Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The countryside along the Saint Lawrence River

It felt as though we were in the prairie flatlands this morning. We drove through miles of dried-out cornfields and between little villages, each with its church. It seems there are broad agricultural lands each side of the St. Lawrence River. 

We noticed a lot of little farm houses and barns with tin roofs painted silver. The churches and the fancier buildings have these roofs too.

After a quick stop in Trois Rivières (note the silver roofs here as well) we crossed the river and headed west to the town of Sorel. 

This was a nostalgic destination for Harry, who visited here with his parents at the age of 10. All he remembers is his father making a joke after having a not very good lunch there 63 years ago. He remembered the phrase, "We were sore as hell when we left Sorel" and wanted to visit it again.  (Isn't it funny the things you remember from your childhood?)

Sorel is now a centre for tractors and car sales. We actually had a very nice Thai lunch and then headed south through more countryside of corn and hayfields towards the Eastern Townships.

As we drove south towards Vermont the countryside changes from flatland to rolling hills with mixed deciduous forest, now beginning to change to autumn colours.  This area was settled by American Loyalists and so many of the towns are still very English. We stopped in Richmond in a little bar and found all the signs in English and the barmaid chatting in English with a customer. The next town down the road is St-Claude. That one's French. Windsor is English of course. The names give you a clue. Apparently there are English schools in some of these towns--a rarity for Quebec. It was the first time we've heard English spoken since we arrived in Riviere du Loup about a week ago.

This is an area I've always wanted to explore but we're finding the towns kind of emptied out now. I think the summer is the real time to visit. Tonight we're in Magog, a very pretty spot and tomorrow we'll drive through a few more of these picture-book towns, and maybe even take some photos. The countryside is nice but it gets kind of boring after a while.

We are road weary now and tired of staying in motels and B&Bs. I think this trip has been a little bit too long (and too expensive). We wanted to see a big area so the driving and disruption is part of it, but tonight we are both homesick and wanting our own place. I know this is temporary and we will be revived when we get to Montreal on Friday. 


  1. The fall colours are pretty. A lot of houses in these parts would have the steel roofs, in part, as a way for snow to slide off naturally- more advantageous than shingles, which tend to have snow cling to them, and in a heavy snow winter, steel roofs really help things along.

  2. Such pretty fall colors.
    This has been a long but so interesting and beautiful trip and
    I can understand how you could be tired. Moving all the time
    gets old very fast.

    cheers, parsnip


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