Mary Beth Writes

Hi! Len and I returned home at 1:30AM from our 15-day road trip through eastern Canada and Maine and more.  

In case you ever wondered, you CAN go to the “Glazed and Confused” donut shop in Syracuse, NY at 9 in the morning, peruse the  Erie Canal museum https://eriecanalmuseum.org/ and then drive back in Waukesha - all in one 16-hour day. We are generally closer to interesting places than we know.

But I get ahead of myself.

I am going to post small pieces over the next few days about our vacation. I meant to do this while on was on the trip but mostly my laptop sat in its padded bag and by the time I could have used it, I was asleep on whatever motel bed was my nirvana that night.

Our basic itinerary was honed over nearly a year of documentary-watching after the evening news, Internet rambling, atlas drooling, and a whole lot of talking.  (We liked this dorky and interesting series of documentaries about Canadian rivers: https://www.tvpassport.com/series/great-canadian-rivers/39893)

We would drive to Eastern Canada to see and hike the wilderness beauty of Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Then we would drive back home via Quebec and Montreal, enjoying the history and city life of those old and classy cities.

That was the Plan… until Hurricane Dorian unfurled its last hurrah over Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Yes, if you have been reading me a long time, Len and I and our kids DID go to a Florida Keys resort one August. When they evacuated us because of an imminent hurricane, we drove to Orlando, which ended up being in the precise path of that storm.  Remind me to look up those old columns. 

So plans had to change and, in short, this is where we went.

We drove the first day to Sault Ste Marie (7 hours, 415 miles). Next day we drove to Manitoulin Island and then on to Sudbury. (6 hours, 325 miles).  We spent the best part of that next morning with a friend of Len’s from his college newspaper days. Hi Mick!  After that we ate Trans-Canada 17 to Rivière du Loup for 2 days, 12 hours, and 687 miles. 

It was becoming apparent that no one knew exactly what Dorian was going to do, but it was clear the storm was going to do something, so we slowed down to explore the Peninsula of Gaspe for a day or two.

Gaspe was gorgeous.  You’ll like our photos from that part of the trip.

We were driving down the east side of the peninsula, still thinking that if we poked around a little more, we could drive to Nova Scotia in a day or two. While we were hoping, it started to rain so hard our car hydroplaned on that lonesome highway cut through an endless New Brunswick forest; no signs of civilization anywhere except Moose-warning signs. Windshield wipers going full blast couldn’t keep up with the sheeting rain. I said I thought we should stop at the nearest place with a motel. Len agreed and that freaked me out the most. Nothing daunts Len and here he was, agreeing that we should stop driving in the middle of the afternoon.

We pulled up next to a Tim Horton’s (you don’t even have to go in, you just have to park close); via their WiFi we found a place in Bathurst 20 miles down the road and that is where we stayed that night.

Next day we drove from Bathurst to Monckton. (2 hours, 137 miles – you can tell we are slowing down…)

What a cool town! We saw a Tidal Bore! There will be pix. The next morning the CBC news was spouting this; Nova Scotia has a population of 500,000 people and 400,000 of them were without power. They were pretty sure they would get a lot of the damage taken care and power restored in the next 3 to 5 days.  And oh yeah, Dorian was battering the west coast of Newfoundland right then. The west coast is where we had planned to go. 

So we changed plans.  We would leave Canada, drive to Acadia National Park in Maine, and then come home via Revolutionary War battle sites in New York State. As well as Schoharie Crossing, an Erie Canal museum in Fort Hunter, NY. I had just listened to a Ben Franklin’s World podcast about it! Karma!

The smart museum person in the tiny Schoharie museum (Hi, Dave!) talked to Len and I for nearly an hour.  That was amazing. And then he suggested the Glazed and Confused doughnuts as well as the much bigger, slicker Erie Canal museum in Syracuse .. and that is what we did.

Are you ready? These will be small postings about some of our adventures with some of our photos. 

Comments

It is good to have you both back in one piece my friends...
Mary Beth's picture

Good to be here...

Whenever I think of Canada, I think of my Grands. They lived in Canada for three years - Scott was an expat for US Steel, and when they told me they were moving, I’m sure you could hear me crying all the way to Wisconsin. Anyway, that’s not the main part that I remember. Those two children could belt out Oh Canada with the best of em. If I close my eyes, I can still hear them. Those small little people ( age 3 and 4 when they left) knew Oh Canada before they knew the Star Spangled Banner.
Mary Beth's picture

And all the rest of their lives, when they hear the song, they are going to have such startling, little kid feelings!

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Freight Trains & Dreams

We are binge-watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” I started last week; Len ambled through the living room at the beginning of Season 2, stood a moment to watch, sat down, and last night we finished season 2 together. Stories are good.

As you know, the show is set in the 1950’s and 60’s. Many of us actual Mid-Centurions remember the actual mid-century. Ladies in hats. Pink and white kitchens. Salmon and aqua living rooms. The total culturally approved subjection of all women to all men.

Oh yeah.

"Mistrust Your Sense of Urgency"

Like many of you, I am emerging from my den of “Wow, that was Sure a Full Couple of Months!” I have been either chased by or chasing my calendar since the middle of October. We’ve had a plethora of family get-togethers (we all have birthdays at the end of the year), plus somehow all my dental/medical checkups/appointments ended up around now. Most things we did or attended over the holidays were rich and good, but it still filled days and kept me feeling a little spinny. (Or was that the cough syrup?)

A Public Service Announcement for Sick Season

I started having a big cold on November 12th and I’m not done with it yet. The nasty contagious sneezing and runny nose part was over weeks ago, but I’m still coughing.  Went to walk-in clinic yesterday and now I have an inhaler which seems help my excitable bronchial tubes settle down. I think (knock on wood) this might work.

Kids & Books & Boxes & Paper Towels Tubes

Two things today – both related to schools.

1. I’ve volunteered for three years at Whittier Elementary School in Waukesha.  Once a week I walk out of my world into 3rd grade world and while I am there, my world simply disappears!

If you are the kind of person who is fond of kids who have ordinary and extraordinary challenges with reading and learning and doing kid-math – please consider being a volunteer, too.  You can call up schools near you. 

Location, location, location...

Here is another short MB take on the impeachment hearings.

Why Ukraine?  

Location, location, location.

Trump wanted the Ukrainians to turn the Biden name into a scandal. Trump is obviously in the thrall of Putin; whether this is criminal or simply his dangerous fascination with strongmen is the questions du jour. In any case, it seems likely that Trump Whisperer Putin suggested, “All you need to do is connect Biden to graft and you can win this election. Worked the last time, didn’t it…”?

Because Putin wants to run Ukraine.  

Why?

Follow the money.

When they tell you who they are...

I have a very big cold.  Not all that relevant to you but aggravating to me. Anyway, last night I coughed and woke myself up a lot; I had time in which to to think about the impeachment hearing drama in Washington.  I don’t have that much to say all at once. But I am noting particular things as this goes along and I am going to say them

On Friday Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee harangued about the “the unfairness” of impeachment hearing’s rules.

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