The Trip Continues
Tuesday July 27 - The Trip Continues
I awoke to a glorious sunrise on the St. Lawrence. The scarlet red of the sky contrasted very well with the blue of the sea and the deeper, almost Prussian blue of the distant mountains that can easily seen on the other side of the st. Lawrence. I tried to get my camera to record the scene, but either the batteries were too low or the night’s chill had left the camera useless. Most likely the culprit was the combination of the two. Anyway soon the sunrise diminished and the problem of getting the bike rolling again was now center front.
My first attempt at patching had failed, but I had one patch left from the few that I had bought in Sherbrooke, as so as the sun rose higher I pulled the tube out of the rim and applied the patch. During this attempt, a cyclists magically appeared to sit, watch and assist. He was a woodworker that lived near the Maine border, which was not all that far away from where I had broken down. His English was better than my French, so we continued the language that way.
Evidently, my new friend had learned his English working in Golden, B.C., I place I had once passed through on one of my western sojourns. During the patching process, my new friend dug into his own repair kit and handed me two patches and some glue, because I was about out of both. Finally, I pulled out of the rest stop with my friend following me. After a half mile the tire was holding, so he waved good-by and took off. Another quarter mile later the tire went flat.
Out of frustration, I started walking, but that did not last long for soon another biker stopped and this fellow was determined to see that I got my tire fixed. So together we pulled apart the rear time for about the fifth time since the problem had developed. This guy had all the equipment and knowledge to get the thing fixed, including plastic gloves to keep his hands clean.
Still, my tire did lend itself to easy repair. This guy even had extra tubes but the valves were not compatible. Anyway to make a long story short, we (mostly my newfound friend of the road) got the tire patched and back on the rear of the bike and I was on my way again.
But not for long - for the same result happened. After a quarter mile the tire had no air.
I started walking again for by now I had learned that a few miles ahead in one of the small seaside towns was another bike shop. I hadn’t gone a quarter mile, when a driver stopped and gave me and my bike a ride to the shop.
The place was busy, but the mechanic grabbed my wheel and pulled it apart. Five minutes later he brought it out all fixed - all it needed was a new tube. Total charge was $6.50 and I was on my way, a very happy man. Now I could concentrate on making my next goal Riviere du Loup.
The road from L’islet continued along the side of the seaway through picturesque riverside town. In Islet I bought some milk to mix with my granola and was joined at a park bench in front of a church by a man from Quebec City. He said he owned a house in Quebec city and a few nearby to where we were on the south shore. After a late breakfast and nice conversation I parted ways with my new friend.
The day was on the warm side but still I made my way northward
alongside nice farmland that lined the Fleuve St. Laurent, as it is called in French. Unfortunately, about 5 PM, I discovered I was missing a bag of clothes that I had strapped to my bike. Out of desperation I backtracked to my last rest stop, but they were not there. I was heartbroken at my lost, especially the nice warm St. Mary’s lacrosse sweatshirt that I had found in Vermont alongside the road.
After having a nice dinner at Riviere Ouest I found a stand of cedars near a farming operation to set up my tent. It was a very nice spot.