Day Three - Rouses Point NY to Godbout QC – 520 miles

We backtracked a little on US11 to get to I-87 and headed north to the border.  Our plan was to skate around Montreal as best we could and travel up the north side of the St. Lawrence River to Godbout.  We crossed the border without too much delay and continued on C15 and C30 that took us around the city on the southeast side of Montreal.  We blasted up to Sorel-Tracy in very uneventful fashion.  On the west side of town we decided to grab some breakfast as it was well on into the morning.  We stopped at a little restaurant and found ordering breakfast to be a bit of a chore since our French is not that strong.  After getting food ordered and looking at the map one of locals struck up a conversation and began asking our plans.  We told him, and he had a couple of recommendations.  He said we could cross at the ferry just back five minutes but it would be a much better ride on the south side.  He said there wasn’t much to see on the north side.  After we were finished eating we went out to the parking lot and discussed our options.  We decided it would be more expeditious to cross the river on the bridge over to Trois-Rivieres.  We probably should have listened to him about the ferry since the bridge was under repair and it took us nearly an hour to cross, but he could not have been more wrong about the north side of the river.  So we continued up C132 and jumped onto C55 where we were to cross the bridge and ran into some serious traffic.  After finally getting across we stopped on the other side for a break with the bridge in full view.  We tried running up C138 along the river but we knew we had a lot of riding of riding left and in order to make time we jumped on C40 to make some time.  C40 is like one of our Interstates and runs parallel to C138.  We jumped off and ran on C138 for a while and stopped near Deschambault at what I think was boat ramp.  We continued back on C40 and into the city of Quebec.  There we found ourselves in snarled traffic and decided to try to get through it without the benefit of a map or asking for directions.  I don’t know how we did it but we ran some side streets and wound around past the old city and got ourselves back on C40.  We were still in heavy traffic although it was moving.  After 26 congested miles we got to Beaupré where we cam upon the Saint Anne de Beaupré Basilica.  In 1657 the Jesuits Fathers dedicated one of the chapels in Quebec to the Saint and since that time there has always been a chapel of St. Anne in the Basilica and Cathedral of this beautiful city.   The first chapel was built in 1658 on a piece of land donated by Messr. Etienne de Lessard.  This little sanctuary was dedicated to St. Anne in a place known as Le Petit Cap, a small village on a promontory near the St. Lawrence River in what was later to become Beaupré.  Spring tide flooding badly damaged the original chapel in 1660, but within the space of just one year the construction of a new chapel had commenced.  It was built on an adjacent piece of land to the east of the original plot.   Once again, Messr. Lessard generously donated the new plot which was further inland and ten feet above sea level.  We stopped to snap a few pictures of the Basilica that is celebrating its 350th year.  We didn’t want to think about it but we had to keep going to make our time.  Little did we know that just east of town the road would climb up on the cliffs and ride several hundred feet above the river.  As soon as we got up on the cliff the traffic opened up and we were in business.  The road was great with sweeping curves and great views.  We stopped at a rest stop on the east side of La Malbaie overlooking the city.  La Malbaie is a spot where President Taft would vacation.  We continued on C138 toward the ferry over the River Saguenay where at the mouth is a purported great spot to catch a glimpse of a whale.  The Tadoussac-Baie-Sainte-Catherine ferry is free of charge although with all of the high taxes paid by Canadians this is the least the government could do.  We were catching the ferry from the Baie-Sainte-Catherine side.  The trip leading up to the ferry along C138 from La Malbaie reminded me greatly of the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.  We reached the ferry after coming down a steep grade from up on the cliffs we had been riding and we as soon as we were waved on the guys raised the ramp and we were off; what great timing!  We went back up on the other side, back up on the cliffs and found a waterfall along the road after about a half an hour where we stopped for a brief rest.  We continued on C138 through to Baie-Comeau where it began to get dark.  We still had 35 miles to go to get to Godbout.  We arrived in complete darkness but the room was waiting for us.  It was an ok room and we were dead tired.  We rode into town where the ferry to Gaspé is located and grab a quick bite before calling it a night.