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.

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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 

Day 23: Quebec City to Deschambault 68km

Tuesday, May 9

Cloudy with some sun and a light E wind. 10C. 

Today we started the final leg of our Spring ride, Quebec City to Montreal. Our hotel was right on the route so when we left this morning we just turned left and started riding west. There was very little wind today and it was blowing from the east. We couldn’t be happier. 

We are now following Route 5 of La Route Verte along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River. The route is predominantly along La Chemin Roy and hwy 138 although there were a few stretches that were not on the road including this steep trek down through the woods to a flight of steps.

There were smooth rolling hills following the shoreline and each little climb was complimented by a swift descent. 

We had a little bike trouble with a pesky, slow leak in Mom’s rear tire. After just pumping it up a few times it was clear that we needed another solution.  Instead of breaking for lunch we stopped again to swap front and rear tires with a new tube in the back and the patched tube in the front. That seemed to work, but parked on someone’s front lawn is not the most ideal place to snack. So we rode on and found a nice spot by the river in Neuville to have our lunch.

It was cold by the water, but we could actually feel warmth from the sun which at this point was only thinly veiled by clouds. 

In Donnacona we stopped at the grocery store to get our supper as our hotel tonight is in between towns. We almost picked up a travelling buddy on a bike who seemed to be following us everywhere. After our stop to shop we thought we had left him behind.

Pedalling through Deschambault with was established in 1680, the road narrows and is flanked closely by small and colourful structures. I was too busy taking it in to notice the boulangerie. Only 2km from our destination we saw our buddy riding up ahead,  his fully loaded bicycle was easy to spot. We actually pulled over and pedaled back to a nearby rest stop to ensure we didn’t end up with a house guest for the night. It was nearly 5 o’clock when we pulled up to our hotel and as always it was a sight for sore eyes.

After a delicious salad supper we were spurned with analog TV. No hockey game tonight we figured until we discovered the miracle of WIFI. Huddled in bed wishing we had Zoomies we ate dessert and watched the game. 

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 22: In and around Quebec City 29km

Monday, May 8

Cloudy with some rain and a SW wind. 7C. 

After our relaxing day of rest both of us were looking forward to doing some riding around the city. It was cold and rainy outside and that dampened our enthusiasm a bit, but we decided to go out after breakfast anyway. From our hotel in the western neighbourhood of Saint-Foy we can see both bridges over the Saint Lawrence River.

We rode east along Chemin St-Louis towards downtown and then along Rue Grand-Allee before turning north into Montcalm.

On the north side of the city we found the bike trail along the Saint-Charles River and followed that downstream to the Vieux-Port.

From there the old city was in sight and we stopped for our mid morning snack to look around before carrying on. 

As we headed west back towards Saint-Foy we were pedalling into the wind. We have almost gotten used to riding into a headwind, but not quite.

We pushed our bikes up a steep hill to get back to our neighbourhood and then stopped at the local bakery for our reward. It was another low-key afternoon and we did some planning for the final leg of our journey. Stay tuned. 

Spring 2017 – Ajax to Quebec City 

Day 19: Victoriaville to Lyster 49km 

Friday, May 5

Cloudy with light rain showers and a slight E wind. 9C.

Both of us woke up today eager for breakfast. The hotel had a very nice dining room and a better than average spread of food. With rain on the way we didn’t delay and were on the road before 10 o’clock. We found the trail with no difficulty and set off on Route 1.

The trail surface was in good condition and the trail itself was straight like an arrow. 

In Princeville we went under an overpass covered in graffiti and stopped to take some pictures with my SLR – film camera. Hopefully there will be some interesting results. 

Knowing that there was an IGA in Plessisville, we stopped to shop for our supper. Soup is on the menu again because it is cold and wet outside and we also know that our cabin in Lyster comes with a microwave. We were already carrying our lunch and stopped at noon for a trailside picnic.


As usual the final 20km was a struggle.  The trail surface seemed slower, like little hands were grabbing our wheels, preventing us from getting any speed. Turns out we were also gradually climbing and so we felt almost powerless. After a few short breaks we were almost in Lyster. The last few kilometres went by fast as the rain started to intensify a bit. We found the cabins were we are scheduled to stay and were pleasantly surprised with both the location –  right by the river – and the interior. 


We have the large cabin which is beautifully appointed including a full kitchen, sitting room and separate bedroom. It was a lot more than we were expecting. 

After a short walk to the nearby marche we were back in the cabin with everything we needed by 4 o’clock. We spent a few minutes ridding the place of some unwanted guests and an hour or so planning our weekend accommodations including tomorrow’s approach into Quebec City.


Ladybug infestation!

Supper was as exciting as we’d hoped it would be including our leftover bread from Boulangerie Montagne. It was hard to stay awake after we ate, but we lasted until 10 o’clock. We’ll be sad to leave our cabin in the morning, but a weekend in Quebec City sounds like fun too.