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!

How Many Computer Geeks Does it Take?


Originally posted on August 13, 2010

Day 7 (Tues)

After discovering that the device for getting onto the internet, which we bought the night before, just wasn’t going to work, we headed back into Rapid City with computer packed into the saddle bag, expecting to get help quickly from the computer geeks at Best Buy. The first geek couldn’t do it so he called the sales associate from the mobile phone department. He could do it through the phone help line, if only he could get through to them.

He was on hold for twenty minutes, when another geek, the head of the department suggested that a different device would work better for our needs and could be installed very quickly by her. It was more money, but we decided it would be worth it if it was going to work. So, we made the exchange. That wasn’t a simple process. A monthly invoicing system had to be set up because, unlike the previous device, a one month prepaid card couldn’t be purchased. Our having a Canadian address made that process complicated. It took about an hour just to set up the account.

Then, it was back to the geek desk. A half hour later, the geek was still trying to get this device to work. In the meantime, the head of the mobile phone department came in (he’d sold us the original device) and he tried to help with first the account set-up and then the device set up.

We left for lunch. When we got back, the head geek had left for the day, leaving the problem with yet another geek. Another half hour passed before it was finally discovered, by the mobile phone fellow, that the battery hadn’t been installed in the device!

We thought that was the quick fix, but no, it still wouldn’t work on our computer, but it did work on theirs. So, after wasting four hours of our day, we left with computer and device once again stashed in the saddle bag.

Jim decided he’d like to take a back route home, and it was a lovely ride, until we ran out of gas! Fortunately a kind lady who lived nearby went home to get us enough to get us to Sturgis and a gas station.

Once we were finally back in the RV Jim went to work on the computers and internet device and he got them both working. At least the day ended better.

At Last, Sturgis!


Continuation of the Series Sturgis and Beyond

Originally posted on August 10, 2010

Days five and six

On Sunday morning, still in our campsite near Mitchell, South Dakota, we took our time getting ready to leave. I did some laundry; Jim repaired a window screen that had become loose, and I finished blog and Facebook postings. While I sat outside completing these tasks, I watched streams of motorcycles speeding past on the I-90. By 10:30 we had joined them, but the bikes ruled the road.

With a couple of stops along the way to refresh, we finally arrived at our campsite at Sturgis around 4:00 pm.

The day was another very hot one, reaching temperatures in the upper nineties. Our poor old motor home began to protest when we stopped to register. She didn’t want to start again. But we managed to slowly move her to our campsite and backed into place. We did our nesting; electric hooked up, table and chairs out, awnings pulled to provide some shade. We started a list of things we should purchase the next chance we got, like a sewer connector, a new door blind and stamps to mail cards. After a frustrating evening of trying to get and stay connected to WiFi, an internet stick was added to the list. Hence the reason no news got posted that day.

On Monday we took the bike into downtown Sturgis, list in hand. Lots of luck! There were many interesting sites and lots of pictures to take. Beer could be bought at nearly every corner; if you wanted a souvenir t-shirt or cap or any biking paraphernalia, you had hundreds of shops to choose from. But nowhere in sight was there a computer or mobile phone store, or a grocery store. Our list had to be discarded for the time being. We just parked the bike and enjoyed the show. The streets were lined with bikes of every shape, size and description that you could imagine. Granted the majority seemed to be Harleys. At least the loud pipes on our Virago blended right in.

There were bikes customized to look like cars; there was a bike that looked like our Venture, but it pulled a coffin for a trailer, painted to match the bike. The licence plate read “X-wife”.

The people riding the bikes and walking on the streets were just as varied. Jim especially enjoyed photographing the buxom women who equally enjoyed flaunting what they had. It seems that pasties are the only top covering required in this state. We saw people dressed in caveman/warrior garb, women in bikinis, old people, young people, an extremely tall woman, probably seven feet.

We stood in the crowd for the daily group photo. If you look really closely you can recognize Jim’s hat in the crowd. Well worth the $10 we paid for a copy. We poked through several of the shops, ate pulled pork for lunch and ice cream cones for dessert. We visited the Knuckle Saloon for a cold drink and a listen to some excellent guitar picking and songs by Rogan Brothers Band.

By 4:30 the sun and the walking had done us in so we found our bike and decided to look once more for the Post Office. By the time we found it, it had closed and there seemed to be nowhere else to buy those stamps. Some suggested we might try the grocery store and told us where to find it, but it would mean another slow ride through town; We came back to camp.

But the desire to get internet connection to complete some business and post our updates led us to get on the bike again and head sixty miles east to Rapid City. There we found the internet stick we were looking for and an IHOP where we finally had some dinner. It was nine o’clock by the time we finished eating, time to return to camp. Perhaps tomorrow we’ll get that list taken care of.

In the evening we were still struggling with internet while enjoying some live music coming from the beer tent.

Bikes, bikes and more bikes; and corn!


Originally posted August 2010

Day 4- Saturday

The bikes began to pass us first thing this morning, one or two bikes for every two or three cars. By one o’clock the ratio had changed. By then we’d crossed the border into South Dakota. There were bikes on the road, bikes in the back of pickup trucks, bikes in trailers and bikes in toy haulers. There were girls, guys, one-up and two up, some pulling trailers, others packed with gear. There was even a “headless” rider! Or at least that’s what it looked like. When he passed us his gear was stacked so high behind him, that he couldn’t be seen, but a helmet attached to the side of the load created a strange illusion. There were bald heads, scarved heads, hair flying, since riding without a helmet is legal in this state unless you are under eighteen. Often times, though, the women were wearing helmets as were some men.

After we crossed into South Dakota, we stopped at the visitors centre, and met up with many more bikers. We thought we were pulling a load until a huge motor home that must have been 42 feet long pulled into the parking lot. A lift on the back held a trike, and behind that was a twenty foot cargo trailer, presumably containing a few more bikes. Jim asked the fellow that was outside it if he found that the weight on the back made the front of the motor home lift. He was told, “It poses no problem. It’s much easier to pull with the motor home than with the hummer!

That’s a heavy load!

At the visitor centre we picked up several brochures and when we said we were on our way to Sturgis, we were given a Rally Package. Inside was more literature about things to do and see in the area. Looking through them stirred our excitement. We could spend a month here and never see all there is to see!

As the day wore on, however, the cool temperatures of the morning turned hotter and more humid. We stopped more, as did many other bikers. The vehicle a/c wasn’t working. Our last stop was at Mitchell where we filled up with gas, bought a Dairy Queen treat and then visited the Corn Palace.


The Corn Palace is an intriguing thing to see. The outside is adorned with pieces of art done entirely out of corn cobs of various colours, straw and other grains. Inside there are many more murals of the same medium. Amazing! And it was all free to see, even the parking. Purchases from the gift shop pay for the upkeep.

Jim made a new friend

When we left Mitchell it was already five o’clock and we’d still have a four and a half to five hour drive before we reached Sturgis. We decided we’d had enough for the day and looked for a campsite. We found a quiet RV park attached to a motel about thirty kilometres down the road. We plugged in, turned on the “house” a/c and barbecued outside under a tree. Sturgis can wait another day.

COVID-19 and a Much-needed Venting Post


I said yesterday that I was going to be posting updated versions of my posts about our trip to Sturgis and Beyond, and I still plan to do that. But today, I need to rant!

This morning I was reading some posts on one of  the FB pages from our “winter home” at Mesa Regal RV Resort. I was shocked, but not really surprised about what a saw. What used to be a friendly, all inclusive community has become greatly divided. I’ve seen it  progressing over the years while following some of the FB posts, but now it is out of control, and the cause is the same that has escalated the already ripe division throughout the US this past year – COVID-19.

The post that started a succession of name-calling and finger pointing was a simple question: “Is anyone else concerned about the big gathering of people at the west end (of the park) yesterday? There appeared to be no masks or social distancing and it went on for hours.”  (Paraphrased)

Some people confirmed their concerns and questioned why the management rules weren’t being enforced. There was mention of Covid cases already in the park.

Then, there was a barrage of angry residence who had been participants, with the usual excuses: It was a Memorial Service for a long-time resident; it was a gathering of mostly relatives, and some close friends from the park; you weren’t invited so it was none of your concern; you weren’t close enough to get infected so you don’t need to worry.

It quickly escalated to personal attacks: You weren’t invited so mind your own damn business; you’re just busybodies who tattle on their neighbours; if you don’t want to be involved, stay home, inside; this would be a good park if it weren’t for the busybodies. And on and on. One person even had the audacity to suggest that a commenter needed to “get a life!”

It takes a lot to get me riled up enough to speak out, but this time I responded:  “And this is why Covid is out of control! There seems to be no understanding of how it spreads, not because of a lack of scientific information, but because too many people choose not to believe it.”  

I know that I’m wasting my breath because “there are none so blind as those who will not see,” (a phrase that got its origins from the Bible In the book of Jeremiah, chapter five, verse twelve). But I need to at least try, because this reality crushes my hopes of ever getting out of this depressing situation any time soon.

How can these non-believers. How can we make them see that it is their selfish attitude, their determination that they will not be “told what to do”, their belief that their own personal “freedom” is the top priority, are destroying what their country stands for: Justice and Freedom for all!

Thanks for indulging me. My next post, I promise, will be back to our travels.

Stay safe; stay sane!

Re-postings from our Sturgis and Beyond Adventure, 2010


Since there’s nothing new to write about, but I figure it’s way past time for another post, I looked through some of my previous posts and discovered that many of my early ones didn’t include many pictures, although I took a load! Probably I had no good Wi-Fi access. One amazing trip in particular was to Sturgis, South Dakota for the big bike rally. My next several posts will be repeats of that journey, with more pictures added. This is when we had our old 1972 Thor Pinnacle.

It began on August 3, 2010, but I’ll begin with my first post after we crossed the border from Canada to the USA.

Hope you enjoy.

Crossing Border Canada/US
Crossing Border Canada/US at Michigan

December 11, 2020 COVID-19 Journal


Time for an update.

Once the weather got too wet and cold to ride our bikes, and we decided, since cases are rising rapidly in Ontario, that we would play it safe and withdraw from our weekly outdoor pickleball games, we fell into a funk.

I had household chores I could have done, but I wasn’t inspired. I spent a lot of time reading, playing games on my iPad and watching TV, too much of the depressing  news. I often attempted to do some writing one day, but had no inclination to continue the next day. I was working on my Memoirs, but looking through old pictures and taking the sometimes painful walks down memory lane only made me feel worse. All of this resulted in great fatigue and anxiety, both of which exacerbated my chronic pain.

I ordered a new mattress for our bed, to replace the 20 year old one, and then I worried about how I was going to pay for it. I have some savings, but feared spending any of it. I might need it for a rainy day!

I thought doing some Christmas decorating would help lift my spirits; it did, briefly.

Finally, after the US election was officially over, even if the current President has still not accepted his defeat, I stopped spending so much time reading and watching the news. I decided I was going to get back to my writing!

Earlier this week, in the middle of a night that sleep was eluding me, I bit the bullet and shelled out the money needed to join an online writing group where I could share my stories and get reviews. I could review the writing of others and get to know fellow writers. I could also enter contests with the prospect of possibly winning back what it cost me to join.

The next day I began. Receiving positive reviews and encouragement lifted me out of my sadness and returned purpose to my life. I have a much better attitude; I have much less pain; I’ve let go of past resentments. My energy has returned and I’m excited to face each new day.

I’m looking forward to the day that the World is vaccinated against COVID, and happy that it will be coming sooner than expected, but in the meantime I will focus on what I really like to do – write!