Mary Beth Writes

We drove right past Montreal and Quebec.  We really “should” have turned off the Trans-Canada and gone into these cities to see historical sites I have been reading about for years.  Except, well, neither of us wanted to ‘do a city’ yet.  We love city life, but cities don’t kindle imagination the same way as the surprise of smaller towns and the beauteous unrolling of fields and woods, river and sky outside out car windows.  I bet people who live in rural areas like to take their breaks in a city when they get the chance…

Anyway, we were on an adventure to see who we are when we are away from Regular and Responsible; we were interested in doing what we wanted to do instead of doing the logical thing. And what we wanted to see was what was around the next corner.

"Welcome, in the Lion's name. Come further up and further in."  (CS Lewis’s Voyage of the Dawn Treader)

This evolved into our itinerary. “Let’s drive too much and get to Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and see those places we have been talking about for so long. It will be a lot of work to drive that far, but after we do that, we will feel calmer and we can swing back through the cities on the way home.” 

Two days later we were at Rivière du Loup (established in 1673!), a beautiful town in Quebec, right on the St. Lawrence. The next step from there would be to turn to the east and cut across New Brunswick to Nova Scotia and beyond.

By then, we were impressed at three specific things, never before contemplated by us, about the St. Lawrence River.

1. It’s HUGE!  It’s very wide - and the further we drove the wider it was getting. The river flows from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of St. Lawrence and then into the Atlantic.  And the Gulf of St. Lawrence?  It’s 1/3 the size of the Gulf of Mexico but much deeper in most of it. 

2. As we drove northeast from Quebec and the river was getting wider, the hills and mountains - which are called the Laurentians - on the north side of the river were distant and blue.  I had never heard of the Laurentians in my life, they were beyond gorgeous.

3. The clouds! Cool air and the deep cold river mix with Atlantic air and water currents to somehow create constant rolling, billowing clouds. There were cloudless days, too, but most of our trip seemed to be spent under gigantic and velvety-looking puffs of spectacular clouds.

Comments

Your pictures are very lovely.
Mary Beth's picture

That one with the milky sun and the blue Laurentians and the dark foreground? We pulled off the highway, walked to the river's edge, started taking photos of that beautiful place - and realized we were in mosquito soup! Didn't taken many pix...

Years ago my husband took me around Lake Michigan for our honeymoon! I had never seen northern Wisconsin, Michigan, or Canada before. We took the train from Sault Ste. Marie to Hearst and back. It was all very amazing. Your photos are beautiful.
Mary Beth's picture

Thank you. I love these northern places; they are so fresh and beautiful.

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Quarantine Diary #141 August 5, 2020 "Red Dust"

I just finished reading “Red Dust – A Path Through China” by Ma Jain. It is a quietly stupendous memoir.

Ma Jain was born in the 50’s, grew up very poor in a small Chinese city. He remembers when his mom would simmer stones for dinner - not because they were going to eat that - but so that the neighbors would see her cooking and not know how poor they were. A whole different take on the children’s tale "Stone Soup".

Quarantine Diary #140 7/31/2020 Wishing you a Merry Quarantine Weekend

When I’m in a certain mood I love how-to articles – and I’m in that mood right now. I think it happens at the intersection of reasonable weather and Friday ... when happiness still seems possible.

I googled “How to have a nice weekend in the time of Covid” and guess what? There are no Wiki-How articles on how to be happy in a pandemic.

Let’s invent this right here, right now.

Quarantine Diary #134 Written while sweating …

My best coping skill for appalling weather is to show it who is boss. 30 below?  Cool. Let me put on all my clothes plus a hat down to my eyebrows and another one up to my glasses, and I’ll go out there.

Quarantine Diary #131 7/23/2020 "Becoming Labrador"

Yesterday I forgot to write about a movie we watched which I think many of you might like to watch, also.  We’ve been talking here about what one can stand to read and watch these days when our spirits are stressed and anxious.

I thought I wanted to reprise some of our Canada travels.  FYI, if you’ve traveled in a place you loved, put that place into your streaming service Search window, find some great or mediocre documentaries about that place, and revisit your memories.  It’s fun.

Quarantine Diary #130 7/22/2020 What's in your glass?

In the last few weeks one of my knees has decided it is the current star of the MB show. I overused it one day, I know when that was, ever since it’s been wonky. I have to baby it otherwise it hurts more than a little. Aging isn’t for wusses. 

I am walking less because walking a lot makes it worse.  I CAN ride a bike as much as I want since that doesn’t exacerbate the situation. I’m trying to weigh less, which is its own comedy.

Quarantine Diary #124 7/17/2020 As if it makes sense …

Our family lost a friend this week. I won’t go into too many details other than Tom died of a bike accident on a sunny day while riding in the country with friends. His wheel somehow got stuck in gravel, he fell, the fall twisted, and he died.

This is not his obituary or eulogy. This is a just a reflection on losing friends and how do we make sense of this?

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