it was a no-brainer to pull in.  As I parked my bike I heard Gail mutter ‘oh shit’ from behind me and then heard the sound of a fall.  I immediately turned around to see Gail and the bike on the ground with Gail quickly assuring me she was ok.  Apparently Gail has become too efficient with her new clips and when she came to the stop she clipped out and then accidentally clipped back in.  Shortly after the fall she noticed her arm was swollen so she took a seat at the picnic table and I tried to ask the gentleman working the fruit stand for some ice.  Unfortunately he spoke no english and although I tried miming an action for ice and repeated the word ‘glace’ (the word I’m sure I have seen printed on ice machines) he wasn’t understanding me.  Fortunately he went over to the house and came back with his granddaughter (I’m assuming his granddaughter) who did speak english and was able to translate for us.  She was very quick to bring out ice wrapped in a cloth as well as a frozen bottle of water so that we would have ice while on the road – so thoughtful!  After all this was said and done, I purchased what had to be the best tasting blueberries I have ever had.

The after effects of using clips

The after effects of using clips

 

Another small Quebec town, another impressive church

Another small Quebec town, another impressive church

Couldn't resist pulling over for a picture of this waterfall

Couldn’t resist pulling over for a picture of this waterfall

Evidence of the tide is become more obvious as we head up the St. Lawrence

Evidence of the tide is become more obvious as we head up the St. Lawrence

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Back on the road we were on 132 just about to head into a very small town called Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies when we saw the signs of construction ahead of us.  As we approached the flag man we asked if we could travel on the road, he told us no, that we would have to take the 10km detour with the cars.  We tried to persuade him to let us go through, explaining that a 10km detour is a long way for us to travel.  Eventually he radioed another worker, we could tell he was talking about us with a handful of words ‘deux madame’, ‘pannier’, ‘bicyclette’, etc., once off the radio he told us nope, the route was just too rough.  I tried to persuade him that we were ok with a rough route but he wasn’t having anything of it.  So, Gail suggested we pull ahead a little bit and re-group.  There was a municipal building a couple 100 metres ahead, so we parked our bikes there.  While I was pouting and strategizing how to convince Gail to go through the closed road we noticed two cyclists coming from the other direction through the closed road (with panniers – so they likely weren’t locals).  My mind was set – no 10km detour for me!  I asked Gail how she felt about ignoring the flag man and just going through the construction site.  There was a bit of hesitation, but while discussing we saw yet another cyclist go through from the direction we were trying to go through.  That sealed the deal. We quickly got on our bikes and headed back to the closed road barrier.  As soon as we turned on to the closed road Gail quickly passed me saying ‘they’re yelling at us, should we stop?’ as she quickly pedalled on.  I glanced behind me where I could now hear the flag man yelling at us, but he wasn’t giving chase so I figured it was best to just keep moving forward.  For the first while the road wasn’t bad at all, we could still ride, just slowly.  Then we came to a section where the whole road was torn up.  We had to get off our bikes and walk – still better than a 10km detour.  Then we got to a section where they were actively working with several mack trucks and we felt it was too dangerous to pass on the road, so we started eyeing up a couple houses front yards on our left.  Gail made eye contact with the seniors sitting on their front porches and mimed permission for us to pass through their yards, both couples immediately waved their approval.  So we rolled our bikes through a couple yards, over a downed tree log (this required 4 hands to get my bike and trailer over, Gail was quick to offer a helping hand), through small brush and back on to the dug up road (but past the point where the mack trucks were working).  As we were cutting through front yards, two more touring cyclists passed us – they apparently did not have our reservation about cycling so closely to the mack trucks.  We had about another km before the construction zone ended, but it was ridable road again.  All in all, MUCH better than a 10km detour!

A road under construction

A road under construction

Some yards we detoured through

Some yards we detoured through

This log would have been mighty hard to haul all my gear over alone - thank you Gail for the hand!!

This log would have been mighty hard to haul all my gear over alone – thank you Gail for the hand!!

Out of construction and on to a trail!

Out of construction and on to a trail!

Gail and I

Gail and I

While setting up camp I went to have a shower while Gail kindly watched Dash for me (it’s quite nice having somebody else around so I don’t have to muzzle and leave Dash her in the tent while I shower or go to the washroom).  When I came back from the shower Gail let Dash off leash as she saw me (we had a pretty wide non-service area to ourselves, so there was lots of freedom for Dash).  Dash quickly ran towards me and then started playing her game of running in circles, however instead of running in a circle she bolted for Gail’s tent and tried to leap in.  Unbeknownst to Dash the door was zipped closed so she instead made direct impact with the mesh door and bounced back.  She quickly shook herself off while I busted a gut laughing.  The tent was unharmed, thankfully!  I wish I could have gotten that on video!

Setting up camp

Setting up camp

I look very sunburned compared to Gail, don't I?

I look sunburned compared to Gail, don’t I?

Our campground store was pretty well stocked, so we enjoyed a nice white wine over our dehydrated dinner and called it an early night.

Gail and I getting our drink on (wine and water!)

Gail and I getting our drink on (wine and water!)

Gail in front of the sunset

Gail in front of the sunset

My favourite kind of campground - on the water!

My favourite kind of campground – on the water!

Sun setting on the St. Lawrence

Sun setting on the St. Lawrence

Day 121: August 13 – Riviere-Ouelle to Riviere-du-Loup

Daily Distance = 62.26km, Trip Total = 4,674.07km

We were really aiming to get on the road by 9am this morning as we had a short day today, a hotel to look forward to tonight, a long ride tomorrow and rain was going to start today and get increasingly stronger throughout the day. Even though we were up nice and early (before 7am), for some reason we seemed unable to get on the road until about 9:45am.

We headed out into a decent headwind (not prairie strength, but enough to slow our speeds down a bit).  In the morning we just had light sprinkles, but by about noon it was raining more consistently and by 2pm it was starting to get uncomfortable mostly because the temperatures were also cooler than normal (around 12-15 degrees).  Just before noon we came through a town called Kamouraska and stopped at the tourist info to take a quick break and use the washrooms.  While here we bumped into 3 other cyclists and swapped the normal stories.  From here and for the rest of the day we took only short breaks.  With the rain and the cooler climate it was uncomfortable to take breaks of any length ‘cuz the body would start getting cold.

Riviere-Ouelle

Riviere-Ouelle

Farmland

Farmland

Rain jacket was a necessity today

Rain jacket was a necessity today

It looks like those hills are getting closer and closer...

It looks like those hills are getting closer and closer…

A house in Kamouraska

A house in Kamouraska

A rainy view of the St. Lawrence

A rainy view of the St. Lawrence

A picture of me!  And NOT a selfy!!

A picture of me! And NOT a selfy!!

Rock cut away

Rock cut away (I wasn’t quite tall enough to see over the road barrier)

 

Crossing over route 20

Crossing over route 20

 

If not singing in the rain, at least smiling in the rain

If not singing in the rain, at least smiling in the rain

We arrived in Riviere-du-Loup around 4pm.  A warm shower never felt so good!  After getting cleaned up we ordered room service.  I was starving so actually ordered two meals – a dinner size salad and a club sandwhich with mashed potatoes.  Gail restrained herself and just had one meal.  After dinner I headed to the hot tub with my book and we were out for the night by 11pm.

Dash tuckered out after a windy, rainy ride

Dash tuckered out after a windy, rainy ride

Quebec City

Day 117 & 118: August 9 & 10 – Quebec City

I spent two rest days in Quebec City.  The first day was spent updating the blog and then doing some more detailed research on the next leg of the trip.  I’ve decided to modify my originally planned route a bit, so this meant I had to dig up some information on campgrounds and pet-friendly hotels along the new route.

The second day I spent a few hours walking around old Quebec and taking in the sights.  This is definitely a city I wouldn’t mind coming back to!  Unfortunately I couldn’t spend the whole day meandering, I had some serious supplies to re-stock and both the MEC and cycle shop that I needed to drop by closed at 5pm on Sat. so I had to pull myself away from old Quebec to do my errands.  What did I have to re-stock?  At MEC I picked up my next 2wks worth of dehydrated food, protein bars, energy jubes and propane.  At the bike shop I had to pick up a new tire.  My rear tire has once again worn through the tread and although I think there is still some life left in it, I don’t think there’s quite enough to get me to the next significant city where I could get a decent replacement.  In Sauble Beach I had switched my rear tire from Continental Touring Plus to Schwalbe Marathon.  My research indicated that these two tires are the two top of the line touring tires, but that the Schwalbe has a much longer life span before the tread wears.  I was assured that the Schwalbe would see me through the rest of the country, but given that I’m starting to see the green under the tread (especially on the left side, which is the side of the bike that the trailer hitches to), I think it best to replace the tire now.  The Schwalbe  has gotten me about 1,600km whereas the Continentals were only getting me through about 1,000km, so it is certainly an improvement.

Now here are some pics from my walk around the city today:

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Walking on the fort walls in Quebec

Walking on the fort walls in Quebec

View from Old Quebec

View from Old Quebec

Me in Old Quebec

Me in Old Quebec

Dash on the walls in Old Quebec

Dash on the walls in Old Quebec

Dash and I overlooking Old Quebec

Dash and I overlooking Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

 

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Buskers in Old Quebec

Buskers in Old Quebec

Horse drawn carriage

Horse drawn carriage

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Park overlooking the river

Park overlooking the river

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Samuel de Champlain statue

Samuel de Champlain statue

 

Overlooking the river

Overlooking the river

Looking across to Levis

Looking across to Levis

Me!

Me!

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Fountain in Old Quebec

Fountain in Old Quebec

Old Quebec

Old Quebec

I think this fire hydrant has the best view in the city

I think this fire hydrant has the best view in the city

View from Old Quebec

View from Old Quebec

Church - I like the gold statue

Church – I liked the gold statue

Fruit Stand Alley

Day 113: August 5 – Montreal to Berthierville

Daily Distance = 78.37, Trip Total = 4,265.58km

I wanted to get on the road at a decent hour this morning so I set my alarm for 8am.  After having a muffin at the continental breakfast I quickly began the process of re-assembling Dash’s trailer and hauling all of my gear up the couple stairs to the back door of the hotel.  I was able to get everything re-assembled and all my gear loaded on my bike by shortly after 10am.  Because there is a park across the street from the hotel I decided to let Dash run around for a bit before putting her in the trailer and hitting the road.  After playing in the park, I went back to my bike and turned on my GPS.  Except it wouldn’t turn on!  My bike GPS is what shows me my current speed, distance travelled, distance to destination, where the next turn is, what the distance to the next turn is, etc.  Granted – this is not necessary info when riding a bike, but I’ve become hooked to the data generated on a ride (in particular speed and distance travelled).  I pulled out the external battery pack (HyperJuice) and plugged the GPS into it.  Fortunately when plugged into the external power source the GPS worked.  So as a temporary solution I left the GPS plugged into the external power source while I rode (this wouldn’t have been a viable option if raining, so thankfully it was a clear day!).

The silver box is an external power source (HyperJuice) which is plugged into my bike GPS - hopefully this is a temporary solution 'cuz it won't fair well in rainy conditions

The silver box is an external power source (HyperJuice) which is plugged into my bike GPS – hopefully this is a temporary solution ‘cuz it won’t fair well in rainy conditions

With that hiccup temporarily averted I was finally ready to start the trek out of Montreal.  I have to applaud the ‘bike’ option on Google Maps.  Every night I look up the next days ride on Google Maps and select the bike option.  This will show any known trails in the area which is extremely helpful when manoeuvring around new cities.  Through Google Maps I saw that there is a trail that runs along Notre Dame out of the city.  This trail was pretty easy to find and with the help of the ‘Route Verte’ signs it was pretty easy to follow once on the trail.

Molson plant leaving Montreal

Molson plant leaving Montreal

Following the industrial route out of Montreal

Following the industrial route out of Montreal

A picture with flowers

A picture with flowers

Once out of Montreal the terrain was incredibly flat, the St. Lawrence to my right, the starting of farmland to the left and a nice paved shoulder.  All in all, an enjoyable ride.

A windmill along route 138

A windmill along route 138

A dog on a bike?  I just HAD to take a picture of this!

A dog on a bike? I just HAD to take a picture of this!

Following some of the trails through the smaller towns on the outskirts of Montreal

Following some of the trails through the smaller towns on the outskirts of Montreal

I can safely say I'm not speeding!

At 15km/hr I can safely say I’m not speeding!

Crossing out of Montreal Island

Crossing out of Montreal Island

In Lavaltrie I took a break at a picnic area and had a quick chat with a couple who asked the standard questions about my trip (they were quick to switch to English when I told them I didn’t speak French).  This has become my new first sentence to anybody ‘sorry, I don’t speak French’.  At that point they either convert to English or smile and walk away.  Either response works for me.  So far I haven’t received any rude responses at my inability to speak the local language.

In Lavaltrie we watched a mack truck begin a journey up river

In Lavaltrie we watched a mack truck begin a journey up river

Same truck just a dot on the St. Lawrence

Same truck just a dot on the St. Lawrence

In Lanoraie I took another break and quickly noticed that a screw in one of my panniers had come out.  Fortunately both the screw and nut where found inside the pannier so it was a pretty easy fix.  I decided to do a more thorough scan of my bike (something I do about once a week on the trip, aside from the wheels which I check every day) and found that a screw that secures the back rack is also coming loose.  This screw has come loose a couple times on the trip and I fear the screw is getting stripped a bit.  I’ll keep a closer eye on this and might have to make a stop at a hardware store to replace the screw sooner rather than later.

My view for most of the day (once out of Montreal suburbs)

My view for most of the day (once out of Montreal suburbs)

Gear all fixed up again in Lanoraie

Gear all fixed up again in Lanoraie

Church in Lavoraie

Church in Lavoraie

Scenery between Lanoraie and Berthierville

Scenery between Lanoraie and Berthierville

My original destination tonight was supposed to be a campground in Lanoraie, however in my more thorough research while in Montreal I was able to find a pet friendly hotel in Berthierville that had a room for just $69 including breakfast.  This was not a hard decision to make and I certainly wasn’t disappointed.  The Days Inn in Berthierville immediately greets you with a ‘beinvenue cyclists’ sign and an outdoor, roofed bike area.  Although they also let you bring the bike into the room (which is the option I chose).

Welcome cyclists sign at Days Inn in Berthierville

Welcome cyclists sign at Days Inn in Berthierville

Bike shelter

Bike shelter

In more good news, my GPS around the 70km mark today informed me that it was no longer using the external power source and was actually powering itself.  I still emailed the folks at Garmin to ask their advice and they were super quick about giving me a response with a couple of options to try to resolve the issue, acknowledging that this isn’t normal behaviour.

Once settled into the hotel I headed over to a grocery store and picked up some veggies for tomorrow’s ride as well as a garden salad with chicken from St. Hubert’s.  For the first time in my life I can say I’m actually craving vegetables!

Day 114: August 6 – Berthierville to Trois-Riviere

Daily Distance = 63.57km, Trip Total = 4,329.15km

Tuesday August 6th, 8pm.  Slow motion thought to myself: “Oh shit – that’s a train coming towards me.”

Now rewind 11hrs to see how we got here:

I woke up at 9 after a very restful sleep and enjoyed the standard fair at the continental breakfast.  Shortly before 11am I was on the road, following route 138.  I passed an abundance of farmland, fruit & vegetable stands, and cyclists (actually most of the cyclists passed me vs me passing them).  I cycled through a road under construction where I laughed as a construction worker gave the international thumbs up hitchhiker sign.  I stopped in front of a grocery store in Louiseville where I met a couple from France who were spending 14 days cycling Quebec.  I enjoyed the vegetables I had bought the previous night.  Just west of my destination for the night (Trois-Riviere) I stopped at a park and savoured some gelato.  I checked into my hotel for the night.  I did the normal nightly routine – unpack, shower, hunt out food.

It was while I was seeking out food (perhaps a little less alert than normal given my food for the day has consisted of a bagel, two handfuls of veggies and an apple), walking along a road with the edges of the city to my right and nothing but a road, industrial buildings and the St. Lawrence to my left.  When I noticed something moving in my peripheral vision to the right.  Thinking nothing of it, I then glanced straight down and mildly noticed I was walking on train tracks.  That’s when I looked more closely at the moving object to my right and noticed ‘Oh shit – that’s a train coming towards me’!  I immediately ran off the tracks.  Turns out I was in no real danger – the train actually stopped well before the sidewalk and road, somebody hopped off the train to watch for a relative break in traffic before they turned on the train signals and slowly backed the train along the tracks across the road and into one of the industrial plants by the river.  Still – it certainly did wake me up and got the heart pumping!

I didn't backtrack to the exact location of the train tracks - but this is what the road looked like about 200 metres east of the tracks

I didn’t backtrack to the exact location of the train tracks – but this is what the road looked like about 200 metres east of the tracks

And now pictures from the day:

Outside Gilles Villeneuve museum in Berthierville

Outside Gilles Villeneuve museum in Berthierville

Farmland

Farmland

Crossing autoroute 40

Crossing autoroute 40

More farmland with flat land and not so flat land in the distance

More farmland with flat land and not so flat land in the distance

Crossing road construction

Crossing road construction

This road construction went on for many km's - thankfully I didn't have to detour!

This road construction went on for many km’s – thankfully I didn’t have to detour!

Louiseville where I met the couple from France touring Quebec

Louiseville where I met the couple from France touring Quebec

Lots of beautiful designed churches along the way

Lots of churches along the way

More farmland

More farmland

There were a row of about 10 houses all in the same style and colour

There were a row of about 10 houses all in the same style and colour

A serene view just west of Trois-Riviere

A serene view just west of Trois-Riviere

Park just west of Trois-Riviere

Park just west of Trois-Riviere

Enjoying some gelato

Enjoying some gelato

Bike paths are great - but not so great on garbage day...

Bike paths are great – but not so great on garbage day…

 

Day 115: August 7 – Trois-Riviere to Portneuf

Daily Distance = 73.84km, Trip Total = 4,402.99km

Today’s route (still on 138) brought me back along the waters edge for most of the day and about every 10′ (or what felt like about 10′) there is either a fruit & veggie stand, an ice cream stand or a poutine stand.  Let’s just say cyclists in this area should not go hungry during the summer months!  I’m not a gravy fan, so I wasn’t lured in by any of the poutine stands but I did stop for fresh raspberries!  Yum!

Relatively early in the morning a cyclist on his road bike passed me giving me a gigantic air fist pump.  Not too long after this a motorcyclist passed me honking his horn and then giving me a thumbs up (in case I didn’t hear the horn).  This really never gets old :)

Trois-Riviere

Trois-Riviere

Crossing bridge in Trois-Riviere

Crossing bridge in Trois-Riviere

It's not abnormal to see a group of cyclists such as this one along the paths in Quebec

It’s not abnormal to see a group of cyclists such as this one along the paths in Quebec

Watching the boats go by just outside of Champlain

Watching the boats go by just outside of Champlain

One of the many, many, many fruit stands along the way :)

One of the many, many, many fruit stands along the way :)

Typical view for the day

Typical view for the day

I liked the timer count down from when the light turns red to green in the upper right hand corner

I liked the timer count down from when the light turns red to green in the upper right hand corner

I opted for the sidewalk because the metal grate bridge does not bode well for a loaded up bike

I opted for the sidewalk because the metal grate bridge does not bode well for a loaded up bike

Crossing the bridge

Crossing the bridge

A 90 degree turn on the bridge?  Ugh - not so easy with the trailer...

A 90 degree turn on the bridge? Ugh – not so easy with the trailer…

But after a bit of jostling I was able to get through

But after a bit of jostling I was able to get through

Farmland!

Farmland!

This church was a pretty impressive view as you see it as you cross a bridge into the town of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade

This church was a pretty impressive view – you see it as you cross a bridge into the town of Sainte-Anne-de-la-Perade

Fruit stand

Fruit stand

About 20km from my destination for the night, I started to glimpse a dot in my rear view mirror.  And not just the dot of another cyclist, but another cyclist on a tour!  The panniers are what makes this an easy distinction to make.  Joe is also cycling across Canada, although much speedier than I!  He started his travels in early June and is expecting to be done in about 10 more days (final destination is Halifax).  He was kind enough to slow down his speed for me and we spent the next 20km of road swapping stories of our journey so far.  It was great to have company from a fellow tourer.  At the turnoff to my campground he continued along his path to Quebec City (my end point for the day was about his halfway point!  Crazy!)

A fellow cross Canada tourer - Joe

A fellow cross Canada tourer – Joe

Across the St. Lawrence

Across the St. Lawrence

View from the entrance to my campground for the night

View from the entrance to my campground for the night

While setting up camp I very, very distinctly wished that I had a couch to sit down on and put my feet up.  So far the camping has gone better than I expected, but I have to admit, I’m growing tired of setting up camp, taking camp down and sleeping on the ground.  From here on out, I will be treating myself to a hotel if there is a pet friendly one in my vicinity.  These will not be so easily found in rural Quebec, but when I get close to the transcanada in New Brunswick the options should become more abundant again.

Moving day? (transport hauling a mobile home into the campground)

Moving day? (transport hauling a mobile home into the campground)

Me thinks there has been a fire recently at the campground office

Me thinks there has been a fire recently at the campground office

 

Day 116: August 8 – Portneuf to Quebec City

Daily Distance = 70.11km, Trip Total = 4,473.10km

I continue to luck out weather wise.  Last night it poured rain from about 2am onwards (they were calling for it, so I had all my gear tucked away nicely under my tent).  When I woke up around 7am there was a break in the weather and it stopped raining for 2hrs.  Just enough time for me to get packed up, fed, and on the road.

Fortunately I had set up the tent on a higher level of land so I didn't get rain-logged overnight.

Fortunately I had set up the tent on a higher level of land so I didn’t get rain-logged overnight

As I rolled out of the campground it started raining.  A-ok with me.  It sprinkled on and off until about noon and after noon it was all clear skies.

Heading into Saint-Augustin I noticed two other cyclists loaded up with gear pulled off to the side of the road so I pulled over and we chatted.  They are brothers who are cycling from Montreal to Quebec City and will meet with their wives in Quebec City.  It sounds like the one brother has done a fair amount of touring in the past and he’s trying to get his brother hooked on this lifestyle.  They said they had started out with 3 cyclists, but one took an ambulance home on day 1 or 2 (he’s ok tho!).  We headed out for a grocery store where they offered to watch my bike while I picked up some food.  How nice to have my stuff looked after when I slip into a store to pick something up!  Usually I just hold my breath and hope everything is still there when I get back!

Me in front of the farmland in Quebec

Me in front of the farmland in Quebec

Two brothers cycling from Montreal to Quebec City

Two brothers cycling from Montreal to Quebec City

And we're off to find FOOD!

And we’re off to find FOOD!

From Saint Augustin into Quebec City I came across many detours due to construction.  By about the 4th detour I was getting a little sour, this was enhanced because the terrain was no longer flat.  In fact there was one hill that was at a 12 degree grade (this is STEEP).  My arms actually got sore as I pushed my bike up this hill, I needed to take several breaks to rest my arms.  You realize just how much gear you are hauling when you have to push it up a hill!  After a couple small loops (some because of construction detours and some because I got lost), I made it to my hotel in Quebec City where I was gladly and soundly asleep by 10pm.

Construction at the bottom of a hill?  This reduces the joy of coasting down a hill a bit

Construction at the bottom of a hill? This reduces the joy of coasting down a hill a bit

I ignored this detour and got to ride (car free) through a nice newly built roundabout

I ignored this detour and got to ride (car free) through a nice newly built roundabout

St. Lawrence from the outskirts of Quebec City

St. Lawrence from the outskirts of Quebec City

More detour signs (notice they actually called out the bike detour too)

More detour signs (notice they actually called out the bike detour too)

My response to seeing yet another detour

My response to seeing yet another detour

This is the bridge I'll be taking to cross the St. Lawrence on Sunday?  Hmm - it looks busy.  I think I should research this a bit more ahead of time.

This is the bridge I’ll be taking to cross the St. Lawrence on Sunday? Hmm – it looks busy. I think I should research this a bit more ahead of time.

I was on a mission to get to my hotel, so this was the only pic of Quebec City I snapped today (more later when I go sightseeing)

I was on a mission to get to my hotel, so this was the only pic of Quebec City I snapped today (more on a later date when I go sightseeing)

Osheaga

Day 110-112: August 2 to 4 – Montreal

The long weekend was spent catching up on some serious R&R (slept 10+hrs 3 of the 4 nights in Montreal), taking in the Osheaga Music Festival and a couple quick strolls downtown Montreal (not much sightseeing as I’ve been to Montreal before).

Near Old Port Montreal

Near Old Port Montreal

Old Port Montreal

Old Port Montreal

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal

Building near Old Port Montreal

Building near Old Port Montreal

One of these private boats generated A LOT of discussion on the docks

One of these private boats generated A LOT of discussion on the docks

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal

Downtown Montreal

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The stage

The stage

 

People climbing a tree at Osheaga

People climbing a tree at Osheaga

Tony and me

Tony and I at Osheaga

Viv and I at Osheaga

Viv and I at Osheaga

Viv and I in front of an Osheaga sign

Viv and I in front of an Osheaga sign

Tony, Viv and I

Tony, Viv and I

A bit blurry, but sharing some laughs at Osheaga

A bit blurry, but sharing some laughs at Osheaga

Mumford & Sons at Osheaga

Mumford & Sons at Osheaga

The metro ride home from Osheaga

The metro ride home from Osheaga

Bonjour Quebec et la Route Verte

Day 106: July 29 – Kingston to Brockville

Daily Distance = 89.38km, Trip Total = 3,948.72km

A normal scene of me leaving a hotel is as follows:

1) line up the bike so it is facing the door

2) attach panniers

3) pack everything into the panniers

4) attach tent and bear canister to back rack with bungie cords

5) roll bike into hallway facing direction of elevator while trying to shoo Dash to stay in the room

6) put Dash into trailer and roll it out to hallway

7) attach trailer to bike via trailer hitch

8) if there are people or any noises in the hallway trying to shush Dash from barking

9) roll bike down hallway manoeuvring around cleaning carts while shushing Dash from barking

10) get to elevator and if needed unhitch trailer to allow bike and trailer to fit into elevator (or do the trip in two)

11) scramble and shuffle to get all gear in elevator while trying to keep door elevator open until me and my schtuff are safely inside

12) take elevator to ground floor

13) scramble and shuffle to get all gear out of elevator while trying to keep door open to get all my schtuff safely outside

14) re-hitch trailer to bike

15) exit hotel

16) breath deep sigh of relief

So you can imagine that I must have looked a little frazzled when this morning at step 10 I hear somebody calling me by name.  Who knows me in Kingston?  Turns out Geoff – the gentleman I met and chatted with just as I left my place in Toronto!  He and his wife (Linda) were in Kingston on their way to Nova Scotia (on his way to a charity ride around the calbot trial).  What a coincidence that we were in the same town, same hotel, same floor at the exact same time!  I had to smile when he told me that I’m making good progress.  It really are simple words of encouragement like these that have propelled me almost 4,000km to date.

The first stop after leaving the hotel was a local bike shop to pick up some new gloves.  I tried to do this on my walk yesterday, but the bike shops were all closed on Sunday.  Fortunately there was a Cyclepath just down the street from the hotel and on my way through town.  In the shop one of the employees was quick to give me some tidbits of info about my next couple of days of riding (watch for the turnoff just before Brockville otherwise you could quickly find yourself on the 401, be sure to the Long Sault Parkway near Cornwall, etc).

My spiffy new gloves

My spiffy new gloves

Notice the extreme gel protection!

Notice the extreme gel protection!

Heading out of Kingston I was happy to see that I had a decent paved shoulder all the way to Gananoque.  This stretch (and the whole day) kinda flew by while I listened and (horribly off-key) belted out the lyrics to the following three songs on loop: Simple Man by Lynard Skynard, Sing for the Moment by Eminem and Sister Christian by Night Ranger.  I even managed to work in the occasional on bike dance move.  Although I tried to restrain myself from the dancing part when going through towns – admittedly there were a couple times it took me an odd stare or two before I realized I was amongst other people again.

More windmills across the river in Kingston

More windmills across the river in Kingston

Nice flat road with a paved shoulder between Kingston and Gananoque

Nice flat road with a paved shoulder between Kingston and Gananoque

This motel is advertising colour TV, but looking at the building I'm a bit skeptical

This motel is advertising colour TV, but looking at the building I’m a bit skeptical

Cute cottages on the outskirts of Gananoque

Cute cottages on the outskirts of Gananoque

Gananoque

Gananoque

A cyclist frame in Gananoque

A cyclist frame in Gananoque

I picked up subway in town and headed down to the water hoping to find a public park.  No such luck.  So, lunch was in front of this theatre instead

I picked up subway in town and headed down to the water hoping to find a public park. No such luck. So, lunch was in front of this theatre instead

This is where I was REALLY hoping there would be a park.  Oh well - my first view on this trip of the St. Lawrence River

This is where I was REALLY hoping there would be a park. Oh well – my first view on this trip of the St. Lawrence River

Just outside of Gananogue along the 1000 island parkway I was thrilled to see that there was a dedicated paved bike path that ran along the road.  And it extended for about 50km pretty much right into Brockville!  A very peaceful day: I had a nice tailwind, relatively flat land, dedicated paved path, glimpses of the St. Lawrence and the many islands dotting the river, occasional small towns, another bridge to the States, a park by the water to rest and take a break.  That just about sums up my day.

A bike path!!

A bike path!!

Looking out to the St. Lawrence River

Looking out to the St. Lawrence River

Dash checking out the bike paths bridge

Dash checking out the bike paths bridge before getting to go for a run along side the bike

Dash after her run beside the bike - quickly found the shade cast by the bike! lol!

Dash after her run beside the bike – quickly found the shade cast by the bike! lol!

Another bridge crossing to the States

Another bridge crossing to the States

These rocks started to remind me of northern ontario a bit.

These rocks started to remind me of northern ontario a bit.

A newly paved bike path - even better!

Just when I thought life couldn’t get better it does – a newly paved bike path!

This was near the bridge to the States.  The Seaway trail runs along Lake Ontario on the state side.  I had to take a picture 'cuz it's what I followed on my last tour about 7 years ago around Lake Ontario

This was near the bridge to the States. The Seaway trail runs along Lake Ontario on the state side. I had to take a picture ‘cuz it’s what I followed on my last tour about 7 years ago around Lake Ontario

Island life

Island life

It's crooked, but here Dash and I are enjoying the water view just west of Brockville

It’s crooked, but here Dash and I are enjoying the water view just west of Brockville

What it looks like straight

What it looks like straight

Thanks to my trusty GPS and the Kingston bike employee heads up I took the correct turnoff and did NOT end up on the 401!

Thanks to my trusty GPS and the Kingston bike employee heads up I took the correct turnoff and did NOT end up on the 401!

Statue in Brockville

Statue in Brockville

Day 107: July 30 – Brockville to Cornwall

Daily Distance = 98.79km, Trip Total = 4,047.51km

This morning I left the hotel in Brockville and instead of leaving the key in the room and taking off I actually dropped by front desk to leave the keys.  Mostly because it was a smaller hotel and as I was leaving at 9 instead of right at checkout time I thought it would give the cleaning staff an earlier start to there day.  What a mistake.  The lady at front desk was not the same gentleman as the previous night when I checked in.  The gentleman the previous night saw that I arrived on a bike and told me that because they are an eco-friendly hotel, they offer discounts to cyclists.  This would have been great had I not already booked (and paid) for the room via expedia.  So in lieu he waived the pet fee.  The lady this morning immediately told me that I needed to go get my visa so she could extract the necessary charge.  I explained to her what had transpired the previous night when I checked in, but she was having nothing of it.  Not impressed.

Fortunately I was once again impressed with the roads today.  Although starting out I was cycling on the road (not even a paved shoulder) it was a very low travelled road and what traffic there was, was good about moving over for me.  In Prescott a paved shoulder re-appeared for a good 40km stretch, after which I was back on off-road dedicated bike trails for about 20km and then back to a paved shoulder for the last 20km.  Today I passed another bridge for the States near Prescott (these are becoming a normal day sighting!) and several war of 1812 sites.  But the highlight of the day has to be the trails through Upper Canada Village, with a couple island crossings (only accessible by bike/hike) and then the Long Sault Parkway which is a road capped at 55km/hr (with a nice paved shoulder for cyclists) that hops across 11 islands.  These islands are very quiet and peaceful and primarily used for camping, swimming, diving, sightseeing.  I believe they are part of the St. Lawrence parks and from what I could see have no private dwellings.

 

Between Brockville and Prescott

Between Brockville and Prescott

Between Brockville and Prescott

Between Brockville and Prescott

Between Brockville and Prescott

Between Brockville and Prescott

Little blue church

Little blue church

Prescott

Prescott

Prescott

Ocean liner passing through Prescott

Prescott

Prescott

Fort at Prescott

Fort at Prescott

Info on a railway connecting Ottawa to the St. Lawrence

Info on a railway connecting Ottawa to the St. Lawrence

Another view of the ocean liner heading down the St. Lawrence

Another view of the ocean liner heading down the St. Lawrence

Heading into Jamestown

Heading into Jamestown

Plant in Jamestown

Plant in Jamestown

Another bridge to the States

Another bridge to the States

My view for a good part of the day

My view for a good part of the day

Park in Cardinal

Park in Cardinal – the gentlemen riding the mower later came over and made friends with Dash by giving her treats

Outdoor bbq's in the town park

Outdoor bbq’s in the town park

 

My bike in the park in Cardinal

My bike in the park in Cardinal

Cardinal water tower

Cardinal water tower

Heading out of Cardinal with a canal beside me

Heading out of Cardinal with a canal beside me

A canal beside the river

A canal beside the river

Several war of 1812 sites along this stretch of road

Several war of 1812 sites along this stretch of road

A construction training site

I was a little confused about what was being built here ’till I saw the sign indicating that this is a ‘construction training site’.  That made sense!

Beautiful paved shoulder

Beautiful paved shoulder

Coming across a tiny town

Coming across a tiny town built only on the left hand side of the road

Tiny buildings for a tiny town

Tiny buildings for a tiny town

Heading into Upper Canada Village

Heading into Upper Canada Village

Upper Canada Village

Upper Canada Village

Dash getting some run time again!

Dash getting some run time again!

According to my iphone I would be crossing a couple islands in this next stretch, so you can imagine how much a crossed my fingers that this closing didn't mean those trails (to eliminate the suspense I can confirm it does not - the trails were still open - phew!)

According to my iphone I would be crossing a couple islands in this next stretch, so you can imagine how much a crossed my fingers that this closing didn’t mean those trails (to eliminate the suspense I can confirm it does not – the trails were still open – phew!)

Chrysler's Farm Battlefield (war site of 1812)

Chrysler’s Farm Battlefield (war site of 1812)

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Chrysler's Farm Battlefield

Chrysler’s Farm Battlefield

Dash inspecting the canon

Dash inspecting the canon

St. Lawrence River

St. Lawrence River

Chrysler's Farm Battlefield

Chrysler’s Farm Battlefield

What a war campsite would look like

What a war campsite would look like

I think Dash prefers the modern day tent

I think Dash prefers the modern day tent

Crossing onto an island only accessible by hike/bike

Crossing onto an island only accessible by hike/bike

Lovely trails

Lovely trails

Other cyclists on trails

Other cyclists on trails

Dash and I on the trail

Dash and I on the trail

Crossing off the island and back on to mainland....for now...

Crossing off the island and back on to mainland….for now…

Geese in a field

Geese in a field

On these islands I also learned the story of the Lost Villages, which I have captured some of the information plaques below.  In essence at this part of the St. Lawrence there used to be rapids, but as part of the creation of the St. Lawrence Seaway (to allow ocean vessels to reach the great lakes) as well as to capture energy from the rapids there was a 4yr project to flood (controlled flood) the area and create a 48km head pond (now known as Lake St. Lawrence).  This controlled flood caused 7 villages to be relocated prior to being flooded.  Not all buildings where moved and remain under the waters of Lake St. Lawrence to this day.

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Long Sault Parkway

Long Sault Parkway

Long Sault Parkway

Long Sault Parkway

Island hopping

Island hopping

Island hopping

Island hopping

Info on Lost Villages

Info on Lost Villages

Water coverage before and after the controlled flooding

Water coverage before and after the controlled flooding (light blue is the new shoreline and dark blue is the previous shoreline)

Info on the Lost Villages

Info on the Lost Villages

The controlled flood

The controlled flood

 

Where the rapids once existed pre-flood

Where the rapids once existed pre-flood

Another view of the area

Another view of the area

Peaceful campsites - in some cases you may even have an island to yourself!

Peaceful campsites – in some cases you may even have an island to yourself!

Islands of the Long Sault Parkway

Islands of the Long Sault Parkway

Some of the buildings that were re-located from the lost villages prior to flooding

Some of the buildings that were re-located from the lost villages prior to flooding

More buildings relocated prior to the flooding

More buildings relocated prior to the flooding

And more buildings that were relocated

And more buildings that were relocated

The aftermath of going over a large bump on a not so smooth trail heading into cornwall

The aftermath of going over a large bump on a not so smooth trail heading into cornwall

Another look at the impact of the bump to my gear

Another look at the impact of the bump to my gear

Fortunately it was an easy clip to put the luggage back upright and I think I retrieved all my fallen items

Fortunately it was an easy clip to put the luggage back upright and I retrieved all my fallen items

 

Day 108: July 31 – Cornwall to Coteau-du-Lac

Daily Distance = 63.67km, Trip Total = 4,111.18km

After a couple longer distances the past couple days (long for me at least) I was happy to look forward to a short day.  Heading out on the road the first 20km out of Cornwall was a pleasant ride along the river.  Unfortunately it would seem as though I didn’t stop once in this section to take a picture (perhaps I was trying to offset the abundance of pictures taken over the past two days).  About half way through my ride I came across South Lancaster which had a Tim Hortons that I nearly jumped for joy out of my saddle at.  I didn’t really realize I was getting hungry until I saw signs that I was coming into a town and I was craving real food (not protein bars).  This timmies even had picnic tables outside, so I quickly tied Dash up and went inside to get a fruit smoothie (my new addiction for the summer), a chilli and panini to go.  The fruit smoothie and chilli really hit the spot.  The panini oddly enough seemed far too greasy (I think it was the cheese), so I ended up throwing half of it out.

Back on the road I was on a south service road beside the 401 for about 20km before leaving Ontario and FINALLY entering Quebec!  I’ve been in Ontario for ages it seems so it felt good to cross another provincial border!  And I have heard really great things about cycling in Quebec in particular the amount they have invested in ‘La Route Verte’ (The Green Route) which is about 5,000km of bike paths through the province.  I only rode about 15km in Quebec today before setting up camp at the KOA West Montreal near Coteau-du-Lac.  I also called it an early night and was gladly asleep by 9pm.

Yet another bridge to the States (this one in Cornwall)

Yet another bridge to the States (this one in Cornwall)

An outdoor theatre in Cornwall

An outdoor theatre in Cornwall

A plane statue in Cornwall

A plane statue in Cornwall

A look at the path and river from the outskirts of Cornwall

A look at the path and river from the outskirts of Cornwall

Can you tell I love water?  Another pic of the St. Lawrence

Can you tell I love water? Another pic of the St. Lawrence

 

Bike path outside of Cornwall - I'm pretty impressed with the path system in Ontario along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence

Bike path outside of South Lancaster – I’m pretty impressed with the path system in Ontario along Lake Erie, Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence

 

Hmm - those look like big hills looming in the distance.  Good thing they are on the other side of the river???

Hmm – those look like big hills looming in the distance. Good thing they are on the other side of the river???

Heading out of Ontario

Riding along South Service Road

The trail system I've been following since Hamilton

The trail system I’ve been following since Hamilton

Quebec!!!!  (thanks to the lady who kindly offered to take my pic!)

Quebec!!!! (thanks to the lady who kindly offered to take my pic!)

Do you see that tiny sign?  I'm now in Quebec!

Do you see that tiny sign? I’m now in Quebec!

Some of the info provided along La Route Verte

Some of the info provided along La Route Verte

 

Immediate evidence of la route verte

Immediate evidence of la route verte

P1030697

I don't think this lock has been used for a while...

I don’t think this lock has been used for a while…

Along the trails just west of Coteau-du-Lac

Along the trails just west of Coteau-du-Lac

 

Day 109: August 1 – Coteau-du-Lac to Montreal

Daily Distance = 76.03km, Trip Total = 4,187.21km

I don’t do this often, but this morning I actually had my alarm set for 7am.  I still turned it off and went back to sleep ’till 7:30, but the intent was there.  The reason for the alarm?  According to the weather network they were calling for rain all day.  Light rain in the morning with thunderstorms by the afternoon.  So I figured I’d try to get an early jump to the day and get as much of the ride in during the ‘light rain’ as possible.  Not that I object to the rain, but moreso that I would enjoy the scenery around me more if I was riding through a drizzle rather than a torrential downpour.  And the first 30km of my ride today was still new territory to me (the last 45km into Montreal is a ride I have done in the past so I wasn’t as concerned about taking in the sights on this stretch).  Because of the rain forecast I also hauled all my bags into the tent with me last night expecting that I would be packing up in rain this morning.  I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up to see that the rain had not yet started.  Nor had it started by the time I was on the road at 9am.

The first 20km or so I cruised along a trail that followed a canal from Coteau-du-Lac to Pointe-des-Cascades.  From Pointe-des-Cascades I then headed north to hwy 20 (otherwise known as 401) where I would pick up a bike trail to cross the bridge over to Perrot Island.  From here I was supposed to continue along a bike trail, but I may have gotten a bit disoriented and circled around a bit (not for long, maybe a km or so).  It was while I was circling that I realized I needed to stop for food.  And Soon.  It’s amazing how quickly your body will start to bonk and make silly mistakes when it isn’t properly hydrated or fuelled.  I pulled over and ate an energy gel to tide me over until I found something more substantial.  After correcting my navigational errors (with the help of my iPhone) I was able to get back on track and quickly came across a Tim Hortons where I stopped for lunch.

Cycling along the canal between Coteau-du-Lac and Pointe-des-Cascades

Cycling along the canal between Coteau-du-Lac and Pointe-des-Cascades

Hydro dam building along the canal

Hydro dam building along the canal

Part of the hydro dam building

Part of the hydro dam building

Les Cedres - looked like a super cute down from what I saw on the trail!

Les Cedres – looked like a super cute down from what I saw on the trail!

I just thought the trees looked cool and stopped for a picture

I just thought the trees looked cool and stopped for a picture

Passing over a highway

Passing over a highway

Trail, canal and an old lock

Trail, canal and an old lock

Me on the trail, squinting into the sun as I'm wearing contacts today in anticipation of the predicted rain

Me on the trail, squinting into the sun as I’m wearing contacts today in anticipation of the predicted rain

The canal I followed for about 20km

The canal I followed for about 20km

Some old artifacts in the park in Pointe-des-Cascades

Some old artifacts in the park in Pointe-des-Cascades

Pointe-des-Cascades.  Notice the outhouse in the bottom right?  This doesn't sound like much, but I've passed at least 5 of these little stations meant for cyclists along la route verte since entering Quebec.  Ah, to not always have to hunt for a washroom!

Pointe-des-Cascades. Notice the outhouse in the bottom right? This doesn’t sound like much, but I’ve passed at least 5 of these little stations meant for cyclists along la route verte since entering Quebec. Ah, to not always have to hunt for a washroom!

I think this is where the ottawa river and st. lawrence river start to meet

I think this is where the ottawa river and st. lawrence river start to meet

Ottawa river

Ottawa river

Nice paths on Perrot Island

Nice paths on Perrot Island – a shame I was going in the wrong direction

After lunch I got back on the bike and crossed the bridge that would take me into the suburbs of Montreal.  It is this stretch that I have cycled in the past and it was much as I remembered – relatively flat, quiet road/path combination along the river until about 10km from downtown where I would be picking up another canal trail into the downtown core.

Around the 55km mark the winds were picking up, but they were hitting me at a cross so I just had to watch that I didn’t drift into traffic.  I even passed some kite surfers taking advantage of the conditions.  I could tell at this point that I wasn’t going to get to my destination rain free (nor was I expecting to when I set out today, in fact, I was quite pleased with how far I did make it without rain).  So I decided to pull over at a park and have one last break before I was hit with the rain.  It was pretty neat to watch the sky clouding over especially with the expansive views you get along the water.  After about a 15min break I got back on the bike.  About 3km later I glanced behind me to notice that visibility was reducing and I could start to see the wall of rain approaching.  I kept glancing back in awe of how quickly the storm was approaching and within a minute I was caught in a torrential downpour.  Being only about 15km away from my destination I laughed and enjoyed the last hour of my ride in the rain.

Getting to the budget hotel on St. Denis street the front desk staff were super kind.  When I explained that I had a bike with me they originally weren’t sure if they were going to allow it in the room (understandable when I saw how small the room was!), but without any real convincing from me they decided that the bike was probably safer in the room rather than the street, they just asked that I bring the bike in from the back door instead of the front door so it doesn’t ruin their carpets through the hallway.  Because of the small hallways, small room and stairs to get into the hotel I had to leave my bike on the busy St. Denis street while I made 4 trips to bring in my 4 panniers, trailer (after dismantling it into it’s ‘storage’ form) and bike.  Thankfully nothing was stolen and everything is now safely stored my room.

Crossing onto Montreal's Island

Crossing on to Montreal suburbs

Beside Hwy 20 crossing on to Montreal suburbs

Beside Hwy 20 crossing on to Montreal suburbs

This was a fun bike ramp to go down!

This was a fun bike ramp to go down!

Theme of the day - another canal!

Theme of the day – another canal!

Cycling through suburbs of Montreal

Cycling through suburbs of Montreal

 

Montreal suburbs

Montreal suburbs

Boats

Boats

Kite surfers gearing up

Kite surfers gearing up

Taking a break before the storm hits

Taking a break before the storm hits

Guess which way the wind is going?

Can you guess which way the wind is going?

Kite surfer in action

Kite surfer in action

The wall of rain is getting closer....

The wall of rain is getting closer….

Rain!

Rain!

Riding in the rain, riding in the rain...

Riding in the rain, riding in the rain…

I can start to see downtown Montreal

I can start to see downtown Montreal

Mont Royal in the distance

Mont Royal in the distance

With all that rain, Dash remained spotless and dry thanks to the rain cover for her trailer

With all that rain, Dash remained spotless and dry thanks to the rain cover for her trailer