Friday, September 3, 2010

road hogs

We're pretty damn close to our destination now after 8 days on the road and 3600 miles on the odometer but it appears we're stuck in Fredericton, New Brunswick until a hurricane makes its way through some time tomorrow. I mean, really, what else was going to stop us or at least slow us down?

The huge surprise we got today was our discovery that Rte 2, the part of the Trans Canada Hwy that traverses this province, is a beautifully built and maintained divided four lane that allowed us to drive over the northern Appalachians at 110kph. We'd been imagining a 2 lane road with a speed limit of 45mph. Considering 110kph translates to approximately 70mph and people usually add 10+ mph to the posted speed you can see what I'm getting at here. You're allowed to drive at 80+mph but then they post signs to say you might find a moose standing on the road so be careful. What! The signs belabor the point of how big moose are by showing a graphic of one that towers over a car. That wasn't very reassuring; we were half expecting antlers to appear over the treetops.

The other menace we've seen a lot of is trucks - big trucks and bigger trucks that can also drive at or above the posted speed limit. Most of them are cool but sometimes they like to race alongside each other which can be quite disconcerting if you see them barreling down a 9% grade in your rear view mirror. Your only choice is to speed up or drive off the highway, which is not recommended in any driving manual for travel at speeds over 20mph.

Anyhow, we're here now safe and sound after what was really another surprisingly beautiful drive. The good news is this province is right next door to Nova Scotia so we'll be neighbors and can come back easily if we get bored with looking at the Atlantic.

Good night and remember to keep an umbrella handy. Hmm.. That might be a quick way of getting to Halifax tomorrow.

☁ ☂ ☁


La Belette Rouge said...

I bet you two are getting soar tushys. 8 days on the road is some serious driving. Keep driving safe!

Nancy said...

Trucks always make me nervous. I hate passing them and avoid it whenever possible - which annoys my husband to no end, of course.

You're almost there! I feel kind of sad... like you've left us. Dumb, I know.

Linda said...

wow, almost there and i do bet, like belette, your bottoms are about bottomed-out...hahah, anyway, it sounds gorgeous excepting the trucks, rather crazy with that double truck race down the freeway! glad you're almost, but not quite there....maybe by tomorrow and surely by the weekend...

yes, of all things, a hurricane...sheesh...what can will...and all safe!xx

Spadoman said...

What a slam on truckers. Yes, you guessed it, one of the many jobs I did was drive trucks. All kinds. Words from the song "Willin" by Little Feat:
"I've driven every kind of rig that's ever been made"
You know what, ytou're correct. They are idiots and drive too fast. I was one of them. (I may have to do steps 8 and 9 here if I keep going.)
So glad you are close and the journey is nearing the end. Now, when you get on the road, it will be for entertainment and adventure, and not to get to your new home.
So happy for you.


Lisa said...

I read your email out loud to MathMan and Chloe last night as we sat in a Starbucks trying to escape the house's broken air conditioner. They agreed with me that this is a very cool trip you're taking. I'm sorry that Earl is being a nuisance, though. I can't wait for the post that says "We've arrived!"

The trucks are part of I75's charm. The upside is that I am hyper alert when they are around.

Randal Graves said...

Guess if you wanted to escape hurricane season, Baffin Island it should have been.

If there be moose afoot, be sure to get a lid for your garbage can.

susan said...

belette - Considering the fact we've been in a 94 Geo Tracker (not the most comfortable car) we're feeling pretty good.

nancy - Yeah, have you noticed too that guys all get super macho out on the road?

I know what you mean about leaving as I feel it too in a way because I won't be directly experiencing life in the US. Still, we're not that far away and I'm used to keeping my eyes open :-)

linda - The weird thing about a long distance drive like this one is that although you may get a bit uncomfortable, after a while it seems like moving through the landscape at 75mph begins to feel normal (85 and up never does).

spadoman - I know you've been a long distance trucker and hoped you'd excuse my assessment of some. We've seen enough of them at truck stops to know not all are laid back intellectuals of the highways.

I'm glad we're close too and I've been very glad of your determination to keep in touch.

lisa - My road warrior husband kept trying to figure out how far we might get today before the high winds and hwy hydroplaning made stopping essential but now he's agreed to wait it out here at this boring hotel. I'm relieved :-) Tomorrow the weather will be perfect again and we'll be seeing our new place.

susan said...

randal - Apparently 8 people were killed in NS by a hurricane in 2003 - you may be right.

Around here they warn people not to put out bird feeders til late Nov. to avoid bears. I won't be expecting them in Halifax.. just a few drunken sailors.

MRMacrum said...

If ever a moose does appear in front of your car, aim for the butt. Hitting them broadside often kills occupants of the car. And it certainly does the moose no favors. A butt hit will spin them out of the way. And often this allows all involved, including the moose, to live to see another day.

This technique is actually taught in driving school here in Maine.

As an ex truck driver, I have no comment on the trucks. They are a necessary evil.

susan said...

mrmacrum - Thanks for the info about what do do if you ever are in the unfortunate position of finding a moose in your path. I just told my husband so now we both know.

Maybe I was too tired when I wrote that post last night because I know you're right about the trucks being a necessary evil - they're the reason why the big hwys were built. We've seen far more stupid behaviour by people driving passenger cars than we have by trucks and you can be dead just as fast by being sideswiped by someone not paying attention.

I'd still prefer all long distance transport of people and goods by train but I guess that's not gonna happen anytime soon.

gfid said...

as i drove to work this morning listening to a discussion of Earl on CBC radio by a reporter in PEI, i was thinking of you. my precise thought was "Earl! ...what a welcoming committee for Susan!" i was having melodramatic mental images of you arriving at your high rise digs to find waves slapping against the balcony, seaweed and shells and possibly a stray cod strewn on the living room carpet, and the windows smashed in by flying flotsam ..... but you'd have a great view of the storm. i've now added to that a vingette of the two of you arriving by brolly, a' la Mary Poppins, with you calling farewell to Montreal in hesitant French with an English accent.

but Earl has left Halifax by now, and you'll be arriving, if the forecasts are accurate, to sunshine and warmth. blessings.

and welcome home

marja-leena said...

Like gfid, I've been reading the news about Earl and thinking of you! Hope you aren't affected much by the storm and arrive safely in Halifax! Hope the welcoming committee isn't too wet and bedraggled.

susan said...

gfid - We were having a few of those melodramatic images too but yours are much more colourful. The idea of a stray cod flapping on the carpet is a good one. I ordered fish and chips at a restaurant earlier and then noticed the huge fish tank in the corner with big lazy fish swimming in semi-darkness. I decided to change my order if I saw the waiter approaching the tank with a rod and reel.

Thanks for all the good wishes.

marja-leena - We didn't even know about it until another friend emailed me the night before last. We'd checked the weather report on-line but it just said rain for Saturday.. really. It did rain a lot through here in Fredericton and was pretty windy too but happily we'd stopped in the right spot. I'm sure the welcoming committee is ironing the bunting now.