Summer 2015: The Family Route

Day 11: Shediac, Alma, Cape Enrage, Hopewell Rocks, Hillsborough, Riverview and Moncton ( by car).
Sunday, August 30.
Sunny with a Summer fog. 23C.

After sleeping in this morning we had oatmeal for breakfast in our room. We stopped by the bakery on the way out of Shediac but they are not open on Sundays. On our way to Alma we stopped in Fundy National Park to witness a Summer fog.

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We walked around through Alma and visited the farmer’s market.

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After that we stopped for lunch at Cape Enrage under a blanket fog.

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By the time we had finished eating the fog had lifted.

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Then we took a walk along the beach.

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After an impressive morning touring around in New Brunswick, we decided to stop at Hopewell Rocks. The tide was out and we took a walk on the ocean floor.

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The “Flower Pot Rocks” are larger tan life and beyond words to describe.

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Despite the throngs of other tourists we were able to enjoy some of the beach to ourselves. It was a memorable visit.

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Carrying on from Hopewell we stopped briefly in Hillsborough where my maternal Great Grandmother was born. I wondered if any of the pictures she painted were scenes from the area.

We made a brief stop in Riverview to see the Spongey Seat guy who makes ergonomic bicycle seats and then we continued on to Moncton where we found a place to stay for the night. It was 8pm by this point so we had another late supper in our room. 

Midnight has snuck up on us again! Tomorrow we will be heading to Nova Scotia.

Summer 2015: The Family Route

Day 10: Sainte-Flavie, PQ to Shediac, NB.
Saturday, August 29.
Partly cloudy. 23C.

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Today we continued our route of reminiscing by driving through the Matapedia Valley. A lot of memories came flooding back from our trip with Glor from June 2013.

We stopped in Amqui to be the delicious cake that we remembered so well. Too bad we couldn’t remember where exactly the bakery was. In the tourist office we got the help we needed and we had a very interesting conversation with the young woman working there.

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We crossed over the Riviere Restigouche into New Brunswick and stopped in Campbellton to pick up a snack for lunch. Then we followed the Acadian Coastal Drive through Bathurst.

To make better time we switched over to highway 11 to Miramichi and onto Richibucto where my maternal Grandfather was born.

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My Mom and I walked through town imagining where his childhood home would have stood. We ended up chatting with some people who are currently living in an old majestic house a couple of doors down. Now when I look at some of his old photographs I’ll have a better understanding of this place.

We kept heading south towards Moncton and it was getting late in the day. We encountered some construction and a traffic jam of four of five cars. A flagger was leading the procession and within a few minutes we were mo along at full speed. I could get used to this east coast traffic.

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It was starting to get dark and we didn’t want to run into any moose on the road so we decided to look for a place to spend the night in Shediac. Off the highway and coming into town we discovered that there was a motorcycle festival happening in town. The motel we were hoping to stay at was full and there were bikers everywhere. Thankfully we were referred to another motel a little further out and we checked in just after 9pm. After a late supper we are ready to relax.

Summer 2015: The Family Route

Day 9: Forestville to Sainte-Flavie (by car)
Friday, August 28.
Sunny with clouds and a west wind. 21C.

Both of us caught up on some quality sleep last night and we enjoyed puttering in our room once we got up. We ate breakfast in our room before packing the car. Then we drove down to the ferry dock to wait for our boat.

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We took a walk on the beach as the tide was rolling in.

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Both the water and sand felt good on our feet and the smooth red rocks were a pleasure to walk on.

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We had just enough time to have a picnic lunch before the ferry arrived.

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The crew packed our vehicles onto the ship like sardines and then the catamaran style boat took off quickly. The further offshore we got the bigger the swells were and the stronger the winds were. There were a few times that we had to really hold on.

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The our long crossing had us on the south shore in Rimouski by 3pm. Once we were back in the car we decided to take a side trip to revisit  “The most beautiful bike path in the world”. It was June 2013 when we first encountered this part of the Route Verte. Three of us were riding to the Gaspe Peninsula and it was raining and foggy that day. Because we were in the neighborhood, Mom and I decided to check it out again.

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From the 226m lookout…

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we could actually see the north shore this time.

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This part of the trail is beautiful, but it is also very challenging to ride. The 5.5km section that we rode had huge, steep inclines and descents. We tend to prefer beauty in it’s flattest form.

All of this extra activity was to ensure healthy appetites so that when we arrived at our favourite restaurant – La Rose des Vents – in Sainte-Flavie We would be ready to eat. Our plan worked and the food was as delicious as we had remembered. We walked back to the motel in the fresh sea air.

Summer 2015: The Blueberry Route

Day 8: Hebertville to Jonquiere 46km
Thursday, August 27.
Light rain, cloudy with some sun. 20C.

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We awoke to rain this morning. As we prepared to get an early start the rain intensified and we procrastinated leaving. Ate our breakfast in bed and watched the weather network hoping for a major plot twist. The rain lessened and we toughened up and left Hebertville.

It was still fairly warm out and we had our ponchos on so the light showers didn’t phase us by this point. We were excited to be arriving back at the car today, finishing one chapter of our journey and beginning another.

We stopped at a familiar rest stop for a snack.

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The second half of our ride today was a bit of a struggle, but we persevered. Finally we had returned to Jonquiere and found “Kia” right where we left her.

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After we loaded the bikes onto the car we drove to Chicoutimi to check out a bike shop. Then we crossed the bridge over the Saguenay River. We stopped in Sainte-Rose-du-Nord to see the Fjord. Spectacular!

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Then we stopped in Tadoussac to see where the Fjord empties into the St. Lawrence. Next stop Les Escoumins where we were planning to catch the 8pm ferry across the St. Lawrence to Trois-Pistoles.

Turns out that we misread the schedule and there was not an eight o’clock sailing. Tomorrow’s 9:45am sailing is already sold out too. So we stop to think. We decide to keep driving to Forestville and hope to reserve a place on the ferry to Rimouski for tomorrow. We were able to book online and will be sailing tomorrow afternoon.

We found a place to stay and a grocery store for our supper. All of this bicycling and driving is tiring and we are happy to be back in bed. The next leg of our journey will begin tomorrow. Nova Scotia here we come!

Summer 2015: Veloroute des Bleuets

Day 7: Alma to Hebertville 64
Wednesday, August 26
Cloudy with sunny breaks and a shower. 21C

It was dry outside this morning when we got up and it looked like the sun was trying to shine. After we packed our bikes we made our way down to the main street and the river where we ate our breakfast.

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The pathway heading out of Alma winds its way around various industries. It didn’t seem like we were heading in the right direction, but eventually Lac Saint-Jean came back into view. We pedalled hard for 30km before reaching Saint-Gedeon, where we stopped for lunch.

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After lunch it wasn’t far to Metabetchouan – where we first saw the lake. We have officially circumnavigated Lac Saint-Jean, although we still have a day’s ride tomorrow to get back to the car.

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On the way out of Metabetchouan we stopped at the organic veggie farm again where we were encouraged to pick our own tomatoes from the sun-shaped garden.

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We also said hello to the pigs.

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Now for the final 10km to Herbertville – which was actually 15km – where we will rest our heads for the night. We encountered a few hills on the way. This view is from the top of one..

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And if you look closely, this is a view of Mom showing the hill who is boss..

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When we finally arrived at the Gas Station/Motel in Hebertville weren’t expecting much. As it was supposed to happen, the rooms are located across the street, a top a hill, overlooking Round Lake. We have the nicest view yet on this trip. After dinner we walked down to the dock and watched him sunset.

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Summer 2015: The Blueberry Route

Day 6: Peribonka to Alma 56km
Tuesday, August 25
Sunny with some clouds. 25

There was rain overnight and some serious thunder and lighting that woke us both up. Before breakfast we walked down to the dock to inquire about the ferry. The first sailing was 10am so we had no need to rush. Back at the Aubergite de Bonheur breakfast was served…

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And then breakfast was gone.

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We retrieved the bikes from their room.

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As scheduled we caught the ferry to Pointe Tallion Provincial Park at ten o’clock. The pilot was quite knowledgeable and told us all about how the rivers and Lake were flooded in 1926.

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He also mentioned that the park is a moose preserve. We only saw tracks.

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There were warnings about other things too…

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The weather was getting warmer as the day went on so we stopped to cool off in the lake. The water was lovely and cool and the beach had interesting striations in the sand.

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When we left the park we were on the road again, traveling through more beautiful countryside.

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It seemed to take forever but eventually we arrived in the industrial city of Alma. Evidence of this was apparent throughout the city like this view from the bike path.

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We found the bakery we had been told about and stopped in for a snack. We needed that extra bit of energy to traverse the hills in town and make it to our motel.

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Once we checked in it started to rain. Then it absolutely poured. After an hour we were able to walk to the store for our supper without getting to wet. There is another thunderstorm this evening and we have the curtains pulled back to watch.

Summer 2015: The Blueberry Route

Day 5: Saint-Felicien to Peribonka 79km.
Monday, August 24.
Sunny with building clouds and an east wind. 25C.

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The Ashuapmushuan River looked like glass this morning and it was hard to tell which way it was flowing. We packed up in no time and made our way up town to the grocery store for our breakfast. Since we hadn’t actually seen downtown yet we decided to eat our breakfast there and found a beautiful park.

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After we ate we opted to take the short cut to Dobleau-Mistassini via hwy 373 despite being advised not to by the person at the tourist office. This route saved us 20km of riding and except for one short segment the highway had nice paved shoulders.

We saw blueberry fields forever for at least twenty kilometers. When we arrived in D-M we stopped for lunch near the Riviere Mistassibi. It was cooler by the water and we both admired the smooth, brown rocks.

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Another brief visit to the tourist office for a language lesson for all, then we found our route again. Just outside of town the trail went into the woods and we had our own little highway to ride on.

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We were feeling drained from the sun at this point so this part of our ride was a really nice change.

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With only half a basket of peaches left from this morning, the final leg of our journey was grueling. We were heading into the wind and were pedaling along side the highway again. Only a few more kilometers to go. Finally we arrived in Peribonka and saw the sign for “Aubergite”. We inquire and they even have a room for us. Success!

We picked up our picnic supper at the gas station store and ate out on the front porch. Then we took a walk around the neighborhood and back on the boardwalk just as the sun was going down.

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Sleep will come easy tonight.