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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WHITE CAKE!

The picture is our wedding cake, made by my friend Karen, who drove it from Indiana to Chicago on the hottest day of that year. It was in the back seat so their two little boys had to ride in front (remember when kids could ride in front?). They got lost in the city but I didn't know that for years because Karen and her husband start early and had time to get lost and then figure it out. Sometimes wedded bliss is a lot of work. 

The following story and recipe is not about the wedding cake, but it is the photo I have...

...

6/30/2022

How Do We Remember What We Remember?

6/30/2022

The Jan 6 Hearings, huh? This is an amazing moment in US history and I’m trying to understand our incredibly intense response. Four of 10 voters have watched at least some of the hearings, which is 20,000,000 people. It’s not just me that can’t look away.

Our Terrible Canoe Adventure

The eagle photo was taken by Len - but not on this trip! 

6/23/2022

We are fine but I have a tale to tell.

American Successes / American Failures

Did you ever have to tell the truth when it was hard? Did you ever lie to avoid a hard situation?  Did you ever know a hard, wrong thing but you told no one because it was going to be complicated and some people wouldn’t believe you and you might end up disrespected or worse for “telling on” someone else?

Most people work hard at learning truth-telling when they are 4 and 5-years old.

Molecule Moving

6/8/2022     

I didn’t know a Panoply of Dental Moments was coming my way this week, but such is life with teeth. One can brush, floss, slosh, and swish - but if one’s teeth want to crumble, they do. Yesterday I had my six-month cleaning. The hygienist said several times that I brush and floss beautifully. I was proud and thinking maybe I would give myself a “well-done” sticker when I got home. Then the dentist came in to do the check-up and said two fillings had cracks around them and needed to be replaced.

Rough Stories, Tough Week

6/1/2022 

Last Friday evening on PBS Tonight David Brooks said something like this. “I am afraid for all of us. The news just pummels us.”

There are as many tough stories as there are fingers on a closed fist. The shooting in Uvalde. The shooting in Buffalo. The corrupt power of the NRA and other obscene wealth-mongers that are destroying our society from the inside of elected reps’ pockets outwards. Ukraine. Global climate mayhem. Oh, and covid is everywhere. Less traumatic for most; long covid for some. So that’s six fingers on that pugilistic fist.

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