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Canada

Slow Glass
     ... and I start thusly, because these were the scattered thoughts I jotted down while my brother and I drove from Ottawa, Ontario to Fredericton, New Brunswick. That was on the 26th; by the end of that day, I was essentially disconnected to Teh Intarwebs, with the exception of my phone. Said phone has become unhappy with me, so I probably will be looking to the tender mercies of Nova Scotian libraries until I return to Chicago on Saturday.
     Still, I want to let you know where my head was at during the first day of the road trip, and I reach into the past for those thoughts. Here are the first crop, presented in the same disconnected mode in which they were generated. More may follow on Thursday, when I can once again escape to the library:
  • There are "beware of Moose" signs along the roads here. I definitely want a picture.
  • I'm noticing prairie grass, what I call "tassel grasses"  - most with dark wine brushes, a few with the palest white green brushes - waving tall in the ditches, during the first four hours or so of travel. I don't remember those plants growing this far north before. Were they introduced deliberately, perhaps to save the soil, in the past 20 years? No matter, they're gorgeous. The wind today, and perhaps the suction from the trucks along the road, makes all the grasses bow as we pass by. It's positively Biblical, yet I can't find it in me to be ironically postmodern about it. It's beautiful and hypnotic to watch.
  • Between Montreal and 200k farther on down the road, I am convinced that all the pigs in the known universe are born, bred, and urged to expel their bowels along Highway 20. Omnivores smell bad. (Later, I see a truck load of pigs headed for market, and I feel bad about pigs' lives in general. It's a pity I love bacon so much.)
  • Up by Riviere du Loup, now, and the St. Lawrence is now brown and tidal - it's the sea on vacation, not its immature freshwater self.
  • Seen in passing; a store styling itself "The Twit Palace." My mind stands back in awe, genuflecting in the general direction of the absurdity of the universe.
  • The Laurentians - great humpbacked evidence of time passing. Hills half in and out of the earth, covered sometimes with nothing, sometimes with trees. They are deserving of respect - they no longer have to reach for heaven like the upstart Himalayas. So they sleep, worn down by the love of water, wind, gravity and time.
  • Yes, I am that pretentious.
  • Flocks of sheep started showing up in the suburbs of Ottawa. I spy them again near Riviere du Loup. I like sheep.
  • Hawks fly along our route continually.
  • There is a stretch where I see trees whose leaves are gold - not a good thing, though. They have a metallic look, as if they were burned; fried by being dipped in metal. It would be pretty, but I think they are dying.
  • Note to self - do not ask for the stuff that looks like Italian oil seasoning for your sub at Canadian Subways, at least not in Quebec. It's sweet. I now remember donairs ....
  • Every so often towards the end of the afternoon, the spine of the eastern North American ranges - the ones that aren't the Laurentians - poke up above the skin of the earth. It's not granite and rounded, it's the brick rust shale that pokes through Nova Scotia's skin, too.
  • How many fucking saints are there?
  • In the most unilaterally francophone section of Quebec, that we've yet come to, we stop for early supper, and I buy a notebook. It is from the US and unilingually English. I am amused.
  • My brother tells me - reminds me, rather - that I can't put his picture up on my lj. Undercover RCMP, y'all. I am disappointed. I tell him I shall put up a picture of a Moose traffic warning sign instead. We are both satisfied with the substitution.
  • I notice the herons. My brother notices they are standing in a beaver damn.
  • God, the wildflowers are beautiful. They've long since taken the place of the tassel grasses in the ditches as we head to the New Brunswick border. They're pale pink, purple, they are the ivory of Queen Anne's Lace, beloved of my grandmother, and the gold of goldenrod. I can smell the goldenrod. It smells like summer.
  • As we get to the border, the Moose signs get closer together. New versions of the signs appear: Threate Eleve ... this refers to Moose. Bigger signs yet advice "Prudence." About Moose. Shit; this may get ugly.
  • There are also signs which appear to warn us of wild motorcycles and ATV crossings, but the moose have, apparently, beat those all hollow.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
mack_the_spoon
Sep. 2nd, 2009 08:08 pm (UTC)
Clearly I need to visit that side of Canada, too! Sounds amazing. And do post the moose warning sign picture as soon as possible.
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:34 am (UTC)
I hope to ensconce moose (singular or several) sometime on Thursday. With any luck, there will be a few bits and bobs of other scenery-type pics as well. And, yes, you really ought to hit The Maritimes as soon as it's feasible; you won't regret it.
mack_the_spoon
Sep. 3rd, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
Excellent.

And yes, although I also would feel faintly guilty/sad if I didn't visit the NE US at some point, too.
minnehaha
Sep. 2nd, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC)
Oooo....

K.
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Was it the moose? The pigs? The sheep? My brother? I hope it's not my brother, because ... Undercover, no pictures, have to kill you. You know the drill.

Besides, it was the moose, wasn't it? You can tell me ....
maruad
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
IIRC hitting a moose with a car will put the moose squarely in the front seat which is good for neither the moose nor the people in the car.
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:50 am (UTC)
To put mildly. Mind you, my brother hit a moose whilst driving a van once; the moose was able to walk away, (although Brother Mine suspects it died later) but the van was significantly damaged. He thinks the angle must not have been head-on.
dameruth
Sep. 2nd, 2009 10:24 pm (UTC)
A "false cut" is when you make a clickable link to another page *look* like an LJ cut, but without having the actual content copied there in that particular post under a cut.

Jeez, I hope that makes sense. The brain, she is still fried . . . Sounds like you're having a neat trip, BTW!
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:30 am (UTC)
Ah - that makes sense; thanks for the information. Also, your icon? Is perfect.
namarie24
Sep. 3rd, 2009 12:07 am (UTC)
So, um, be careful of those moose, k?
kaffyr
Sep. 3rd, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
Not to mention the pigs, the motorcycles, or the wild ATVs.I promise I'll try to avoid them all.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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