Thursday, 6 November 2014

Just the Two of Us

 Manon picked me up from the bus station Riviere du Loup on Saturday October 18th.  I had another slight panic when I discovered I had left my riding helmet behind, as I refuse to ride without one. Regrettably, relatively few people wear safety helmets in North America, but after phoning around we found one to borrow, and Manon kindly drove me over to fetch it.
I was fearing a traumatic separation between the two horses, but it was trouble free.  We put Del in the stable with the other horses, and Lady trudged off up the road without a whimper. 
It was a fairly short ride to our night's lodging at St Alzear...
.......where we were staying with charming Helene Durette who had lent me the helmet.  Helene and husband Regis used to run a restaurant in Toronto before moving to St Alzear where Helene runs a bakery and they keep horses.  Here are the family demolishing a very tasty cottage pie she had cooked for the occasion.  Regis and Helene with three of their four lovely sons, Carl, Gabriel and Alexis (who generously vacated his bedroom for me).. 
Lady with her bovine barn mates the following morning, Sunday October 19th....
Not only did Helene let me continue to borrow the helmet, but she sent me off armed with a substantial packed lunch.
Because I had been ordered off the Trans Canada Trail and the Highway was off limits, I was now forced to strike southwards to Pohenagamook on the border with the United States. The first part was along a quiet gravel road, though I kept a wary eye out for moose hunters as I had once again managed to coincide with the local moose hunting season..
I heard a few shots in the distance and at one point a truck and trailer rattled past with the ungainly legs of a moose carcase waving around awkwardly in the air, but both Lady and I were liberally covered in hunting orange to keep the bullets at bay.
At Pohenagamook we hit the main road running west that we needed to follow, though being Sunday we were spared the lorry traffic.   We reach Lac Pohemagamook..
 I still needed to find somewhere to kip down for the night, but fortuitously when we reached St Altheure further along the lake, amiable local resident Francis (shown below holding Lady) took us under his wing and organised lodging with a friend - a garden to tether Lady......
....beside which was a large shed where they had thoughtfully put a mattress on a pool table for me to sleep on..
..though it looked a bit too much like some sort of ghastly operating table from a horror film for my liking.  On top of this I realised it was going to be a bit too much to scramble up with my bad knees, so I moved the mattress to the floor.   I found a cosy spot to snuggle down in my sleeping bag and read my Kindle, while Francis kept turning up at intervals with items of food to revitalise me.  

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