It was a great few days after the MTB Nationals wrapped up as I took my time heading down to Mont Sainte Anne. I had a short week with no commitments before Friday and being at MSA (or so I thought). First let me wrap up a couple of things from Saint Félicien. On Sunday Al Morka dropped by with a couple of miniature cup-cakes and birthday wishes. They had been celebrating Emily Batty’s 24th birthday and he save me a couple. Nice touch, thanks! I enjoyed them in the evening as desert, with a glass of scotch.
|A regular sized glass with miniature cupcake and ice cubes|
The other cool thing on Sunday was seeing Jon Barnes take his second National Championship, in Master Expert 30-39. Jon’s a great guy, very generous and playful. He was ferocious on the course though and it came down to the final hard climb before he was able to shed his rival for good.
As I was sitting around relaxing, a couple of the folks who work at the MTB centre wandered over and said hi. We chatted a bit about the trails, the event and they asked if I would be staying the night and doing some riding. That was my plan and it was great when they gave me a map and some suggestions for great trails. It turns out one of them was Eric Maltais who is in charge of trail maintenance… he’s a great guy and if you ever get up there be sure to say hi. And ride the trails on the other side of the river, they’re spectacular.
|Lots of rocks to ride|
Then it was on the road again, with a loop planned that would take me through Saguenay and down along the fjord. It was a nice drive, great weather, and eventually no cell or internet reception of any kind… I was officially offline. I got a campsite at Saguenay National Park, in from Rivière Éternité. The campsite was ok, the location was great. Here’s a shot of the fjord.
The next morning I got back on the road and headed for the St. Lawrence down at Saint-Simon. That was where my phone kept chiming in as a flood of email arrived. It was now Tues. morning and I discovered that the Canadian Olympic MTB team was going to be announced at MSA the next day… so much for a long slow week. I did have the rest of the day to motor along toward Beaupré though, good thing as the hills in that part of Quebec are impressive. Road signs with grade indications in lots of places; 18% was the steepest I saw. My camper was struggling to make it up some of those hills. Still… beautiful countryside.
|Low tide on the St Lawrence|
I camped in a spot close to my destination, cheap camping and lots of interesting company; I was camped between the ferrets and the alpaca. Then it was on to MSA for the announcement on Wed. Here’s the team who were selected, some very talented women and men.