Brompton bike camping in Magog and Mont Orford

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Upon registration, I was given a parking pass for my vehicle’s dashboard.  I think this is what I was meant to do.

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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.

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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.

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I figured out the best feature of my new Swiss Army knife – the corkscrew.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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But the view was nice.  Very Quebec-y.

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After my two days of rest, it was time to get back on the road.  Next stop, Bromont!  And hills.  Lots.of.hills.

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