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Four Corners - Day 13

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Start Location: Quebec, PQ
Ending Location: Madawaska, ME
Miles Today: 211
Trip Miles: 3529
States Visited: 13
Provinces Visited: 3
Low Temp: 62 degrees
High Temp: 71 degrees
Min Elevation: 3'
Max Elevation: 1401'

Route Map:

We have been discussing how to pick the routes we will take.On the one hand, if we take all freeways, we may as well just ride up and down I-5 since we won't see much else any way. On the other hand, if we take all secondary roads, we may never get anywhere. Clearly we need to do some of both. Yesterday was a good example where we did secondary roads in the morning and then did freeways in the afternoon to put in some miles. Today we have all day to go only about 200 miles and have chosen to do secondary roads all day. We will travel Highway 132 along the St. Lawrence to Riviere-du-Loup and then pick up Highway 185, part of the Transcanada Highway System, to the border and Madawaska, Maine.

When we went down to get ice in the vending area this morning we discover a machine all motels ought to have. Maybe American motels can learn from this. Unfortunately the rooms in Quebec are almost $160, so maybe this isn't such a good idea after all.

When we leave Quebec this morning it is raining and 62 degrees. The rain is light and the temperature feels good. Within a few miles we are out of the city and moving along easily. Unfortunately it doesn't take too long before we hit a construction area. This is a one lane road so both directions have to take turns but they have digital traffic lights that tell you how long your wait will be. Unlike our time yesterday on the St. Lawrence, the scenery is mostly farm country interspersed with many small towns which are very picturesque.

We have a pleasant surpise in the town of Saint-Jean-Port-Joli where we come across a sign with a motorcycle on top and discover it is a motorcycle museum. Actually the Musee de L'Histoire de la Moto. At first we ride by because we are all wet and not sure we would be appreciated in this condition, but we change our minds and go back. The museum costs $5, and we are pleasantly surprised. There are probably 50 or so motorcycles, most fully restored. We saw everything from a 1903 Clement and a Whizzer, which actually was a kit to attach to a standard bicycle, to more modern classics like a Triumph Bonneville. Since I took a lot of pictures, I will put them up on a separate page when I have time in the next few days. We also meet a couple of other riders who are from Quebec and are doing a loop around the Gaspesie district of Quebec which comprises the Eastern tip of Quebec above New Brunswick and follows 132, the road we have been on today. It looks like an incredible ride and, based on todays scenery, a must-ride some day in the future but for now we decline.

As we continue on the St. Lawrence we are rewarded with views of both the river shore as well as the towns in the distance. Each of the towns is full of beautifully maintained older homes with incredible landscaping. Look closely at the bottom left hand corner of the picture. Each of these towns also has an incredible church which towers over the entire town and is usually very old but in magnificent condition. An interesting note was that the churches all had three front doors and the right hand door, as you were facing the church, was always open. A typical town was Notre-Dame-Du-Portage and the church can be seen here as well as the open door on the side. There is always a statue outside the church as well. We went inside the open door and, although it appeared to be dark in the church, the pictures of the altar and the organ in the back came out quite bright without a flash. There was also a rectory with most of the churches.

We stopped for lunch in Riviere-Du-Loup, a fillup of 'ordinaire' gas and, after literally a couple of loops to find our way out, headed down Highway 185. The scenery was quite a bit different than the morning with fewer towns, more trees, and many warnings to look out for moose - we didn't see any unfortunately. We passed Lac Temiscouata which we followed for quite a while as it was a very long lake. At then end of the day we passed through a short stretch of New Brunswick. From here we crossed the border back into the US. We didn't get any pictures as we went through the border since, between the scenery and the motorcycles, we had filled up our memory card. After we got a motel, we went out to find the Post Office for tomorrow's pictures and then tried to get a shot of the border crossing.

There are only two motels in Madawaska and we got the last room at Martin's Motel. The room is a little small but it was only a third of the cost of last night's room and, since it is the closest to the owners residence, we get high speed wireless from their wireless router. How cool is that. As we come home from dinner, we are glad that we got in a little early since the sky is very threatening. Hopefully this will pass by the morning when the next phase of the journey begins.