Saturday, August 16, 2014

Travelogue – waterfalls

Thursday, August 14

It was a long day, as I knew it would be. I left the Quebec hotel about 10:00 after retrieving my car from the parking structure. On entering the structure one feeds in a credit card. To re-enter on foot one must use the same card. Also the same card when departing with the car. Four days of letting the car sit there came to $88 CDN. There was a less expensive structure, but it was farther away. I was real hungry when I put the car in and didn't want the hassle of moving it.

There was some light rain heading south of Quebec. I decided on lunch in Ste. Georges because there didn't look to be much prospect of it once across the border. By this time the rain had stopped.

When planning this trip my friend and debate partner told me he had done the road south from Quebec many years ago. The sole border guard in his single shack seemed to be a lonely guy who needed someone to talk to. My suspicion is that trip was before NAFTA. Now the large building has three lanes for southbound traffic, two of which were in use. Both had two cars. I chose one. Alas, both cars ahead of me were delayed and four cars went through the other lane while I waited. When I pulled up to the agent he even commented on it. He did chat for a bit, asking me what I taught and then asking what music theory is.

About 8 miles south of the border I stopped at “The Falls Rest Area,” named because there is indeed a waterfall visible from the north end of the parking area. I came just a bit closer for this photo.

In the town of West Fork I took a side trip east a couple miles. Then I parked my car to hike to Moxie Falls. It took a lot longer than I thought my sources had implied, the whole adventure taking an hour. I needed to stretch my legs. This is what I saw at the end – the cascade:

And then the falls:

In the way back to the car I encountered lots of 5th graders. One of the adults said they were from Portland and at a summer camp. I said I had counted 25. He replied, “I hope so.” He said at that age if he had seen a waterfall he would have said, “Wow!” These kids say, “Whatever.” Many carried beach towels and had apparently done some swimming in the pools below the falls.

The third break was a bit longer drive from the main road, but less of a hike. This was Houston Brook Falls. I had to photograph with a wide angle setting because the falls are rather large but one must be close to see them. I left these falls at 4:30.

I learned pretty quickly that when the sign says “scenic overlook” it is worth a stop:

Traffic came to a halt on US-2 east of Showhegan for road rebuilding. I was able to listen to a bit of radio. Alas, the NPR station was doing a one-day pledge drive. A majority of the other stations appeared to be Christian music, something I didn't expect in Maine. Other than this bit of NPR news the trip had been quiet. One scan across the spectrum produced only 2 stations.

I hit a downpour around the time I was getting onto I-95. Around this time the radio announcer was commenting about the record-setting downpour Portland got the night before. Perhaps that filled out the waterfalls I saw.

I decided to push on through to Bar Harbor rather than stopping somewhere for supper. I got here after 7:30 at about sunset. The total trip was 9.5 hours. Google Maps said there was 6 hours of driving. Two hours were spent at lunch and viewing falls. That meant slow and halted traffic, customs wait, potty break (there weren't many of those on the road south), and stops at scenic overlooks took another 1.5 hours.

Alas, I didn't go straight to supper. Laundry came first. I put the load in at 8:15, though the sign said to not start the washer after 8:00. The clothes were dry enough at 9:10 though nobody started closing up the place. I finished supper at 10:00. I had raided the peanut butter back during the traffic halt, so that wouldn't work for my supper.

My car has traveled 1055 miles so far on this trip (my feet added several more). When I planned this trip I found out the fastest route from my home to Bar Harbor was about 1000 miles. That route went through Buffalo, Albany, and the Boston bypass. I had gone by way of Montreal and Quebec and it was only 45 miles longer (not counting 10 miles to visit waterfalls).

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