I have good news and bad news…

August 21, 2019

Real time

Nothing serious at all so don’t panic.

DSCN1112

I am in Ottawa, Ontario and have just returned to my Airbnb after having spent several hours downtown.  I took 696 pictures just with the digital camera today (many of them duplicates, but still…).  I haven’t even transferred the pictures from my smartphone to my laptop so I don’t even know how many of those there will be.  It is still charging as I almost drained the battery again today taking photos.  The day I drained it in Québec I was afraid I had lost a whole day’s worth of photos but was fortunately able to recover them.  So the good news is I have lots of pictures to share – eventually.

The photo above is of the Parliament building.  EVERYONE knows that Ottawa is the national capital of Canada….

I know I’m a week behind in posting and I have LOTS of photos to share, including several days in Québec City and several travel days when I saw lots of things, including a few surprises.  And I spent some time online the afternoon of my aborted visit to the Jacques-Cartier “National” Park looking up actual road signs to add to the ones I have seen myself and will have a few more posts worth of those to hopefully amuse you with.  I took more actual ones just today.

My point is – please be patient with me.  At the rate I’m going I may not finishing posting pictures until well after I am back home in North Carolina.  I am Ottawa one more full day and Friday is a travel day to Toronto.  I am there 3 full days and then a travel day back to the US, after which I will visit my youngest brother, sister-in-law and niece in Ohio for a few days and I know I won’t do any posting while I’m there.  I’m sure they plan to work me to death playing pickleball while I’m there which may lend itself to some amusing JohnBoy stories.  Then one travel day home, hopefully the Thursday or Friday leading in to Labor Day weekend.

I will try to sneak a few posts in here and there but don’t want to promise anything.  I am going to take a nap shortly (rain is on the way and I am exhausted) and then plan to visit this evening with my Airbnb hosts.  We had an enjoyable conversation after I arrived last night and I think we’ll have lots to talk about.  The same may be true with my Airbnb hostess in Toronto who sounds very interesting.  Spending time visiting with my hosts adds to my travel experience and is time well spent.  I have done more of it this trip than in the past.

I’m going to try and keep things mainly in the order they occurred but may interject quickies to try and hold your interest.

Thank you all for your continuing interest and hang in there, please!


UPDATE – My smartphone picture count for the day is 238 bringing the total pictures for the day up to 934, a new record.  I believe the old record was around 770, combined, when I was based in Durango, Colorado two years ago (Durango, Silverton, Ouray area).  Again, many are duplicates – the beauty of digital camera – take lots of photos and eliminate the bad ones.

 

Some people shouldn’t have nice things…

August 20, 2019

Real time (I know, I know…. I’m still a week behind in posting but this can’t wait)

It is Tuesday morning and I am getting ready to (reluctantly) leave my Airbnb in Trois-Rivières, QC, about halfway between Québec City and Montreal and 1/3 of the way to Ottawa, ON, my destination for the next three nights. My host is out of town, out of the country actually, and when I arrived last night his brother showed me where my room was and gave me a quick tour of the house. I am staying in the basement but in an area his brother very accurately described as my host’s ManCave. Bar, pool table, popcorn machine, video projector, plush leather furniture, fireplace, should I stop now???

IMG_20190820_080030998

There are pictures all over the walls of this guy, taken literally all over the world. I don’t know what the hell he does but I want to be him (unless he’s a drug dealer or the brother of Jeffrey Epstein who wasn’t named in the will).

But let’s talk about the shower, which I got out of about 15 minutes ago.

IMG_20190820_075923865

He’s got one of these huge, high tech, walk-in showers with water jets coming out of every conceivable nook & cranny. My host in Gaspé had one of these, too. Well – no one tells you how they work.

As I did in Gaspé I gingerly turned the two square knobs until I determined the right mix of water pressure and hot/cold mixture. I went about my business and I admit I enjoyed the luxury.

Then I went to turn it off.

I didn’t remember which knobs I had turned which way and just twisted both counterclockwise, assuming that was OFF. I was mistaken. Out of the “wand” thingie below the two square knobs – ZAP – a blast of ice cold water right to “zee privates”.

See, I told you it couldn’t wait.

I swear, the company that manufactures these things probably had hidden cameras installed and I’m probably on YouTube already. DON’T LOOK, ETHEL!! (Shout out to Ray Stevens and The Streak).

My host deserves everything he’s got but this is a classic example of why some people (me) shouldn’t have nice things. It’s about me. It’s always about me.

Forillon National Park

August 13, 2019

One of the primary reasons I came to Gaspé and spent an extra day there was to go through this National Park, which is pronounced  for-ee-yaw.  No emphasis on a particular syllable, it just flows.  There are two theories as to it’s meaning but neither one really explains it so I’ll just skip it and we’ll enjoy the simple beauty of the name.

I had now driven all the way around Forillon on Route 132 so it was time to venture inside.  I had done everything else on my list for the day and figured I had all afternoon to explore the Park.  Unfortunately my visit would be short lived.  Let’s just say all the beautiful pictures from earlier in the day were the calm before the storm….

1151 am – I had gone in the south entrance of the Park and had found this beach.  Here is a four shot, left to right panorama:

IMG_20190813_125100209_HDR

IMG_20190813_125104400

IMG_20190813_125108036

IMG_20190813_125115046

A little threatening in the last shot perhaps but the hill on the right obscures what’s coming.  Things were fixin’ to go downhill real fast.

A little further up the road (literally) I topped a hill, parked at the bottom and walked back up to take a photo showing the road descending back down towards the water.  I had also taken the digital camera with me to get some zoom shots.  Time now is 1206, only 15 minutes after the beach pictures and I still hadn’t noticed what was about to happen.

IMG_20190813_130628355_HDR

IMG_20190813_130642619_HDR

I felt a few drops and looked back over my right shoulder.

This was at 1209pm…

IMG_20190813_130953079_HDR

and at 1222pm…

IMG_20190813_131222658_HDR

In that interval I had used the digital camera to zoom in and take photos as the rain overtook a small town on the other side of the bay.  I’ve learned that photos of rain taken with the zoom are just a blurry mess and are not blogworthy.  I now knew the storm was quickly overtaking me as well.

Suffice it to say I made a hasty exit to head back to my Airbnb northwest of the Park and check the weather radar.  I’ve learned that the radar app I use on my phone doesn’t always give an accurate depiction of conditions in many of the places I’ve been while in Canada.  I love it in the US but there seem to be lots of “holes” up here which make it appear clearer than it really is.

It started dumping rain before I could even get back out of the Park.  I hadn’t realized the road I was on was a dead-end and when I did I had even further to drive to get out to the main road.

After I got back to the house and checked the radar on my computer I determined I was effectively in for the day and spent the remainder of the afternoon trying to get caught up with some postings on the blog.

Some of the photos I have seen of Forillon are amazing and I have now officially decided I am coming back to spend even more time in this part of Canada next year (Yay!!).  I have a growing list of places to revisit and will budget more time in various places, as well as adding some new destinations.  I actually considered backtracking at the end of this trip but was told that, especially in Newfoundland where I plan to spend LOTS more time, snow in September may actually be an issue.  Parts of western Canada are already getting snow.

 

 

The Red House

August 13, 2019

I’m I got another bite at this apple.

As I was driving in to Gaspé from the south on Monday I saw this long ago abandoned house and outbuilding off to my left.  It was late afternoon and the sun was low and behind it from my vantage point so I knew any pictures would look “washed out”.  I made note of the location and hoped the opportunity would present itself to come back with the sun at my back.  Well here I am.

This was around 1030am Tuesday after I had driven through Gaspé and continued south on Route 132 towards Percé.

 

DSCN9557

DSCN9560

DSCN9562

DSCN9566

DSCN9564

And from just a tad further up the road, looking back:

DSCN9571

Gaspé, QC from afar

August 13, 2019

These shots were taken from roughly the same vantage point as the two previous posts but looking southwest towards the town of Gaspé.  This is from Route 132 near Penouille.

IMG_20190813_103017390_HDR

The photo above was taken with the smartphone camera.  I went back to the car to get the digital camera and got into position to get some closeups using the zoom lens.

This is as I moved around to the “safe side” of the guardrail next to the road.  These green plants almost look fake but they are quite real.

IMG_20190813_103058594

IMG_20190813_103054162

OK – In position, you may fire when ready….

DSCN9545

DSCN9546

DSCN9547

DSCN9556

 

Tranquility Base

August 13, 2019

IMG_20190813_143106601

I’ll borrow the name of the first manned lunar landing location to describe this place.  And to use one of long time late night talk show host David Letterman’s favorite terms – the sense of calm and peacefulness here was palpable.

Looking south from the area between Cap-aux-Os and Penouille on the northeast end of Gaspé Peninsula, Québec province, Canada over Gaspé Bay:

IMG_20190813_100457830_HDR

DSCN9512

DSCN9516

DSCN9521

IMG_20190813_101149967_HDR

DSCN9530

And once again, after taking the photos I put the cameras away and just stood and looked.

 

Kayakers on Gaspé Bay

August 13, 2019

An anonymous blog viewer commented on a photo I took as I entered the town of Cap-des-Rosiers which showed the dead calm of a small river leading out to the Gulf of St. Lawrence (on the north side of the Gaspé Peninsula).

IMG_20190813_143106601

After taking photos at the lighthouse, of it and of birds in and over the water, Route 132 took me around the bend and back west towards the town of Gaspé.   After taking photos at the lighthouse, starting around 9am, I took a break and just enjoyed the view.  These photos are about an hour later, somewhere between Cap-aux-Os and Penouille.  They were taken from a random pull-off area which gave a stunning view of Gaspé Bay.  These are looking east towards the area I had just come from.  The next post will be looking south and west towards Gaspé from the same vantage point.

 

IMG_20190813_100439574_HDR

IMG_20190813_100519636_HDR

DSCN9497

DSCN9488

DSCN9490

DSCN9494

DSCN9507

DSCN9509