8:50 pm. Just some pics for the moment. Wifi connection not very good. On our campground on the Saguenay fjord is beautiful. Heading for the town of Saguenay tomorrow. More when we get there Friday afternoon.

Update July 28, 1:05 pm: We slept in until 7 today since we didn’t have to leave for the ferry until 9. We had ridden to the ferry office yesterday afternoon to make reservations, so we just had to show up. It rained overnight — the best rain to have, and was still cloudy and a passing shower at 7:15 made sure everything the wind had dried was damp again for packing.

I ate some of my breakfast “in bed” — yogurt with granola, added a banana, then went to the office for some coffee and the good wi-fi. Read the CDT and got caught up on the news while enjoying the java.

The ferry was small as ferries go, but they packed about 30 vehicles on there and a good number of passengers. The crew was bilingual, thankfully, and guided us and our bicycles to the bicycle parking, which was just a corner of the ship. I had a second cup of coffee and a muffin at the ferry restaurant, reminscent of a very small Woolworth’s counter.

The trip was an hour and a half, and we finally got to see the North shore that had just been a thin line on the horizon from the South shore. The hills were the most obvious thing to us and we wondered how hard the ride to our campground would be. It was… not so bad. There were a couple of steep climbs, and the major one at about mile 15 was an average of 6%, but we thought it was more like 8%. Maybe because the sun has our number and seems to come out just when we’re at the bottom of a hard climb. It did that twice today, and then stayed out, heating the day to 79.

We stocked up in Trois Pistoles with food for the next two days since we were camping last night and tonight. My dinner last night was a bag of romaine salad and a shrimp-pollock salad as the dressing. Even though we have enough for sustenance, we still stop when we can at little groceries or convenience stores. Prices for ready-made sandwiches are very reasonable at between $3 and $5 US. For $8, you can get a top line, whole grain, meat besides salami and bologna sub. Poke bowls are available, too at around $10-12. And there’s always room for a Pepsi or Coke a shot of caffeine.

We’re staying in the Saguenay Fjord National Park. Camping for cyclists is only $10, but the day pass is another $10 plus tax which ends up being $17 US for a camping night, about what we’ve been paying at commercial camp sites. We had the cyclists area to ourselves, but also found that it’s a major highway to the beach for the people in the regular campground. I’m writing this at 8:46 and it’s dusk and finally quieting down. Yeah, I know that’s early, but we’re getting up at 4:30 and hope to be on the bike at 5:30 for the 63 mile ride to our warm showers host; hopefully beating the afternoon thunderstorms. Camping is great, but dry, warm, beds are nice too.

And one thing I forgot to write about last night. On our way from Rimouski to Trois Pistoles, my rear rack fell off yesterday. One of the bolts on the seats stay fell out and we had been going over lots of bumpy roads. I don’t know how long it was missing. The other side eventually gave out. Fortunately, I was going pretty slowly when it actually just rolled off the back still attached to the bike. “What the hell was that!?” John was close behind and it surprised him, too. He yelled that my rack fell off and I stopped immediately.

No damage to the rack or my panniers. I had an extra bolts in the front fork eyelets, so that took about 5 minutes to fix but sheesh. I had just tightened the lower bolts near the axle and every bolt in my complete front rack, but overlooked the seat stay. Could’ve been a big catastrophe if it had happened on some of the descents here where I hit 40-45 mph regularly. All tight now, and on the check list for all future maintenance days.