|Photo credit; Adele|
Just like last year's solo Quebec Orchard and Vineyard Tour I proposed that my friend, Adele, and I begin our journey aboard a commuter bus and leave our cars at home. Easy peasy!
(For a map of our route, check out Canada's Eastern Township 4-day tour.)
|Stopping at the Enosbrugh Falls depot (converted to museum) to refill our water supply.|
|Heading to Sutton and beyond on Quebec's bike route - Route Verte #4.|
|Chocolate store treasures.|
|Adele wanders into a clothing store while I stay with the bikes.|
This is what I love about traveling with Adele. She likes to explore, I like to explore, and we both like to eat! Adele is older than I am and no longer relishes camping. I love to pick out routes (bring on the maps!) and she loves to research indoor accommodation. Both of us could care less about how fast we ride or miles traveled, so our pairing is unique.
After a long day first day, propelled by wind, and two odd meet-ups with Sutton's friendly and super helpful information lady (on the street in Lake Brome and shortly after in the local liquor store) we rolled into Auberge Lac Brome around 5 pm. Views of the lake were lovely. It was a grand residence with quirky details: room hovered at 85F and had to contact front desk to locate controls, shower lacked adequate soap, I locked myself inside bathroom for a moment until I figured out handle mechanism. The list goes on, however, we began to laugh because the included 4 course meal was exceptional (our picks): local duck, fois gras, venison, roasted veggies, egads! We didn't mind that salt and pepper weren't set on table or that we had to summon the waiter for dessert spoons...for creme brulee.
|Having come this way many years ago, I recalled having to surmount the hill in the distance, |
yet promised Adele it was much easier than it looked. Photo credit: Adele
|Adele summits the hill in the previous photo.|
|I could resist snapping this photo in restroom.|
|Simon prepares a lovely meal. Adele displays Ceviche. a favorite course, served on La Maison de Ville's front porch.|
|La Maison de Ville, Magog.|
|Simon, preparing breakfast.|
|Adele's early morning stroll to visit the waterfront.|
|Adele photographs the tour boat on Lake Memphremagog.|
|A farm on the mile detour to the abbey with Mount Sutton on the skyline.|
Louise Penney's murder mystery series (a favorite of mine) plus the monks make blue cheese and chocolate, and we could attend a service and listen to singing, well, the abbey was a must-see stop on our itinerary.
|Photo credit: Adele.|
Afterwards, we visited the gift shop, buying cheese and chocolate, to support the monastery.
|"Hang in There!" mug on table at Bolton Center refuge, as if meant |
especially for our journey. Photo credit: Adele.
Wind whipped sideways, often a hindrance, sometimes a tailwind. We kept our spirits up and in a few miles took a break at a crossroads in Bolton Center beneath a funky, possibly private, shelter. We munched on Adele's energy cookies. The spot was constructed atop broken concrete, with recycled building material, plants, a mannequin propped along one pole, costume jewelry, etc. Surely, this place had an interesting story, but as the conditions were nasty, we soon set off, enduring the next miles.
We traveled on paved back roads with little shoulder, often rough, but had we kept going we would've retraced a route ridden two days ago, so we stuck with a plan to try a dirt road that might cut several miles off our itinerary and possibly arrive in Sutton at our B&B earlier. Or so we hoped!
|Spreading wet gear out in our room to dry.|
|Adele and I enjoy the red beer and pub food at A L"Abordage - a break from the fancy 4 course meals. |
It was the best fish & chips! We loved the beer so much that we split a second glass.
|Vert Le Mont B&B, Sutton.|
|My husband and I have seen this odd building under construction over the past several years.|
Photo credit: Adele.
Before heading west to visit Domaine du Pinnacle and their free cider tastings, Adele had to investigate a monstrous residence with colossal Greek statues. She suspected the statues were constructed with cement, but indeed they were amazingly carved in marble. We'd heard the owner is an egg farmer, and we hoofed it up the dirt road beside it to find massive buildings behind. I felt like we were trespassing, but Adele's curiosity and outgoing nature often opens doors. She went inside one of the buildings and emerged a few minutes later. It turns out it's not open to the public, but she did have a nice chat with a worker.
Annie scores ice cider. Photo credit: Adele.
I love ice cider, which my family would consider an understatement, so the free tasting at Domaine Pinnacle was an immediate attraction. Of course, I couldn't resist bringing home 4 bottles, 3 different kinds of ice cider. Fortunately, I'd planned ahead this time around, replacing flimsy hooks on my panniers with a sturdier type, plus added a cargo net on my rear rack. Adele had brought an unused trunk bag with her, which I offered to carry home. Between panniers and rear attachments, it was easy to distribute additional weight.
|We weren't' sampling ice cider in this photo, but this image sets the tone for our trip.|
|Selfies outside Domaine Pinnacle tasting room.|
|Fish tacos and salads, plus Adele enjoys cappuccino.|
We stopped for a bistro lunch in Frelighsburg on a terrace. The river was raging nearby, a testament to the volume of rain that fell the previous day.
Adele and I have tentative plans for an Autumn tour with our new bicycles, a source of constant conversation on our trip. Adele's bike has already arrived. I can't wait to continue our travels together.