Pay Attention To The Signs

I finished my bike trip on the Petit Train du Nord trail in Quebec 2 days ago, but already it’s beginning to feel like it was weeks ago.  Time is funny like that when you move on quickly to the next thing … the previous thing gets prematurely shuffled into a drawer in the memory banks.

I had promised a post about the unusual signs I had found on the trail one day.  I’ve tried to find some background information about them, but came up with nothing.  To be honest, I’m not even sure where exactly I started to notice them.  I’m guessing it was near the town of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts.  If anyone reading this post knows anything about these signs, I’d love to hear the story.

It started with a reasonably typical sign one might expect to see when riding through mountains … except on closer examination, it wasn’t typical at all.

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I puzzled over the letters for a bit, thinking perhaps there was a message in there somewhere, but I came up with nothing.  I decided it was just one of those French peculiarities.

… at least that’s what I thought until I reached the next sign some distance down the trail.

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If you’re thinking ‘what the hell?’, then we’ve had the same reaction.

The sign under the maze read “I have arrived where it begins“.

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And yes, I’ve spent some time working through that maze trying to solve the puzzle.  I don’t think there is a solution.

That’s when it occurred to me that these were likely intended to be inspirational works of art, not literal traffic-type signs.

Now I really started to pay attention, and I wasn’t disappointed.  Before long I was encouraged to Jump and Sing.

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I thought that if there were signs in one direction, then there had to be signs in the opposite direction too.  My pace had now slowed to a crawl  as I tried to read every sign backwards as I went by.

Again, I wasn’t disappointed.

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Animal surveillance

There were other signs along the way, but they didn’t photograph well in the bright sunlight.  The last sign I could find however was a keeper with its sun dabbles and all.

Because that’s life.

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45 comments

  1. These are wonderful! These are only on biking/hiking trails? I would anticipate many fender benders with drivers slowing down to read, puzzle over, and then photograph these signs. Someone was very, very creative.

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    • This trail is actually part of the TransCanada which is a multi-purpose trail. Cyclists and walkers were the only uses I saw on this trip, although in Quebec these trails would also be heavily used for cross-country skiing.

      The one thing I noticed while cycling in Quebec is that the trail users were generally very knowledgable about trail etiquette, so thankfully there were no incidents … or even any close calls.

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    • During the ride, finding these signs was a lot of fun, especially since I didn’t know how many there were. I wonder how many I might have missed!

      Day 3 hurt the most. My butt was quite grouchy by the end of the day, but I had a hot jacuzzi bath (it felt amazing!) and I did some gentle stretching afterwards. It did wonders and the next day I was as good as new 🙂

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    • The sign that said “I have arrived where I need to begin” actually had me quite baffled. Although I understood the individuals words, the meaning of them together didn’t gel with me. I had to get help later from my son.

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    • Thanks Deb. That first sign made me come to a screeching halt. I wonder how many other signs there might have been that I didn’t notice. It was a relatively busy section of trail and I was paying more attention to the other cyclists and walkers.

      I had a great week on the trail and I’m sad that it’s over. I looked forward to it for months and it was over much too quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

    • After doing the Bruce Trail, you may find this trail very boring to hike because it’s rail trail – ie very flat.
      I find it incredible that even in the Laurentians, they’ve managed to make this trail with gentle inclines. But for cycling, it’s wonderful … give or take a detour from hell 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The wonderful quirky things that make life so enchanting and unexpected. Still puzzling over the letters one – let us know if you work that out! And I hope the rest of the ride was fun with Norm. And your butt has forgiven you… 😀

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  3. Those signs are so imaginative, thought-provoking and smile-inducing! This relates to what I love about riding trails – the unique signs or objects you find along the way. Glad you had a good, safe, happy ride!

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