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.


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.


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“.


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.


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.

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.





  1. 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!


  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… 😀


    • 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

  3. I love those signs, even the head-scratchers! Would give me something to ponder and take my mind off my sore butt…hehehe! Congratulations on finishing your biking adventure, Joanne!


    • 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

    • 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.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 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 🙂


  4. 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.


    • 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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