The towns keep getting smaller and smaller

August 23rd, 2006

Trip : Campbellton to Petit Rocher
Distance: 102.45km

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Today was pretty much a gift, as it was a super-easy cycling day. As always, I was one of the last ones out of camp, but I started the day in the lovely company of Iona an Lori. I say started, as it wasn’t long down the road that I lost them to an “alternate route” (that’s a polite way of saying they got lost, isn’t it?). Actually, they tried to shake me about 2km into the ride when they were blowing through a light at the bottom of a hill and I was screaming about needing to turn left?you know, towards the big sign announcing the 134. Good times.

We had to detour off of the 134 due to construction (this is where I lost Iona and Lori ? they thought the sign said “detour in 6km” when really it was a detour for 6km). In order to get to said detour we had to climb a 350, 13% grade hill. Oh man were my legs moving then. I was standing on the pedals, just trying to keep them turning and I knew if I sat down it was all over. On the bright side, by the time I got to the top I had warmed up quite considerably and was able to get rid of one of my many layers. The second bright side was that highway 11 ? where our detour took us ? was positively gorgeous, and I flew for the entirety of my time on it. At one point I saw a sign stating that Bathurst was in 90 or so kilometres and because the road was so awesome I was sorely tempted to just go there instead.

The first stop of the day was 30km in, in Dalhousie. I found out later in the day that my mom actually lived in Dalhousie as a kid (they went from Montreal to Dalhousie to Toronto), so that was kind of neat. I actually passed my mom’s old school, and the infamous church where she cut the wicks off the candles when she was a young, rebellious child. Dalhousie was also home to a yummy (and massive) second breakfast, and then a journey to get internet. The library was closed, but the info centre offered internet for $2.00/hr, so that was perfect. I spent just over two hours there, updating and putting up pictures (which apparently I hadn’t done since August 9th). Itwas close to 1:00 when I finished up my internet-related tasks, so I stopped at Subway on my way out of town. It was somewhere after 1:30 when I finally hit the road towards Petit Rocher for real. Normally this wouldn’t have bothered me at all, but I was on galley crew tonight and felt some pressure to get in at a moderately decent hour. Little did I know that the wind was going to be on my side for once. I just blew through the 70km I had left to go, and got into camp before 4:00. It was awesome. The scenery (well, aside from the logging area and the smelter plant) was also great. Really, it was a wonderfully relaxing afternoon ? great for a solo ride.

I didn’t have particularly high expectations for dinner tonight, considering that it was an odd mishmash of beans, pasta, ham, cheese, tomatoes and broccoli, but it seems to have turned out to be at least edible, if not okay. It started to cool off right quick after we had finished cleaning up, and I felt really glad that when I stopped in Toronto I had decided to pick up my polypropylene shirt (the absolute best lost and found find EVER). It was a little chilly while I tried to read before going to sleep, but once I cocooned myself deep inside my sleeping bag, everything was a-okay.

Posted from Petit Rocher @ 47° 47' 28" N, 65° 43' 16" W

We’ve Reached the Atlantic!

August 22nd, 2006

Trip: Amqui, PQ to Campbellton, NB
Distance: 106km

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There were actually two highlights for today - the first was that it was a ridiculously short day by our standards. The second was that we completed yet another province and entered the maritimes. I think the latter is more exciting, but not being on the bike for very long was pretty awesome too. As an added bonus, most of today’s journey was downhill, so there was a lot of coasting going on in my world.

I cycled with Lori and Iona and we had been hoping to hit up one last Quebec pastry shop before venturing out. Unfortunately this was not to be, and we ended up having not one, but two fairly crappy meals. My omelette was made with processed cheddar-like cheese. My chicken sandwich had enough mayonnaise on it for about six sandwiches. Oh well, I guess you can’t win them all.

After crossing the Quebec-New Brunswick border, we immediately began looking for a provincial sign so that we could take our requisite pictures. We cycled a couple metres down the road (after already having seen the Quebec sign) and weren’t seeing anything. What we did find was a garbage can with New Brunswick stamped on the fence around it. Fearing that we would find nothing else, the three of us stopped to take pictures with it. Of course, about two minutes later we found the New Brunswick billboard. Oh well. I like our garbage can pictures anyways.

With the time change, we ended up getting into camp around 3:00 or so. We had too few campsites (again), so Bob W. and I ended up being rebels and hitting up “overflow campsite #2″. Honestly, I’m not quite sure how anyone with a tent bigger than a bivy sac was supposed to set up on the space that was left on our primary campsite by the time I got there. Let me just set up on this tree here…

I had to fix one of my tent poles last night, as the shock cord had decided it had had enough of the trip. This is a tedious little process, feeding a string through five poles, let me tell you. I think I managed to do a halfway decent job, though. The string is strung, and really, that’s about all I need. Hopefully everything else can just stay together for the last 10 days. It’s really become all about that - I’m conserving shampoo so that it just lasts until the end too. I really, really don’t want to have to start replacing things when we’re pretty much at the end. That’s just silly.

I spent a huge part of last night catching up on my blog. Since I’ve been going to bed ridiculously early, I have just been writing down quick notes to remind myself of what happened each day, which helps, but still meant that I had quite the load of work to do to get caught up. Fortunately, with this entry, I’m back on track! Yay!

Tomorrow we have another short day (I think they’re trying to butter us up before the Cabot Trail), so I’m hoping to stop in Dalhousie and find a computer. I haven’t been able to update my pictures in a ridiculously long time, so it would be very nice to have an opportunity to do that. I’m on cook duty tomorrow night, but I figure even if I leave Dalhousie late, I only have another 70km to cycle and shouldn’t get into camp too late.

Posted from Campbellton @ 48° 00' 25" N, 66° 40' 19" W

Billingualism?

August 21st, 2006

Trip: Trois Pistoles to Amqui
Distance: 154km

Our last day in Quebec. It’s really hard to believe that in two weeks, I will be landing in Edmonton, taking up residence in my apartment I’ve never seen and starting school two days later. It’s funny how so often it seemed like there was so much time left on this trip and now there’s barely any.

I think I got almost 10 hours of sleep last night. You would think this would mean I could start the day with a bounce in my step, but no…no. I’m not exactly certain when it was I got behind on sleep, but I sure hope I catch up soon. I had the privilege of taking down my tent this morning while chipmunks threw things at me from the trees. Good times right there, let me tell you. When we started out, my legs felt horrible (which I thought was a really bad sign before a century…and three more riding days) but somehow they got better with time.

As we were climbing a hill on the way to Rimouski (the junior hockey home of Sidney Crosby), I broke yet another spoke. I went to stand on the pedals and boom, gone. Doh. To add to the day’s excitement, I nailed a huge rock about 10km later for flat #14. This is when I discovered I’ve misplaced the sandpaper from my patch kit. We also discovered that Iona’s patch kit was soaking wet, and that her sandpaper was thus about as useful as…well, it just wasn’t useful at all. Fortunately my patch job seemed to work anyways. Well, at least the second time, when I actually put the patch over the hole. Funny how that helps.

As we were climbing this afternoon, my lovely riding partner abandoned me. I stopped to get water at this little gas station and never managed to catch Iona again. Fortunately we both seem to have survived this horrendous ordeal.

I’m actually going to miss Quebec a lot, as it’s been giving me a chance to work on my French. It’s like finally, after 23 years, I’m beginning to understand why my mom thought it was so important for me to take 13 years of French. Now I see the value (and wish that my French was better). This trip has actually made me want to use it more and improve, but I’m not exactly sure how I could go about doing this in Edmonton.

The thing I’ve found really interesting about Quebec compared to the rest of the country is the expectations of Anglophones compared to Francophones. Everywhere else in the country, signs are in English. There may be bilingual road signs, but menus, etc. are all in English. More importantly, there is an expectation that English will be spoken. Then you get to Quebec. Far more frequently you’ll see bilingual signs, but what stands out is that people will go into restaurants, etc. and expect that someone will speak English. I can understand how feelings of alienation and resentment come up when the bilingualism of this country seems to very much be a one-way street.

Posted from Amqui @ 48° 28' 30" N, 67° 25' 55" W

Who Goes to Bed at 8:30? Oh Yeah…Me

August 20th, 2006

Trip: Riviere Ouelle to Trois Pistoles
Distance: 115.97km

Today got off to a bright and shining start with me rolling my sunglasses up into my tent. I’m not quite sure how I managed to do this without (i) noticing or (ii) breaking them, but I successfully did both. Thus, I had to unroll my wonderfully packed tent and try to feel around inside it for them. Fortunately they came out of the ordeal not that much worse for wear – a little dirty and nothing more. Quite annoying, though.

The theme of today was wind, wind, and more wind. A headwind, to be exact. A freaking ridiculous headwind that killed our speed and made it seem like we were forever going uphill to be perfectly specific. It made for a long day, let me tell you. We made our first stop at a house in Kamouraska, which was really nice. Bob Mack had met the guy the day before and he was super hospitable – he gave us pastries and coffee and tea. I love people like that. Our next stop was actually only about 25km down the road – on a normal day, this is an hour. Today, it was almost twice that. I had a club sandwich with poutine – the poutine was awesome, the club a little less so. From there, it was another couple hours until we hit Riviere-du-Loup. I had planned to – as always – hit up Subway, but the one off our route was closed for renovations. Who does that? Geez. I ended up going to Tim Horton’s with Iona, which was officially the slowest Timmy Ho’s that I have ever seen. As I waited almost 10 minutes for my buttered bagel, I found a lovely little sticker on the till that explained that super-fast service was the reason they couldn’t take debit. Oh, I see.

After five hours and only 80km, I stopped beside a field to record a little video (not unlike what I did in Youngstown, one of the other couple times we’ve had our asses kicked by the wind). We plugged away for the last chunk of the day, finally making it to camp somewhere around 5:00. Long, long day. On the bright side, Iona and I beat Bob Mack, Jamie, and Gary into camp, as they managed to take a wrong turn and had made our 115km day into a 150km day. Team Yesterday got a good laugh out of that one – as Bob said, they’re Team Next Week.

Once again I am incredibly, ridiculously tired. Iona came by my tent to tell me about the gorgeous sunset that she was taking pictures of (I peered outside my door and damn, was it ever pretty) and I just couldn’t lug myself out of the sleeping bag. I also realized I had forgotten my toothbrush and toothpaste on the truck, but luckily still had the one that was broken in three places in the tent, and Iona passed me some paste. I tried to read for a bit, but ended up falling asleep somewhere around 8:30. Nuts. Someday I will be well rested again. Someday.

Posted from Trois Pistoles @ 48° 07' 55" N, 69° 10' 26" W

Ripped Shorts, Trapped in a Shower…Yup, it’s a Typical Day For Me

August 19th, 2006

Trip: Quebec City to Riviere Ouelle
Distance: 140.26km

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The alarm on Iona’s cell phone went off at 6:30. She quickly turned that off, and we both kind of just laid there waiting for the other to get up. This went on until 7:00 when we finally – grudgingly – got up. I really didn’t feel that great this morning – I had a really, really upset stomach, so eating breakfast was a little bit of a task. We were the last ones from our group to eat, so we ended up chatting with earlier risers from the 72-day group, which was nice. We don’t really ever get a lot of opportunities to talk with them. From there, Iona and I helped load the cook cart. The saddest part of the day was that this little adventure resulted in me ripping my shorts. They’re not unwearable, but I definitely show a bit of skin as I putter on down the road. Really, there’s nothing to be done about it, so besides a little twinge of sadness, all I can do is live with it and move on.

I felt sluggish pretty much the entire morning, but a Subway lunch perked me up a bit. We were clipping along at a pretty decent pace for much of the afternoon, until a little bit of a rainstorm slowed us down – or at the very least, soaked us down. We found out later that we were pretty much the only ones in our group that cycled through the storm – the rest took shelter and waited out what ended up being maybe 30 minutes or so of rain. Oh well, in the grand scheme of things it really wasn’t that big a deal. That, and it made it all the more easy to stop for a post-lunch snack-type meal thing. I had a great pea soup, accompanied by some cheese and maple covered nuts. Good times – I love Quebec.

The showers at the campsite were these little individual stalls that had a door you locked at the front. My door, when locked, didn’t really like to come unlocked. Now, I don’t much care for small, enclosed spaces, so when that door didn’t want to open, it freaked me right out. Fortunately I managed to get it to go, but I definitely felt my heart starting to race. In retrospect, if worse had come to worse I could have climbed over the wall either into the stalls beside me or the bathroom behind me, but at the time I was just plain unhappy.

I don’t think tonight is going to be the quietest night we’ll ever have – I can hear random French music going, in addition to some random fireworks and the people next to us setting up camp. Fortunately I’m tired enough that I don’t think it’s going to be an issue for me, and once I’m asleep it’s pretty impossible to wake me up. Pity for the light sleepers, though.

Posted from Riviere Ouelle @ 47° 27' 07" N, 70° 00' 04" W

Tour du Food

August 18th, 2006

Rest Day in Quebec City

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I definitely wasn’t feeling the whole “waking up” vibe this morning. Iona roused me sometime around 8:30 to ask if I wanted to throw my laundry in with hers. Really, she probably could have asked me if I wanted to give her my credit card so she could go on a shopping spree and the answer would have been about the same – a hand motion towards the desk and my head face-down on a pillow while I prayed morning was really just an illusion. She set off to do the laundry, and in that time I managed to pry myself out of bed so that we could hit up the free breakfast before it ended at 9:00.

After breakfast, I waited with Iona for the wash to be ready for a roll in the dryer, and then headed back up to our room. I read for a bit, and then realized the bed looked far too inviting to pass up and promptly passed out until Andree and Iona were ready to head down to Vieux Quebec. We started out wandering on the outside of the gates, and ended up at this awesome little shop called Point D’Exclamation. We were all really glad we found it, as there was some jewelry there that was absolutely perfect for Lori. You see, Lori has been just awesome to all of us, and we really wanted to do something to show our appreciation. We ended up getting her matching earrings, necklace and bracelet, all with this wonderful orange colour in the stones. It was great. High on our success, we headed out for paninis, which turned out to be similarly awesome. Mmm…ham and gruyere. Josianne caught up to us at the boulangerie, and from there we went for some of the best gelato I have ever had in my life. Yes, this is a tour of food. So much food.

After lunch we went inside the gates and hit up random souvenir shops for laughs. I also got my hands on 20 minutes of internet, which was pretty much enough for me to send journals to Dana to post and not much else. I didn’t really want to buy more time, as I felt that spending time experiencing Quebec City was far more valuable than writing about it (which realistically, I can do at any time). Upon continuing our journey, we met up with Graham and Lori and then Jamie, and saw some awesome street performers – we saw two guys who were only 14 and 16 do some really cool circus tricks, and it was definitely one of the day’s highlights.

Walking seemed to be the theme of the day, so off we went to the Plains of Abraham. We took in the sights, and then while Andree, Jamie, and Lori went back to the university, Josianne, Iona and I took a nap in the park. We were supposed to all meet back up for dinner, but there were some difficulties in coordinating timing, so the three of us ended up eating before the crew got there. Dinner was a pretty mediocre calzone, so that was disappointing.

The highlight of the day definitely had to be after we had once again met up with Andree, Jamie, Lori and Mike and took the ferry out to Levis. It was awesome to see the Chateau and everything else from the distance, all lit up at night. So beautiful. After we got off the ferry, we started this march up a ridiculous number of staircases, and then began trudging up a super steep hill. All I could think was that it better be worth it. Let me tell you, the Glacerie Europeen was more than worth it. They had soft serve ice cream dipped in real Belgian chocolate. And I’m not talking Dairy Queen dipped cone style where you can break the chocolate outer with your tongue – this was a thick, delicious coating of chocolate. I think I’d climb that hill another three times to have that cone. Wow. After savouring our little treat, we all headed back to the ferry, and from there split up a bit. Andree, Josianne, Mike and Jamie headed for the bus, while Iona, Lori and I headed for a taxi. I was dead tired once again, and falling asleep took me all of five seconds when we finally got in.

Posted from Quebec City @ 46° 49' 59" N, 71° 18' 14" W

Salvation for Sale!

August 17th, 2006

Trip: Pointe du Lac to Quebec City
Distance: 150km

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Once again we had the truck packed up amazingly early – I was on the road by 7:45 (and, as always, I had only gotten up somewhere around 6:45). Definitely a quick turn-around. Breakfast consisted of…well, it consisted of me eating a Clif bar on the road. It was a good bar though – I’d never had the Mojo ones before and it was all nutty and stuff. Good times, that. I started off the morning with Iona, but Lori, Rudy and Graham had made a wrong turn, so we caught them about 15km up the road.

There’s a really nice church in Trois Rivieres (Notre-Dame-du-Cap) that the five of us stopped at. I hadn’t been in a church in a really long time, so it was interesting to roam on in. I was thinking about lighting a candle just because (and because I figured if my nana was still alive, she would be happy if I did it), but the candles apparently carried a hefty price tag. Honestly, it kind of disgusted me that they wanted $4.00 so that individuals could make an expression of their spirituality. I just don’t get it – we’re talking about the Catholic Church here…they aren’t exactly just barely pushing through or anything. And some pilgrim wanders on through Quebec, and it’s going to cost them that much just to make a physical manifestation of a prayer? It just doesn’t sit right with me that there’s a price tag on that. What’s next? A cost for confessional? Absolution only for those that can afford it? Anyways…there was lint in the holy water, too, so I certainly left the church with a lot to ponder.

My legs felt really crappy today, so I let the foursome jet on ahead while I had a leisurely jaunt through the countryside. Apparently a lot of people decided to take a significantly greater number of stops than I did, as along the way I passed a whole lot of bikes propped up against various restaurants. This was okay with me, as when it came time for lunch, I had caught up with Danielle, and then we were joined by Bob Mack and had just a great lunch at a little café. I had a smoked salmon sandwich that was just perfect. After lunch, I continued my solo journey, though I did see Lloyd and Emilie multiple times. I also acquired flat #13, which motivated me to remove my ailing Gatorskin and pull out another Hutchinson TopSpeed that I had been lugging around in my trunk bag for just such an occasion. I also had forgotten to put a new tube in my trunk bag from the last flat (though I did have three broken tubes with me), so I got to have my first experience patching and then using a tube. Given that I did make it into camp, I guess that worked out okay.

After a quick stop at a Tim Horton’s for an Iced Cap, I was back on the road. The directions said that our turn was after a gas station, so once I found said gas station, I went through the intersection, expecting our turn to be the next one. Fortunately, Iona, Lori, Graham and Rudy were drinking milkshakes on the side of the road and were able to flag me down – apparently what had been meant was to turn AT the gas station. Oops. On the bright side, I picked up company for the rest of the day – which included a wonderful construction-filled steep hill that we were told we had to bypass and take a trail beside instead. This caused some directional confusion at the top of the hill over whether or not we still needed to make a left turn. I kept trying to convince the boys that we were going the right way, but no one seemed to want to believe me. Guess who was correct? Oh yeah – me! Confusion the third came when our cue sheet said to go under a freeway, and reality said that the only way that was going to happen was if we dug a hole. Over…under…is there really any difference? YES!

Our day ended at Universite Laval, where I got to share a single room with Iona. Fortunately, it’s a single room with two beds for the summer, or things could have been a little cozy. We had a pizza dinner, and then met up with Josianne and Andree, which was awesome. We started off at the Laval student pub, where both Brett and Lori bought me drinks. From there, we headed down to Old Quebec, where our little group was taken to a real Quebecois bar. There were guys playing live music and the atmosphere was tremendous. It was unfortunate that I was so tired (this crazy business of waking up so early just wears me right out!) or else I think I would have been that much more into it. When we were done at the bar, there was nothing else to do but go out for poutine. Such a Quebec thing to do, but I have to say, it reminded me of Kingston as well. Oh Bubba’s. But yes, poutine at Ashton’s (or, if you’re a vegetarian like Iona, cheese on fries with no gravy). We were initially going to take a bus back to Laval, but we were uncertain if there were any more running at the hour, and there were also a bunch of us that were just plain sacked, so we hopped in two cabs. I fell asleep in the cab, pretty much sleepwalked back to our room, and was asleep before Iona had even turned the lights out.

Posted from Quebec City @ 46° 49' 59" N, 71° 18' 14" W

Parlez-vous français?

August 16th, 2006

Trip: Mont St. Hilaire to Pointe du Lac
Distance: 126.23km

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Somehow, the early mornings have returned with a vengeance. I’m not quite sure how it happened : I thought that we had gotten into a routine that didn’t involve the truck being packed while the sun’s coming up, but that seems to have run away screaming. For those who are not morning people (a group that seems to now consist of Iona and myself, as we’ve lost James and Mike who at least made us a party of four), this is not the greatest. I essentially plodded my way through the first three hours of the day, waiting for my body to discover some energy it might be able to use. That didn’t really happen until after the little ferry we had to take. Damn mornings.

We spent a lot of time going through Quebec farm country, which was kind of nice. I got to see all sorts of cows (and I think one sheep. It might have been a sheep. I’m actually not sure?it was kind of big for a sheep) and the day was pretty flat. Speaking of flats, I got my 12th today, which sucked. It was another puncture, and in a different spot than my flat a couple days ago, so I think I’ve just hit a streak of bad luck (as opposed to a tire that needs replacing). I got lucky and Bob Mack and Brett came along behind me as I was just trying to finish up ? I have problems getting the last bit of the tire back on, and Mack slid it on with an iron, so yay.

I was going into a Subway in Louiseville today and noticed a Bloc Quebecois MP’s office on the other side of the road. It was about then that I realized I was probably going to have to suck it up and speak French for the next little while. My order at Subway went well enough, though I struggle with people’s accents, and I’m constantly experiencing anxiety about the quality of my French. I’m convinced that when I leave places, they mock it. Realistically, this likely doesn’t happen, but me being paranoid isn’t exactly a new phenomenon.

This is probably the earliest that I’ve gotten into camp in a long while, and honestly, I really don’t know what the attraction is. I’m actually pretty bored. I much prefer getting in an hour or so before dinner, so that there’s less time to kill overall. The only time I enjoy getting in early is the rest days, or the days when we’re in a bigger city (or even a town with stuff to do).

Rest day tomorrow : I’m quite excited, as we get to hook up with Josianne and Andree, who are going to show us around the town. I also thought that we were done with our indoor stays, but we’re actually staying in camp dorm-style rooms tonight and at Laval tomorrow. Woo!

Posted from Pointe du Lac @ 46° 17' 45" N, 72° 41' 01" W

Field Cherries, Berries, and Yogurt: YUM!

August 15th, 2006

Trip: Hudson to Mont St. Hilaire
Distance: 116.95km

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Today was actually a rather uneventful day. Well, it was exciting because we got to go through Montreal, but riding-wise it was pretty typical. I think the biggest highlight for me was that, because we were going through a big city, we got a cue sheet full of directions. Unlike most, I like the busy direction days instead of tuning out and lumbering along for 50km stretches, you get to constantly be on the look out for turns and streets. Good times, good times.

Iona and I made a stop in the Atwater Market, which was awesome. I got to try field cherries, which I’d never had before. We decided that the berries were way too good to pass up, and picked up a nice big basket of mixed berries and some yogurt for lunch. So, so, good. I love berries.

We ended up meeting Cor and Ella on the road, and they followed us through Montreal and over the bridge, as the directions were a bit confusing. After that, things became a lot easier, and we pretty much just sailed into town. I spoke on the phone for a while with Tiff, and then it got dark (it just keeps getting darker earlier?) so I escaped the bugs into the tent and found myself asleep pretty much right after that.

Posted from Mont. St. Hilaire @ 45° 33' 58" N, 73° 11' 05" W

Another driver gone…

August 14th, 2006

Trip: Ottawa, ON to Hudson, PQ
Distance: 177.85km

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Late, late, late start. That’s probably the best way to describe today. Iona and I were both up somewhere around 7:30, and left the university somewhere around 8:00. This is probably an hour after the latest of the rest of the group had departed. Oops. Well, that isn’t even an accurate departure time, really, as we stopped at Cora’s to have breakfast before hitting the road. Even though it bumped us hitting the road for real back to after 9:00, I totally don’t regret it. The food was, as always, awesome, and you just can’t beat an awesome breakfast.

We had some good fortune today, and happened to stumble across a Subway just in time for lunch. I love it when that happens. People on this trip can say what they want about my so-called Subway “addiction”, but it’s a reasonably healthy lunch option, and has the added benefit of being under $6.00 for a meal. Really, you can’t go wrong with that. Having had a nice little break from the road, Iona and I set out again, traversing some of the worst roads that we have seen in a while. Bikes and bodies certainly took a beating today on all those bumps. We somehow got a little “turned around” before Hawkesbury, but fortunately some nice people in a house along the way suggested a route that would allow us to get back on track. Starving, we took another little break at the Timmy’s there. It was really funny : I asked if they had debit there, and the person behind the counter replied that Tim Horton’s didn’t have debit. Not in a “this store doesn’t have debit” way, but an “all our stores don’t'” kind of way. I find it hilarious when people tell us things like this. I’ve probably been to what, 15 Tim Horton’s on this trip? Maybe more, even. I think I’ve paid with debit in at least 10 of those. Anyways, yes, not unlike the deal-of-the-day drama at Subway in Angus, this amused me. Don’t essentialize across your entire franchise to the kids going across Canada : we know what’s going on.

Of course, because today hadn’t already been long enough, as Iona and I were approaching the ferry, my back tire blew. I think the one thing I was happy about with said tire blowing was that it was actually a legitimate puncture, and not a snakebite (which is what I have previously been plagued with). Unfortunately, as we were changing my tire, we somehow managed to puncture the first tube we put in, meaning we had to repeat the arduous process that is changing a Gatorskin twice. The kicker to this whole situation was that we were about 2km from the ferry. Even better, this is when it started to rain. Good times all around.

After finally having changed, we hit the ferry. There we met a really nice mother and daughter duo who were headed out to Halifax. They were so impressed with our trip that they paid for our ferry crossing for us, and then offered us peaches. Honestly, I think it was the best peach I’ve ever had. I love people like that. From there, we trudged our way through the last 30km of the day, which were actually pretty cool. Apparently Hudson is a fairly well off area, as some of the houses we saw on the way to the campground were incredible. I also saw more luxury cars in their driveways than I think I’ve seen on the whole trip.

Finally rolling into camp at 8:00, we received some bad news ? Greg (our new driver) injured himself this afternoon and isn’t going to be able to continue. From what I understand, Bud (the tour organizer) is on his way up here right now with Megan (the former driver of the 72-day tour). I’m unsure what’s going to happen when they get here, but it would appear we’re onto our third driver. I really hope Greg’s okay though…poor guy.

Tomorrow should be a fairly entertaining day, as the cue sheet is the longest one we’ve had on the entire trip. It’s only a 113km day, but going through Montreal could certainly prove at least a little bit confusing. I actually really enjoy the days that are set up as confusing; having to follow the directions carefully and closely gives me something to do while on the bike and I find it really passes the time quicker than the days where the cue sheet has barely any directions at all.

Posted from Hudson @ 45° 27' 04" N, 74° 08' 57" W