Hudson River Valley, NY to Montreal, Quebec

Trip Start Mar 04, 2007
Trip End Jun 16, 2007

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Flag of Canada  , Quebec,
Sunday, April 15, 2007

I'm in Montreal now with Thom; the weather is gray, rainy and dreary. Despite that we've been very busy until this morning. He's doing some OGT work and I'm catching up on the blog and other stuff. I really need to do laundry but I'm hoping to be able to do some at Jenny and John's tomorrow . . . if I get there.

I definitely spoke to soon on the weather being great. It's been a nightmare for the last 4 days. Driving from the Hudson River Valley through the Berkshires of western MA, spring disappeared and winter was back. Sunny but cold. I stayed with Heidi and Jim in Norfolk, MA for a couple days - thanks guys and had a great time catching up. I also was able to take the Little Guy in for an oil change, as he was 1500 miles overdue - oops.

On Wed., I headed up to see Katie in Salem, stopping by Concord, MA on the way. Once in Salem we ate, drank and saw the sights - good day of walking - the last until Montreal. A storm started to blow in on Thursday morning and I needed to get to Killington, VT - halfway between Montreal and Salem - since I needed to be in Montreal to meet Thom Friday afternoon. I didn't make it. I stopped in Lowell, MA on the way up to NH and VT to see the change. When I lived in the area as a kid, Lowell was a pit. A town that had been in long decline as the textile manufacturing went south. However, during the 80's and through today, they have turned the city around and it's really interesting. Lowell was the birthplace of the industrial revolution in the U.S. Lowell, MA was also the home of Jack Kerouac.

Had I not stopped in Lowell, I might have made it to Killington. However, the snow started in earnest 50 miles out and I only made it to Lebanon, NH - on the boarder of VT. I inched my way down the last 5 miles of highway to the Days Inn and got a room. Yes, I had to pay more in addition to my non-used room in Killington, but I figured my life was worth the extra $90. See, I'm not that cheap!

I left the next morning as soon as the roads were clear and the snow had stopped. Unfortunately, it didn't last long. It was snowing again by Montpelier. Luckily, it was a wet snow that didn't accumulate. The driving was hairy but I could keep going to Montreal. The roads in Quebec however are terrible and that's NOT a strong enough word - God-awful is more appropriate. I'd be really pissed if I paid the taxes they do and had to put up with cracked up, potted, and uneven roads like those in Quebec. I'm hoping they get better in Ontario.

Montreal has been fun and the people are amazingly nice and extremely talkative - at least the one's Thom and I run into. We've been crazy busy seeing the sites, eating drinking and hitting the bars in the Village - where Thom's tribe hangs. Friday evening we took it easy, got our bearings, had a good dinner and hit the hay by 11 pm. We'd both been traveling all day and were exhausted.

Yesterday, Saturday, we did it up (which is why we are probably still in the room at 12 pm on Sunday). We checked out Old Montreal, went to a museum, went to Notre-Dame Cathedral, walked along the waterfront and had lunch, took the Metro, had dinner in the Plateau area (Afghani food - Khyber Pass - very good and reasonable) and then hit the village. Oh my goodness - what a trip. The first bar we went to, Bar Metro, had a predominately gay male crowd over 50 that were line dancing to pop music. I have never seen anything like it. Then we went to Cocktail - not crowded but upscale with dancing and a cabaret type singer. From there we walked back past Bar Metro which now had an ambulance in front of it. One of the older gentlemen was being wheeled out . . . line dancing can be dangerous. We then proceeded on to a leather bar; Thom actually was the first to say lets go. They were showing a video of gay S&M/Bondage type behavior . . . I'll say no more. From there, we went to a drag show. I can say we saw the whole spectrum of "village life" except for the sex clubs - no girls allowed. Unfortunately, I have no pictures of this. We arrived back at the B&B at 3 am, which has made us unmotivated to go out so far today - though we are both working.

According to the locals, this is unusual weather for April. It's unfortunate as I'm sure this could be a very pretty city in spring, summer and even autumn. But, right now, the impression is very gray.

Thom's supposed to fly to Chicago and I'm supposed to drive to Toronto, however, the weather is calling for Heavy Snow beginning this evening and go straight through until mid-day tomorrow. We're just keeping our fingers crossed the weather changes for the better.
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