June 1, 2007
L’islet-sur-Mer, QC -> Saint-Antonin, Riviere-Du-Loup, QC
What a difference a day makes.
In the early morning as we awoke the skies began to spit on our tents. Just after breakfast, and before we packed our gear it became a steady rain. As you might expect it is not a lot of fun to pack up in the rain, but that is what we had so we just dealt with it. Roll out was around 7:45 with rain gear on. It was markedly warmer in the morning than last night but now it was wet. At just about the five mile mark it stopped raining, and at about the eight mile mark when we were taking off out rain gear the skies got blue in places and the sun actually peaked through the clouds a couple of times. The best part was when I glanced at the flag at the rest area where we were and saw that the wind was blowing in the direction we were riding. It wasn’t much of a wind then but it was going in the right direction.
Gulf of St. Lawrence
The scenery was quite nice as we rode along what is called the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, as it is tidal this far north. The skies became clear just before we stopped for second breakfast. Ordering breakfast is not a hassle at all as Denny points to what he wants on the menu and I use my cheat sheet. All of the second breakfasts have been superb since we have been in Quebec. We will have one more second breakfast tomorrow as we should finish the day tomorrow in Ft. Kent, Maine, USA.
Farmland looking southwest from Route 132
We rode for about another ten miles and stopped at another rest area to shed more clothing as the sun was bright and it was getting warmer. Just before we rode out we saw a rider with two small rear pannier bags and a small bag on the rear rack fly by, being pushed by the winds which were picking up. As we got on the road the day was starting to be lots more fun as the winds were directly at our backs. We found ourselves stopping a lot more that in previous days to take photos. I think we took more today than on any other day of the trip.
Low Tide on the Gulf of St. Lawrence
There was one point where we were going to get off the main road and try riding on a stone dust rail trail to see what is was like. One of our options for later today when we start heading southeast at Riviere-Du-Loup is to take a stone dust rail trail that has camping on it. Again, we wanted to see what it was like but we both must have been looking at the scenery and flew by the turn. Our path was more direct and later when we stopped to take another picture the rider that we saw earlier flew by us. She was a young woman who appeared to be in her mid twenties and she could ride. A few miles down the road we came upon her when she was taking a picture and stopped to say hi. She spoke a little english so we could communicate in basic terms. For a good part of the afternoon we were either ahead, behind or riding with her. She was on a four day out and back and had ridden this route before. I neglected to get her name or give her my log address as I was really having fun with the fast speeds with little effort, and the beautiful scenery. I did get a picture however as she rode by. She stopped at a rest area about six miles before Riviere-Du-Loup and we saw her no more.
Our companion for part of the afternoon.
Our original plan for the day was to Camp just outside the city, but we got in early, had a late lunch, did some shopping and rode southeast to the stone dust bike trail. Once on it we decided that it wasn’t such a good idea as our tires were two skinny and it was soft in spots. Our speed dropped dramatically and if we stayed on this thing the first campground was at the top of a 2,000 foot mountain that was still about fifteen miles away. We got off at the first good opportunity after about an hour on the trail. Now our problem was that the first campground that we knew of was about eighteen miles away and the winds were now cross from our right. I was getting tired and stopped for a gel pack. I had done this once before when we were looking for a place to eat one morning when I was getting hungry. It had been many miles since we had seen a restaurant. I popped the pack and then just ahead was a restaurant. Well this happened again as just down the next hill we found Camping Lido. We pulled in at around 5:30 and got a site. It is a nice campground with clean warm showers and the owners treated us kindly. I love it when a plan falls together. We were just lucky! We finished the day at with just under eighty miles traveled. It was a great day of cycling.
Looking inland toward the ridge before Riviere-Du-Loup
Cycledog (Ride the extra mile!!)