Sojourners by Bike ~ Day 2

16 Sep

Champlain Islands to Saint Jean-sur-Richelieu – 52 miles

A great breakfast to start the day, a few adjustments to Betty (I always name my bikes – and she was a Betty) and we were set to go.  Feeling better today so looking forward to a good day of riding – beautiful morning in North Hero.
 
 
First, a quick meeting about the route and a few words of wisdom from Mark and Joshua. – then mount up and we’re off.
 
 
Today was especially exciting because we crossed the border into Quebec, Canada!
 
 
My pictures from crossing the border (and the rest of the ride that day) have vanished.  How I don’t know, but they aren’t on the card.  Sometimes I miss film, rarely, but now is one of those times.  Fortunately, Mark had this picture of the border, plus I got a few from our route on Google Earth.

It was as a quiet a border crossing as you are apt to find anywhere – no one there, but our group.  The border guard asked Mark and I how long we would be in Canada, when we replied 2 weeks, he looked at the small trunk on the bike and asked, "and that’s all you’re bringing for your visit?"  We managed not to laugh since border guards aren’t allowed to have a sense of humor, and pointed to leader Mark and the Sojourn trailer – he looked us over and let us in.

Once we crossed the border it immediately felt different being in Canada – the fact that we got there on our bikes made it even more so.  The area was still rural and agricultural – boatloads of cornfields.

 
Google Earth photo
Google Earth photo
We stopped for lunch at Fort Lennox – another great meal by Sojourn – complements to Mark and Joshua.  One thing is for sure, you do not go hungry on bike tours.

No info on Fort Lennox because we didn’t stay for the tour, opting to ride on to try and beat the heat of the late afternoon.  A good decision because it was a very hot day.
 
Google Earth photo

We rode 52 miles today, with the final 33 or so after lunch being tough because of the heat and headwind.  I’m not sure what the temperature actually was, but the sun felt very hot.  It must have been, because I ended up with a heat rash/sun/wind burn on my legs – despite using gobs of sunscreen.

Fellow rider, Deena was at the Auberge Harris when we arrived and showed us where to store our bikes.  We went inside to check in and were greeted by Quebec’s grand dame of cycling, Madame Boutin.  She was just as Joshua and Mark described her – full of energy and excitement about biking, and making sure we had everything we needed.  She was most gracious.  Auberge Harris is a haven for bike riders, everything seems geared toward cyclists – I assure you, none of us are used to that!
 
 
Madame Boutin quickly became my best friend when she offered us a complementary ice cold beer.  Delirious from the beer and the heat, we wandered around the Auberge and enjoyed looking at all the art (especially the Toutain pieces) that she had throughout the hotel.
 
from Toutain art website
 
Dinner at Le Bleumarin overlooking the Richelieu River.  Good times.
 
For the day, I rode 52 miles, average speed of 14.1.


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