August 17, 2019
I am posting this Saturday morning, though I crossed in to Québec province 5 days ago. For the sake of simplicity I will henceforth (in this post) refer to it as QP. And if you think I already forgot, I seem to be unable to add the accent in the Title of this post, even using my newfound WordPress special character tool. UPDATE – Got it working with “cut & paste” from post text!
QP is enormous (shaded in blue on the map below):
(Photo credit: quebecweb.com)
At close to 524,000 square miles land mass it is the second largest province in Canada and is twice the size of Texas. You can see how it dwarfs the Maritime provinces and even the Northeastern United States, perhaps even the whole east coast (I’d have to do the math…).
For the first few days I would be traveling on the Gaspé Peninsula:
My destination on Monday was the town of Gaspé, highlighted in pink in the upper right hand corner of the map above. After two nights there I would drive to Rivière-du-Loup, highlighted in pink in the lower left corner.
The proper term for the Gaspé Peninsula is Gaspésie, which is French for “high gas prices”. Noooooo, I’m kidding (not about the gas prices, unfortunately, but about the meaning of the name).
Gaspé, pronounced GASP-a (a hard, or long A), or GASP-eh if you prefer (see, that eh? comes in handy sometimes) is French for “a short, quick breath taken in through the mouth”. Noooooo, I’m kidding again. Gaspé is derived from the Mi’kmaq word gespe’g, meaning “end,” as in “we’ve reached the end of the land”. The Mi’kmaq, as you may recall from earlier posts, are the indigenous people in many of the Maritime provinces, as well as on this peninsula and even down into parts of the US state of Maine.
Gaspésie is the blue peninsula located north of New Brunswick province, colored in light green in the first map above.
When I left Tracadie-Sheila, NB Monday morning I drove north briefly, then west along the entire north coast of New Brunswick until I got to the town of Campbellton. There I took a bridge across the Restigouche River to the town of Pointe-à-la-Croix in QP.
I was surprised to learn that once I crossed the bridge I was now back in the Eastern Time Zone – even though Gaspésie extends all the way east above New Brunswick (on the map) which operates on Atlantic time- as do Nova Scotia, below New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, east of New Brunswick. Gaspésie, on the globe, evidently slopes upward due to curvature of the Earth (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).
I noticed something along that drive getting to the bridge which will affect the “Three Things” about each province (lasting impressions, if you will) which I plan to announce at the end of this trip. I have already formulated my 3 things for QP – Fast drivers, fast drivers and fast drivers.
Up to the day I drove west to enter QP the Canadian drivers were quite well behaved. I pretty much drive the speed limit these days, especially in new places because I don’t know how generous the police are with enforcement, and the other drivers were pretty much content to do the same. I even remember thinking, a few days after entering Canada back on July 12 that, gee, I always thought Canadians drove fast. Well…… the day I drove over to enter QP car after car went flying past me. Then it occurred to me – all those Canadian cars which always passed me on the I-81 and I-95 corridors in the US over the years probably had Québec license plates. Monday the QP drivers all had their undies in a bunch trying to get back to QP at warp speed. And now that I’m here it’s even worse!
Boy do they drive fast. They are possessed.
On another note, I apologize for not making more posts last night after my first day walking around Québec City. A) My Fitbit tells me I took 23,802 steps yesterday and I was tired, and more importantly B) When I went to download my photos from the day to my laptop, which I do every night, for backup purposes as well as to post to the blog, I PANICKED when all the photos on my smartphone appeared to be gone! I could see that they were there but my normal procedure to copy them to the computer ignored them. I had this happen once before in Colorado and I was able to recover some of them on that occasion from the mysterious “Cloud,” which I still don’t quite understand. I know what it is but the logistics of access baffle me. After about an hour and a half of research trying to remember how I did it before (and I’m still not sure I ever got all of them), and trying to follow online instructions which I couldn’t replicate in real life, I finally figured out a different way to get them moved to a new folder on the laptop.
Whew, that was close!!
After I got that issue fixed I listened to the NASCAR Xfinity race from Bristol, Tennessee on my computer, then went to bed. I had hoped to find a sports bar to watch the Cup race tonight (my Airbnb host doesn’t have TV service) and although my host gave me the name of a place which televises sporting events their website doesn’t mention NASCAR. There is actually a store downtown which sells NASCAR stuff and I’m going to inquire there if they know of a place nearby which will show the race. I thought it was going to be broadcast on NBC which, even though I’m in Canada, might stand a chance of being televised here but it is, in fact, on the goofy NBCSN (Sports Network) which many places in the US don’t even carry.