Monday, October 15, 2018

Coffeeneuring 2018 - First Cup on the Lachine Canal

50 degrees and sunshine - a perfect afternoon on the Lachine Canal.
It's hard to believe, but this is my sixth Coffeeneuring Challenge! Over the years, I've gravitated from visiting coffee shops to brewing my own coffee and tea in the great outdoors via Coffee Shop Without Walls option (with water views), to adding a lightweight chair to my expeditions. After becoming overwhelmed with too many self imposed prerequisites in 2017 that took some of the fun away, I've decided to simplify coffeeneuring in 2018. My theme is "history". I will coffeeneur at a historic spot (this region has so many!), learn something, or attend a historical event/presentation/talk and/or gather information from the Internet. I plan to mostly or strictly use a Stanley coffee press thermos that also doubles as a regular thermos (leave the press apparatus out for tea bags) instead of stove and pots. And I may or may not tote my camping chair. This less structured Coffee Shop Without Walls approach should be more enjoyable. 

Last weekend we went as a family to Montreal for two nights. Saturday was chilly, grey and blustery, though we managed to ride an interesting loop around the city. Sunday was more agreeable: the sun came out and it was slightly breezy and warmer! While my family had tired of bike riding, using the heavy BIXI bike share system where one must dock the bike every half hour, they went for a walk, while I set off for an hour with a thermos of tea, aboard my Dahon.

The lovely Lachine Canal Path historic site was the first place my husband and I rode in Montreal nearly 20 years ago. I have not returned since 2011, until now. It's as wonderful as I remember.

Remnants of the LaSalle Coke Crane.
The path meanders near the water, snakes around trees, by picnic tables, park benches, with interesting views of locks, through several parks - all supplied with historical signs. I'd love to return and ride the entire 13K length again, returning by way of the Lachine Rapids park along the Saint Lawrence River. There is ongoing construction this year (and perhaps also in 2019) to repair portions of crumbling canal walls.

The History:
The Lachine Canal was built to bypass the rapids at Lachine, upstream of Montreal. Freight and passengers destined for points past Lachine had to portage the 8 or 9 miles from Montreal's port to the village of Lachine where they could resume their trip by boat.The original canal was 14 kilometers long and had seven locks, each 30 meters long, 6 meters wide and 1.5 meters deep. The new canal officially opened in 1825, helping turn Montreal into a major port and eventually attracting industry to its banks, and populating the southwestern part of the city.

The Place: Lachine Canal, Montreal
Date: Sunday, October 14
Drink: Red Rose Tea
Observation:  It's wonderful to be back riding the Lachine Canal!
Total Miles: 6

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