Sunday, August 28, 2016

Quebec City

The first stop on our Canadian Maritimes Odyssey is the City of Quebec.
One of the oldest cities in North America, Quebec was first settled in 1535 by
Jacques Cartier who built a fort there over the winter.  He left the following spring
and returned in 1541 to build a permanent settlement but hostile natives and winter weather
chased him out in the summer of 1542

It was permanently settled by Samuel de Champlain in 1608.

Before I get too far along however, let's step back a day or two.

I made a drivelapse of our trip up the Adirondack Northway (I-87) from
the Bolton Rest Stop, thru Canadian Customs and 20km further to
a fuel stop at Flying J in Napierville, QC

You can watch it below

We are going to be making some beautiful drives this trip so I'm hoping to capture them
and do more drive lapse videos as we progress.

Now back to Quebec....

Saturday morning we drove about 7 miles to the ferry in Levis, QC,
we parked the truck and took the short
and scenic 10 minute ride across the St Lawrence River to the city.

The ferry was on time, modern, and spotless.

The crossing gives you a unique perspective on the city and our approach
heightens the anticipation of the day to come.

Towering over the city is the Ch√Ęteau Frontenac.
Built in the late 19th century by the Canadian Pacific Railway, it is one more
in the chain of Great Hotels built by the railway during that period.
You might recall another - the Banff Springs hotel that we've visited
and blogged about previously.

Chateau Frontenac

Walking off the ferry you are transported back in time to another world.

Old City Quebec

Narrow cobblestone street and the period buildings of Old Quebec

Window decorations

Place Royal is a square in the old city and is where it all began.
One of the oldest continually inhabited places in North America.

Place Royal Quebec
 From Place Royal we marched up the hill to the upper city (my name).
Whereever we travel we always love to visits the churches and Quebec was no exception.
Here we visited the Cathedral Notre Dame.

Notre Dame Quebec
A view of the interior and the altar.
The church altar was designed on 3 tiers.
The first tier gives tributes to the saints of the church, the second, Mary,
and the third Jesus.

We visted another church, wandered thru the streets and parks, eventually
arriving at the Chateau Frontenac where we availed ourselves to a comfy chair for a few
and did some people watching in the hotel.

Outside on the promenade.    Below the boardwalk is the original
battlements that protected the city.   It is a Canadian National Park site and
can be visited.

The elevated location - about 200' above the river, and the location at a narrow point in
the river made this site a perfect place to defend Quebec and Montreal further upstream
from Colonial British ambitions.

We eventually worked our way back down the hill where Kate selected and outdoor
Bistro for a late lunch and a bottle of Rose'.

About 330 we caught the ferry back to Levis.
By this time the river was loaded with pleasure boats taking advantage of the
fantastic Saturday weather.

We are going to extend our stay here thru Monday before we head further out
onto the Gaspe' Peninsula.    We have only scratched the surface of Quebec, and 
Sunday I have a lot of work to get caught up on.  We plan a trip to the Costco
in Levis to see what different products might be had in French Quebec.

Oh and yes...   we need to find a Bakery.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Lake George NY to Canada

Since we last checked in we have clocked off another 780miles on the old odometer
and are now sitting just outside of Quebec City, Canada.

But before I get ahead of myself....

We left Gettysburg on Monday headed 395 mi North to Lake George NY and the
Lake George RV Park, which was to be our home for the next 4 nights while I
checked into the office and attended to a normal biennial audit by Berkshire Hathaway.

The RV Park is quite nice.   It has more of the feel of a State Park as far as the
privacy, natural features and site size, yet has all the amenities +++ to keep families
happy for their long summer vacations.

I chose our site online when I booked because it was sunny and in the open and I
thought I'd have a good shot at the satellites but some trees across the street were just too 
tall.  I should have been two sites to my right (#55 or 56) to get the Dish W Arc birds.

Not to worry - the park has cable at all sites so we were able to keep up with the Kardashians.

Lk George RV Park site #58

Our audit was completed late Weds evening and it was time on Thursday to
do some visiting with local friends.

My buddy Matt is an avid hunter and fisherman, spending weeks in the Adirondack in
a tent while hunting each season.   Recently he purchased 35 acres and is building a garage
on his property to house his "Toys".    (Snow Cats, Front end loaders etc)
Heated by wood and water supplied by cisterns, I could not even talk him into putting
a satellite dish on the roof.

The second floor over 1/2 of the garage is one room where he can sleep if we
can pry him out of the tent.

One of the winter modes of Transport.

One of the neighbors...   a type of Salamander.
I think its called a Red Eft.

Adirondack Red Eft?

2 miles down the road is another of Matts Neighbors

A large pile of Goat Dung
Meanwhile Kate visited with Matts wife Julie, their son Max and his best friend Ben

(L-R) Ben Julie Max Kate

Friday morning dawned rainy and cool.
A cold front was passing thru and by the time we were hooked up and ready to go at
8am the clouds had parted, the sun was out a a brisk northwest wind was blowing.

We enjoyed a beautiful drive up I-87 the Adirondack Northway, and by 11am
we were in line to cross into Canada.    It took about an hour for us to make it to the head of
the line and we were quickly processed and past thru by a friendly young border agent.

Entering Canada on I-87/Aut-15
by 3pm or so we were parked in Camping Transit - an RV park in Levis, QC just south
of Quebec City.  We will spend the next few days here while we visit Old Quebec. 

Parked and hooked up - its Cocktail Time!
People often ask how the dogs do with all the traveling...
I think this picture says it all. 

Lucy sure knows comfort.

Next....   we tour Old Quebec.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Gettysburg Revisited

We are back on the road.
Our destination is the Canadian Maritimes, but we have some stops inbetween.

Our first stop was Gettysburg, Pa.
Our long time blog followers might recall that we were here about 3 years ago
but we were somewhat limited in our visit due to a government shutdown that
prevented our visiting much of the battlefield.

Fortunately this time around no such limits were placed on our visit and we were
able to see the areas that were off-limits last time.

Having been happy with our accommodations the last time - we once again stayed
at The Artillery Ridge Campground.
We are in site 424 in the quiet back side of the campground with
full hookups and 50amps.

Our first stop was the Gettysburg National Cemetery where over 3,500
Union Soldiers were laid to rest.    It was here, upon the dedication of the Cemetery,
that President Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg address.

NY Memorial and graves of the Unknown of Gettysburg

Next we headed over to Culps hill, just adjacent to Cemetery hill, it marked the
North end of the Union lines.

One thing you notice upon arrival is the sheer number of memorials throughout
the park.   Each regiment and division - from both sides of the conflict-  has marked the ground where they fought - and many died.

NY 78th and 102nd infantry memorial on Culps Hill.
Next we headed over to the center of the union lines on Cemetery Ridge to visit
high water mark.   It was here on the 3rd day of the battle that the Confederates
momentarily broke the Union lines during Picketts Charge. 

The objective of Picketts Charge had been the trees in this photo.
12,500 men started across almost a mile of open ground
By the time they broke thru the Union Center, only 2,500 men were left, the
remainder retreating, dead, wounded or captured.

The 2,500 who did break thru were either killed or captured within 10 minutes and
the lines held.

Sunday we visited Little Round Top and Devils Den.
Round Top was the high ground at the southern end of the union lines and
commanded an expansive view of the battlefield.

It was also the scene of fierce fighting over the 2nd and 3rd days.

In the Panorama below #1 marks the Devils Den, #2 marks the field crossed during
Picketts Charge and #3 Cemetery hill - the Northern end of the union line.
Just below cemetery hill you can see the memorials around the High Water
mark and the Center of the Union lines.

A monument to the NY 44th from Albany, NY on Little Round Top.

The view from Little Round Top looking north along Cemetery Ridge
to the Northern end of the Union lines.

The view that a 3" gunner had from Round Top.

Tomorrow we pack up and head 400 miles north to Lake George, NY
where I will spend next week attending to some matters for work.

Once done with that - On Friday we will continue north and cross the border 
with our first Canadian stop Quebec City.