I am exhausted. I think that was my plan — to exhaust myself into a stupor so I wouldn’t miss the kids — and I seem to have been successful, about the stupor part anyway.
And, to further the illusion that this is a reading blog, I can tell you that I read Little Bee on the airplane home (thank god for the Manchester, New Hampshire airport — the Hudson News stand there has someone with my taste buying books. They also had a paperback edition of the guy who was looking for the lost city of Z, which I could have also read. It’s a good book (Little Bee, I mean). It’s not perfect, but it’s good — I enjoyed it.
Anyway, to resume, after dropping K off at the Columbus airport, N and I drove across Ohio to Pittsburgh, stopping en route to leave M her cell phone charger (but not to see her — she was busy). It’s not a bad drive at all. We left the car with Esther, K’s mother, and caught the bus to the airport. After leaving the hotel in Ohio at about 10, we arrived in Portland, Maine at about 10, having taken car, bus and two planes to get there. It was exhausting.
The next day, we tootled around Lewiston a bit. I saw N’s apartment, of course, which was nowhere near the mess I had been lead to believe. She cooked me breakfast, we had lunch at her favorite bakery, we loaded up on maps, and then we headed off east, along the coast. It was spectacular. We spent the night right on the coast in Searsport at the nicest campground we had ever seen. I saw the sun come up over the islands off of Searsport.
Then we turned north and started driving up through Maine. All along we were never quite sure of our route — one idea had been to go east through New Brunswick to Nova Scotia, and that would have been a pretty trip — but I really wanted to go north, and it turns out she did too. So we traveled up to Fort Kent, sampled the poutine, crossed the border there. The crossing guard was somewhat suspicious of us at first, driving in an old Buick with the car full of stuff including my suitcases (one nearly empty — used to convey M’s belongings to Ohio), plus a lot of N’s possessions, since she’ moving out of her apartment – today, actually -and no clear idea where we were going. Plus, our passports — we’ve been to Russia, and N has been to Istanbul. I don’t know if that matters. But while he was off checking our extensive criminal records, N and I hammered out a plan, and when he came back I checked it over for distances with him, which I think sort of softened him, and after he inspected the car and found nothing more sinister than some of my uncle Larry’s polishing towels under the seat, he let us go. He asked if we had any relatives in Canada and I told him that my great grandmother had been born there, but he said that was too distant to matter.
Also, we had stopped at the Maine Prisoner’s Store on the way up. They have some really nice things, including very fancy model ships, and we bought an ottoman there for N, which I think made him suspicious. Apparently, it was illegal to bring those things into Canada, but he let us go. “I bought some stuff there myself, since I had a buddy in prison down there. I didn’t know it was illegal until I came to work here.” So — now you know.
Anyway. We spent the next night in Campbellton, New Brunswick at a lovely provincial campground, and the next day we crossed the Gaspe Peninsula to the Saint Lawrence River. We ate breakfast in Sainte Luce, and a conversation with the gift shop owner nextdoor convinced us to take the ferry from Rimouski across to Forestville and drive up to Quebec City on the northern bank of the St Lawrence. We did, and camped at camping bon desirthat night. The next day we drove in to Quebec. I can’t even tell you how beautiful the road was. Quebec was fun — we hung around for most of the day, then stayed in a motel outside of town that night, crossing into Vermont the next day, hiking a tiny piece of the Appalachian Trail in the White Mountains in New Hampshire before camping at a sort of noisy and child-filled campground not too far from Lake Winnipesaukee, which was pretty, but too crowded. The next day, N dropped me off at the airport.
It was a great trip — too fast, but now we have ideas about where to go. I’d like to go back to the Gaspe Peninsula, and also back to the road across the river from it, which goes way up north.
And Quebec is amazing — they really do speak French there. It’s amazing — like a whole different world way up north of where you sort of think no one ever goes. It was lovely. I want to go back.
Okay — now to get the car to the garage, etc.
Maybe pictures later . . .