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Thursday, July 4, 2013


         After the terrifying chipmunk scare, everything else in Canada came easy.   

We stopped by Montreal to see some art,


in Quebec, the old town,
and, to enjoy an incredibly delicious pear tart.

Quebec Province is a beautiful place but I couldn't find France there.  There are too many American influences.  You really have to  "cross the pond" but, here, in deep salted waters, we did find whales.


    Three hours northeast of Quebec City we entered rugged wilderness, steep hills slanting down to the sea at Cape Bon-Desir.   The area is known for the 900-feet deep trough next to the shore where whales often parade by.
   We set our camp chairs just next to the water.  Soon we were watching 30-foot Minke and 

bright white Beluga whales passing by.

To see the big guys, we put on these wild, floatation sea suits and struck out aboard a whale watch boat ( please ignore Devil Girl.  She insisted on doing her thing) .
 It was strange to see twelve vessels converging at the same spot in the Saint Lawrence Seaway.  Some held hundreds of gawkers.  
   Ours was limited to twelve. The captains knew huge humpbacks were lunching there and a thousand of us had paid about $70 to see them.
   See them we did, albeit,Curious Beluga Whale
from a distance. No, I didn't brave the forty degree water to take this picture.

Rolling, spouting and at one special moment,  a wide, slippery tail flipped up before a dive. 

     I learning that even though chase boats like ours no longer carry harpoons, we manage to reduce the whale population here by polluting the water and the fish they eat. The beluga whale count, for instance, is down 80% from what it was a hundred years ago.  Belugas only live in these arctic seas.


     As we were climbing out of our sea suits we saw a poster advertising the French bakery I'd been seeking.  We located it outside a small village nearby.  The "boulangerie" was a tent set up for the summer.  The husband had built a wood-fired oven and his wife, Chantal, sold us exquisite baguettes and pastries. 
    This was the top of our trip.  We have driven 3400 miles, and it was time to slowly make our way home.


 The next morning passed though Quebec City again to enjoy a bit of July 1's
"Canada Day".     These soldiers stood in formation wearing bushy bear-skin hats.  One saluted a goat with golden horns.  We had no idea why. 

   At the U.S. border, the custom officers confiscated our tomatoes and lemons.  I think they made up the restriction when one of them decided to make salsa.
   Like the guy checking us into Canada, they didn't care if Pi had papers when we left. 



There's a lot of timber in northern Maine.  We set up camp on the Dead River, a popular place for moose and white-water rafters.  While there, we saw neither.  

The rain kept is inside, looking out on the many "cabin tents" around us.



    In the morning we drove down to Paul's place in Belfast, Maine.  He purchased it from a member of the Hormel family, the processed meat elite.  
    You can't beat the view, looking out on Belfast Harbor and the Passagassawaukeag River   It'll be great spending the next few days in a real house, one with lots of hot water, laundry facilities, and no chipmunks.

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