I have not completely given up on the plan to explore as many highlights of the TransCanada Trail as possible.
This summer I have planned 2 separate cycling trips in Quebec and yesterday I started the first one – riding the highly popular trail called Le Petit Train du Nord – or The Little North Train.
It is called a linear park and is actually a rail trail through the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. It is 200 km long but I have chosen to do only 130 of it.
I had hired an outfitter who arranged accommodations along the trail, shuttled me to my starting point 130 kms away, and moves my luggage each day to my next destination.
I am definitely underachieving on this trip because I’m taking 4 days to do a distance that I once could do in a single day.
It’s now my 3rd day alone – including the travel day to get here – and already I’m starting to talk to myself – out loud.
I’m convinced it is an affliction that affects those who spend too much time on their own. Is it the need for reassurance that comes from hearing our own voice? … even if it’s just directed at ourselves.
Last night was particularly creepy.
It is still considered low season on this trail and I was alone in the inn where I stayed … completely alone … not even night staff in the 5 room restaurant/inn that once housed a railway station.
The century building creaked and moaned throughout the deafeningly quiet night. Sleep eluded this city girl for a long time – imagining ghosts in the walls.
Today was especially quiet on the trail. It would be almost an hour before I encountered a single person. Pastoral would be an excellent way to describe it. Just me and cows, sheep, horses, and an endless number of chipmunks.
I followed some fresh deer tracks for a short while, hoping I would get lucky and see one. All I saw were birds of prey circling over the fields searching for breakfast.
I was strongly identifying with the mice hiding in the fields below.
The closer I got to Mont Tremblant, the busier the trail became, but no one stops to talk. In fact, people were no longer even acknowledging my greeting as they went by.
I’m already looking forward to Friday when Norm Frampton from Norm 2.0 has kindly agreed to ride the last day with me. The poor man will either have his ear talked off or I will be so accustomed to the quiet, I will struggle to find words to say.
Either way, you might want to start feeling sorry for him.