Our Monday ride started out very well because much of it was level or somewhat downhill. After arriving at Champlain we attempted to cross the border into Canada only to discover that the side road shown on Google maps next to the interstate was only for ‘official’ vehicles, and we were not official enough. Oh, well, 2 miles up and 2 miles back.
The border guard sent us down to Rouse’s Point NY for a better crossing station. Rouse’s Point is on the water, and there were many houses on one side and boats on the other for us to admire.
We finally connected up with Highway 202, in Canada, and began making our way toward Cowansville QC, only to run into a 6 mile detour around the Bedford QC area. In the end, our 68 mile day turned out to be a 79.8 mile day: stuff happens.
There was a bright spot along the way, though: Barry. We have ridden almost 3,300 miles and not seen another recumbent touring bicyclist until we found Barry at the JOIE de VIVRE winery. He was a really nice guy, and we all had a good time discussing biking and recumbents. His bike was made in Darby MT and ridden in a Missoula MT parade by the mayor. Small world, isn’t it?
After tasting a few glasses of wine we made it into Cowansville QC for the night.
Our Tuesday ride took us through Lac Brome (Knowlton) QC, up to Magog QC, and down to Coaticook QC for the night. This was a somewhat difficult day: 64 miles and 3,340 feet of climbing. Fortunately, there were a number of small (and 1 larger) towns to stop and mill about.
The first town was Lac Brome QC. I had breakfast there, and it was almost too good looking to eat. People in the area speak fluent English due to the tourist population coming to the lake and quaint town which made things a little easier for us.
We headed out of town down a nice hill, picked up a little speed, rounded a corner with even more speed, when suddenly we were confronted by major construction on a bridge crossing the water. Oops! Slam on brakes! Wonder what to do next! Fortunately, off to one side, almost hidden by the equipment trucks, was a walking path detour for bikes and pedestrians. Another reminder to be ever vigilante.
We stopped in Eastman QC and met Francois, from Montreal. He was on a solo biking trip going from Montreal to the eastern Canadian peninsula area. It is always good to meet other touring bicyclists. We discussed our bikes, road conditions, and other items from ‘on the road.’
We finally pulled into Coaticook QC area in mid-afternoon: hot, sweaty, tired . . . . . Unfortunately, we are staying 3 miles from the town, itself. Equally unfortunate is the town (and restaurants) are 3 miles downhill (3 miles uphill to return), but, we found a menu from a restaurant that delivers. Things work out for the best!
Our Coaticook QC to Errol NH ride started out with the final visit to Tim Horton’s. This restaurant chain has been an early morning boon to us while in Canada, and we frequently sat there in the afternoon to use their WiFi system.
At 8:30 am Tom and I left Canada for the final time, entering Vermont at the Canaan VT crossing on Highway 141. There was a lot of climbing leading up to the crossing, but the down hill run into the border made up for all of it.
Actually, we were only in Vermont for a mile or two before crossing over into New Hampshire, where we headed for Colebrook NH.
The next part of our ride to us up some of the stiffest hill climbing that we have had to do, including out west. When we reached the top, a place called Dixville Notch NH, we saw a beautiful hotel set in the forested mountains behind a lake. The historic Balsams Grand Resort Hotel could equally feel at home somewhere in Bavaria.
Again, the ride down from Dixville Notch NH was quite the rush, and we rolled into Errol NH for the night. Our ride today was not the longest we have done (53 miles), nor did it involve the most climbing we have done (2,615 feet), but both of us were somewhat beat. Thank goodness Errol NH has a restaurant; supper will certainly taste good.