The Chicks take you to the Lower St-Lawrence on snowmobile, part 1
It is with great excitement that the Chicks and Machines accepted the invitation of Tourisme Bas St-Laurent. A weekend to explore the snowmobile trails, to be pampered in the spas, to discover the restaurants and the magnificent panoramas that the region has to offer, you just cannot refuse that!
Four girls answered the call: two from the Montérégie region, one from Saguenay and one from Gaspésie.
It was at the Hôtel Universel in Rivière-du-Loup that we met up. We were charmed by the place before even entering the room.
When you travel with a truck and a trailer, parking can be difficult. This is not the case here. Everything has been well thought out to accommodate regular tourists as well as snowmobilers with all their equipment.
For your snowmobiles, heated or unheated garages, depending on your choice, are available; there is also a large fenced parking lot. To our great surprise, there was even a ramp accessible to facilitate the unloading of our machine.
A gas station to fill up before your ride is right next to the hotel. And if you ever forget something at home, no problem since there are several dealerships nearby. What more could you want?
Once inside, a warm lobby with a fireplace awaits us.
We proceed to check in and go to our rooms. They are spacious, clean and comfortable. A welcome note and a small gift were left for us.
There is no need to say, we are spoiled.
We go through our luggage in search of our swimsuits and we go towards the UniverSpa Nordik located in the hotel.
To begin this adventure by a relaxing evening, we cannot complain. Dry and wet saunas, whirlpools, cold water basins: everything for a complete thermal experience. Aesthetic treatments and massage therapy are also offered. Please note that if you are traveling with children, they will be delighted by the pool and the water slide.
We ended the evening at La Verrière, one of the hotel’s restaurants. Nothing better than a good meal to put the ideas in place and to pass to the serious things: to plan our snowmobile route.
We must agree on the hour at which we join for the breakfast, the hour of departure, the route to be borrowed as well as the inescapable ones during the excursion. Everyone is on the same wavelength, the current passes, as it falls well!
We can say, even before leaving, that it will be an unforgettable weekend. From the very first evening, bonds were forged. We share our experiences, our knowledge, anecdotes and laughter. After having drunk and eaten well, we pay our bill, we say good night, we go back to our rooms and we agree on a meetup time for the next morning…
DAY 1- This is it, it’s the big day!
We meet early for a good breakfast, then we load our luggage on our machines. They spent the night well in the warmth in the garages of the hotel; therefore, they are not frozen, and it is rather pleasant.
Comes the most important stage: we put on our clothes. We must not neglect the cold weather! Being well dressed, especially for a long day, will make all the difference.
Before setting out for Dégelis, our next destination, we decide unanimously to make a short detour and to take the trail of the Pilgrim Islands, located nearby. An impregnable view on the river will be our reward. We linger there a moment, the time to take some pictures and then we return on our steps.
We stop on the bridge of the River-Du-Loup for a video intervention and some photos. We are lucky enough to be accompanied by the crew from Snowride.tv
They will dedicate a full episode to our Lower St-Lawrence snowmobile trip in their next season. You don’t want to miss it!
The birds come to greet us. It is so beautiful and peaceful.
We have to go back on the road towards our planned destination.
The trails are wide, well maintained, the roads are well indicated and the landscapes are breathtaking. The chance that we have to move so, to take roads otherwise impassable, to leave the beaten tracks, to find ourselves in the middle of nature, in the middle of nowhere: it is completely intoxicating, that makes us appreciate the winter.
How beautiful it is here! On our way, we come across some enthusiasts, people slow down, keep their distance, respect each other and indicate the number of snowmobiles that follow behind them.
We ride a good moment in these magnificent conditions until the relay of the Club Les Explorateurs du Mont Bleu.
A stop is necessary. Inside, we find clean toilets, some armchairs, electric plugs (if you have accessories that need to be charged), a vending machine with snacks and hot drinks and, especially, a wood stove that is very appreciated to warm up. 🔥
After a well-deserved break, we ride our bikes again, we evaluate our needs in gasoline since some gas stations are located nearby, and we go towards the Lake Pohénégamook.
Wow, I know I said it already, it is beautiful, it is magnificent! The lake is vast, lined with majestic cottages; the trail that crosses it is vast, well indicated and marked.
We can’t help but stop to appreciate the view, the moment and to take a few, of course. Once you’ve crossed the lake, follow the signs to the microbrewery Le Secret des Dieux. It is very close and easily accessible.
We find ourselves in front of the church of the village. The name of the place then takes all its meaning. In fact, it is a former monastery that has been adapted to its new vocation. The parking lot is crowded with snowmobiles.
At the entrance, shelves are at our disposal to deposit our helmets. Daniel, the owner, takes the time to welcome us. We are assigned a table.
We admire the decor. We were far from suspecting from the outside that the inside would be of such a rustic chic. Power outlets are accessible under the benches; one can thus recharge his phone and his heating jacket at his table. We are hungry and the menu makes our mouths water.
Here, the beer is brewed in limited quantity, we prefer quality.
We cannot miss a tasting. Alas, we must – alas – be more than reasonable, because our day is not finished.
Before leaving, Daniel proposes us a visit of his installations. We learn about the art of brewing and all the steps before the product is ready to be consumed. Really, it is a big blow of heart for each of us. We have to leave, but we promise ourselves to come back one day.
We regain the path, and deers wait for us as if to say goodbye. We stop in front of so much beauty, we observe each other. Come on, we have to go, the road calls us.
Once again, we are not disappointed. Uphill, downhill, winding trails sometimes in the mountains, sometimes in the middle of hills, or through farmers’ fields, or maple groves. We are pampered in Quebec.
We must take the time to thank the volunteers who maintain the trails, but also all the landowners who give us the right of way, hence the importance of respecting privacy and staying on the trails. We would not want to lose our privileges.
On our road, we cross the Club of the Knights of the Borders. We can make there a pause warm, but we decide to continue because it begins to be late.
After having driven all the afternoon in an isolated region, we arrive at Cabano. We take advantage of it to fill up. The last thirty kilometers before gaining our hotel for the night are made in the surroundings of the Lake Témiscouata.
There, there are bakeries, small cafes, beautiful inns and many cottages. It is simply charming. We arrive finally at Dégelis and, our hotel, Le 1212, is located in the edge of the path. Just in front of our hotel, a pharmacy, SAQ, grocery store, sports stores, and several services are available.
Once again, we are warmly welcomed. The rooms are huge. At the reception, an excellent selection of “natural” wines is available. We take advantage of it to get a bottle and to make an aperitif in one of our rooms.
We must not be too late, because the kitchen of the restaurant of the hotel will close soon.
In the dining room, a small friendly meeting awaits us. The Chicks and Machines are unmasked! We were recognized.
We take advantage of it to exchange with our new friends who took the same roads as us.
During our meal, we discuss the good moments of the day and we plan the next one. We form an amazing team. It makes the trip even more enjoyable. We don’t stay up very late, we are exhausted and, moreover, we have to get up early again the next day.
DAY 2- Another beautiful day ahead of us…
We go to the dining room as soon as it opens and Le 1212 offers us lunch for free. And what a lunch! The plates are accompanied by a delicious maple butter that we will not forget. 🍁
We learn exclusively that a microbrewery will be opened in the summer of 2022, probably for the St-Jean-Baptiste. We are given a beanie as a gift. There is no need to say, Le 1212 is a must. We are grateful for their generosity.
Don’t miss the part 2 of our Lower St-Lawrence experience!
Thank you to Snowride.TV for the pictures. Thank you also to Tourisme Bas-St-Laurent for the invitation and great opportunity!