Halifax, at Last!


June 28, 2022

Once we left Moncton, we stopped only for gas and refreshments, being now anxious to settle into Halifax for a few days. We’d traveled for a few hours when Jim thought about me almost leaving my pillow behind our last night.

“Did you remember your pillow this time?”

“Umm.” I looked into the back seat. “I guess not. Did you see it when you checked the room?”

“No. But I didn’t look on the bed.”

“Well I guess it’s still there. I just have to hope the pillows are good at the next place.” I smiled. I have some trouble with my neck and shoulders and need proper support when sleeping.

The day had started out rainy, but the sun was out by then. “I can’t find my sunglasses either! We’ll have to stop somewhere so I can get another pair.”

The sun hid behind the clouds shortly and didn’t reappear until we were entering Halifax. We stopped at a Super Store to find a washroom, and some sunglasses, A couple of days later I found my original sun glasses under my seat in the car, while looking for something Jim had misplaced! Lol That was $25 I didn’t need to spend. Sigh. Oh well.

Once again we arrived at our accommodations a couple of hours early and were unable to check in. That Air B&B had an automated check-in system we’d never seen before. Jim was texted a code that unlocked the appropriate lock-box for our particular room, wherein the key was hiding. Once it was opened, our check-in was complete. But it couldn’t happen before three o’clock. I was looking forward to finally relaxing, but instead we had to find someplace to eat, so we parked the car in the parking lot and walked a few blocks until we found a little Ramen Café. We didn’t want much. We each ordered a dish of breaded jumbo shrimp, that were very good.

When we were seated at a long natural wood-slab table, with a few other people, only four empty stools remained available for anyone new who arrived.

I soon noticed four young women standing at the entrance and asked them to join us. It was a lovely surprise to discover they were part of the Nova Scotia Military Tattoo we were planning to attend. They had been in the city for a week, putting fourteen hour days, practicing and performing. They were highland dancers representing three different countries – one from Edinburgh, Scotland, two from Canada (Toronto and Vancouver) and one from Los Angeles. They gave us an interesting insight into what goes into these major Tattoos, and the expenses the performers have to bare. Their only “pay” was room and board. They were responsible for their flights and other transportation to get themselves there.

We made our way back to the suites at precisely three o’clock.

The suite was in an historical three story home, that had been restored on the outside, but the suites had the convenience of an updated bathroom and shower, and a modern kitchen, open to the roomy sitting/dining area. The bedroom was large and brightly lit by tall windows. The original doors, windows and intricate moldings were retained. There was cable TV and excellent WiFi.

The downside was the twenty-eight steps up a winding stair-case to our suite.

Thank goodness we were only on the second floor!

A hot shower and a change of clothes was the first thing on our agenda, followed by a trip to the laundry, a few blocks away, and another to the grocery story, within walking distance. I put together some dinner and then started writing and reviewing until my tired eyes could no longer see the screen of my iPad. The bed was comfortable; the pillows were perfect, and we discovered we were only a few blocks from the waterfront entertainment.

Moncton New Brunswick


We arrived at the Glory Guest Suites in Moncton, New Brunswick where Jim had made a reservation. We were a little early, again, but the sweet Chinese man who showed us where to park was unconcerned. He was, however, concerned about our e-bikes we had on the back of our car. Jim understood him to say something about putting them into the garage, but he couldn’t see any garage, so he assured the man they would be alright.

Once we settled into our rooms and rested for a bit, we went out in search of dinner. We found a lovely pub called the Tide and Boar where we enjoyed an delicious meal of baked, breaded fish, salad and interesting fries made from cornmeal polenta.

I wondered what kind of paint was used for these rainbow cross-walks that keeps them so vibrant.

Jim thought the tidal bore* was to happen that evening, so after dinner, we walked to the waterfront park. It was an interesting spot, but we’d missed the tidal bore.

We were both tired and ready for bed by 9:00 that night. As I was waiting for my turn in the bathroom, a knock came to our door. It was the smiling wife of our host. She explained that they were worried about our bicycles being stolen and they would really like us to put them into their garage. She said they would not sleep at night if we didn’t. We both tried to convince her they would be alright. Many necessary parts were in the trunk and there were three lock on them and the hitch. But they wouldn’t be deterred so we gave in. We both went downstairs with her and she called her husband to come help. It turned out they owned another rental house next door, where the garage was. They both beamed with joy when we had the bikes safely stored in the locked garage.

“You call me in the morning when you want to leave. My husband will help you. You are family!”  That made us smile.

True to their word, her husband was out as soon as Jim called and got the bikes out and to our car for us. We managed the rest, having loaded them many times.

Jim drove back downtown to Cora’s for a delicious breakfast of waffles with cottage cheese and an abundance of fresh fruit. There was even real maple syrup, something that’s hard to find in restaurants because of the cost of it these days.

It was there I had my second nosebleed. I was thankful it wasn’t bad compared to the first, and there were no patrons sitting anywhere near us. Being unable to eat while I tended to my problem, I asked for a take-out box for the breakfast I’d just started eating.  I got it under control quickly, but it left me feeling a little weary.

Before leaving Moncton,  Jim wanted to try again to catch the tidal bore. He parked the car within a short walk to the park we’d been in the evening before, but I just didn’t have the energy. We had seen one on our previous trip to our East Coast, so I chose to remain in the car while he walked to the river and captured  this great video.

Tidal Bore on Bay of Fundy,

When we left Moncton I slept for many miles, then enjoyed my breakfast. Our next stop was our main destination: Halifax.

*A tidal bore occurs along a coast where a river empties into an ocean or sea and the strong, twice daily ocean tide  pushes up the river, against the current creating a high wave of water.  If you ever have the chance to see one, it’s well worth seeking it out. The largest ones occur on Canada’s Bay of Fundy.

The Journey Continues into New Brunswick


We left Levis, Quebec at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, June 26th. We arrived at our planned destination in Edmundston, New Brunswick at 12:45 p.m. Jim tried to check into our reserved Air B & B suite, but were told it couldn’t be done until 3:00, so we went looking for a place to lunch. Who knew that most restaurants were closed on Sundays?! It was 1:30 when we found a place that served only breakfast on Sundays, and only until 3:00. We’d had a good breakfast soon after we’d left Levis, so we settled for a couple of very healthy, fruit smoothies. We picked up a few items at the Super Store, knowing we’d be making our own dinner, and arrived back at our suite just in time to check in.

The “suite” was very tiny, with a funky déco art theme. There was an overused futon in the open living area. It was piled with brightly coloured cushions. A small kitchen table with two chairs sat very close to the refrigerator on the other side of the  room. The bedroom and bathroom were so small I’d take pity on anyone who was much larger than we are, either by height or weight, to fit comfortably. For us, it would do for a night. It was clean. So clean, as a matter of fact, the very strong odour of Lysol cleaner still saturated the air! I opened as many windows as would open to clear it out. As with the smoke I’d accidentally inhaled while walking by smokers on a sidewalk in Kingston, it choked me and hurt my nose. Jim didn’t notice.

When we got into bed, I squeezed into the small space between the bed and window and climbed in. There were no beside tables, so I didn’t have my usual box of tissues nearby. That turned out to be significant. At 4:00 a.m. I felt something running from my nose and down my throat. I quickly covered my nose with my hand and somehow found my way around the bed and into the bathroom next door. My nose was bleeding profusely, and running into the back of my throat. I pinched it, and wiped it and coughed and choked, unable to call out to Jim, who was peacefully sleeping. He has a sleep apnea machine that drowns out most noise.

After I got over my panic and got the bleeding stopped, I worried about being stuck in the bedroom again, or even laying down. I propped myself up on some of the throw cushions on the futon, staying to one end where the padding was firmer, and drifted in and out of sleep until Jim found me at 6:30. I wondered if the bleeding had anything to do with the Lysol and/or the smoke. Little did I suspect this might be a recurring problem.

We were out of there by 8:00 a.m. after quick showers and a breakfast of bagels and cream cheese I’d packed in a cooler bag. I was relieved to see that no blood had dripped onto the bedding, other than the minor spot now dried on my own pillow I’d taken with me.

We stretched out the day’s travels a little better, taking time to visit the longest covered bridge in the world. It crosses the Saint John River that runs through the Town of Hartland, New Brunswick.

After a visit to the Information Centre and a quick lunch of sandwiches, we picked up in the grocery store, we were on our way again.

A Day in Quebec City


Once we were settled into our suite in Levis, Quebec, we drove to the Ferry Terminal, parked the car, and did a walk-on sail across the St. Lawrence River to Old Quebec City, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Leaving Levis for Quebec City

We’d both been there before, once together when we did this trip on our motorcycle, but it’s always interesting. Like many tourists destination, it has become more commercialized and, being a long provincial weekend, it was crowded on that very hot day. It’s situated on the side of a hill, overlooking the river, meaning a challenging number of stone steps to climb if you wish to walk All the way to the top. This time, we took the cable car to the top and walked back down when we were done exploring.

The first time I journeyed to Quebec City was as a chaperone when my daughter, Ann’s grade seven (or maybe eight) class went on a bus as their special end of year field trip. That one was very different from this trip. That time we spent the night in a beautiful historical home that had been converted to a Bed and Breakfast, and we toured historical buildings, and the Plains of Abraham, where the British Army and Royal Navy battled the French Army during the Seven Year War. It was the pivotal battle that saw the British claim the land known then as New France, which later influenced the creation of Canada.

I don’t recall any major shopping trips or crowds of people that time, but we did visit a few little gift shops.

This trip, like the last one, was mostly to enjoy the atmosphere of the French culture that now dominates the Province of Quebec.

There are many levels to this interesting city. When we disembarked from the ferry, we walked up one block where there were a number of restaurants with outdoor patios. But it seemed we weren’t the only ones hungry for lunch. We had a shorter wait on Petit-Champlain, a pedestrian street hosting many local shops and bistros. It’s also a great place to people watch and enjoy the music provided by a few buskers.

When we’d finished our fish and chips, we caught the cable car that took us up to another level and a wide, wooden board-walk, offering an interesting stroll. Looking up, we admired the colourfully painted wooden homes, or hotels on the next level, and the quaint stone buildings further up.

Chateau Frontenac, the most famous landmark, which has been completely renovated since our last visit, majestically overlooks the boardwalk. This stone hotel is a beautiful place to stay, if you can afford it. We didn’t even step inside, but watched some more buskers perform in the courtyard outside. The view down and across the river is also incredible.

It was a long day. We’d heard there might be fireworks somewhere that evening, but the people at the information kiosk new nothing about it. We were tired anyway. We took the ferry back to Levis, found a place for dinner and returned to our hotel room. We would be on the road again early the next morning.

On Our Way in Earnest


After two days in Kingston, Ontario with friends, watching some of the Canadian National Pickleball Tournament, we got on our way to Halifax in earnest. First we had to pick up an extra car battery to boost the almost new one we have.

We made it through Montreal during a provincial holiday – Saint-Jean Baptiste Day, and arrived at our first planned overnight stop in Drummondville, Quebec. We stayed at Hotel Alouette on Mercury Boulevard, which we highly recommend if you’re passing through. It is well maintained, very clean and has good high-speed internet. Because the rooms are very compact, you might not want to spend more than a night at a time, but the owner is very friendly and accommodating. 

We didn’t have time for much exploring in Drummondville, but we did take time to look for the Hemmings Generating Station before we left the following morning. We had to take a bit of a morning hike to get close enough to take pictures, and we got scolded for leaving the trail to do so, by the security guard. Actually, he was very kind about it, taking pity on us because all signage in Quebec is now in French only.  

This generating station is just one of many that are part of the James Bay Project, the construction of a series of hydroelectric power stations on the La Grande River in northwestern Quebec, Canada, by the province owned Hydro Quebec company.

We were in Levis, Quebec by noon that day.

On the Road Again!


After three years, we’re finally getting on the road again! Sadly, we gave up our motor home last fall because we knew we wouldn’t be going back to Arizona for winters any more and it seemed a waste of money to pay for storage and insurance on it when we couldn’t go anywhere else, during COVID. But now we can travel across Canada, and we’re setting off in our car today for Halifax, Nova Scotia taking our time along the way.

Today’s destination will be Drummondville, Quebec. I hope you’ll follow along. There will be pictures in future posts, promise!

We’ve had some problems with the car battery dying, even though we recently replaced it. Something is draining it. But Jim just puts the charger on it for a couple of hours and we’re good to go for a day or two. Wish us luck.

Changing Times


It’s been too long since I’ve posted on this site. During COVID shutdowns, because we could do no long-distance travel, I immersed myself in other types of writing. But you might recall that we did do some local travel on our e-bikes.

This past week, we sold our motor home, so our journeys to Arizona are done. We have no plans for escaping the cold of  winter, yet, but we did embark on a new biking journey this week. We took our bikes to Long Sault, Ontario on Thursday evening, after a stop in Prescott to take my brother out for a drive and dinner. We spent the night at the Lion Inn so we could ride the Long Sault Parkway Trail on Friday morning.

The air was cold when we started out, shortly after 9:00 am, but the sun was bright. I took enough pictures to give you an idea of the beauty of the area.

Directly across from our hotel was a round-about intersection with a pedestrian/bicycle crossing that took us to the River Trail, which led us to the Parkway Trail.

The Beginning of the Long Sault Parkway Trail and a bit about it.

The Islands. The eleventh island isn’t named on the map, but there was a road to the right named Moulinette Island Road, which seemed to lead to a private community.

Most of the islands have campgrounds and beaches, that have restroom/store buildings, but there are no houses or businesses. We could hear birds in the trees and see some on the water. It truly is a peaceful green space.

When we reached the end of the trail at Ingleside, we found a great little place in a plaza to eat lunch, before the return ride.

There is a story behind these islands. They were once a part of these two cities, until the 1950s when an agreement was made between Canada and the US to flood the St. Lawrence River that ran beside the towns and between the two countries, in order to expand the shipping lanes. On MacDonnell Island there is an information area with posters that tell the incredible story of houses and other buildings being moved, and the Highway #2 being flooded. We found the small portion of the highway that remained above water.

The road that goes nowhere

Most of the pictures on the boards are now faded beyond recognition, but I did capture the written story in pictures. If you take time to read it, you will be amazed.

The information is posted in both English and French. I cropped out the French only to adjust the pictures to a smaller size and square them up. You can find more detailed information on the Wikipedia website.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this journey. I can’t say when the next one will be but I hope you’ll join me when it does. Happy Travels!

Riding the Trail Between Hastings and Campbellford


Yesterday was the nicest day we’ve seen so far this  spring, so we decided to go for a bike ride. It was too spur of the moment to ask our friends if they wanted to join us. It’s just as well.

We’d tried taking the trail out of Hastings before, along the river bank, but it was too treacherous – uphill and down on a narrow path of large loose gravel and some very large rocks that made steering difficult. We got off of it at the first intersection with a paved Concession Road.

This time we took the concession roads east until we found the trail heading south. It didn’t look too bad so we entered it. It was a little rough, with a few large puddles to go around near the beginning, but it was a beautiful ride through the trees and past the swamps. Like the trail heading west out of Hastings, it was built on the old railway line. It wasn’t our plan to go all the way to Campbellford  and when we got to the tunnel that goes under County Road 35, we could have walked the bikes up the steep incline and ridden home using county roads.

Tunnel under Country Road 35

But we decided,  since we didn’t have anything else planned for the day, we’d continue on and have lunch in Campbellford. That was a mistake. We’d already been riding for about an hour.

The trail became narrow again, with heavy, loose gravel piled between the two lanes and along the outside edges. We had to go slow, which made staying within the narrow path difficult. We were often precariously perched on the edge of the bank along a creek. When my tires lurched, I had visions of tumbling over the edge  and landing head first into the water. The only good thing about the trail was that most of the wooden bridges had been recently rebuilt. It took us an hour to get from the tunnel to Campbellford.

By the time we were finally travelling down the last little stretch that would take us onto the paved roads of the town, my bicycle was rattling. I looked down to see my front light barely hanging on. Fortunately the bikes came with repair kits, and Jim put it back into place.

Reconnecting the light

After lunch, sitting on a curb outside Tim Horton’s, we left for home, taking the paved roads. We did make one detour along a well-maintained gravel road to say hello to friends, who it turned out, weren’t home. We still got home in less than an hour. Total distance, thirty-three kilometers. Would we do it again? Not unless it’s graded and made fit for bicycles.

Signs of Spring Renewal


I’ve really let my blogging slip by the wayside and I’m sorry, but I just couldn’t get into the re-blogging thing. Now that spring has begun to show her face, we’ve managed a couple of interesting local excursions. 

One day we took at drive to Healy Falls, where the water is running rapidly once again.

We got our e-bikes out and did a couple of tours around our neighbourhood to get back into the groove of riding. Then one day we did a 28 km trip to a neighbouring town, with two of our biking friends. It was a warm, almost-like-summer day. It was the last day before Ontario was going into another lock-down, when we’re told to stay home except for essentials, which includes getting fresh air and exercise.

Taking back country roads, with many steep hills, we arrived in Norwood in time for a take-out lunch, which we ate while sitting on the curb of the parking lot. The ride home seemed easier.

A few days ago we discovered, after Jim’s daughter told us about it, the lovely Nawautin Nature Sanctuary in a nearby Township. After an unpleasant start to the day, it was just what I needed to calm my soul. The pictures say it all.

Since then we’ve had rain and cooler weather again, but hope for more excursions soon prevails.

Mount Rushmore, Mount Crazy Horse


Originally posted on August 13, 2010

Day 8 (Wed)

I was a day late, but I finally managed to call Mom to wish her a Happy 96th Birthday, before riding into Sturgis for the pancake breakfast sponsored by one of the churches (still haven’t got the grocery shopping done). We returned to the RV to take care of a bit of business, and then we got on the bike and took off for the day.

We had to go to Rapid City to mail a package, but after that we put troubles behind us, riding up the twisty road towards Mount Rushmore. It was a beautiful ride.

We stopped at the Gas Light Bar & Grill in Rockerville for lunch. I had one of the best salads I’ve ever had – chicken, walnuts, cranberries, shredded cheese and lettuce with raspberry vinaigrette. It was huge. I felt badly when I couldn’t eat it all. Jim managed to finish off most of his seafood salad, which he thoroughly enjoyed as well.

The only modern convenience in the town

Rockerville is a ghost mining town containing partially-preserved old, wooden shops, a bank and a few homes, located in an area just off the main street. Other than a few occupied homes, the Gas Light is pretty much all that’s there, nestled in the valley between the north and south sides of Hwy 16. We wouldn’t have found it if it hadn’t been recommended to us by a fellow biker who’d shared our table at breakfast.

Next stop, still along Hwy 16, was Keystone, a wonderful town whose historical downtown has been preserved in the manner of the gold rush days. It too was packed with bikers. We spent an hour or more poking through the shops and taking pictures before carrying on to Mount Rushmore.

The climb through the mountains was amazing, the sheer rocks naturally carved into some interesting works of art. And then the famous faces of the four Presidents, Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt and Lincoln, came into view. Awesome!

We spent another couple of hours touring the National Park Information Centre and taking pictures.

From there, we had to go see Crazy Horse, an on-going sculpting project commissioned by the Lakota Indian tribe back in 1948 as a monument to Chief Crazy Horse. The original sculptor is dead, but his wife and kids are carrying on the dream, all paid for by donations, draws and sales at the commercial outlets and museum. Government funding was turned down by the family. It will be many more decades before the project will reach fruition. The contributions made by the thousands of bikers who would visit this week, would make a big difference, as acknowledged by the “motorcycles only” designated parking.

It was after six when we left there. We opted to take Hwy 385, stopping in Hill City for dinner. Here the entire downtown business part of the main street was closed to all vehicles except bikes, and bikes there were! The sun was setting when we left and the reported 100 degree Fahrenheit temperature earlier in the day was quickly dropping.

Watching for long-horned mountain sheep, we saw some scaling the rocks to our left and stopped to take pictures. They seemed curious and began to descend towards the road. Just as curious were other bikers and people in cars who began to stop too. There was some concern then that the sheep would cause an accident when a couple of them scurried across the road in front of a car and a bike. As we drove off, we warned approaching vehicles to slow down.

It was dark by the time we reached Deadwood, so after a quick tour of the main street, which was busy with biker activities, we continued on our way, arriving back at the camp at 9:45 pm. It was a great day, but exhausting, especially after I stayed up late posting pictures to Facebook.

Before we left on this trip I’d just finished reading a book by Nora Roberts called Black Hills. It’s been interesting seeing The Black Hills that she writes about and the area towns, like Deadwood.