10/07/18 - 10/10/18
Move to Lac-Mégantic
We stop at a grocery store in Ange-Gardien, Quebec “Marché du Village” along the way.
Mr SMT desires leg stretching. I desire a nap. Kickboxing that AM in 48 degrees (9 C) apparently took more out of me than I realized.
I get a text from the aisle wanderer ... “I am lost in the bread forest.”
He found his way back eventually, and shared a haul of chips, bread, and hummus. He recommends the store. I recommend the bread and hummus. Yum!
🙄 No me parle pas français.
That should be "Je ne parle."
I mangle. Or should I say, I Españçais! 🤪
Baie des Sables
Victoria Loop, site 33
34 sites in our loop and we get the next to last one (number wise), and the next to last one (available on our loop).
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. Jour de l’action de grâce! The Canadian roadways resemble American holiday traffic. The country is on the move! And our campground is packed with revelers.
I wonder how late our neighbors will be partying. I’m expecting them to keep me awake all hours of the night.
Hm, unlike American campers who TOTALLY ignore camping rules, the Québécois actually adhere to campground rules. Wow! They are quiet and well behaved after 11 pm. I fall asleep easily. 😁
The memorial at Lac-Mégantic
In 2013, a train carrying 72 tankers of crude oil broke away from its brake settings, 63 tank cars derailed and spilled their contents on downtown Lac-Mégantic. The explosions that followed destroyed many of the buildings left standing after the derailment.
The story and timeline are very complex.
The train crew placed the train into a holding pattern near Nantes, at the top of a hill, for the crew’s evening shift break (a crew of 1 due to company policy). The current crew headed to town for the evening.
Firefighters were called to the train to put out a fire noticed by a passing motorist. In the process, the single running engine was shut down as per fire regulation.
Shutting down the engine ALSO (inadvertently) shut down the air system feeding the brakes.
An hour later, the train began moving under its own weight (the TSB later reports this is due in part to an insufficient repair by the railway company). It reached 100 km/h (65 mph) at the time of derailment in Lac-Mégantic.
The crude oil fed fire burned for two days.
47 people died as a result of this derailment. Thirty of them were in one local bar, the Musi-Cafe. We passed by the relocated and rebuilt Musi-Cafe on walking tour of the town.
Soil, buildings, the Chaudière River, and storm sewers were heavily contaminated with crude oil.
Lac-Mégantic Train Disaster Memorial
48 sculptures have been sprinkled around downtown Lac-Mégantic as remembrance and homage to the dead as a result of this disaster.
I found the sculptures contemplative and hopeful. A far cry from the doom and gloom of the 9/11 memorial.
A walk through Veterans Park and the downtown green space was refreshing and engaging. I recommend a visit to this town.
Upon our return to the campground, we are greeted by a deserted loop. We practically have the entire installation to ourselves. Both cool, but carrying slight overtones of "apocalyptic storytelling."
Les Fromageries et Les Boulangeries!!!
I can’t speak to the cheeses of Quebec, though Mr. SMT and the pups give 10 paws up.
Parking at a Grocery.
However, the bread I can speak to ... when my mouth is not full! The breads of Quebec are simply delicious.
I do not want to say that the Québécois have lost much of their “French-ness,” because they have not lost they are just separate. Their culture evolved independently of France, much like the Creoles and Cajuns of Louisiana.
As such, Quebec does not read (stereotypically, since I’ve never been to France) French, to me. Canada is, for the most part, highly North Americanized (not Americanized). Our neighbors to the north are kind, respectful, congenial, educated, and welcoming. And openly curious without being intrusive (a problem we Americans have in spades, and is one of the most easily recognized symptoms of our foot-in-mouth disease.)
However, the Québécois do retain some of the traits and practices of their French forefathers. One such example - the bakeries. If we lived in Quebec, I’d likely never bake again.
Mr SMT did mention that he would happily move to the Lac-Mégantic region, his only concern is whether he could meet the language requirements!