Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Video Blogging

I have switched over to using YouTube for blogging. My channel is called Retired for Life. Please have a look and subscribe.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The Steele Benders

Well I've been back from vacation for just about a week now and I've been really throwing it hard into the Zwift Academy training program and of course I had to go back to working for a living. But this past Sunday it was time for a fun ride and to get out with the Steele Benders.

We started out in Hartington and generally headed toward Frontenac Provincial Park before making our way back to our starting point. The day was just perfect! It felt pretty good to get back into that place where you can just hang out with a group of friends and enjoy what your doing while you are doing it. Even though this ride wasn't the suggested 30K (it was 38) and describing it as a bit hilly may not have been all that accurate (725 meters climbed) It was a lot of fun!

It can sometimes be so easy to forget how it feels to just relax and enjoy life. These rides are a perfect reminder to keep space in your head for the fun things in life.

I want to thank Philip for all of the work in putting these rides together every week. I know I have enjoyed it very much Philip. Way to go!!

I have started a new photo album on my Flickr page for the photos I took during the ride with my Go-Pro camera. Have a look. Steele Benders Photo Album

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Home In One Day

Well we made it back in one day. It was a long one. We started out at about 9:30 in the morning and pulled into our driveway just after 9:00 pm.

It was a pretty grey day when we started out but we knew it was coming so we were just about completely packed the prevues night. We packed our small cooler with sandwiches and goodies so we could stop anywhere we wanted for lunch. About 12:00 we pulled off at this nice little roadside park. It was just before we were about to turn inland from the St. Lawrence river.

That done, we got back on the road again. Sara took the wheel while I read and played with my sport camera trying to capture the occasional picture out the window.  Not really that much success with that.

We stopped in Cornwall at Kelsey's for dinner looking for a good burger. That was a mistake. Wont go back there!

Made it home with no issues. We unpacked and just left things where they fell and headed for bed.

This morning was unpacking and cleanup time. I discovered that we brought back a fair bit of the beach with us. That is going to be a job get all cleaned out.

Pluses of this trip:

  • We used Air B&B for most of our accommodations as we regularly do these days. This works out very nicely for us. You can often get a complete house for what you would pay for a decent hotel room. This gives you the advantage of a complete kitchen and laundry facilities.
  • Staying in a house in a local neighbourhood was a great way to learn about what to see.
  • Gaspe Park is a must see if you are in the area. Take the time and plan to do some hiking.
  • What can I say about the Magdalen Islands. If you love fantastic beaches and friendly people, it is a must see. I would say that this is an unrealized vacation destination.
Minuses of this trip:

  • We broke up our time into to many smaller 2 or 3 day stops. Those stops were just not worth it because there wasn't really enough time to visit the area. I would go back to any of them but I would take more time.
  • On PEI we went to the Inn at Bay Fortune for an oyster and wine tasting. The food was fantastic and the place was beautiful. BUT, this place is so overpriced, if we had managed to get reservations for dinner as well as the oyster and wine tasting, it would have been at least a $400 meal. Nice but not that nice! 
So what's next? Time to start planing for a trip next year to Tuscany!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Time To Go Home

Today was our last day before starting home. The day started out a bit wet but cleared up in time for us to get out and visit Exploramer. This is a museum and education centre focusing on the Bay of St. Lawrence.

Like so many other things we have seen on this trip, this was a very well done. It was relatively small if compared to something in Toronto but the information and presentations were all very interesting, along with a bit of fun mixed in.

Outside of the museum and in different places near the shore line there was a display of driftwood carvings that were quite different to look at. Some to the point of disturbing.

I'm guessing that a neighbour, not wanting to be outdone, setup their own display on their front lawn. if these neighbours were competing in the weird category, they just may be the winners.

The sun is setting on the day and our trip. It's time to get back and get packed. We have a 12 hour plus drive ahead of us tomorrow (if we drive right through as planed). With the long weekend over, we are hoping for a fairly trouble free drive. Time for dinner and packing and to say goodby to the Gaspe area, for now.

Our Last Day In Gaspe National Park (for this trip)

Yesterday was our last visit to the part for this trip. We decided to drive as deep into the part as we could. We turned off of the main highway, the 299 onto a gravel road called the 110 that was in pretty good shape. Very soon we turned onto the 11. This gravel road started out just fine but slowly got rougher as we went along.

After about 10K we were really starting  to get into the mountains and the road condition was really deteriorating and getting pretty narrow. I wasn't to sure what we would do if we came across another vehicle coming in the opposite direction but that was never an issue. I was glad our Honda CRV has the ground clearance it has and the all wheel drive system. We were never doing what you would call four wheel driving but I don't think I would want to take the family sedan back in that far.

We visited a few of the lookout points and walked a couple of the shorter trails that were all very clearly marked. The trails were all well maintained and there was always picnic tables and benches at the end of the trails.

We were now off of the Garmin map, about 20K of off the main road as and as far back in as we could drive. We decided it was time to find a lunch spot so we started back out looking for a small side road that would lead down to a couple of the parks chalets and the Sainte Anne River. We found it and it was a perfect spot for our picnic and a good chance to send out the camera drone. The video clip at the top of this post is a short segment of the clip I shot.

This park is without a doubt  worth the visit. My only regret is that we didn't have a week to devote to exploring it further.

So back to our little cottage and dinner! But this time, believe it or not, no seafood. Just plan old steak.  ;-)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

First Day at Gaspe National Park

What a beautiful day and beautiful place. Today we hiked back into (translated) Lake of the Americans. This is a shallow lake created by a melting glacier.

 The view across the lake was amazing. It was a bit cool on the trail but when we came out into the clearing with the sun shining down, it just felt good to be there with Sara to enjoy this special place.

When looking through my large telephoto zoom lens, I spotted a lookout on the top of one of the peaks. It would have been a good walk to get up to this. I wish we had more time to explore farther. I think this may be part of the bucket list.

After coming back down from the lake, we headed out driving along the 299 that goes through the park and stoped at a couple of the lookout points. The photo at the top of this post was from one of those spots.

Another day is almost done. The Weatherman is promising another perfect day tomorrow so we'll head back to the park for a little more hiking. For now, off for dinner and back to our little cottage.

Starting Back

It's September 1st and we have been traveling for 2 days now with an overnight stop in Shediac.

I already miss the Magdalen Islands. At the top of this post is a short clip I took with my camera drone flying over the beach by the house we were staying at.  The people were wonderful, the weather was perfect and the visit was to short.

To make ourselves feel like we are still on vacation, we went out for a seafood feast dinner in Shediac. Yes, more seafood! Lobster!!
(These pics are for you Becky!)

This morning it's back on the road.

We made a stop at Kouchibouguac National Park. While we were at the visitors centre for the park we bumped into this couple who live in the area. He's 85 and she is 75. They were there at the new visitors centre for the first time. Friends had told them that they had seen pictures of them at the visitors centre.

As we were going through looking at the large displays of old photo blowups on the wall depicting life from those old days of the area, the wife got our attention and asked if we wanted to see pictures of her husband. They showed us the where posters were showing him. I can only imaging how strange that must of felt for them.

We wanted to decided to take one of the short hikes in the park before getting back on the road so we headed out for a hike to a lookout tower by a bog. It was a beautiful view.

Well, that was it. Time to make a mile so we left New Brunswick and here we are back in Quebec. This time we are in a small cottage just outside the Gaspe National Park. We had a rainy drive for the last 3 hours but it looks like we are going to get at least 2 days of good weather. So tomorrow we go hiking!