Tuesday, September 5, 2017
I was saved by a Café this summer while on vacation. Seriously, it saved my spirit. It isn’t the first time, and won’t be last, but it is one I will remember forever. I love to find locally owned Cafe's when I am on vacation. I look for good coffee and really good treats. It’s always a part of my adventures. And so here is the story of the Café. My friend and I decided to do a bike trip around Lac St Jean, about 2 hours north of Quebec City. We cycled the Veloroute des Bleuets which is about 260 km. The Lac St Jean area is really beautiful because of the lake and the endless farm fields and yes, blueberry fields. We had such a fantastic time. Our trip began in a small town called Alma where we were welcomed by locals as we loaded our panniers and began our trip. The very first part of the trip involved riding down a winding paved bike path to a river where we took a free ferry to get to other side. Soon after the ferry we rode across two huge bridges on damns that had incredible views. The bike path is dual lane in many parts and we saw families, road bikers, people carrying camping gear and many like us that were travelling to B&Bs. We spent 5 days riding and exploring the route. On day 4 we had been riding all morning and I was feeling hungry and a little tired and low energy. I just felt like I needed a pick me up to get me to our destination for the day. We were on the shoulder of a highway just south of a town called Dolbeau Mistassini when we came across a lawn filled with blueberry art made out of steel. Blueberry plants, farmers pushing carts of blueberries, a huge blueberry pie and much more attached to the house. You couldn’t miss it. When I took pictures I noticed there were blue lights everywhere and so I assume her blueberry yard is lit up at night! How unique is that? And the sign said fresh blueberry muffins and pie etc. So we stopped. We went in the side door of the house and was greeting by the loveliest French speaking grandma who was happily baking all kinds of treats with a big smile on her face. She didn’t speak a word of English but her energy was very clear. She was a master baker. My friend and each had the very best blueberry cheesecake of our lives. And we got blueberry squares to go for the next day. Butter, sugar, flour and blueberries never tasted so good. And we got back onto our bikes and zoomed to our destination (kind of). These are the true gifts given to a cyclist on an adventure. These are the stories one tells around the dinner table for years after the trip. My friend and I both highly recommend cycling this route. The people were so friendly and welcoming and the whole area is set up to support cyclists of all levels. I’d be happy to talk to anyone who is interested in doing it. Have a great fall everyone!