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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 12: Wed, June 24: Spencerville to Cowansville, QC

I left Dottie's place this morning around 10:00 a.m. and arrived here in Cowansville about 2:30 p.m., having deviated (unintentionally!) somewhat from my planned route. I was going to take Route 2, which runs along the St. Lawrence from Prescott for about 66 km and then deke over onto the 401 freeway, but somehow I wound up on the 401 right away, so that took care of the scenic part of the morning LOL

I continued up the 401, stopping at Lancaster for a brief comfort stop and gas-up and then headed north into Quebec on Route 20. Eventually, this took me to the outskirts of Montreal and following my Google Map instructions, I successfully navigated through that labyrinth, over the Pont Champlain and eastward bound away from Montreal.

I was just feeling rather smug at not having had any troubles traffic-wise, when it all came to a dead stop -- and we then crawled along for about 13 km, stopping and starting in the HOT HOT HOT sun (and me with full gear on!) It turned out there had been a traffic accident (which looked pretty minor to me when we passed it) in a roadworks zone. What a gong show - in the middle of it, the attending gendarme did this wild U-Turn to chase after a couple of squids on a sportbike, who were trying to bypass all the congestion on the shoulder. He chased them -- ON THE SHOULDER -- and then stopped and ticketed them, all the while holding up thousands of drivers. Talk about NUTZ!

Once I got through all that, I headed south towards the Eastern Townships and wended my merry way through all these little villages along some great twisties and sweeping turns (90 kmh limit) -- just the thing to cool off. :-) I filled up the bike at a 'libre service' with 'un tank de gaz' and was off again on the road to Cowansville.

Once I got to Cowansville, I cooled off with un Coke and some frites in MacDo's and then went for a little toodle around town. Absolutely charming! Lots of stonebuilt 1800s houses and several mansions (now museums and a bureau touristique) on Rue Principale. (And Dottie -- how exciting -- a gorgeous little old cemetery -- I feel a genealogical itch coming on!)

I was riding along when I came across a huge place called Auberge Yamaska, so I rode up the big circular drive, but there was a (badly) handwritten sign on the door 'Arriere Porte, S'il vous Plait' (Back Door, Please). That shoulda been an omen to me that this might not be a Four-Star establishment, but what the hay, I went around back, where there turned out to be a little bistro with no customers, but all two of the staff were sitting around drinking beers (think they'd had a few by then!).

They said the hotel was closed, until some unspecified future date, but hey, isn't your bike fabulous and why not sit down and have a couple of beers to cool off and chat -- too funny! I said thanks, but no thanks and did they know of another place to stay in town? So they directed me to the Auberge Days Inn. And here I am, having had a terrific veal dinner in the Restaurant. I was sad that they had no Corona, but when I explained the 'tradition' to Nathalie, my serveuse, she found me a bottle of Brahma beer and added a wedge of lime to it and I must say, it made a perfectly satisfactory substitution :-)

So, all is right with my little world; I've finished uploading all my pics now (except for the diskful held captive in my computer drive) and soon will be off to beddies.

Bonne Nuit!


Rhonda said...

sounds like you had a pretty good day... not counting the traffic jam :o) At least you're not getting rain. It's been really humid here the last couple days with some rain and fog.. but warm... I think we need a good old fashioned thunder shower to clear the air.. LOL Maybe you are pushing the sun our way :o) Sleep tight tonite and ride safe tomorrow..

Anonymous said...

Bonjour mon ami! Ya didnt know I could parlez le ding dong..........lmao! Anyway my dear friend glad to see you are safe and sound once again. Hubby and I are off to the Okanagan tomorrow for 5 days. It would be nice if I didnt have to put up with my motherinlaw........ooops did I say that out
So take care bud! Ill try and get to a computer while im away.
RIDE SAFE my friend and remember Im right with you in spirit!

Bee W said...

Loved your write-up today - loved the sprinkling of french throughout - seems you are doing just fine - are you fluent by any chance?? Glad you were able to keep up your traditional libation - with a reasonable substitute!! Following your route across - you are just truckin' along gal!! Make sur eyou take time to smell some of those roses eh!! Enjoy and please be safe!!
Bon Chance!

Catora said...

Mon cher ami

Votre aventure continue à me STUPEFIER ! Vous êtes une dame très heureuse ! Ne peut pas être là dans la personne mais merci pour moi permets de prend sur la queue de pie de vos mises à jour quotidiennes. C'est l'amusement vraiment merveilleux pour vérifier votre progrès.

Garder sur le CYCLISME et garder sain et sauf !

Beaucoup d'amour de pays de Galles


Bikerhen said...

Alright Willi, now that sounds like an adventurous day! Would have loved to see a 'side of the road' police chase! Ha! That's the spirit... put a hundred people at risk to chase down some jerk for a ticket.

Your spirit astounds me! Enjoy and stay safe!