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Sherbrooke Travel Tips

3.0 stars

Insider advice for your Sherbrooke vacation

A Delay Leaving Sherbrooke 3 stars
Fixing the tire meant a long walk back into Sherbrooke to a bike shop that I had seen along the highway. This entailed a ten mile walk on a warm sunny July morning, but round about 10 A.M., I strolled into the shop and purchased a new tire and tube. The place had a big “Liquidation” sign on the front advertising discounts up to 80%, but my tire and tube seemed more expensive than most places would charge. Installation did not take long and I was soon on my way.

Once out of the bustling college town of Sherbrooke, the terrain flattened out and I started to head towards Thetford Mines, a place which I knew almost nothing about. The weather was warm and cloudy, and rain did not seem eminent. However as the day progressed the clouds started to be slowly building up. Around about three o’clock the first drizzle started. By that time I was closing in on Weedon, Quebec, the first of a series of small towns spread out next to a small chain of lakes.

I rolled into Weedon, wearing my bright yellow poncho in a light rain. I stopped at a place called Joe’s Den and had my first ice cream cone of the journey. It was a strawberry-vanilla twist and it tasted great. I sat outside under a canvas awning under a light rain and thoroughly the sweet dairy delight. Afterwards I took a ride around the small town. When the downpour arrived, I found shelter at a picnic table that was located under a tent at a restaurant that had already closed down for the day.

After the short deluge ended, I pedaled out of town towards a series of several other lake towns all smack dab in the middle of a small chain of lakes, located just west of Sherbrooke.

At Saint Gerard there was a river that flowed through a series of hydro-electric chutes. The water was raging due to the recent downpour, but now the skies were showing signs that they might clear, so I stopped at the park for a while and watched the river run through the water gates. The park consisted of numerous picnic tables, each located underneath its own wooden roof.


Arrival in Sherbrooke 3 stars
I made my exit from the Christian pagoda just before sunrise, so as not to arose the curiosity of the locals. The farmland looked just as beautiful in the early morning mist, as it did the night before. I headed through more beautiful countryside that quickly turned to mostly forest. My destination for the day was the Eastern Quebec town of Sherbrooke. I knew nothing about the town, except that it was large enough to have a Bibliotheque Municipal. For those not familiar with the French language that’s a public library, which to me means free internet access so I can keep my trip alive.
Just a few more miles down the road and the pastoral landscape reverted to thick, second-growth, mixed-hardware forest. However, it did not take long until I was cruising through the streets of Sherbrooke, which to my surprise was turning into a small-sized city.
My first stop was the tourist bureau, where I inquired about the location of the city library. As it turns out the place was just around the corner, but but since the library did not open until 10 A.M., the receptionist allowed me to use a courtesy computer until the library opened at 10.
The Bibliotheque Municipal was an impressive building with lots of room on the inside. I stayed there until 5, when the library closed and after a trip to the bank and grocery store, I was headed out of town across the eastern townships of Quebec.
Towards dusk ,I had a flat tire, but when I opened my patch kit, I discovered that I did not have any patches left. This really put me in a fix, but the only real recourse was to pitch my tent for the night in the nearby woods and deal with the situation in the morning. Sleep did not come easy, as I worried needlessly about fixing the tire in the morning.


Rain Rolls In 3 stars
Monday, July 18 - Monday broke cloudy and with a few drops. This was quite a surprise to me, for it disproved the old adage that red sunsets bring fair weather. And then after a half hour on the road, the drizzle had turned into a downpour. I spent forty-five minutes under the eave of a convenience store- gas station before heading out into a light rain. At the next town I found an Irving convenience store, where I enjoyed my fresh coffee plus the granola I had bought the day before. Fortunately, this familiar enterprise of the highway had a dry picnic table underneath the front overhang.
After another hour or so of pedaling up and down some of the small mountains of the Cantons Est (Eastern Townships), I found a bike trail that took me right into the Quebec town of Waterloo. The trail was still wet from the morning rain, so I had the paved path through the woods all to myself. It was an enjoyable ride that followed what appeared to be an old railroad grade. What a nice change from the Quebec rural highways that I had been following from the border. Those narrow shoulders sometimes left either me sharing the highway with delivery trucks or riding on a gravel shoulder, when highway traffic got to heavy.
Waterloo was a small city by a lake. Perhaps a bit run down, but a Montreal road crew was busy fixing up at least one worn out highway. I tried to get directions from one of the flagmen, but he answered me in perfect American English. Then got on the 2-way radio, speaking French to his co-workers, but nobody had an answer to my question. I spent most of the afternoon at the Waterloo library, sending out content to various sites.
The evening ride took me high into some hills and huge dairy farms. The sunset was spectacular in the hills near … I saw a sign for a HI Hostel, but on the way to the place, I crashed at a pagoda some one had built in front of a large white cross. Just laid my bedroll out on the wooden floor and slept pretty good considering. The small park was located on a high hill and had a picnic table inside the eight sided shelter, which was very well put together, for it appeared to made from natural cedar. The next morning I left the place in perfect order, hoping the group responsible for the shrine did not mind my unorthodox visit.


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