Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Nearly cryptic stop signs, river ice on the move, and horseback riders on our snow-covered street

We woke up to crisp temperatures (about 2 F), clear blue skies, and calm winds. After walking  Woody, getting the wood stove cranked up, and eating a hot breakfast, we made the short drive to Parc National Du Bic to ski. Knowing that we'll be leaving this winter wonderland in just a few days, we chose  one of our favorite routes - out to Ferme Rioux and the Le Chemin-du-Nord trail to the old Lyman house and the point beyond.  There, we found an opening in the river ice, where dark blue water was moving rapidly with the tide, carrying chunks of ice with it. It was an impressive site.
Attached are a few random photos from the day -  Wednesday, 20 February, 2019.

The view of our outbuildings from an upstairs window shortly after sunrise.
Snowdrifts make for highly variable snow depth in the landscape.

This stop sign, in Parc National Du Bic, is nearly covered by drifting snow. 

View of the frozen Saint Lawrence River in Parc National Du Bic

The view from the end of the Le Chemin-du-Nord trail. The patch of water was moving rapidly
with the outgoing tide carrying chunks of floating ice along the way.

The horseback riders shown here are the owners of the large grey horse barn shown in the far left of this photo.
I took the photo from our front yard.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Photo montage from our home in Le Bic, Quebec Province in mid-febuary 2019

We've been at our home in Le Bic, Quebec Province, for over 6 weeks now. We had some trepidation coming to Quebec in winter --- wouldn't it be really cold and harsh? Well, yes. But with the right mindset and appropriate clothing, it can be fun. And, it has been! Here are a few photos from mid-febuary during our last week before returning to Asheville, NC.

The full moon was setting over the ridge in Parc National Park Du Bic about 6 am on Feb 19.
Today's full moon is called the snow moon.

Early morning view from upstairs window of house and barn down the street

Early morning view of outbuildings from upstairs window

Lisa skiing on back country trail in Park National Du Bic

A branch of the Salmon River near entrance to
Parc National  Du Bic

Horses in neighbors barn on cold morning (2 F)

Morning train heading west towards Quebec City

Tractor with giant snow blower cutting into wall of snow along road

Sunset out living room window

View to the west from a living room window post sunset

View from paired living room windows looking west

View to the north from a living room window

View to the south from a living room window

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Highlights from a mid-February day in the Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec Province

It's a cold (4 F) Sunday morning, but the sun is shining, the wind is still, and it's time to go skiing in Parc National Du Bic. Today, we skied the La Colonie trail which parallels a ridge of the Appalachian Mountains. We cross-country skied alongside spruce and fir trees, many laden with snow, below a gorgeous blue sky with clouds skipping across the sky. After an hour or so, I noticed the water in my thermos had turned to a slushy mix; but dressed in multiple layers, and pumping our arms and legs as we traversed the trail, we stayed warm. Just a tad past two hours, we were back at the car, loading up for the short drive home. As we drove through the snow-covered Parc road, we passed two fat tire bicyclists. They looked to be having fun but I mused to Lisa that I'd much rather be on skis than a bike on snow.
After a hot lunch and a bit of R&R, I took Woody, our golden retriever, on an outing to Saint Fabien Sur Mer. It was gorgeous - breathtaking views of the frozen Saint Lawrence River, the Appalachian mountains running through Park National Du Bic, a blue sky, and clear, crisp air. On the edge of the ice, it's often colder here than further inland such as at our house. But wearing my big puffy blue Holobar down jacket with hood (a gift from my father-in-law) I was warm and toasty. Woody enjoyed dog scents along the road and I was mesmerized by the views.
On the way home, I stopped at a small grocery story/bakery in Saint Fabien - Epcerie-Depannneur Co-The' - and bought a maple sugar pie, which Annie, our neighbor, had recommended. The teenage girl at the counter was interested to learn I was an American and wanted to know what brought me up here. She spoke very good English, which she said she'd learned in school.
The sunset was another beauty with an orange sky and pinkish clouds. Later that evening, Woody got a the upstairs bathtub, a new experience for us all, which Woody took in stride.
It was another enjoyable day here in the middle of winter in the far northern latitudes of the Gaspe Peninsula.

Lisa cross-country skiing on groomed track in Parc National Du Bic

Fat tire bicyclists in Parc National Du Bic

Saint Fabien Sur Mer with the frozen Saint Lawrence River
alongside the Appalachian Mountains and Parc National Du Bic 

Sunset from upstairs window

Maple sugar pie purchased at local grocery store/bakery in Saint Fabien

View out living room window of outbuilding with mountain ridge in background

Woody napping post getting bath

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Home landscape on a snowy day in Bic, Quebec Province

It's Wednesday, February 13, and we've had about 6 inches of fresh snow by late afternoon with more to come tonight and tomorrow morning. We stayed close to home today including a short cross-country ski outing down our street and into an adjoining field. We shoveled some snow, took Woody (our four-legged friend) on short walks, fed the wood stove lots of wood, and enjoyed a couple of hot meals prepared by Lisa. There's a lot to be thankful for here in Quebec.

Cross-country skiing from our house

Lisa skiing across field near our house

Local horses out in the snow

Lisa near large barn down the street

Tim skiing down our road

Small barn along road
View of our house from road

Old antique barn with sign
Another view of the old antique barn with accumulating snow

Outbuildings with accumulating snow

Adjoining landscape

Wood stove and chair with sheep hair pelt

Rimouski, Quebec Province: scenes in winter 2019

Here are a few photos of Rimouski, the largest city on the Gaspe Peninsula with a population of about 50,000. There is a college, a maritime institute, a music conservatory, and other interesting features, as well as a waterfront along the Saint Lawrence Seaway.

Lisa with the Mayor of Rimouski at downtown restaurant

The Cathedral is a focal point of Rimouski

Next to the Cathedral is a small museum

The Maritime Institute is in an impressive building

The north side of the city fronts the Saint Lawrence Seaway

Across from the Maritime Institute is an Information Center

Saint Germaine Street in downtown area

Corner Coffee house on Saint Germaine Street

The corner coffee house is a nice place to hang out

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Icy parking lot at KFC 

Large piles of snow in parking lots is a common site

Working public phone partially filled with snow

Birds in tree along sidewalk were foraging on sunflower seeds on  ground below

Getting ready for the start of the ice canoe race at the marina

Ice fishing huts on frozen bay in Rimouski

Fabulous walking, cycling, cross-country ski trail along the Saint Lawrence River

Lisa cross country skiing on above trail

Same trail
Park in downtown Rimouski has winter ice skating and cross-country ski trails and summer walking/cycling trails