August 7, 2022 on

GP Day 14 — Adventure Time!

Fearing another rain out according to the weatherman, we got up at 6 and were out of our hostel by 7. We had around 56 miles to do today, depending on which way we went, and rain was supposed to start around 11. We took one last look at the radar and headed out. Suffice to say it never rained on us all day .

We left Gaspé on a great trail that took us around the edge of the bay. It ran along an old train track, and just when our GPS was telling us to turn right, the Route Verte 1 sign said go left. So we did as that’s our preferred route. It led us to a causeway which was shown as connected on our map. As we got closer to the railroad bridge up ahead, the path got sandy and it was hard to control the bikes. Add in that there were car barriers just like the ones on the trail we had been following and we were pretty certain we were still on route.

Soon, though, I realized we were at a probable dead-end again. I went under the bridge to scout the path, and sure enough, it was Vermont and day 1 all over again. Except this time, while there were fishermen around, none of them were in a boat! In the second pic in the gallery, you’ll see what we were faced with to get up to the bridge. I scrambled up and walked across the bridge to make sure we could get across. The rails were very rusted and no train had been on these tracks in years. It would be a little sketchy, but possible, and someone had nailed 2x4s and 2x6s to bridge the many gaps there were in the ties. I went back to John and reported it was possible. He was a bit hesitant, but I lobbied for crossing as it would save us going back 3/4 mile, and then doing the 8 miles (with a big climb) around the bay. John didn’t feel confident to carry his bike up and I said I’d do the hauling — just like going up and down the S-bahn steps in Berlin! Not quite. This was definitely a mix of cyclocross and rock climbing, but I made it up one bike at a time.

We negotiated the bridge just fine and on the other side, stayed on the tracks and pushed the bikes on the ballast for about a mile, until we got to a section where we could ride. Still sandy, but passable. In the end, we probably saved 15 minutes over backtracking, but another detour conquered made it worth it, despite the multiple mosquito bites! In the screenshot of the map below, the red line is our actual route and the blue line is the planned route. I’d do it again!

While it wasn’t raining, it was overcast and a little bit hazy from the wildfire smoke which is still in the 70s here. As a result, the scenery pics aren’t all that great, so you’ll have to add some imagination.

The second adventure of the day started about 20 miles later. Remember Samantha, the doc from a couple of days ago? She told us to take the causeway from Barachois to Coin-du-Banc. And, the mapping tool let us plan our route that way. The path started off with another railroad bridge crossing. I hoisted my bike and bags up a stairway, while smarter John found a path he could roll his bike up. This bridge had a nice continuous walkway and looked so much easier than our first crossing. It was. However, on the other side, we couldn’t see anything but sand paths and the very rough track ballast. Knowing this path was 4 miles long, we put it in reverse and went back across the bridge to the road. This road around the bay was probably only 1 mile longer, and up until mile 5 or so when we mindlessly followed Route Verte 1 again back to the causeway for about a mile. Well, not mindlessly, I checked the GPS and it said the surface was paved. It was paved for about 1/4 mile and then we got into sand again. I don’t remember why we didn’t turn around this time but between the railroad tracks and broken Macadam we soldiered on. It was obvious that there *had* been a paved road, but the seawall was full of gaps and obviously the bay won the fight between nature and man. The tracks were undermined completely in spots and large pieces of the roadway were in-between the tracks. Fresh seaweed, too, so the over-washing is recent and continuing.

Anyway, we got to the end and got back on Route Vert 1 and had a nice ride to our destination of Grande-Riviere. We did get another curve ball thrown at us when our warm showers host cancelled mid-day. We found a motel and we are dry and warm and safe from the non-storms. We’re set with warm showers hosts for the next 4 days, barring any more cancellations, and they are spaced between 45 and 55 miles, so the days won’t be as long as we’ve had. By Monday or Tuesday we’ll be back at the St. Lawrence.

1 Comment

  1. Sarah Rito

    Wowzers! That’s quite a day! Beautiful scenery. Enjoy the coming slower pace : )

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