Saturday, April 11, 2009

Trip - 2A

Up two rivers and return (Anniversary Ride - April 11, 2009)

This would be classed as a "small" trip, and one I wasn't going to write about, but, the insane sister was prodding me for another blog entry (thanks Tam).

Since it was the anniversary date of buying the bike, I just HAD to go somewhere! It was on the cool side (41°F/5°C), but at least it was sunny. It's that time of year that ice in the river is thinking about starting to break, and I heard there was ice over the road in at least one location, so I wanted to go scout things out. I also wanted to see if the Waban-aki ice-breaking hovercraft was in the area.

The location of the hovercraft is unpredictable, so after supper, I began heading up Hwy.134 along the Restigouche River, through the Junction, McLeod, and Richardsville. This road was newly paved in the fall, so it's a pleasure to zing around the bends, and up and down the hills. A frozen river makes a biker feel out of season, but after waiting through 4 months of winter, I'll jump at any opportunity.

The hovercraft will usually dock in the Campbellton area, so that was my first stop, but looking around the wharf area, it was nowhere. Heading up Salmon Blvd., the river was now slightly open - right up to the paper mill in Atholville where the heated water has an early effect on the ice.

I stuck to the river up through Tide Head, and Flatlands, and soon was at the picturesque Morrissey Rock lookout. I got off the bike and snapped a few photos.


A few miles later I headed across the bridge to Quebec, and stopped to get an awesome view of the dirty ice chunks jamming the river.




I zipped by Matapedia, and turned up the Matapedia River to check out the ice situation. I rode almost to Saint-Alexis, but no sign of ice breaking, or a hovercraft, so pulled a U-ee, and back down where I came from. After crossing back to the New Brunswick side, I turned up the Restigouche River again.

Here, a train bridge crosses the river, and ice is always a concern, so train cars are parked on the bridge to stand up to the forces of the ice. On this day though, the ice is starting to move, and water is flowing in many spots.

I continue through Mann's Mountain and up the beautiful river road. To my surprise, where this road was blocked with ice a few days before, today the river is wide open!! The ice still is piled along the shore, but I have no trouble getting through - other than the springtime conditions - ruts, gravel, and bumps. With a mountain on the left and river on the right, the road doesn't have much room. As I approach the Rafting Grounds (where canoes land in the summers) the road narrows to one lane as the river has carved out a section of the shoulder.

I head back easterly through the woods....farms, horses, and a road full of sand and gravel. I've really got to watch the steering through here, every turn is dangerous, and I'm forced to downshift. Wouldn't want to spill the VFR!

Finally I'm out onto Hwy.17 in Dawsonville, which soon connects to Hwy.11 at Glencoe, which means speed picks back up. The sun is going down, and the temp. has dipped to 35°F/2°C, so time to boogie. I fly by Duff's Lake, Campbellton, etc. and within 1/2 hour, I roll back into the driveway. Ahhh..... spring has arrived!!