August in the Ottawa Valley (6 in the 613) 198km 

Day 6: Kemptville to Merrickville 22km

Saturday, August 19

Partly cloudy. 23C
This was the final day of our 6 in the 613 trip. We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and drove to Duncan’s place in Kemptville. From there he showed us a shortcut out to the road. 

The riding was great today and although our route to Merrickville was on the road the traffic was light. 

We caught several glimpses of the Rideau River and stopped for a snack at Burritts Lock where the locks were just about to open. 

Our final leg into Merrickville was a pleasant ride and a great time way to conclude the cycling part of our adventure. Duncan’s wife Suzanne drove our van to meet us for lunch and then we drove her and Duncan home afterwards. 

Don and I were dropped off at the Kingston cottage and Wendy, Glor and Yvonne carried on westward. Plans are already afoot for next year’s 6 trip. 

August in the Ottawa Valley (6in the 613)

Day 5: In and around Ottawa 38km

Friday,  August 18

Cloudy with drizzle. Afternoon rain and finally some sun.

The weather wasn’t as bad as was forecast today so we decided to do some more riding. We took the van to Dick Bell Park on the Ottawa River. Unloaded the bikes and got our rain gear handy.

It was a 15km ride from there to Parliament Hill plus a few more for detours, construction and walking. We ended up in the Byward Market for sandwiches and a selection of fabulous pattiseries. Once we were recharged and recalibrated we rode across the Alexandra Bridge to Jacques Cartier Park to see the Mosaic Canada exhibit.  It was incredible – mixing sculpture with horticulture – even with the sudden down pour of rain.

After seeing the exhibit we made our way back through Gatineau and crossed back over the river on the Pont du Portage. It was a good ride back to where we parked the van and seemed to take no time at all.

We had a short layover at the hotel before going out for supper to a really delicious BBQ joint nearby in Kanata. After getting back to the hotel I’m pretty sure everyone is lazily lounging in their rooms. Another great day.

August in the Ottawa Valley (6 in the 613)

Day 4: Bristol to Quyon QC 27km

Driver: James

Thursday,  August 17

Sunny, 28C
I volunteered to drive the van today and helped everyone get ready for the road. After everyone left I figured I had at least an hour to get to the ferry dock in Quyon, which we thought was a little over 10km from Pine Lodge. Once I left the lodge I took the scenic route through Norway Bay and then ended up on some gravel roads. At one point I thought I might have gotten turned around somehow, but eventually I came across the highway. 

Quyon wasn’t that far after all and when I got to the ferry I enjoyed the strong cell signal and posted the pictures from the previous day’s blog.  Wondering what to do next I checked the bike route and discovered that it was almost 20km. That meant that I wouldn’t be expecting everyone for a little while longer. So I got my bike off of the  rack and got ready to ride out to meet them. After pedaling 5km up and out of town along La Route Verte I saw them approaching. 

I joined up with the pack and we rode back to the van. Moments later the ferry was coming in so we got ready to cross. Once we were on the other side I parked the van and we all loaded our bikes in and onto the van. It was time for lunch. 

We found some good food in Carp at a cafe and a pizza place. After lunch we drove to the Diefenbunker for a tour of the cold war museum.

The bunker was very interesting. Definitely worth checking out.

Next it was time to check into the hotel and get cleaned up before driving to chez Nye’s Bill and Liz’s) for a swim and a BBQ. 

We were a little late getting there, but are hosts were gracious. The pool was lovely and the food was delicious. After dinner we had great conversation.  All in all it was a wonderful visit.

August in the Ottawa River Valley (6 in the 613)

Day 3: Fort Coulonge QC to the Pine Lodge, Bristol QC: 50km

Wednesday, August 16

Sunny and warm. 27C 

Yvonne and Glor volunteered to be the drivers today, so after breakfast at the hotel they drove us back to the trail access in Fort Coulonge where we left off yesterday. It didn’t take long to unload the four bikes and then we were on our way. 

The trail was paved to begin with which was great to start on, but soon turned back to gravel dust. Then it got a little soft in places and began to ascend. We carried on. 

We kept in touch with our drivers throughout the morning by text and tracked each other’s progress. At our preplanned lunch stop we were pedalling in a good rhythm so we decided to keep riding for another half hour. There were many rest stops along the way – complete with benches, tables and bathrooms – and the one we chose for lunch was in full sun. 

During lunch we learned of a bakery in the next town so we were eager to stop there for dessert. After that we only had a short distance to ride on the trail before turning off and heading south along the road to the Pine Lodge Resort. 

We knew that our cabins for the night would be rustic, but we didn’t realized that they hadn’t been maintained since 1940 when they were built. Now this is possibly overstating their condition, although rotten deck boards in one, a hole in the bathroom floor in another and a screen door hanging off its hinges is just describing how we found them. Thankfully the cabins are nestled amidst a towering pine forest and the lodge at the resort has several amenities including a golf course – where Yvonne and Glor played 9 holes while the four of us were completing our ride. We are also situated very close to the beach and we took full advantage of it when we all reunited. 

And the water was quite warm albeit a little shallow. 

After playing in the water we were invited back to Don and Duncan’s for pre-dinner cocktails. More good times ensued. 

Then all of us made our way up to the main lodge for dinner. The building is still impressive and it must have been something else back in the day. There is a player piano and a jukebox which we were all looking forward to hearing, but unfortunately it was broken. Dinner was alright and the service too. Again it was eight o’clock by the time we had finished eating and someone suggested playing cards. Someone suggested a quick walk to the beach and someone suggested having a fire. We accomplished 2 of the 3 suggestions leaving the card game for another night. 

The campfire started without a hitch and then “Party Don” pulled out his party-phone full of funny jokes. He had all of us in stitches including himself after a few of them. I think we’ll all be feeling our stomach muscles in the morning from laughing moreso than our legs from riding. This will definitely be a memorable day.

August in the Ottawa River Valley (6 in the 613 for the 150)

Pembroke to Fort Coulonge: 47km

Tuesday,  August 15

Hazy with sun and some clouds. 26C

It took us a little longer to get organized today than I thought it might, but after our continental breakfast we headed to the grocery store to pick up some supplies for our picnic lunch. Not much was calling out in the store so we also stopped at Tim H’s. Back at the motel we were ready to get riding. Don was driving the van today – which would ultimately meet us in Fort Coulonge – but would ride back from there to meet us along our route. So the 5 of us set off on our bikes and he drove past and down the road. 
We pedaled along the highway a short distance to the bridge that crosses over the Ottawa River and into Quebec, onto L’Isle-aux-Allumettes. There was a quiet road to ride on there and we followed it along for over 20km before arriving in Waltham for our lunch stop. Don was right on schedule, coming from the other direction. 

After a lovely and buggy lunch at a covered picnic table it was time to finish our ride. The rest of our journey was along a rail trail in Route Verte Cycloparc PPJ. The trail was in pretty good shape and we saw some wildlife and some great views of Lac Coulonge. 


Riding along the shore…

Once we arrived at the van in Fort Coulonge we loaded up the bikes. Next on our agenda was a trip to Coulange Falls Aerial Park. We went to see les chutes and ended up on the zip-line!


Here is Glor hanging around over the gorge..


And Don running up the plank on our second crossing. 


After that we did a walking tour of the old log driving route and got a spectacular view of the falls.


By this time we were getting hungry again and ended up at Finnigan’s restaurant for round two. Everyone was satisfied and tired from our exciting day of adventure. Oh look, it’s bedtime… 

August in the Ottawa River Valley (6 in the 613 for the 150)

Ajax to Kingston to Kemptville to Pembroke – by car

In and around Pembroke by bike: 14km

Monday,  August 14

Sunny with some clouds. 25C
Glor, Yvonne and myself met at my parent’s place in Ajax on Sunday night.  We had a big drive ahead of us on Monday so after we spent a little while getting caught up, it was off to bed.
In the morning we were all eager to get going. After breakfast we left the house and made a quick stop at the Kingston cottage and then the Glenburnie grocery store for a picnic lunch. Then we drove another 2 hours to Kemptville where we picked up Duncan and his bike. 

Then more driving,  past Ottawa and on to Pembroke where we’ll be starting our journey along the Ottawa River.  We took a short ride through town to stretch our legs and then made our way back where we stopped at Finnegan’s for supper. 

Everyone was satisfied with their menu choices and we had a great time recounting our travels today. We spent several hours working on a crossword puzzle during the drive and we think we answered it correctly along with a ton of laughs.

We have adjoining rooms in the motel so getting organized in the morning should be a piece of cake. Will keep you posted… 

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City to Montreal: 1,318km

Day 26: Repentigny to Ajax by car

Friday, May 12

Sunny with some cloud. 16C. 

As it turns out, yesterday’s ride would be our final full day of riding on our Spring journey. After pedalling a total of 1318km our bike trip was almost complete.

After looking at the train schedules last night in bed we discovered that the train to Toronto with a baggage car for our bikes left way too early today for us to catch it and we would have to wait until Saturday which meant spending another night in Montreal. We weighed the pros and cons, the dollars and cents and ended up deciding to rent a car instead. 

So when we checked out of our lovely little motel in Repentigny we rode the 7km to the car rental place and picked up our ride back to Ajax. After stocking up on maple flavoured yogurt we set off and thoroughly enjoyed sitting in the car for the 6 hour drive home. We stopped for a picnic lunch and again in Napanee to visit Len’s Bakery. We were back in Ajax in time for a late supper.