July 16: Cafe au Station to Edmundston (~123km)

Bikely map

Waking up at around 8am, I ate some granola bars, broke camp, and dropped into the cafe for a muffin and some tea. The pump for the watering station didn’t seem to be working (it wouldn’t prime, even though there certainly didn’t seem to be any shortage of groundwater), but I didn’t think to ask for an opportunity to top up my bottles; instead I just made sure to drink a non-caffeine tea, and top up my bottles at the next opportunity.

So, figuring that there seemed to be watering points every 7-10km or so, I set off down a trail that looked pretty much like this:

Being built on an old railbed, the grades and turns were gentle, and there were the occasional locations where it had been blasted through rock:

I got to the rest area with the next watering station, but couldn’t find it at the rest area itself, so I continued on, and found it about 50m or so further down the trail. It was a small spring in some rock at the side of the trail which had been tapped with a plastic pipe, but there didn’t seem to be anything near it that I could lean my bike against (apart from going back 50m to the rest area, carrying the bottles over, etc.) so I decided that I had plenty of water to make the next watering point. Continuing along there was some more nice scenery:

The next watering station was a pump that I once again failed to operate (thus leading to a suspicion that there was some sort of trick to these pumps, of which I was unaware; given the assortment of manual water pumps that I have to operate in my day-to-day life on the boat, I’m pretty confident that it’s not some sort of general inability to use a water pump). The next watering station was marked by a sign as being a 5 minute walk down a little footpath leading off the trail and, figuring that it would be another inoperable pump, I kept on.

Around this point, I also got myself a flat in the back wheel, so I decided to patch it. As is the norm with patches applied on a ride, it failed, so I swapped in a new tube a little farther down and things continued to work fine. Like with the previous flats, I found a gully near where I was fixing the tires, in which to wash my hands when done.

Shortly after, I entered a town with one of the most amusing placenames I’ve ever seen:

(Yes, those exclamation points are a part of the town’s name; I rather suspect that omitting them would be an incorrect spelling, but who’d want to omit them? The name is a million kinds of awesome.)

And a little further down the trail than that, I finally came upon a watering point that I could use (right around the midpoint of the trail). This also enabled me to have my lunch, since I now had some water to help wash it down.

After the midpoint of the trail, it went from rolling through the woods to following along the shore of a lake, then a river (and passing through a few cottage towns as it went):

There were frequently signs indicating that a footpath just off to the left led to a beach, and at one of them, there were a few women coming back from a swim who let me know that the beach that they were coming from was very nice. I thanked them, but by this point in the day, not only had I lost a whole bundle of time to the flat tire, but it had been raining off and on, so I opted to keep riding. I’ll have to return to this trail, and take some more time to check out the towns and the beaches along the way (and since the VIA train has a stop in Riviere-du-Loup, I think that such a visit would likely make a good week-long family vacation in a few years).

A short while after the trail veered away from the river, it passed under a bridge. Normally this isn’t notable, but the only piece of grafitti on the bridge read “Ave Maria”. This not being the sort of language I expect to see in grafitti, I couldn’t help but wonder if it was just some kid swearing, what with French-Canadian expletives being mostly religious in nature, like “Tabarnak de criss de coliss d’osti”.

Anyhow, eventually the trail got back to, and began running beside the Trans-Canada Highway. Once this happened, there began to be driveways or minor roads crossing the trail from time to time, and some signs to go with them. Upon first seeing these signs, I thought I might have missed the indication that I’d crossed over into New Brunswick (even though my trail map indicated it to still be a few km ahead):

You see, the signs are bilingual, and I expected that a sign in Quebec would not bother including the english “STOP”. Of course, my odometer was in fact correct, and a little further down, I saw the signs both on the highway and the trail indicating the boundary:

Needless to say, this particular border crossing easily had the most “Welcome” signs of any of the borders that I crossed (without even having to go anywhere near the signs announcing local laws and enforcement programs). In spite of this, it completely lacked any notice that I was changing time zones again. Fortunately, I already knew to change my clock, like when crossing from Saskatchewan to Manitoba, but what about all the people who didn’t? (And in spite of remembering to change my clock, the change was still a little tricky snce I’d been in Eastern Time for nearly a month; Pacific Time came in a distant second at 13 days, unless you add the 4 days in Vancouver prior to setting out, for a still-distant second of 17 days).

Before getting into any towns, there was a nice rainbow for putting up with all the intermittent rain throughout the day

It was just getting dark as I got into Edmundston. Since I was planning a rest day, I didn’t feel up for any guerilla camping (as I wanted neither to break camp, nor to leave an unauthorized camp unattended while checking out the town). There weren’t any campgrounds in town (there was in the town immediately before Edmundston, but I wanted to come as close to riding the entire Petit-Temis in a single day as I could given my starting location; the previous town also appeared to lack any facilities that I’d actually want to leave my campsite for anyhow). So I noticed that a hotel right by the end of the trail announced the “lowest rates in town” on its door, and decided to check in there for my rest day.

Comments are closed.

Free Blog Themes and Free Blog Templates
Free Blog Themes and Free Blog Templates