Photos and stories of my journey across the US and Canada
POSTING ALERT – Delay in posting!! (Real time)
9 more days to post!
I have bogged down somewhat with posts as I end of my current trip in Eastern Canada. I have sooooo many pictures to post and have such busy days that I simply don’t have time to review them all to post in real time so it will not be until I get home to Durham, NC that I resume posting in earnest. I am taking another break in mid-September to make an impromptu two week trip to the northeast US to visit family and friends during which I will not be making posts. Here is the remainder of my Canadian itinerary, details of which will resume in very late September/early October, 2019:
1 travel day Québec City to Trois-Rivières, QC (generally some photos on travel days)
1 travel day Trois-Rivières to Ottawa, ON
2 full days in Ottawa (TONS of pictures)
1 travel day Ottawa to Toronto (TONS of pictures from boat trip in Thousand Islands)
3 full days in Toronto (Maybe not tons but lots of pictures)
1 travel day back to United States at Niagara Falls
Welcome to my blog. Here I will share photos of my trips throughout the United States and Canada. For details on my intent for this project please click “About” in the upper right hand corner. If you have comments or requests please feel free to contact me by clicking on “Contact” in the upper right hand corner.
The photo above is of the lighthouse in the town of La Martre on the Gaspé Peninsula in Québec province, Canada which I took on August 14, 2019 as I drove between Gaspé and Rivière-du-Loup.
If you are new to the blog please note that you are seeing the most recent posts first. As you scroll down you are going back in time. You may read statements which may not make much sense right at the moment because they may refer to a discussion earlier in the blog.
Enjoy, and please feel free to share the blog address with others. Also feel free to copy and save any photos I’ve taken. You should be able to right-click on them and save them to your device (but if you sell them and make a gazillion dollars, please slip me a zillion or two. We’ll just keep that between us). The photos are best viewed on a computer or tablet, not a phone. The larger the screen the better.
Here I go again…. Today I’m off to Knoxville, Tennessee to begin an impromptu, whirlwind trip to southwest Ohio, eastern PA, southwest New Jersey and western Virginia to visit family and friends. I should be back in Durham just before the end of the month. I will not be making any posts during this trip.
I still have pictures from the final 9 days of my trip to eastern Canada to post including my stops in Ottawa, Toronto and a boat trip through the “Thousand Islands”.
Here are one of the last things I saw in Québec City – some cool shelters located at a street corner near the restaurant where I had dinner the night before I left town.
Canadians love pictures on their road signs. Here are more examples of signs I saw while visiting Canada earlier this year. I either took these photos or saw similar signs during my journey. Sometimes it wasn’t safe or practical to stop and get the actual photo.
This was the sign I mentioned having seen the day I drove through Chandler, QC on my way to Gaspé:
I presume it means “This is where the Canadian mob buries the bodies”. I didn’t go back to take a photo of the actual sign I saw but found this online in one of the provincial Driver’s License manuals (which is why it is so tiny).
“Motel ahead. You’ll sleep like an egg.”
I saw that one several places as part of a collection of signs at a highway exit indicating which services could be found after taking the exit. And along the same vein:
“How about grabbing your driver another beer…”.
I also saw this sign several times during my trip, but usually in places where I couldn’t stop to take a photo:
“No drag racing” (It actually means No Passing and was generally found in construction zones).
I saw this sign shortly after getting off the ferry as I drove northeast past Tadoussac, QC.
One place I DIDN’T see it was the previous day on the opposite side of the St. Lawrence River as a logging truck pulled out onto the highway well ahead of me and when I caught up to it was showered for several miles with bark, chips and wood dust and debris. I bet that truck weighted 100 pound less when it arrived at it’s destination than it did when it started out earlier in the day.
I saw a sign like this a few hours later as I drove back south towards Tadoussac and was descending a hill after having passed a small ski area:
The image-grab contains the description of what the sign above depicts. For safe measure this sign also accompanied it:
“Don’t pretend you’re driving a truck”.
As I was literally driving on to the westbound ferry in Tadoussac I saw this sign off near the ferry-boarding ramp:
Again, the image-grab explains the obvious meaning. This wasn’t the actual sign I saw and believe me, I have scoured the internet trying to find the exact image. The sign I saw looked like a drawing of a small cherub, like the “peeing child” sculpture in Belgium but with the classic red circle and slash indicating NO. Since making that ferry crossing I have examined all future crossing sites or logical places for it’s use but with no luck.
Along the same lines…
This one means “Go pee over there”. Full disclosure – the sign above is incomplete and would normally contain letters and numbers in the white space above the arrow indicating what days and times you are allowed to park in the area indicated by the direction of the arrow.
And while on the subject of ferries:
“This ferry is for cars only. If you’re driving a truck, sorry pal, go find your own ferry”. Actually every ferry I rode during my trip cheerfully accepted cars, trucks, motorcycles and pedestrians (as long as they weren’t peeing).
I saw this sign late in my trip, on a travel day as I was dreadfully close to putting myself “on the clock,” hence the reason I didn’t go back to get a photo of the actual sign:
“Surprise! This covered bridge has no floor. Hope you’re wearing a life jacket”
And speaking of surprises, I saw this as I was approaching Québec City:
Don’t believe what you read. This means “The guy in the car ahead of you just farted”.
I saw this sign near a bus stop in Toronto:
“If there’s water on the roadway, speed up and try skipping over it like a stone”
And finally, I saw three of these signs the last morning I was in Canada. I had seen the orange one while walking around in Toronto.
“You’re about to get hit by a large truck”
And out on a country road a few days later:
“Now you’re in real danger. You’ve stumbled into a Canadian Demolition Derby and you’re about to get hit by trucks coming at you from all directions”
We’ve probably all seen “No Outlet” signs on dead-end streets or cul-de-sacs. This one is more positive:
“For you savvy electric car owners – Electrical Outlet Ahead”
And one slightly more cryptic sign:
I’m thinking… “You’ve stumbled into a black-paint-balloon dodgeball course”. I’m not sure but it is perhaps another “Fog Ahead” warning
And one humorous sign I saw (though not this particular one) in, always one to be a rebel, Québec province. This one has no pictures and nothing but words but deserves honorable mention:
Ever-proper, Québec can’t even bring itself to use the American slang term “Jake Brake” (when a large truck uses it’s engine to slow itself down by having the driver downshift, often resulting in an obnoxious sound which many small towns prohibit within their jurisdictions). Evidently in Québec it’s a “Jacob” Brake, thank you very much.
Sunday morning, after having walked around Québec City the two previous days, I decided to use my car to drive to two local venues I wanted to see. First stop, Parc Nationale de la Jacques-Cartier, about a half hour north of the city.
If you’ve been keeping up with my sporadic posting you may recall that in my rage I posted about what happened there in real time when I got back to my Airbnb that afternoon (search for “How about if we call a spade a spade” on the Home Page or use the calendar grid there to go back to August 18, 2019). Let’s just say things didn’t go well and JohnBoy went somewhat ballistic, then stewed about it for a few hours.
One thing I didn’t address in that post was my attempt to even get to the goofy Park using my new and relatively untested GPS 4.0. I had looked up the address for the Park before leaving my Airbnb and given the way my new Garmin GPS accepts data I entered what I thought was the correct address. She took me to a residential area about 10 miles away from the actual entrance. After I made my last turn before she announced “You have arrived” I encountered this young girl standing in the middle of the road.
(That photo was taken while at a full stop, Shawn).
After I interpreted the sign she was holding I swerved left and ran her over.
JUST KIDDING! It looks like she would have bounced right back up anyway.
I went back to a Tim Hortons I had passed after getting off the highway exit I had taken and got on their wifi to get a new address. You can read in my previous post what transpired next.
After visiting venue 2 for the day (see the next 6 posts immediately following this one) I went back to my Airbnb to calm down. One thing which helped keep my mind from revisiting the Park experience was getting online to research Canadian Highway Signs to use in future “Sign Language” posts. I found one of the provincial Driver’s Manuals and combed through just under 2,300 pictures of various signs (152 pages with 15 on a page. There were only about 7 on the last page, including the pooping dog I posted the day I entered Québec province. They saved the best for last!).
Now that I’ve posted all my photos from Québec City I will put together another Canadian Sign Language post. This one will only include signs I have actually seen. Eventually I will post some of the ones I saw in the Driver’s Manual but didn’t ever see in real life. I also have some from the US and other parts of the world I have either seen in person or found online.
After my upsetting experience at the National Park which wasn’t a National Park I shifted my attention to the second venue on my agenda for the day. These are the amazing Montmorency Falls just east of Québec City. I had actually driven right past this on my way in to town a few days earlier but it was tucked back in behind a mountain so I had no idea it was here.
This place is incredible and totally got my mind off the events of the morning!
There are several things to talk about here and I’ll address each one in a separate post. First, the falls themselves. There are three different waterfalls in the photo above, the most obvious carrying the bulk of the water flowing down the Montmorency River. The main fall is 272 feet high, 99 feet taller than Niagara Falls.
To the left is a smaller fall and to the left of it an even smaller one.
Here is a photo of all three (without the stairway to the right)
And each one individually:
And while I was going through the various shots I took to decide which ones to post I discovered that I inadvertently captured a seagull in flight in one of my closeups:
One of the ways to get a closer look at the falls is to walk out around the water from the Visitor Center to an observation area near the base and/or climb an incredibly tall set of stairs on the right side which leads up to near where the zipline launches. I did not do either one.