Friday, 7 November 2014

A Long Trudge

I was dreading the section of road between Pohenagamook and my next destination St Alexandre de Kamarouska, as it was the only route to the south of the Trans Canada Highway linking New Brunswick and Laurentian Quebec, and as I feared I soon heard the rumble and roar of heavy trucks passing along it even before the sun rose on Monday October 20th. 
A few kilometres out of town there was an ATV track running parallel to the road and I had conflicting advice on the safety of using it during the moose season.  But if it was a toss up between being killed by traffic or hunters, I chose the latter, and for around seven kilometres I had a peaceful and pleasant ride through the woods and survived to tell the tale..
But then I was forced back onto the road.  Although there were occasional traffic free gaps... was inevitable that within seconds a terrifying convoy of enormous tractor-trailers (as they call the huge truck-trailers here) would hurtle past within inches. None slowed down a smidgin.   My main worry was that a moose or deer would jump out and spook Lady into the road in front of one of these monsters, and there were ample reminders of the presence of moose....
The only safe solution was to lead Lady, and lead her I did for over twenty kilometres.  I had grave worries that my knee would not last out, but Sian had lent me a knee brace which enabled me to hobble along, taking frequent rest breaks en route.  And actually to my surprise after a while my knee began to fell better, though my leg ached.
The marshy tip of Lac Morin
but at last we leave the wilderness behind and come out into the cultivated St Lawrence valley..
It was another two or three hours ride to the house of  Dave and Marie-Helene Malenfant, who provided Lady with a stable and me with bed, shower and supper.  Frustratingly it transpired that their house was actually six kilometres south of St Alexandre, so it was an even longer day that I had been expecting. But I was relieved to get this nasty section over and I arrived tired but content.

Dave and Marie-Helene with children Youri and Jessy, not forgetting the daft dog
The Malenfants run a tack shop in Riviere du Loup, and Dave had kindly brought back a selection of riding helmets for me to choose from and I left Helene's helmet there to be picked up. I am now sporting a rather weird black helmet decorated with roses to replace my admittedly even more outlandish 'Chinese hat'.

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