Thursday, July 20, 2006

Isle La Motte / Lake Champlain Islands Vermont

We took a slow "couple's ride" around Isle La Motte in Vermont's scenic Lake Champlain Islands. We parked along beach at Sainte Anne's Shrine / Samuel de Champlain monument (the 400th anniversary of his visit here is in 2009). Champlain is the real "discoverer of Quebec. While Jacques Cartier arrived in Quebec first and "discovered" it, it was Samuel de Champlain who was the real explorer of the region. The statue of Champlain was carved during Montreal's Expo 67 at the Vermont Pavilion.

This parking had lakeside beach for swimming and free parking. And for Catholics, a shrine and outdoor church.

We rode south along the lake's edge on West Shore Road. It has great views across the lake to New York State's Adirondack mountains. (the Adirondacks are a completely different mountain chain (Canadian Shield) from Vermont's Green Mountains (appalachain chain). The island itself was someting else: it was originally equitorial and has sea shell fossils in the rocks.

After a few miles we arrived at Fisk Quarry Preserve, a nature preserve in an old quarry, with fossils! This particular spot is originally equitorial and was a reef and has fossils. Continuing around the island we rode back north along "main street" and stopped at general store for some Cokes. Deviating from the mapped route, we headed west on this side road (school street), avoiding the busier main road a bit farther north.

The ride is about ten miles, and is scenic and fairly quiet. There's a little bit of dirt road. It is a small island off the beaten path.

Ride Information source: "25 Bicycle tours in the Lake Champlain Region" by Charles Hansen.


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