Bike Ride - Summer 2002:
Bas St. Laurent & St. Johns River
Day Six

Roger Kenner
Montreal, Qc,
Canada 2002

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Montreal to St. John, New Brunswick
Day Six: Around Edmunston with Sheryl
Saturday, August 3, 2002

Since it was to be a rest day, we got up later than usual, at around 07:30. We walked over to the restaurant attached to the motel, where we sat in the sun by a big picture window overlooking the valley and had a breakfast of the usual: Two eggs, sausage, toast and coffee.

The Botanical Gardens

Following breakfast, we headed off for our first outing of the day, to visit New Brunswick's nascent Botanical Gardens, located across the highway at the very same freeway exit as our motel. These gardens were small and clearly quite new, but everything was very nicely done. Signs indicated that help in setting the gardens up had come from the experts at the Montreal Botanical Gardens Our only complaint was that the various plants could have been better labelled.

Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~12:00)
Edumunston: Botanical Gardens


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~12:00)
Edumunston: Botanical Gardens


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~12:00)
Edumunston: Botanical Gardens


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~12:00)
Edumunston: Botanical Gardens


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~12:00)
Botanical Gardens: Sheryl at the Gardens


The day warmed into a nice, sunny day as we did the walking tour of the Gardens. The setting was beautiful, located on the flat valley floor, next to the river and enclosed by the hills of either side.

Once we had finished our walking tour, we spent some time looking through the museum store and ended up buying some books and souvenir t-shirts.

The outdoor terrace café of the Botanical Gardens looked very appealing and so we decided it would be an excellent place to have some lunch: I had a beer and tried some traditional ploye, a sort of buckwheat pancake. Sheryl had a coke and some great salad.

The Botanical Gardens formed part of a provincial government complex that also included a golf course and a tiny car museum. The car museum was right across the parking lot from the Gardens and so I convinced Sheryl that we should walk over there to see if they had any useful books in their museum store. They did not.

On Into Town

Finished then at the complex, we got onto the freeway and I made the short trip into town along the route that I was traversing for the fourth time. We went to check out a small flea market that we had passed on our evening drive of the night before. Sheryl referred to it as the “Car Wash Marché aux Puces”. The old guy who ran it struck up a conversation with Sheryl about her herbology and then went into his favourite topic of 'digital acupuncture'. We learned that he was originally from Montreal and had been in Edmundston for only one year. According to him there were just three kinds of people in the world. He claimed to be able to tell our personality just from the way we walked in. 'Faut être bien grondé,' he would say. We were there from about 15:00 to about 16:00

Back out to Saint-Jacques: The Eco-Musée

Sheryl wanted to ask about the location of a candle shop (Chandalles Artisanales) that was listed in her booklet of 'éco-musées. After some driving around, we finally found Edmundston's main tourist information centre and discovered that the candle shop was back in the town of St. Jacques, where our motel was located. I then had the occasion to take the same 8 km stretch of freeway for the 5th time, as we hustled to the candle shop so as to arrive before they would close at 17:00 We got there at 16:30 and hung out until 17:15.

The éco-musées are stores where people can observe and take part in the 'hands-on' experience of arts and crafts. This store's focus was on candle-making and, in addition to the candles on sale, there was lots of information on the walls about the history and art of candle-making. I learned about abidou, the missing ingredient in the old flint & steel tinderboxes of the days before matches. Made from a particular kind of dried mushroom, it would burst into flame at the merest contact with sparks.

Back into Town: Visit to Madawaska, Maine

Once we were finished at the candle store, it was after 17:00 and the local stores were all closed. What were we to do? We decided to drive back into town and walk across the bridge to the U.S. side, where it was an hour earlier. The U.S. border officials were very friendly and welcomed us to Madawaska, Maine. There was one old guy, who was a local and brayonne and a young woman from Buffalo. The main street of Madawaska was pretty deserted. We walked down about five blocks, as far as the K-Mart, where we got a can of soda and Sheryl did some minor shopping. As we walked back, all the stores, such as they were, had also closed. The only open store was a tiny Bible shop. We walked in and looked around for five minutes, but the shopkeeper never came out of the back room, where he was watching television.

Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~17:00)
Edumunston: Bridge over the St. John River


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~17:00)
Edumunston: St. John River looking west from Bridge


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~16:00ME)
Madawaska - Me: Bridge Street
Looking towards Edmunston


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~16:30ME)
Madawaska - Me: Sheryl at northern end of U.S. 1


Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~16:30ME)
Madawaska - Me: Edmundston from Other Side Edumunston: Rail Yard from Bridge


We finally walked our way back across the bridge and declared all to the Canadian Customs official, who let us pass. Although there was no official exemption for visits of one hour, it seems that they will let slide purchases of under $20.

Click to enlarge (Taken on 2002: Aug 3: Day 6: ~18:00)
Edumunston: Sheryl at northern end of U.S. 1
(Working on the picture: Extreme Lighting Conditions)
OriginalSalvaged View ASalvaged View B


Evening in Town

We drove to supper at a family restaurant on the hill, near the park where I had stopped the day before, where I had the fisherman's platter and Sheryl had fajitas.

Not wanting to take the same 8 km freeway route for the 6th time, I drove out along the old highway. Now that I had gotten the lay of the land, and since it was still daylight, I felt more confident than I had the night before. Along the way we passed the most interesting display of gas station antiques that this private citizen had set up in his back yard. (I would grab some pictures of this the next morning.)

We returned to the motel and spent the evening relaxing.

On to Day 7

Prepared by Roger Kenner
October 2002; October 2004;Lite-version: January, 2005