Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Montreal rush hour, and more

Unfortunately, the three hour delay in leaving Toronto meant arriving in Montreal for the start of the afternoon rush hour. Oh joy. It was very very bad. Hot hot hot, and there was some backup or delay on the approach to the Champlain Bridge, the one I had to cross. For well over an hour I crept along with everyone else at approximately one km an hour in 28C? 30C? heat (my truck is not air conditioned) on the approach to the bridge. I know there are other routes through Montreal, but I had no idea which one was most likely to be any better and thought, better the devil I know...

So around 5.30pm I finally emerged from Montreal, it took me two hours to get through! I had hoped to make it to the New Brunswick border that night but now the chances were looking dismal. At least a 5 hour drive from Montreal to NB, not counting dinner and bathroom breaks.

The air was bad. I think every damn field from Montreal to Riviere du Loup was being ploughed, and the earth was dry and dusty. The sky was yellow in every direction, with occasional plumes of brown dust rising from this field or that one.

By evening I was north of Quebec City, so I decided I would just keep going. At 10.30pm I turned south at Riviere du Loup for the final leg to New Brunswick. At that point I really should not have been on the road, I was quite tired and my reaction time was noticeably slowed. I figured that there wouldn't be too much traffic on the road and with the stereo cranked up I would stay awake until my destination. So that's what I did and I pulled off an hour later just north of the border.

I had packed the truck so full that it took me another half hour just to clear out some space in the back of the truck to sleep. It was still pretty hot so I couldn't sleep in my sleeping bag because it was too warm, so I spread a bedsheet on top of the sleeping bag and slept under that for half the night, then after a few hours woke up cold and crawled into the bag to sleep for another couple of hours.

The rest of the trip was uneventful, I arrived at Fritz and Carolyn's place on Friday afternoon around 5.00pm. The kayak on the roof weathered the trip just fine until the last few kilometers when a strong wind picked up and started blowing the kayak around. I could see it's bow sweeping back and forth above the windshield, the rope holding the stern moving in tandem in my rearview mirror. I slowed right down, figuring I was so close to my destination that I did not want to stop unless I absolutely had to. At the exit from the highway I did pull off and check the kayak tie-downs, they were a bit loose but I thought they would hold for the last 5 km or so to the house. And they did.

1 comment:

Barbara Anne said...

Way to go, Anne!!

You are one amazing woman!!