Paul works for a good part of the morning and we are off to Canada. Stopping just over the border in Sault Ste. Marie we go for a long run around the city. It takes us a good 2 plus hours to run with a pleasant waterfront, parks, and is pretty much a paved route for cyclists the whole way. We park the evening at a boondocker location-Up on the hill, with lovely hosts Paul and Diane. Nice spot right off Hwy 17. Dad’s soup, great sleep. We next head to Ottawa and decide to stay 45 minutes outside the city at Fitzroy Provincial Park.
It is our 12th anniversary! Shower and nice dinner. We wake late and have a pleasant run on all the trails in the park which added up to 4.6 miles. Not many people are camping as the park will be closing soon till next season. I join Paul on a lunch date at Pressed, a gourmet sandwich place in Ottawa, with David R. a programmer friend. Afterwards we walk around Ottawa to see the huge, impressive parliament buildings, the canals and locks.
We sleep that evening in boondocker’s driveway
Meet fellow boondocker David, his wife and children. They have an Alto camper and we shared stories. We take the train into Montreal the next morning. Breakfast in Old City at Tommy, the British Empire Building. Walk around and look in some art galleries. Lots of construction going so we head to Contemporary Art Museum (MAC) to see a show that Paul was interested in dealing with music and computers.
Orchestre à géométrie variable
Jean-Pierre Gauthier, a master builder of drawing machines and kinetic sculptures here lends his talents to instrument building and complex composition. Orchestre à géométrie variable is a wildly chaotic but rigorous sculptural environment which combines electronics, primitive robotics and musical elements to stage a sensorial and kinesthetic experience. Nineteen pre-programmed compositions explore a diverse array of musical styles, which together result in a new kind of musical experience.
We eat a street cart lunch, head to Arsenal Gallery which was closed but we were lucky the guy in Division gallery upstairs offered to give us a free tour. If you are into contemporary art these galleries are a must. Walked up to the top of Mont Royal to look at the view.
Good climb up and trek down. Go to Huck’s apartment and meet his roommates. Nice place and we enjoyed talking with them till Huck got home. Went to dinner at Else’s down the street. Good food, slow service which is nice and not rushed. We all have pumpkin cheesecake. Paul and I head back on the train to our boondocking site in St. Eustache. Next day we drive to a nature park on the way Into Montreal. Close to the highway so you do hear some traffic but its a peaceful location with easy paths and wooded trails. (5.6 miles) Eat some breakfast in the van and head to the Italian market that Huck recommended.
The colors, smells are overwhelming my senses. I Must Eat! We share a croissant sandwich and pastry while listening to really good street musicians: a cello player and guitarist nailing some gypsy swing jazz (think Django Rheinhart). Shop a bit for dinner food, cooking utensils, produce. Head to Quebec City and stay at a KOA which is unspectacular, smells like horse manure outside but has the cleanest restrooms in juxtaposition. We wash up and have an eggplant dish. Paul learns he needs to have the van in Baltimore earlier than he thought. A bit stressful. Next morning after laundry and breakfast we decide to ride our bikes to Quebec City. Park off highway at a nice park and ride with a river by it. Ride across the somewhat famous Quebec Bridge and along the St. Lawrence river to the ferry port while passing sculptures, picnickers, well designed outdoor spaces. Park our bikes and walk around the Old City.
It really feels like you are in a European country. People speaking French, old buildings and cobblestone streets. We walk on top of the wall which surrounds the city. We eat a nice cafe lunch and head back over the river on the 3:20 ferry. Paul enjoys conversation with an older local resident while I enjoy views on the top deck. Ride back through Levi and to the van. We drive into to the USA through Vermont then sleep in our van in a National Forest near Littleton, New Hampshire. Wake to gorgeous leaf color everywhere. Drive to Boston to spend a little time with daughter Hannah. Pick up Ravi our nephew and go to dinner in Harvard Square at The Russell House Tavern. Ice cream afterwards at Toscanini’s. Very enjoyable evening but we have to say goodbyes. Sleep in parking lot of Wellesley College. In the morning we get up and drive south to Philly. One stop to mention is in Southbury, Connecticut off Hwy 84. We ran for 12 miles on the Larkin Bridle Trail which is easy, lined with trees, ponds, and marshy areas. Nice way to stretch your legs.