Day Nineteen.

Lac Au Saumon to Pointe-A-La-Croix.

One begins to see the advantages of a larger tent. I would like to be sitting comfortably at a picnic table as i write this but I have been forced by a swarm of tiny biting black flies to retire to my tent as its the only place they can’t get me. Do bugs just love me more than other people? Is it my lack of campfire? My extra sweaty shirt? Am I just a weiner? Must be some combination of the above.

Today was one of the best days so far. Camping at Lac Au Saumon was fine. Noboy bothered me. When I woke everything was wet an I quickly realized the entire town was shrouded in fog. It was pretty chilly (It was only 6am when I woke) but once I got moving it wasn’t bad, and I didn’t really mind because the fog was giving the morning an extra peaceful vibe.

I rode into Causapscal feeling pretty great and had ham, eggs, an coffee at a restaurant there. (St. Jean? I’m getting all these saints mixed up.) The coffee was especially important as I was pretty damp from my fog jog.

After breakfast the fog burned off pretty quickly but I was on a quiet country road for awhile and the sun hadn’t gotten fully hot yet, so still nice.

By the time I returned to Route 132 it had gotten hot, dang hot even, but I didn’t really much notice because here was where the route began to follow the Matapedia river.

The river is a wide, shallow, swift channel that runs from Lake Matapedia (back in Amqui) to the Baie Des Chaleurs (where Quebec and New Brunswick share a border.) The valley it runs through has tall green mountains on either side which are covered in big pointy evergreens, and which fall away toward the river with sheer black cliffs, all dripping towards the river.

For miles I followed this route in wonder…no houses, no buildings, just hwy 132 and a few dedicated salmon fisherman (and women). It is a nature preserve and one of the highlights of my trip. If I come back to Quebec, it will be here.
When I got to Matapedia (the town) I was sad to leave the valley but ready for a rest. I ate at the Motel Restigouches an I am sad to report that my meal was sub par. I had a smoked pastrami on rye– passable, but overpriced. The real wonder were the frites — batter-dipped!? At first I thought I got onion rings by mistake. Weird. The soup was a water beef and barley.

The dessaud however was pretty awesome. A chocolate cake with hot chocolate sauce liberally poured over it and a cold layer of ice cream in the center. A nice interplay of hot and cold. A+++.

By early afternoon the sun was murderously hot. I couldn’t bear to stan still in direct sunlight for more than a few minutes. But I did dry out my wet tent. Smart, always want a dry tent. Learned that the hard way.

The ride to Point-A-La-Croix where I am now camped was a short 22km and mostly painless. I definitely am noticing my legs lasting longer on hills before the pain, burning, lactic acid action starts up in the old muscles.

Since I got in to camp so early (around 4) I decided to take a quick ride back in to Point-A-La-Croix proper and check it out. Eh. I got some photos of the bridge to New Brunswick. Otherwise not too much to see.

Oh, one other interesting note. Within Point-A-La-Croix there is situated a small municipality, called Listuguj – they have discount cigarettes and indian artwork, just like in America. It’s a Canadian Indian reservation.

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