Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Montreal and back to the USA

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Hello Again!
Sorry to leave a big gap in the posts. We have been camping more and either had no power, no internet, or no energy. More on the third excuse later. Since the last post in Quebec city, we traveled alaong the St. Lawrence river to Montreal, south to the US border at Rouses Point NY, and then south alaong Lake Champlain. But let me but in some details.
After staying in Quebec city for a few days, we stopped at the information bureau and got some great bike maps. These made leaving the big city very easy on good biking streets. Just as we were enjoying the trail, we encountered a very steep downhill ending in a staircase. The rig does go down stairs, but it takes several trips (Smile)..

After we got down to water level, we enjoyed the scenic flat countryside. This terrain would continue for the next few days. The main route we followed between Quebec and Montreal was green route five, mainly along the old road known as Chemin du Roy. The villages, small towns, and open countrysides was very scenic. The only problem was a headwind, which would grind on us for the next several days.

As a side note, this area has reached a new level in “Children Playing” signs. Esther was very impressed with these.

Our daily stops were in Portneuf, Trois-Rivieres, and St-Sulpice. In Portneuf we met a couple also touring, Martin and Monique. We enjoyed talking with them and Martin had us convinced to take the route through downtown Montreal.

One of the best campgrounds was in St. Sulpice, where we camped at the edge of the St. Lawrence. We camped next to another couple headed for Quebec and we showed them the better way to enter the old city. At least someone can benefit from our mistakes.

The ride through Montreal was on a terrible weather day. Our plan was to take the bike route through town, but the weather changed our plans. It drizzled in the AM and poured in the mid-afternoon. We took refuge from the deluge in a “Tim Hortons.” for about 2 hours. The streets flooded and the visibility was poor, so we changed our plans and took the Jaques Cartier bridge south before town to shorten the ride. Some great views from the bridge, but we were like drowned rats at that point and headed to a motel in Chalmby. We are sorry that we missed the city, but it we were so wet and .....maybe on the next trip….

The next day the weather was sunny and warm! We cycled down the Chalmby Canal, a canal built 100 years ago to link Montreal to New York city. It was very scenic and off road. It was not paved, but the surface was really smooth. Skinny tires would have had no problems with it.

We crossed into the USA at Rouses Point NY, and stayed in Alburg Vermont, on the islands in the center of Lake Champlain. The next day we took the ferry to Plattsburg, NY and on to Keesville. The headwind was very stiff, and we were ground into dust by the end of the day. The sailboats we saw from the ferry were really reefed for the wind

The road along the lake is very scenic, and NY State has a signed bike route all along it (route 9). Our plan is to follow this route at least through Albany. We will then scout a route east through Connecticut back to Windsor Locks.

Lake Champlain

Ausable Chasm

After the last several days of hard cycling, we decided to ease up a little. We are in a campground in Westport, NY tonight (With power, internet AND laundry!) after a shorter day, only 35 miles. The route is great, but the hills are back, we climbed over 2400 feet. The Adirondack Park is beautiful, but has many short and steep rollers. We will persevere….

We will try to do a better job in the next week to keep up with this so that it isn’t so long next time. One week to go and we will make it!

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