Ottawa to Riviere Du Loop, Quebec August 15, 2014

I think having Brian wait in the cold while I toured Rideau Hall was a poor decision. Last night be became very ill and was up most of the night. Of course I was up with him. He eventually fell asleep and I left him as long as possible, but he heard me up and around this morning.  He insisted he felt OK.  I had toyed with going to a walk in clinic this morning and got an address for same but we opted to give the road a try.  We just started out and he felt ill but it soon passed.  As the day went on he seemed to improve so we will see how it goes.  Perhaps I am pushing him beyond his limits.

It is obvious I will have to drive most of this trip and as a result will not have photos from our car.  We are travelling on Highway 1 and we have found very few turn offs to afford “photo ops.”  Despite a rocky start we did end up with one of our typical adventures.  We have noticed our GPS likes to take time in the morning to wake up.  She likes to go around the same blocks a couple of times before getting her bearings. I am not sure but she could have been feeling a bit off as well this morning. I thought she would take us back to St Catherine’s street and back to Highway 1 or in Ontario #17. Instead she took us further south before heading east.  At some point the road split in two and we didn’t notice which way we were to go or if we got into the wrong lane.  Next thing we know we are off into the countryside and having to make a left turn, to catch the FERRY!  Who knows where we were but I would say the boon docks somewhere…don’t know if in error or GPS planned this little outing. Anyway we paid our $9 and got on board the ferry  – holds about ten cars – and off we go to the other side of the lake/river? Who knows.  We eventually got onto a freeway and seemed we were on the right path.

The roads are pretty good with less construction but the traffic from Montreal through Quebec City was “congested” to use the electronic sign description.  This was to be our longest day drive and on 4 hours sleep, it was arduous.  Quebec, unlike Ontario, has rest pull outs which we used to our advantage today. I was very happy to arrived in Riviere Du Loop in one piece today! I had put an App on my iPad that converts English to French and vise versa, but we did not need it.  It seems people in the service industry all have some level of English and for the most part, very good English.  The only person who couldn’t speak English was the Pharmacist we went to tonight, however his assistance did and both of them could not have been nicer.  I explained Brian’s symptoms and they agreed it sounded like high blood sugars.  They offered to check his levels free, but I was there to buy a blood glucose monitoring machine. As it turns out his level was fine but given he had his meds ( he missed some two days in a row) and had eaten very little today, I suspect they leveled out during the day. You never saw a happier woman when I saw his “normal” reading.

We are off to Moncton tomorrow. For the last several miles today we drove with the St Laurence River in sight off and on, with low rising mountains off in the distance. I will try to take photos on the way home when the trees should have their autumn colors.

View from our "Ferry" adventure ride this morning

View from our “Ferry” adventure ride this morning

Riviere du Loop to Moncton NB Aug 16,2014

Potato Farm - west of Moncton

Potato Farm – west of Moncton

We had a pretty uneventful drive from Riviere du Loop to Moncton New Brunswick today. I had some concerns before leaving home about travelling in Quebec and trying to manage with my high school French. As it turns out everyone I spoke to could converse in English. Our GPS pulled her usual first morning stunt by taking us the long and winding road out of town, through an older part of the city but to an easy to access gas station, where once again the young man pumping the gas spoke English.  It’s been awhile since we had attendant service and having to go inside to pay. Once we were on the Highway our GPS got us on track and we got here just fine.  We have noticed that when we plug in the morning destination, it calculates our arrival time.  It changes when we make lunch stops but it is fairly accurate. Today we lost another hour and not sure where the time changed.

I know Moncton and all of New Brunswick is a mandated bilingual province but while shopping at Sobey’s I heard nothing but French being spoken and also at the liquor store. Of course the service staff spoke fluent English to me, but I was surprised at the amount of French spoken here. I can’t imagine the problems French Canadian’s have travelling to my home province of Alberta.  They won’t find many people able to speak French to them.

When I was packing for this trip I thought about bringing along a couple of folding chairs so we could pull off and have a picnic lunch. I am glad I didn’t waste the space. We have been on Highway 1 for the most part and there are almost no picnic type pull outs.  It is extremely difficult to pull off the Highway and is some places is appears trees have been planted along the road so drivers are not distracted by the scenery. When we took our U.S. road trip we found most states have well developed road stops.  They have clean bathrooms, ample parking for cars, trucks and RVs. They usually have vending machines, a pay phone and a dog exercise area.  We used these road stops frequently. It seems the only well equipped ones we found were in Quebec. In New Brunswick they have well signed road stops run by Irving Oil.  Thier stops offer gas, convenience store, washrooms. restaurants and today they had local farmers selling their produce. I do miss the pull outs with garbage cans, potties and picnic benches – usually located at a scenic spot and easy to turn into.

The other thing I miss are “Points of Interest.” From time to time we get glimpses of fabulous scenery but no where to pull over to enjoy the view. The result is very few photos along the road as Brian has not mastered the camera and I am doing the driving. Today we planned to stop in the see the World Potato Museum. We turned into the location and found it closed for a wedding.  Not sure a potato museum is a typical wedding venue, but in any case we had to continue back to the highway and on the Moncton.  We have finally arrived in the Maritime provinces but haven’t see the ocean yet despite it being only a few miles away. We did however try a seafood dish at lunch. We stopped at one of the Iriving road stops and tried clam chowder in the restaurant. It was excellent and a bowl filled us up. Tomorrow we travel to Cape Breton  to catch the ferry the following day to Newfoundland. Both of us are looking forward to letting someone else drive while we sit back and enjoy.

Appalachian Scenic drive

Appalachian Scenic drive