Sunday, August 18, 2013

August 17, Saturday. Cornwall, Ontario to Montreal, Quebec

We are truly blessed!  I rolled out this morning at 6:50 with Ken and Claire greeting another cool and clear day.  We biked along the St Lawrence River on a road with a nice shoulder.  We were soon joined by Joy, Doug, and Jerry.  A day like this makes me so thankful to be on a bike.  The sun was glistening on the river, sparkling on the wet grass, birds were singing, and my legs were responding. 
We began looking for a coffee shop.  Soon after crossing into Quebec, we found an amazing bagel shop called, "Soulanges".   The shop owners were so friendly and happy to have so many cyclists stop.  Most of us pay attention when we see lots of Sea to Sea bikes parked somewhere.  The owners told us that they pouch the bagel dough after it rises a little, and then bake it in a wood burning oven on a long board.  See Claire's blog for pictures.  We split a whole wheat bagel with cream cheese and a thin slice of smoked salmon. Fantastic eating!!  
We continued the day with the three of us through a tunnel under the St Lawrence and past an enormous hydro electric plant built in the 50s. 
Our destination for today was the Kahnawaka Survival School out side of Montreal.  As we approached the Mohawk reservation, the roads were more and more deteriorated, with lots of holes and bumps.  There was no way to navigate them without hitting some of the holes.  I thought of the folks living here.  There lives are also full of difficulties that are impossible to navigate.   How have government policies contributed to this and why are the roads in the reservation so horrible?  The school was developed by the native people to preserve their culture.  It was begun in the 70s when Quebec demanded all schools be taught in French.  The children at this school know 3 languages:  their native language, English, and French.   They are very proud of this school and it is beautiful.  The school charged our group a minimal amount to use their facilities and were very gracious about sharing.  
In the evening people went to Montreal.  I had sweep duty and Phil had maps to prepare, so we stayed at camp.  I washed dishes with Sandy Westra for two hours and we had such a good time getting to know each other.  Sandy has biked the whole tour and now her husband had joined her for the last weeks.  Their parents are looking after their family. 
Ken is getting ready to leave tomorrow.  He is so glad that he decided to join for this week.  He has done very well and was far out ahead of Claire and I for a time today.  He has a ride back to his car on Sunday.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm enjoying reading your blog. Praying for safe travels this final week.
    Sandy Westra is Bill's sister, Eleanor Heeringa's niece.