Monday, September 10, 2007

Out and about

I like exploring my environs, and the bicycle is the perfect machine for that. I'll try and post about some of my fave places as I go along...

My friend Andrea and I have been going on bike rides together for many years (I'm lucky that her partner doesn't cycle, so his loss is my gain. hehe). It's a time for us to chat and get caught up, so we are never in a hurry and just sort of tootle along. One route that we like to take is the bike path along the Ottawa River on the Quebec side. This path starts at the end of the Booth St. (Chaudiere) Bridge and ends some where past the Alymer Marina. It's a nice route that is mainly covered by trees and so quite nice on a hot day, and it never seems too busy, though we do avoid going on a weekend (since we are both self-employed we can usually find a weekday afternoon for these jaunts).

Our usual destination is the beach at Parc Des Cedres near the marina, but halfway there is another fave spot. There's a bend in the river here where it widens to become Lac Deschenes (directly across from Brittania on the Ottawa side). And the river makes a bit of a drop, and there's also a small island that creates a channel and the water really rushes through between there and the mainland. And at the end of this channel are the ruins of an old hydro generating station. The interpretive plaque says something about it being built around 1900 and dismantled only 50 years later. Someone mentioned to me that this may have been after a large control dam was built upriver, which thus lowered the water level here a bit too much.

All that remains are some concrete walls that are gradually being worn down by the wave action. It's still rather impressive, if only due to the amount of turbulence in the water. The photos below were taken from a smaller island that creates yet another channel that we were able to cross due to low water levels at this time of year. And while it was early Sept. it was 31C that day, so perfect for playing in the water. And with the low water in that second narrow channel a small pool is created that one can soak in quite nicely.

(Check out this blog page for photos of what the place looks like during high water.)

Here's a Google satellite shot (obviously taken in the Fall due to lack of greenery):

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