Brompton bike camping in Magog and Mont Orford
To get out of Montreal and into the Townships, I decided to skip the “boring” parts and hop on a bus. The Limocar service (bus) does hourly Montreal-Sherbrooke runs with service to towns in between. The bus has wifi and plugs to charge your phone. It’s a great service. Bikes are charged $5. On my first ride, my Brompton was waved on as normal luggage. On my return ride, they asked if I had paid the $5 “bike fee”. (I had not) So, be prepared for the “is it luggage? is it a bike?” confusion.
I hopped off in Magog (or rather, near-ish Magog). The Magog stop is a gas station just off the highway, so there’s a bit of highway shoulder biking to do to get onto quieter routes. Which was welcome since Magog had oodles of boat traffic.
Mid-afternoon, hot and peckish – I decided to fuel up along Magog’s main street at Microbrasserie la Memphré. This was a good decision before the 15km uphill bike ride to Mont Orford national park. I ordered some cheese “tortillons” and ended up with cheese and a dish of poutine. I’m not really sure how the poutine happened, but when in Rome, eat the poutine.
I biked down the main street to grab a bottle of wine and came across Nessie or in this case, Memphré.
After a gentle 10km uphill, I arrived at Mont Orford park and promptly took the wrong route to the campsite. It made for a lovely tour of their new hiking/bike paths. I recommend exploring them without a fully loaded bike. I finally biked into my campsite in the Lake Stukely section of the park. It was a comically large campsite for my little tent and lacked the bike rack of the previous stay at Îles de Boucherville.
Upon registration, I was given a parking pass for my vehicle’s dashboard. I think this is what I was meant to do.
The campsite reserved for the Bienvenue Cyclistes program is farther away from the water and beach, but it has bike racks and is near a small store/laundry/meeting area. I should make use of this next time because the rates are superbly inexpensive.
But, I wanted a serviced site in order to charge up my phone and camera. Luxuries. I spent two days in Mont Orford, which gave me time to catch up on reading, tunes and crossword puzzles. The goal of this trip was to relax, so I held back on the exploring and hiking.
I figured out the best feature of my new Swiss Army knife – the corkscrew.
After the first night and an early wake-up call from something sniffing around outside the tent, I decided to take advantage of the half price morning boat rentals. A $7 kayak around the lake? Sounds good to me.
Out on the water, it was very peaceful. Back on land, the beach was filling up faster than a #8 bus leaving Lebreton station at rush hour. I managed a quick dip and retreated to my campsite to do more reading and crosswords.
By the second day, I had mastered making coffee outside the tent in the mornings having arranged the stove and water for early morning brewing. I may be becoming a pro at nature.
I hung up a laundry line for my freshly washed clothing using the tie down straps for my backpack. Dining-wise, I enjoyed leftover wine from the wine platypus and mastered the art of KD in the JetBoil.
One of the main activities at Mont Orford is hiking, so I felt obliged to at least do one short walk. I picked an easy 2km “family friendly” loop. It’s family friendly if you are a family of goats – I’m not sure how well my “kid” would have fared. As expected… there were hills. Enough to make me fear the “difficult” rated hikes.
But the view was nice. Very Quebec-y.
After my two days of rest, it was time to get back on the road. Next stop, Bromont! And hills. Lots.of.hills.