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revct1

2016 Jack & Sandi's Trip

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Just a quick post here and then another in the Bas St Laurent forum for RDL .

Thursday morning we drive up to Valcourt hoping we could start our ride from there but the trails weren't open. So, we truck to Motel Bernieres, St Nicholas. There we get conflicting information on whether the trails were good enough that we could make our way to Riviere-du-loup.

Friday morning we put our luggage on the sleds and head out trail 75. We will give it a shot. It is pretty rough for the first 5 miles or so to the first river crossing. Ah the river is frozen and we see that the groomer had made a pass on the opposite side. We cross the river and Sandi is the first sled on the fresh groomed trail. We decide not to take 5 and stay on 75 south. Most of 75 is ok. Some of the fields are wind blown and thin on snow but very passable. There is only one short section that the groomer didn't pass over.

We turn on 35 and the first 10 or 15 miles are groomed and then no groomer. A bit rough. A few trees have been blown down across the trail. Plenty of room to navigate around them though. We continue on and again the trail is groomed. Very good to a little past the junction with 551 that runs back up to Montmagny. Oops another rough section. Enough snow cover but just hasn't been groomed. A few more trees down. About 10 miles from Tourville it is groomed. A nice ride into Relais Jasmine.

We gas up and have lunch. We are told by Reg that 35 gets better heading east towards RDL. Yea! That is what we wanted to hear.

I'll continue on the Bas St Laurent forum.

Jack & Sandi

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OK. Here we are.

Running down 55. So much fun. The trail is great and the conditions are perfect.

We get to the old Relais St Magloire and it is still closed. We continue on a few more miles to Club Sportif Mont Bonnet. A little light snow in the air and a few sleds at the club. We take a break and since we are early, decide to make a loop up 547 and cross over on the local trail to 545. 547 is good but the local trail is getting thin on snow in spots. The groomer had made a pass but this isn't the snow that graced the Riviere-du-loup area.

We drop down 545 and turn left on 55 to go back to Meritotel for the night. We haven't been here in a few years. The rooms are modest but the food is great with generous portions. We happened to get a room over the bar which lucky for us wasn't active this particular night. But, for your convenience there are ear plugs in the night stand if the bar becomes too noisy. I never saw ear plugs in a hotel room! This is a first for me.

Tomorrow we head to the truck.

Jack & Sandi

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We wake up this morning still full from last night. Boy was the food good.

We have breakfast and while we are loading up the sleds, another snowmobiler comes over and asks where we are going.

I told him we were going to Montmagny and then to St Nicolas (Bernieres). He said that there is still a river crossing on trail 5 that hasn't frozen yet. He is French and I didn't understand exactly where he was referring to but figured it would be wise to avoid trail 5.

He suggested 547 up to 35. He had come down that way last night with his wife and said it was good.

I always listen so we finish loading up and head east on 55 to 547 north. A few bad spots but not horrible. As we climb up in elevation, the snow gets deeper and the trail gets better. As we get near the summit, the windmills appear along the ridge. A few years ago when we were here there were a couple of windmills. There have been many more added. Some of the 547 is on the roads that were built to accommodate the trucks transporting the windmills. The trees are covered in snow as snow ghosts. Very pretty. If you happen to be in this area, don't neglect taken this trail. A very good ride.

We get to 35 and turn left. This is also quite nice. We run to 75 and head north stopping at Chasse et Peche for lunch. A beautiful clear day. After lunch we continue up 75 all the way to Hotel Bernieres. We are in early but that is fine. We are at the end of a week of wonderful riding. Time to sit down and have a beverage or two and re-live our journey. We hope you enjoyed following along.

Re-cap. Rivere-du-loup has plenty of snow and plenty of diesel for the groomers. The conditions there are great. The eastern part of the Chaudiere-Appalaches region is just as good. As you get in the trail 75 corrider (Lac Etchemin and St Marie area) the snow is thinner in the lower elevations but up along the ridge it is fine. Even in the bad areas it is still rideable just that there are some snirt and twigs sticking up thru the trail. Time to go back to Connecticut tomorrow. We hope to retun the beginning of February for another adventure.

Jack & Sandi

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Thanks for your reports Jack and Sandi, i enjoyed following them on the maps and now have a better perspective of the area/s.

Always a sad moment returning to home from sledding but on the flip side once you get there you can look forward to the next sledding trip.

JG

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Thanks for your reports, Jack. Always full of details that help the rest of us.

The old St. Magliore relais has now been closed about 4 years. The story we were told was that the club could not afford to continue running it and merged with the LacEtchemin Club. It was a home based day care for a short time but has been vacant and listed for sale for at least 3yrs now.

Too bad because the yard was always full whenever we would pass and it was a nice place to stop -

Edited by vt_bluyamaha54

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Thinking about going to Quebec on Sunday. Where would be a better choice to start from ? Lac Etchemin or St. Nicholas. We just have (2) full days of riding. Would it be worth the trip from CT. ?

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We are glad so many sledders enjoy the our escapades. We met quite a few QuebecRider readers this trip. Some from New York, Maine, CT, VT, Ontario and more.

We are home for a week and then if all goes well, our next trip will be the first week in February. We haven't decided on where yet. Depends on where the snow gods sprinkle their white gold.

To Pat & Gary, we will see you at the Delta in February.

St Magliore was a nice stop. I remember the year that it was the day care. A little strange but I guess they were trying anything to get a few extra dollars in.

To Gerg56. If you are riding Sunday Monday, either place would be good. Tuesday is the warm day if you are riding Monday Tuesday. The forecast is right around freezing depending on where you are for Tuesday. I don't think it will be warm long enough to make it terrible but it may be a little slushy where it is warmer.

We stay at Motel Bernieres in St Nicholas and the Meritotel at Lac Etchemin. We haven't trucked to Lac Etchemin so I don't know which would be better to truck to. When we left I would have to say Lac Etchemin is a little closer to the better snow than St Nicholas. Trail 75 was rideable but thin in spots. 35 was good pretty much all the way. 55 was good from Lac Etchemin east. We didn't ride 55 west of Lac Etchemin.

Jack & Sandi

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Not sure where the best place to put a little update.

Monday, Feb 15th, we drove Autoroute 20 from Quebec City to Drummondville and then 10 and 55 to the border in the truck of course. St Nicolas, Bernieres, looked OK. Three trucks in the lock up and a few more in the big parking lot so I'm guessing a few sledders went out. As we drove along you could see the snow get thin. By the time we got to Drummondville, we were looking for the lawnmowers to be out. No snow and lots of dirt.

Going down thru the Eastern Townships there was a bit more snow. I don't think I would try to do a trip from there but there was snow. It looked awful icy on top and hadn't been broken up yet.

Jack & Sandi

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Probably put it under the General section, that is the place most people look

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Not sure where the best place to put a little update.

Monday, Feb 15th, we drove Autoroute 20 from Quebec City to Drummondville and then 10 and 55 to the border in the truck of course. St Nicolas, Bernieres, looked OK. Three trucks in the lock up and a few more in the big parking lot so I'm guessing a few sledders went out. As we drove along you could see the snow get thin. By the time we got to Drummondville, we were looking for the lawnmowers to be out. No snow and lots of dirt.

Going down thru the Eastern Townships there was a bit more snow. I don't think I would try to do a trip from there but there was snow. It looked awful icy on top and hadn't been broken up yet.

Jack & Sandi

Is that a futurecast? I guess you meant the 1st. lol

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Would you say it would be safe to start out of Bernieries Jack?

Hi JG,

If you are heading towards RDL, I think you would be good. 35 and 55 would probably be better than 5 but if you take 5, there are many green trails you can drop down to 35 on if it gets ugly. The first part of 5 / 75 maybe a little rough. I just read on another thread from GKW that they rode 55 out of Beauceville to RDL and he said that was good.

If you are heading toward Drummondville, I would say no good unless you have the VTT.

Jack & Sandi

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Thanks Viper. General may have been better. Next time.

NHSM - I really meant Feb 8th. During snowmobile season I have a hard time remembering what day it is. We'll see next week if future cast was accurate.

Jack & Sandi

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Yesterday we drove up to Motel Bernieres. Just a short trip this weekend.

This morning we leave Bernieres, Sandi, myself, Jason and Yushen. Not too many trailers in the parking lot. A few are coming in as we leave but not full.

It is a beautiful day. 75 is groomed. Off we go. Some early traffic. Fluffy snow with the snow dust hanging in the air. We decide to take 5 instead of 75 for a change. About 20 miles from Bernieres, trail 5 runs north parallel with auto route 73 and then crosses over the highway and then runs south. As we cross over the highway we see a lot of blinking lights on emergency vehicles. There must be at least ten EMTs there and a few sleds. Everyone is looking down trail 5 in the direction that we are heading. We look down the trail and here comes a sled with someone sitting backwards on the back of the sled bracing the toboggan with an injured person strapped to it. Oh this isn't good.

We've stopped staying back out of the way. A lot of activity and one EMT bends down and appears to speak to the injured person. This is a good sign. Apparently the person Is conscious. The EMTs pick him up and put him on a gurney for the ambulance ride.

We slowly go around and cautiously head down the trail. The trail is straight for a couple of miles and then makes a hard left turn. We see many sleds and people here at the turn. We slow down. One lady walks over to me and she speaks a little English.

From what I could gather, one driver came up behind another and drove into the back of the first sled. She didn't say which driver was the injured one that we saw being loaded into the ambulance.

My guess is the second driver was in the snow dust and the first driver may have braked hard just before the turn and was rear ended. The way she explained it, I don't think the driver was critical but obviously was hurt. Oh it can happen so quickly.

We continue on a little more careful with this accident on our minds. Please be careful out there.

As we approach Montmagny, 5 is getting trashed. The traffic is incredible. Everyone is taking advantage of the late season riding. We stop at the gas station and fill up the tanks. We continue on 5 and just on the other side of Montmagny is a new gas station. For future reference, if that first station is packed, this second one is an easy in and easy out right on the trail.

We bump along on 5. We get to 551 and it is closed. There is a detour sign to continue on 5 east. We run along for a few more miles and yep, at one of the road crossings there is a sign for 551 pointing to the right. A little reroute here. We jump on 551. It is so much better than 5. A few miles down and it picks up the old 551. Maybe lost permission somewhere?

When we get to 35 we turn left and get on the rail bed. Not pristine but much, much better than 5 was. Riding along still quite a lot of traffic. We stop at Tourville for lunch. This place is full! There is over 100 sleds outside. It is just 1:00 PM so people should start leaving soon. We manage to get a table and wait patiently. It took a while for lunch but by the time we left things had quieted down and we are back on 35.

I'll continue the post on the Bas St Laurent forum.

Jack & Sandi

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Continuation from Bas St Laurent.

At 55 we head south to St Pamphile. Traffic is picking up. The relais at the golf club is packed. They have a Sunday morning brunch and besides the sleds there are a lot of locals that drive in their cars. We will skip this and keep on riding. 55 is perfect. We stop at Relais St Fabien de Panet. We have gone past this many times but never stopped in. Only a couple of sleds and it is lunch time. We go in. Not very big but the waitress speaks English. Soup and a cheeseburger all dressed will hit the spot.

Off we go on 55. It is warming up a bit and the trail is getting a little softer. We turn right onto 547 heading north. This has seen a lot of traffic since the last grooming. Not as nice as what we were on this morning. Oh it is getting rougher. The windmills are always impressive to see. A lot of tracks out playing in the deep snow from this past week.

We continue on up 547. Oh no. My oil light comes on for the 800. I didn't bring any oil with me figuring I can get 600 - 700 miles out of the tank of oil and we have only been 425 miles so far. I open up the side panel and there is at least a liter on oil in the tank. Continue on. This will just be annoying having the red light on.

We get to trail 5 and turn left in St Gervais. We get to the Shell station on trail 5 and I check the oil level again. It hasn't dropped hardly at all. Keep on going. I always run the BRP oil and I don't want to put something else in the tank if I don't have to. I know I can use a couple of other synthetics but we aren't that far from Bernieres.

5 is pretty rough too. So many sleds out and the snow is soft. We get back to Motel Bernieres with plenty of oil to spare. You can go at least 67 miles after the light comes on and I would guess 100 - 125 miles even.

I think this our last ride for this season. The snow wasn't as deep this year and you had to go find it. But where it was, the clubs were doing a spectacular job of grooming. We got in plenty of great riding and once again got to see many of our fellow QuebecRiders.

There is still riding out there but it is time for Sandi and I to tend to business back home. I've got the brochure for the 2017 sleds. Oh, which one to choose?

Jack & Sandi

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Jack, I think you've already answered that question, if you don't want to worry about that oil light again. Who knows, there is a new 850. I'm anxious to hear.

It was fun reading your posts as usual, it's the next best thing to being there.

It was nice seeing you guys this year. You and Sandi enjoy your summer and don't work too hard. Just enough to feed our addiction.

Jeff and Sandy

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