Until now, the weather on our ride had been perfect: sunny but not too hot during, and cool but not cold during the nights. During the night at our motel, however, we could hear the first rain, and when dragged ourselves out of bed it was very gray outside. It wasn't exactly raining, but the air was oversaturated with water, leaving fine drops on our skin and clothing on the way to breakfast. Lennoxville not only sports a fine brewpub, but also a great coffee roaster. We had spotted the place the previous night and already decided that it looked like a perfect place to have breakfast.
warmshowers -- a couchsurfing for cyclists network -- host in Mansonville or find a campground somewhere near Magog.
North Hatley is located on the northern end of Lake Massawippi. Whereas our route so far had been as flat as is typical for a rail trail, the road out of Hatley was the first of many mean hills still to come today. First on highway 108, then on a short, steep and wholly unnecessary section of trail, and then on a muddy dirt road we climbed from lake level up the surrounding hills. The dirt road was closed due to construction but we fortunately could get through. The landscape was a mix of forests and a bit of agriculture, and we didn't encounter many cars or people. We descended on a dead straight dirt road with just the right gradient to go fast but not too fast.
After crossing the highway we were on a trail again, traversing a dense forest before ending up at a municipal park. There was a mismatch between where my GPS wanted us to go and where the Route Verte signs pointed to, and after a short Clif Bar break we decided to go with the signs. This turned out to be the right decision and soon after we were back at where the two routes into Sherbrooke split.
The way back to Magog was uneventful except for some mosquito attacks when we were trying to take a nature break in the forest. We followed the same way as yesterday but took a shortcut on the main road into Magog to avoid some Route Verte stupidities. Just in time for lunch we were back at Marché Vegetarien. The promenade on the lake today was much emptier than yesterday. We finally had to put on our rain jackets to protect us from the cold wind blowing over the lake. It was still unclear what the day's final destination should be. It was well past noon and to Mansonville it still would be a long and hilly way. Calling Jacques, our potential host, settled the matter: we would stay with him tonight. He was very friendly on the phone and promised us a bed, dinner, and beer -- "that's the Eastern Townships way." To my question if there were many hills between Magog and Mansonville he just laughed out loud...
bike touring company and had just gotten back from a ride in the Lower Saint Lawrence region.
> forward to day 5