Day 18: Richmond to Victoriaville 55km
Thursday, May 4
Sunny with a mild SW wind. 15C.
Morning came quick after our long ride and Kate supper yesterday. After a short walk, we ate the last of our yogurt and granola in our room before packing up for our departure.
Because the trail was in such rough shape yesterday we have opted to stick to the road today. We wound through town and picked up hwy 116 which had us pedalling up and out of Richmond. Ultimately our ride up and out of the Saint-Francois River valley was a 4km climb which left us huffing, puffing and stopped to peel off a few layers of clothing. The next few kilometres weren’t as steep of a climb as we seemed to plateau before cresting at the summit.
There before us was an absolutely spectacular view of the countryside. Rolling hills, distant farms and fields upon fields almost as far as we could see. Each field a finger, interlocking like hands on a lap. The pine and spruce trees blue in the distance, covering the hilltops like woolen caps.
The view was certainly worthy of photographing, but our descent started unexpectedly and within no time we were freewheeling down through the valley at 50km/h. For 5km we plunged lower and lower all the while soaking in the serene vista. At the bottom we pulled off the highway at a trail access point with wide eyes and wild grins. The cruel climb to start our day now seemed completely worthwhile.
From there we followed the flat trail into Danville where we stopped at the tourist information centre for a map and a chat. Then we ate our lunch at a picnic table in the shade.
Despite our rough ride on the trail yesterday we decided to give Route 1 another chance. The surface of the trail is much better in the section we are riding today and after our massive climb this morning we are quite happy pedalling along on the old rail bed.
Next was Warwick and then the final 20km into Victoriaville. When we arrived in the city we stopped just in time to recalibrate our directions and then left the trail to find our hotel.
We got checked in early compared to yesterday and got directions to a bakery a little ways away. Once we settled in to our room we put on our walking shoes and dress up clothes and went out in search of the bakery and our supper. Long story short, after walking 7km we arrived back at the hotel with two full shopping bags of foodstuffs. We spent the next few hours eating and are already looking forward to the hotel breakfast in the morning. Sweet dreams.