Newfoundland/Labrador Day 4: Into Canada
Parce que j’ai traversé des ÉTATS-UNIS au Québec francophone, j’ai pensé qu’il était approprié que j’écris ce soir l’entrée de blog en français. Je ne savais pas qu’un Français quand je suis entré au Canada, mais étant donné que tous les signes au Québec sont en français, et tous les gens là-bas parlent, J’ai simplement repris comme s’il s’agissait je rode partout dans la province et dans le Nouveau-brunswick . J’ai été étonné lorsque j’ai obtenu pour le Nouveau-brunswick , que la plupart des gens ici aussi parler et il est enseigné à tous les élèves de l’école. Je suppose que cela a quelque chose à faire avec seulement à 10 kilomètres de Québec. Comme je suis aller plus loin à l’est demain, le français sera devenu plus rare et l’anglais sera la langue maternelle primaire. Mais ils continueront à utiliser une monnaie je ne pas complètement comprendre et un système de mesure que nous devrions adopter aux ÉTATS-UNIS .
What? You don’t read French? OK. Here’s the first paragraph in AMEERICUN. And the rest of the post will be in English also. I was just trying to expand your linguistic horizons.
Because I crossed from the United States into French-speaking Quebec, I thought it only appropriate that I write tonight’s blog entry in French. I didn’t know any French when I entered Canada but since all the signs in Quebec are in French and all the people there speak it, I just picked it up as I rode across the province and into New Brunswick. I was surpised when I got to New Brunswick that most of the people here also speak it and it’s taught to all students in school. I guess it has something to do with being only 10 miles from Quebec. As I go further east tomorrow, French will be become more rare and English will be the primary tongue. But they will continue to use a currency I don’t completely understand and a measuring system that we should adopt in the United States.
Another early start (kickstand up about 0715) gave me time to wander around Vermont a little on my way to the border crossing to the north. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, but wanted to see some of the countryside. Vermont is known for its cheddar (and other) cheeses and that must explain the hundreds of farms with thousands of cows. I’m not complaining, really, but the pungent odor that permeates diary operations and feed lots followed me for many miles this morning. It’s not something I want to live with, but the earthy smell bespeaks a more agrarian America and is no doubt something that was far more noticed a hundred years ago when the U.S. had a predominantly rural- and animal-based population.
I also happened to chance upon a “restored” covered bridge just outside Middlebury. I’m sure if I ride around the New England countryside I’d discover a lot more of them, including ones that haven’t been restored. It’s pretty much a lost art since iron and steel and concrete replaced the wooden trusses that required protection from the elements. That could be another road trip: See New England’s Covered Bridges. Any takers?
Today was a long day on the road (480 miles) and between my Vermont wanderings and the 100/90 kph (62/55 mph) speed limit across Canada, there wasn’t much time to stop and explore along the way. Despite my current look which my daughter suggests makes me look like a serial killer, I made it past the decidedly stern Canadian border patrol officers, who apparently have their sense of humor removed at border patrol school. After greeting me with a formal “good morning sir,” she proceeded to ask me the basic questions:
Where was I going? Canada.
No, where are you going IN Canada. Oh. Newfoundland.
Do you know anyone in Canada? I looked and she didn’t have a nametag, so I said no.
Do you have any weapons? Sinister pause. No.
Do you have any alcohol? A bottle of Jack Daniels for personal use.
Are you bringing in more than $10,000. Pause. Are you kidding?
Are you bringing in more than $10,000. Uh, no maam.
And she didn’t even thank me for having signed my passport, which a keen-eyed U.S. border guard had pointedly brought to my attention on last year’s trip to Alaska.
The ride across Quebec took me on the outskirts of Montreal and Quebec City and along the St. Lawrence Seaway for about 100+ miles. I knew the river was there all the time, but trees and hills mostly hid the water from view. At one point I could see the water AND there was a place to stop, so I pulled over and looked for big ships, but to no avail. I was a little surprised because I thought the waterway was pretty busy. Sailing up the river must have been exciting for early European explorers who probably thought they had found the elusive Northwest Passage. It was a lovely view, though, and worth the stop. Note: The St. Lawrence is one of less than a handful of rivers in North America that runs South to North. So does the St. John’s back in Orange Park.
Premium gas for the motorcycle in Canada is about $2.00 more per gallon than in the states, coming in at between $5.50 and $6.00. Hope it doesn’t go any higher than that. I noticed as I rolled slowly across Canada that there are A LOT of little cars. Gas prices no doubt have a relationship to auto sales. Eventually the same phenomenon will likely hit the US when we see gas prices at about $7.00 a gallon.
Temperature never got above 65 degrees today so I stayed in my leather jacket. Tomorrow will probably start out in the 40s so I’ll add chaps (which my Wyoming friend Linda says are “Shaps” not “CHaps). Cloudy skies all day but no rain. Not bad so far on the rain front: Four riding days and only one of those required rain gear. Tomorrow’s forecast shows a 30% chance for rain on Prince Edward Island where I’m heading. Maybe my luck will hold.
More than 1,600 miles added to the odometer so far this trip. And I’m only just gettin’ started. I can’t wait to get on the road again.
Thanks again for tuning in and following along.
Enjoy more pictures. Link to Flickr: Click here