Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Quebec! Saguenay Lac St. Jean...

I searched out this location in the winter.. for my first ride.. why? Because the snow falls early there and leaves late.. it's also well known for the trail system and hospitality.. After visiting Saguenay Lac-St- Jean, Quebec.. I knew I had to go back!!! and with miles and miles of interconnecting ATV trails and outstanding hospitality it was a win win situation for me! Most of my trips have been ride, ride, ride.... this time we took it easy, I think people were feeling a little bit guilty making me ride while pregnant... Doctor said it was ok..I ride! to quote him, " no big doubles,no jumps, keep all 4 wheels on the ground not upside down." so that's what i have been doing. :) So when Nancy Donnelly ( of tourisme Saguenay-Lac St Jean) sent me our itin.. i was blown away! This was not only going to be a riding trip but we were going to be able to see some really neat locations AND FOOD!!! Blueberry season time!

So I must do a shout out to all the riders we had on our first day.. Marcel Lachance, our guide- club VTT amis du lac ,Yvon & Aline Lajoi, Gino Morin, Gustove Gagnon, Lina Asselin, Gaetan &Alain Boutin. We had a fantastic day with all of you and so much fun!(p.s. aucun bébé encore! seulement 11 semaines pour aller!!)
Day 1
Our first day we left from Roberval Quebec, right from our hotel- Chateau Roberval. This hotel had just about everything under it's roof! And it was really busy! A great location for families, pool, hot tub, pub, restaurant and fantastic food! But for us.. ooo very convinient to drop the truck and trailer and ride right from the back parking lot!!!!

So off those ATV's came and onto the trails we headed.. first stop.. Les "petit" chutes.. right near one of the many "bleuetiere's" BLUEBERRY FIELDS!!! YUUUMMY! Did you know that So-called "wild" (lowbush) blueberries, smaller than cultivated highbush ones, are prized for their intense color. The lowbush blueberry, V. angustifolium, is found from the Atlantic provinces westward to Quebec and southward to Michigan and West Virginia. In some areas, it produces natural blueberry barrens, where it is the dominant species covering large areas.Canadian exports of blueberries in 2007 were $323 million, the largest fruit crop produced nationally, occupying more than half of all Canadian fruit acreage.Quebec produces a large quantity of wild blueberries, especially in the regions of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean (where a popular name for inhabitants of the regions is Bleuets, or "blueberries"), and Côte-Nord which together provide 40% of Quebec's total provincial production. Due in part to declining frequency and intensity of spring frosts, Quebec's wild blueberry production (27 million kg in 2008) now rivals that of Maine!

Talk about a lot of Blueberries!!! So when we finally snuck our fill and had finished our little snack snack along the trails.. we jumped back on the ATV's and headed to see where the little chutes went to..thank goodness for that snack of blueberries.. the distance between food/ rest stops is long!In a good way!!! Lots of great trails and really diverse. Along the way to the "Big chutes"we rode beside blueberry fields with sandy terrain, and then through forest, tall magnificent pines. When we arrived at the big chutes, we were all quite warm.. ready to jump in! but these were fast moving rapids.. we all got close enough to feel the nice cool mist off of them... lunch anyone!?

Lunch stop was scheduled a short ride away at "les Jardins de Normandin" . A gorgeous spot to stop and walk around... really get to appreciate someone else's fruits of labour!

and enjoy Doug did.. in the "potager" garden= veggie garden.. we were told EVERYTHING was edible.. uh o! look out Doug is STILL hungry!

Hummmm we could be here awhile!

The ride back was spectacular!!! The trails were flat.. ok flat isn't the right word.. I would compare these trails with some railbed trails.. however... throw in some rolling hills, fields of canola, bison and other farms.. and that would be the comparison in Quebec to railbed riding.

Stay tuned for part two of our Quebec travels!

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