The dam gravel ride


After packing up camp and buying food and supplies for the road ahead, its off to the north country on Highway 389.  There is an enormous meteor impact crater miles ahead that has filled with glacial melt and formed Lake Manicouagan.  The southern end of the reservoir drains and forms the Manicouagan River which Hydro Quebec controls with a series of dams to generate electricity for the province (I’m not sure if they share with their fellow Canadians or not, because Quebecois don’t think of themselves as Canadian anyway.).  As you ride north from Baie Comeau you see the dams in series, Manic 1, Manic 2, etc.  Manic 2 is enormous and you can see it clearly from the highway as you cross a bridge over the rivers path.
Bike trip July 3 thru 5 042
We keep riding north on windy and twisty roads over rolling hills, some that are very steep. There are lots of trucks on the road and it makes me nervous for the gravel part of the trip up ahead. Gravel is not my strong suit, and I dread it. After about 120 miles we arrive at a small grouping of trailers that turns out to be a hotel, restaurant and gas station.
Bike trip July 3 thru 5 054
A bite of lunch and then up the road a few more km to the dam visitor center. The tour lasts an hour and half and its fairly high security because you can go inside the dam and across the top.
Bike trip July 3 thru 5 080
Bike trip July 3 thru 5 059
After the reprieve from the heat, its time to work up the nerve to tackle 65 miles of gravel roads and big trucks and dust before fuel and a free camp at Relais Gabriel.
Bike trip July 3 thru 5 096
Bike trip July 3 thru 5 109
I get eaten alive by black flies while enjoying a can of stew with fresh bread. I’d love a swim in the lake, but Brian says there are leeches so maybe not…..sweet dreams everyone and I hope it’s been a wonderful 4th back home.

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