This last post of the current stay turned into one focused on the river Drôme. It’s not a river you could call ‘mighty’: though navigable by kayak (that’s big business in the summer), it has never been one to facilitate trade. (That’s why the railway was so vital at the start of the 20th century.) But it still feels like an artery running through the area. What is certain is that it’s a pretty river – rarely in spate, though the rock-strewn river beds suggest it does occasionally get angry.
For my last ride before departure I had planned to go down the Drôme, up the Sûr, down the Gervanne, then back up the Drôme. Well, at least to go along the roads next to those rivers. But my frozen overnight washing, and no flexibility to leave riding till later, persuaded me to stay low with the Drôme, and its salted roads. It still strikes me as somewhat ironic that I can do a far flatter route here in the pre-Alps than I can in Devon. Today it was just to Mirabel on the D93, and back via the back roads.
The beautiful weather gave me the excuse to take a few different photos of the Drôme. (I’ve sneaked in a couple of tributaries.) At the moment it is a lovely clear colour: there have been no storms lately to dirty the river with marl run-off, just the thawing snow from the higher levels thanks to all the sun this week. Apart from in Vercors, the snow’s now nearly all gone. Maybe spring is just around the corner, at least for the Drôme.