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I can't remember how my folks first found Carillon in 1969, but I know they liked to go for drives. Early on this was a favourite spot for family picnics. We must have visited this location at least a couple of times while I was still living at home. I remember from the the drive along the north shore of the river the moment when the road suddenly turns inland along the Rivière du Nord, which seems almost like a Canal.
In 1971, Carillon was the scene of an afternoon picnic during my parent's Montreal visit
Girlfriend of the time
I remember riding by with Donald on our way to Ottawa in 1974. We did not stop, but the road along the causeway up past the dam was long and hot and by the time we reached Grenville we each had a bit of heatstroke.
There were the odd visits during the later Seventies and Eighties, as Carillon remained an interesting place to go. I never really explored much of the surrounding countryside, though. I may have taken the ferry across to Pointe Fortune once, though I have no recollection of this.
Carillon was the destination for an overnight trip in 1993, during which I stayed at a campround on the Pointe Fortune side. I crossed by ferry a number of times, and explored over to St. André, where I ate supper and breakfast.
I brought Sheryl at least once during the Nineties, and then we returned in 2001.
I can't remember when first went into Pointe Fortune, but it was fairly recently. Over the years, as I would pass by on the 40, I would be intrigued by the sign for the ferry at this town, the first (or last) town on the Quebec side. My first actual visit could well have been my two-day bike ride there in 1993. It is odd, since I visited Carillon, on the far shore, so often.
Even in 1993, although I would make three crossings by ferry, I did not really visit any of the town west of the ferry dock.
I came to Pointe Fortune once with Sheryl in the mid-90s, as part of a day-long outing. It was only then that I discovered that the Ontario line ran throught the town. I had always thought it was at the dam. We returned in 2001, after berry picking, with Alex.
I probably drove through Hudson once or twice during the Eighties, although I have no specific recollections of it. My first visit by bicycle was in 1993, on my way to Carillon. There may have been a mid-Nineties visit by bicycle. On the first trip I had lunch at the famous l'Eggs cafe, when it was on the side of the building. Later I ate at their new establishement upstairs.
It was a place that I took Sheryl to a number of times by car, on antique exploration trips. I think, on the first visit, I took her to the well-known lunch place at l'Eggs. We have explored all of the freeway interchanges for antique stores. There was one antique store with a basement full of old books that we returned to years after the first visit. We heard about Finnegan's Market, and began to make frequent visits there. On one occasion we had to drive on into Hudson to get money from a Bank of Montreal banking machine so that we could buy a bench at the market.
On my 1997 bike ride around through Oka, I made a side trip on into Hudson.
Visits to Hawkesbury were infrequent, but there were neverthessless several, on day outings during the Eighties and Nineties. I recall on one visit with Sheryl having lunch at La Belle Province downtown. I vaguely remember the old bridge between Hawkesbury and Grenville.
Once or twice, I have driving east from Hawkesbury along the river road, rather than the 17. I remember, thus, passing through Chute-à-Blondeau and reaching the 417 just shy of the Quebec border. I had never driven along the river west of Hawkesbury, however, through towns like l'Orignal or Le Faivre.
When I first started going to Ottawa, hitchhiking with Bernie and/or Donald, there was no Hwy 417. I recall being shunted off onto Hwy 17 just past the Ontario Border. I remember few details of the highway, except for the contant ups and downs and the few isolated villages. I became conscious, after several trips, of a deep dip and a bridge about mid-point along the way. (This may well have been teh bridge over the South Nation River.) I remember a long, scenic strip just outside Ottawa where the road ran alongside the Ottawa River and was seemingly overhung by a cliff. Just outside of Ottawa there as a sharp turn onto Montreal Road, which then led into the city. Ottawa, proper, started around the intersection of Montreal Road and St. Lawrence.
Once the 417 was opened, I seldom travelled the old highway. I drove it just once or twice for nostalgia's sake. Over the years things gradually changed. A new freeway led east from Montreal Road, for example. At some point, the scenic riverfront drive was tranformed. Quite likely, much of the original Hwy 17 that I remember near Ottawa, has been completely replaced.
I think my cycling trip of 1974 was the first time I passed along the northern route. I remember,then, in the later Seventies or early Eighties, once driving back from Ottawa along that route at night. I remember from that night that, east of Grenville, it was an eerie experience, with lots of ups and downs and twists and turns, and the water seemed very close.
The route from Carillon to Grenville, and thence west as far as the Rivière Rouge and Chateau Montebello, was taken at least half a dozen times as the staging for a day-long outing. There was on drive in the late Seventies which ended up coming upon a camp of white-water rafters along the Rouge, and then following a long gravel road northward along the western bank of the Rouge.
I first visited this grand old resort hotel with Donald during our 1974 bike ride to Ottawa. We did not go in at the time. Fast forward nearly 30 years to the early Noughts, when Sheryl and I made a one-hour stop at the hotel during a day-long outing that would end up taking up north into the Laurentians and around via Huberdeau.
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