Monday, October 31, 2011
We had a great drive down Highway 91 enjoying fog rolling through the mountain valleys and in between small towns. Along the way to Leah (Morgan’s cousin) and her family’s home in Brownsville we missed an exit. Since we didn’t realize we missed it until about 15 miles past, we turned to our atlas and quickly found a new route on the side roads instead of just turning around. Our detour led us through many small towns affected by hurricane Irene a few months ago. We had heard of the damage but had no idea just how bad it had hit. There were entire trees stuck in dams. And when I say tree, I don’t mean the skinny wimpy tree seen planted in a tree farm fifteen years ago. I mean a huge hundred and fifty year old tree with deeply grooved bark that no lumberjack would even attempt to take down. Along with that there were bridges down or in disrepair, houses completely off-kilter, and the rushing rivers had pushed sediment from the bottom of the river onto roads and people's yards.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Saturday, October 29, 2011
Mangolandia friends Jax and Caye.
*A couple notes on driving/parking in Canada, primarily Quebec because Ontario wasn't much different than the USA. First off, one thing we found interesting is stoplights are different shapes. Red square=stop, green circle=go, and yellow triangle= yield. A blinking green light means you have the right away (not many turn arrows here). Secondly, once you're in Quebec know your small French words, especially days of the week because the parking signs are only in French and they have weird daily no-parking times. Thirdly, they don't give you nearly the same amount of warning before roads exit (1-2 km in most cases) so don't get caught in the far lane. All-in-all our time in Canada was filled with wonderful scenic views and was immensely enjoyable.
Friday, October 28, 2011
We made our way into Montreal today around 10am and were welcomed with lots of traffic. Luckily we are not on a time schedule, so moving slowly didn't bother us as much as it did many others on the road going to work, school, or to who knows where. We were entertained by some drivers who swerved in and out of lanes trying to find the quickest route, but really having no luck and being stuck in the muck along with the rest of us.
Once we got into the city we found a parking spot in the Westmount area right near a bike path. So we popped our bikes off the top of the car and peddled towards the city center. Our first stop was to listen to a large group protesting union busters at McGill University. The protesters sparked our interest so we joined in their march, which led us to the Occupy Montreal Camp. The camp contained hundreds of tents within Victoria Square, which is right downtown shadowed by the new stock-exchange tower. The camp even has a communal kitchen set up and solar panels supplying electricity. It was interesting to see how the business people working in the fancy tall buildings surrounding the square interacted or didn't interact with the protesters. There were many business people standing outside those skyscrapers having their quick cigarette breaks, staring at the protesters, thinking who knows what. By the looks on their faces it wasn't anything pleasant or supportive and one man walking by on his cellphone even muttered "Just some kids complaining about not having enough money" to whomever he was speaking to on the other end.
After our quick view into what was going on with the protests we continued on our bike ride and checked out a little more of the city. We had heard that there was an underground mall spreading a total of 33km below the city. We were curious. The word 'mall' scared us, but we had to see what an underground mall looked like. It actually looked just like any other mall, but we could not believe its ability to just keep going. After going around numerous corners to see that they just led to section after section of this underground shopping center we decided we had seen enough and got on our bikes again.