Friday, August 12, 2011


I'd forgotten how hard it is to understand Quebecois French. We are on this evening somewhere in Quebec. Actually, I know where we are: Charny. We should be in Quebec City waiting for a bus to Charny, but hey, the airport transport person thought this would be better, so here we are. There is a bar by the railway station and it has WiFi and good draft beer, so who are we to complain. Across the street, people gather to eat ice cream and stare at a small fountain. The bar tender loves my iPad. Loves it! Friday evening in Charny.


This is safe adventuring. I like that. A bit of mystery but really, so little risk. I've said this before, when we are away from home, Ed turns more cautious, I gamble. Sure, Monsieur, if this is where you think we should be, let's go! But what do I know. He may have been asking something else altogether.

We're waiting to catch the train that passes through this place, on the way to the tip of the Gaspe peninsula. The light is so different here! It's a clear sky, but the color of the sky is not the same. Ed thinks I'm imagining it, but believe me, it is not the same.

A rather disjointed post, but celebratory too. Because we landed in Quebec City...

Quebec City

..and now we are heading north. In the new light of northeastern Canada.

oh, Cananda

I have wanted to hike up by the Atlantic coast of Canada for a long time. I don’t know why I should want to focus on that area, but my images of the communities and landscapes that form the south and northern shore of the St Lawrence, all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, are powerful. And so a while back, I suggested to Ed that we should finish the summer with a visit there. Typically he would say no to travel twice in one season, but I had three strong cards to show: 1. He had a Delta coupon worth hundreds that was about to expire 2. I reminded him that August in Wisconsin is miserable at the farm because of the mosquitoes and finally 3. I agreed to camp for a “significant” (to be determined) portion of the trip.

He sighs deeply now, or at least one third of him sighs deeply, because in a shocking development, there have been no mosquitoes this year. None. The air is free of their blood sucking presence. We do not know why. We wish we would know why. We wish whatever happened would continue to happen in the future, even as we know it will not ever be repeated – this year of no mosquitoes.

Still, there is the coupon and the camping and what the heck, we are both happily setting out today.

From one perspective, it is not a long journey. Not the flight parts anyway. We fly into Quebec City in no time at all, compared to, say, crossing the ocean. From there – it’s a challenge to get where I want to go: to the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula. We’ll be taking a fifteen hour overnight train from Quebec City to Gaspé. After that – well, there are a lot of question marks.

One thing I know for sure is that there will be at least two or three days at the beginning and who knows how often thereafter when I will be without Internet. I’m not even taking my computer – just the iPad. We have enough stuff to carry for the hike. Every pound matters.

So please be patient. As always, I will try to connect as much as I can. But life sometimes pushes you into places where you don’t have all that you need to keep you happy. You have to make do.

So, Isis has a cat sitter, our packs are loaded, all ‘to do’ things are checked off the lists. We’re off. Wish us luck as we navigate the cool, maybe damp, maybe buggy (or foggy or all of the above) forests and hills and costal shores of eastern Canada.

A bientot.