Sunday, August 6, 2017

Aug 5--Day 54--Au Revoir Route Verte, Hello Waterfront Trail

I was planning to wait until 8:00 or so to leave the motel this morning as that was when the chance of rain was supposed to decrease, but I looked at the forecast, and it had improved, so I left about 7:15 instead. What hadn't improved was the wind. It was a challenge the entire day.


I only had about 10km to go in Quebec. I was still following Route Verte 5. While still in Quebec, I saw a sign for the Waterfront Trail (2km ahead). That was great because that meant Ontario had a bike route similar to the Route Verte.


There wasn't an official "Welcome to Ontario" sign, but there was this one for the Waterfront Trail. It looked like I would be able to use this route all the way to where I will start the Lake Erie Connector (which is still several days away)! 

Welcome to Ontario



There was one part that I followed the directions I had Googled last night rather than staying on the Trail. Curiously, the route Google had me do was closer to the water than the Waterfront Trail. I also cut off about 5 miles. There was a bike lane and everything! 


I rejoined the Trail which was still just a bike lane on the road. I finally stopped for a break at a convenience store. I was already halfway done with today's planned miles. It was 10:30. I thought, at this pace, I'll get to Milles Roches Campground pretty early. 


That changed somewhat when the Waterfront Trail became an actual bike path near Cornwall. While it was nice to be away from the cars, the trail was pretty bumpy and slow going. So much for that early arrival.

Bike path



When the path was right on the water, the wind was really obnoxious. There were some pretty good whitecaps on the river. Again, so much for that early arrival.


I came to the St. Lawrence Dam (this dam had a huge impact back in 1958. I'll explain more in a moment). There is a canal too, and for a bit before the dam, I had water on both sides. After the dam, the trail went away from the river enough that the wind was more manageable.

The dam that created Lake St. Lawrence



I was riding on the trail along Hwy 2. At a big park, there was a water bottle fountain to get water. This was much nicer than the Route Verte. 


Not long after the park, I came to a place called the Lost Villages Museum. So, back in 1954 construction began on the St. Lawrence Seaway and Power Project. It was a Canadian-American collaboration which combined the expansion of the St. Lawrence River for shipping purposes and the harnessing of water power for hydro-electricity. On July 1st, 1958 the water of the soon-to-be-created Lake St. Lawrence began to flood the landscape. Prior to the building of the dam, there existed 9 villages and hamlets--Milles Roches, Moulinette, Wales, Dickinson's Landing, Farren's Point, Aultsville, Woodlands, Santa Cruz, and Maple Grove. Over 6500 people were displaced, 530 buildings were over, and many homes, churches, schools, and businesses were destroyed. Two new towns were created, Ingleside and Long Sault. People were expected to begin new lives in these two towns. The Lost Villages Museum (and apparently a much larger museum at Upper Canada Village which I will see tomorrow) has a few of the buildings that were moved. 

Lost Villages store



The project had another result, and that was the creation of a chain of islands that is now the Long Sault Parkway. The islands were the higher points of land before the area was flooded. Now there are several campgrounds along the Parkway. Milles Roches (thousand rocks) is the first one, and the largest. I thought about going on, but I knew there were likely available tent sites here as I had checked last night.

Long Sault Parkway




The wind is still blowing fiercely, but I am slightly protected by trees. I just hope it's not so windy tomorrow as I have more miles to do than today. Oh, and I also checked off an Ontario Subway in Long Sault where I talked to Tracy and Joe (they told me some of the history of the area).

Ontario Subway

Funny sign


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