6.23.10 To Montreal and an earthquake!

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Lovely, empty 417 on way to Montreal

6.23.10 To Montreal and an earthquake!


We survived the 5.0 earthquake today!  The epicenter was about 30 miles from where we were driving at the time. 


I had asked for Ottawa to Montreal directions this morning from Jackie, at the campground office, who convinced me to take Hwy 417, which heads a bit south.  Otherwise, I'd planned to drive the route north of the Ottawa River in Quebec, which would have put us within a mile or so of the epicenter in Buckingham, Quebec!  But we'd likely have been an hour past Buckingham by the time of the quake.


We were driving on small waves, like 15-20 ripples.  “This is weird,” I said to Jazy.  “It’s like there are frost heaves, but you cannot see them!”  Since driving in Alaska and Canada we usually recognize the typically jarring frost heaves of frozen and then thawed asphalt.



But we did not learn of the earthquake until our arrival at the campground.  Fortunately I have not heard of any damages or injuries.  http://tinyurl.com/33zas6g


Remember, in Canada they have Provinces just like we in the U.S. have States.  Ottawa, the Capital of Canada, is in the Ontario Province.  So is Toronto.  In fact, from the time we entered Canada until today, we were in Ontario.  Ontario is very big and we only saw the SE corner of it.


Today we made it to the Quebec Province and into the city of Montreal!  And Quebec is French.

Montreal traffic
  As in ONLY French.  There were language laws in 1977 declaring French the only language.  But most people are bilingual and the people here are considered extremely hospitable and friendly.  Tres bien!


The 417 Interstate between Ottawa and Montreal was SO easy.  Hardly anyone was on the road.  We stopped at the new Quebec Welcome Center and got information for Montreal, Quebec City, and the GaspePeninsula.


Apparently all the traffic was in Montreal waiting for us.  For about 2 hours we waited in very slow traffic to get through the tunnel.  It reminded me of Boston.  But the drivers, for the most part were considerate and patient.


Remember how we’re flying our Canadian flag?  Well everyone HERE flies a Quebec blue flag!  They had a independence tilt for awhile, although I think that has cooled recently upon achieving economic success.

Traffic barely moving for miles (took hours) to get through this tunnel
  But we now think we need a Quebec flag to fly on Ciao.


The National Holiday of Quebec is tomorrow!  It should be fun festivities when we venture into Montreal tomorrow.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Holiday_(Quebec)


Here's something WEIRD.  It is 10:08 pm and I just fussed at the kids because they were trying to see fireworks and I thought had knocked off the levelers.  My stomach dropped as the rig moved and I assumed it was the levelers, since we also heard their springs creak.  So I went to redo the levelers... and all 3 are still on!  They are fine.  Perfectly level.  So it wasn't the levelers at all! 


What the heck was that rolling then???  An aftershock?  Jazy was in the bathroom, Charles was standing still, and Lia said it made her trip and fall forward.  Maybe we'll hear more tomorrow.  Very strange. 


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Lovely, empty 417 on way to Montre…
Lovely, empty 417 on way to Montr…
Montreal traffic
Montreal traffic
Traffic barely moving for miles (t…
Traffic barely moving for miles (…
Happy Caio and dinner time
Happy Caio and dinner time
Ciao Baby!
Ciao Baby!
photo by: cvanzoen