Day 14 – Napierville, QC to Coteau Du Lac, QC – 56 miles
Had a complicated day getting from Napierville through the mostly rural roads to the west side of the St Lawrence seaway. (Shawn used the word “complicated” but didn’t mean it in a negative way – Jim preferred “interesting” because complicated is always negative in his mind – we spent some time discussing this, because we have time for these kinds of conversations!). This part of Quebec has some interesting roads. Lots that go north and south, but not many that go east and west. And then roads that are marked south, but go north. We were on one road today that was mark 209 sud (south) and 213 Nord (north), interesting marking and routing for sure! We wiggled around quite a bit today, but we made it.
We did some of our navigation by using church steeples. This area is very flat and every little town has a grand, old cathedral. We had a good 4 to 5 kilometer “beacon” to guide us into the town. These towns aren’t run down, but they aren’t bustling either. It’s amazing to think how much money and community pride went into these buildings. They are very beautiful!
We had a 40+/- mile cruise before we got to the Saint Lawrence Seaway. Not too much to report, except we did have another flat tire. That’s two punctures, and two tube issues so 4 tire changes to date. We tried to get our inflation checked at a bike shop but couldn’t seem to communicate our needs. There was a very young guy in the shop that wanted to put air in without a gauge – we could do that ourselves! No, merci!
We made our way over some of the first few bridges that got us onto islands. We had to walk across one bridge – we could’ve ridden on the road but we were interested in looking around so we took the pedestrian lane. On the one side was the Beauharnois Hydroelectric Generating Station for Quebec Hydro – it is huge and also a historic site of Canada! On the other side was a noisy seagull nesting site – wow! Hundreds of seagulls, most of them sitting on their eggs and all of them squawking!
Shortly after getting on our bike, we came upon a tunnel. This took us by surprise but we dismounted and took the pedestrian route once again. Later, we found that that is when we crossed the St. Lawrence Seaway – we went UNDER it! It was the Tunnel de Melocheville. We crossed plenty of bridges but none of them were large enough for an ocean-going ship to pass underneath. We knew we were on the other side but we were puzzled. It was only once we got to our overnight spot, and did some research that Jim figured it out. Sheesh!
Anyhow, it’s been another great day of riding. We were prepared for rain but it didn’t arrive until after we were showered, dinnered and tucked into our motel room. Looking at the weather, it looks like our starting place for the day was experiencing thunderstorms again!
Evidently hills are so infrequent here that they post warnings!
Another flat today.
You can see the huge Quebec Hydro plant on Jim’s left
Another view of the Quebec Hydro plant
And the seagulls nesting on the right:
Whoa! A tunnel???
We saw lots of rapid water today!