Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Greetings from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Two "firsts": First time in Ottawa, and first time to use WiFi in Starbucks. I rarely patronize Starbucks because (IMHO) their coffee is "too strong." Perhaps Starbucks is a WiFi resource I've overlooked?!?! While parked in a Wal-Mart last night, I inquired where I might find WiFi: "Just around the corner...."

I had a "white knuckle ride (drive)" through Montreal yesterday. It was 1 o'clock and the information signs said traffic was flowing "fluid" (smooth). I wonder what congestion would be like. Two-hundred seventy-three miles traveled "Wal-Mart to Wal-Mart."

I was extremely glad to get to Ontario, Canada, where signs are in both English and French. Even with two-and-one-half years living in Paris, France (over fifty years ago), I struggled to understand the language.

It was HOT yesterday!! The KIA was hot inside (because I don't drive with air conditioning). The thermometer said 88 degrees inside the T@B when I opened it up at 4:35. A few minutes later (5:15) the thermometer read 93 degrees outside.

One noteworthy event: I saw another T@B, at 1:45 PM, Eastbound on the Trans-Canada highway 40, West of Montreal. It was a White T@B with Gray trim. I've seen four T@Bs in eleven days.

Because of the heat, I went to bed early last night. I had windows open but 90 degrees inside at 7:20. I stripped down to a thin nightgown, and didn't reach for a light-weight cotton sheet-blanket until early morning. I'm sure I went right to sleep; I was exhausted from Montreal traffic!! I awoke with a leg cramp--at 11 o'clock--and it was still 81 degrees inside. Another cramp at 12:15, and 80 degrees inside.... Seventy-six degrees at 5:00 AM when I got up.

I'm not sure how far I'll drive today.

Footnote: Getting ready to leave Starbucks at 10 o'clock. I learned something this morning: Starbucks WiFi is FAST!! I was able to upload pictures (for East Quoddy Lighthouse - afternoon & evening) at warp speed!! So my computer is not the problem.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Ontario here I come !!

See the RV in the Wal-Mart parking lot? My T@B is just beyond.... (On the left of the building.)

I was up at 5:30 AM; 73 degrees. It was a warm night and I had the sleeping bag open with my feet out. Sunrise approximately 6:15.

Au revoir, Cafe Depot, Saint Romuald. Soon I will start down the Trans-Canada highway en route for Goshen, Indiana. I plan to attend the Escapee RV Club event called an "Escapade."

A few parting remarks; details written last evening. "It is 8 PM Sunday, Aug. 29th. I'm sitting in my orange camp chair, beside a very dirty T@B, under a bright light in the Wal-Mart parking lot; 78 degrees.

"I've just spent a couple of hours reorganizing my trip info. I've had scraps of paper and three separate notebooks with scattered details. Over the last several evenings I've transcribed to one notebook. I believe I now have 'all my ducks in a row' (ha!). I just need two weeks on the computer to bring the blog up-to-date!!

"Friday evening, and all day Saturday and Sunday, was spent in the nearby Cafe Depot. I chose to work on the blogs rather than visit Gabrielle and her husband. I know I missed a blessing by not accepting her invitation. I've had so few occasions to access the Internet so I grabbed the opportunity. I wish it were easier to get trip details published. Yes, there is a 'gizmo' that attaches to the laptop to access the Internet via a satellite. No, I'm not going to pay for that service. Besides, I need electricity for the laptop and I've failed to find a Wal-Mart with outlets (ha!).

"My weekend is devoid of noteworthy events. I didn't get any exercise; I ate very little but paid a lot for coffee, bagel, soup and sandwich. On the positive side: Three nights--at no expense--in a Wal-Mart parking lot. What's that worth? A minimum of $20. per night?"

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Updating my blog, in chronological order

It is my desire to bring this blog up-to-date in chronological order. Ignore the time stamps. Read the messages as you would a book or newspaper. Honestly, it frustrates me that the blogs are "upside down" i.e. newest first. If I published details of my visit to Acadia National Park right now (with date of August 10th) you probably wouldn't descend that far into the blog to read it. Right?!?!

I'm in an Internet Cafe in Saint Romuald, Quebec, Canada. I discovered it quite by accident yesterday (but I never ascribe to "accidents" or coincidents; I think my steps are ordered by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ). I was returning to my T@B after riding buses in, and near, Quebec City. In the shopping center, I saw the words "Internet WiFi" over the door of Cafe Depot. It was only 160 steps from my T@B. I had been in the vicinity for 24 hours. I quickly went to the trailer and grabbed the laptop; I spent the evening checking my e-mail and publishing one blog.

I've spent two nights in the Wal-Mart parking lot. Twenty-three RVs on Thursday night, sixteen on Friday night. Some are extremely large Class A motorhomes, some are Class B mini-motorhomes, a couple of VW campers with "pop-up" roof. Two Class C motorhomes. It's good to know that other RVers avoid the private campgrounds--and the expense thereof. I wrote in my notes: "It almost looks like a campground (ha)."

Because of lack of Internet "hot spots," I'm attempting to write my blog(s) in longhand so I can transcribe them into this site. On August 26th, at 5:40 PM, I wrote:
"I've just browsed Wal-Mart for over an hour. It was fascinating to listen to the voices speaking French. I liked to read the signs. Everything in French; everything!! ~~ It started to rain the minute I got in the T@B. I didn't perceive the rain as I walked across the parking lot; very unexpected. ~~ I bought three spiral notebooks because I was almost out of writing material. McDonald's (in Canada) doesn't have WiFi and I can't find Barnes & Noble, or Borders, here in Canada. (The GPS gave me locations in Maine.)"

"I bought two cooking utensils because they are orange. I'll never use them; they are for decorations. They are very small--single serving size--so ideal decorations for the kitchen in a small trailer. I bought a plastic container of 'Swedish Fish' (candy) because it's orange. Perhaps Maynards (brand name) 'Swedish Fish' is Canada's version of U.S. 'Gummy Bears' or 'Gummy worms'?!?! I used restraint and did not buy several items I wanted but (IMHO) were too expensive for something I didn't 'need.' Example: Brita has a water filter (container) with an orange lid, $30.00. I'll stay with my Pur water filter with blue lid that's paid for."

"When visitors see the inside of the T@B, they often say, 'You like orange.' My answer, 'No, I didn't have a choice when I bought this used.' I confess, however, that I've brought the orange trim from the outside into the inside. Remember the rugs from Hingham, Massachusetts?? Plus the orange duffel bags for my clothes. Recently an orange recycled-plastic-bottles bag from Wal-Mart (because it's orange!). Orange towels were a very early purchase--before Mercedes and I started this adventure. Oh yes, orange plastic waste basket, and orange plastic pail (with Pur water filter sitting inside so splashing water is contained). I can't ignore the small orange metal pail with citronella candle--a gift from Debbie in Exeter, New Hampshire (because it's orange!!). Two weeks ago? (I've lost track of time), I bought an orange container designed for lobster bait. I bought it at the little hardware store where I saw, and photographed, the vintage Airstream trailer (near Gouldsboro, Maine). OK, enough of that subject."

I went on to write in the spiral notebook:
"I'm conscience-stricken because I haven't been faithful about documenting details and it's so easy to forget 'when' and 'where' with every new day full of interesting sights and activities. Maybe (with three new notebooks) I'll get things written down?!?!"

It has been an overcast day with occasional rain. It is very nice to sit in Cafe Depot and work on my blogs. It is a slow process because takes so long to upload the pictures. "Saving" takes a **l-o-n-g** time!! Perhaps my next purchase should be a new computer in hopes it will do procedures at a faster speed?!?! Breakfast and lunch has cost a small fortune but I feel I must buy... when I'm using their Internet. Everything is so-o-o-o-o expensive here in Canada!!

"Postscript, 5:10 PM: I had to leave the Internet Cafe at 5:05 because I was an icicle from the air conditioning. I had been there since 9:00 AM. The T@B felt so good because 104 degrees. (The thermometer was in the sun!!) The door is closed so I can 'bake' in the warmth!! ~~ Honestly, I'm not making the progress I'd like on the blogs. It's overwhelming to try to go back and fill in the details and upload all the pictures. ~~ Warm at 6:10 and opened the door."

Postscript, 2:30 PM, Sun., Aug., 29, 2010: I've been in the Internet Cafe since 8:30 this morning. I've published several blogs for your enjoyment. It took over two hours to upload the forty-two pictures of my trek to and from East Quoddy Lighthouse. Many more pictures will eventually be published of my truly awesome experiences in New Brunswick, Canada.

Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada

A week ago (Saturday, August 21st), I was on Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. I had been told I can see whales from the lighthouse at the tip of the Island. I've wanted to take a Whale Watching cruise but didn't want to spend over $50. for the experience. So I drove to the lighthouse and, indeed, saw whales jumping, and blowing. My little camera would not/ could not captured the images. Another visitor to the location has promised to send me a picture from his impressive-looking camera with a very long telephoto lens. ~~ Please see my earlier blog titled Greetings from Campobello Island.

Head Harbor and East Quoddy Lighthouse

At Head Harbor and East Quoddy Lighthouse, I met a delightful couple and we had an engaging conversation. Spontaneously, the wife (Debbie) invited me to visit them at Waterside, New Brunswick. I didn't have the least idea what they were referring to when they said "near Fundy National Park." They are born-again Christians and (in my spirit) I felt I should accept their offer. Much more about that later.

Here are pictures of my morning visit. Note that the tide is "in" at the foot of the stairs. You'll see those stairs again in later pictures.

I returned to my T@B, at
Herring Cove Provincial Park campground, to fix lunch. Then returned to the lighthouse--when the tide was out--so I could visit the tiny island with East Quoddy Lighthouse.

Bright buoys

So many things happen in my everyday experiences!! Returning to the lighthouse, I stopped to take pictures of freshly painted buoys. Before proceeding across the manicured lawn, I knocked at the door and asked permission. I spent at least an hour in conversation with the fifth generation Lobster man and his wife. (Lori, sincere thanks for a delightful visit!!). ~~ Last picture: lobster traps.

East Quoddy Lighthouse - A strenuous hike !!

It was a very strenuous hike to East Quoddy Lighthouse at Head Harbor, Campobello Island, New Brunswick, Canada. This is my trip over and return. Note the time on each picture. They may not fully capture the descent on one ladder and the assent on another ladder. It was treacherous to attempt to navigate across the rocks. Sometimes I was grasping seaweed to assist myself from one stepping stone to another. Scary!! The volunteers at the Lighthouse make the trek every day. I told them "one time across is enough for this old lady." My hat's off to the volunteers--all over 65 years old!! The next to last picture (with one of the volunteers) is the same stairs you saw in the earlier blog (with 9:05 time)--with the tide lapping at the bottom of it.

East Quoddy Lighthouse - afternoon & evening

I spent the evening watching the tide come in, looking for whales off-shore, listening to a concert, and viewing the sunset.