Montreal is the town where Liz and I grew up; more specifically on the South Shore. We have each been back for various reasons over the years, but this time we decided to stop in at a Good Sam campsite very close to the towns of our youth. The site was called Camping Alouette, and it, like the others we have chosen, was excellent. Extremely well run, clean and comfortable. Half of the sites are on flat land, but many other rigs – 5th wheels, trailers and even buses – were perched on lots all the way up a steep and wooded hill. Quite fascinating. Our site was on the flatlands, and we faced a farm that had four horses.
Those horses were the highlight for me. Watching them run free in their large paddock, seeing them roll in the dust, and hearing them whinny and talk to each other on consecutive warm sunny days captured the beauty of RVing in the countryside.
Some long-time friends joined us for a few days and we spent some time revisiting our old high school, known back then as Richelieu Valley Regional High School, and driving around our old neighborhoods. Everything was much as it had always been, just leafier.
One afternoon we climbed Mont St. Hilaire, not super-high as mountains go, but imposing enough, given that it sits quite alone among the cornfields. It and its neighbors a good few miles away are remnants of ancient volcanic activity.
The peak is 1358 feet up, and there is a well-marked, well worn trail that leads to the summit, seemingly at a consistent 45-degree angle. It was an exceedingly hot and humid day, but the view from the top basically encompassed everything from our childhood: the towns we grew up in, our schools, and in the distance, Montréal itself, our place of university study and first jobs.
We didn’t meet any new friends at the campground. Many people were either residents, tucked away in their built-up mini-estates, or they were overnighters, pulling in for a night or two before heading further north or further south. We did encounter a couple from Texas in an upscale diesel pusher, who had a beautiful Great Dane with the unlikely name of Muffin, thus dispelling the myth that all of these big buses automatically came with a yappy lap dog for company. Anyway, Muffin and her humans disappeared one morning, and we soon found ourselves planning to do the same.
Although our next destination had been Prince Edward Island, life got in the way, as it so often does. The fridge in the RV stopped working (a Dometic with barely 2 months’ usage!), and also Liz had tickets to go see the Tragically Hip play one of their last ever shows on August 12. So we pointed ourselves back towards Toronto for a short while.