Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Goodbye, Darkness

Parc National du Bic, Quebec

We’ve made our way past overnight camp stops in Grand Falls, New Brunswick and a small village called St. Georges de Caucuna. This is our third day in the Parc.

We’re up on the Gaspe Peninsula on the south side of the Saint Lawrence bay. Yesterday I had a bad case of what Mrs. Phred daintily and euphemistically calls upset tummy.

I think it might have been the little restaurant we ate in two days ago and the raw lettuce and possible lack of sanitary precautions.

We made a four mile hike here in the Parc. The 12 foot tide is an interesting feature. We are so far North that twilight can be a lovely purple and violet at 3 AM

When I ate raw snake and eels in Okinawa it always took two or three days before my bowels exploded. I never made the connection until an old Major told me that this was a common result of the local raw cuisine.

I’ve been rereading “Goodbye, Darkness” by William Manchester. It’s been 42 years since my last flight into Vietnam. Manchester revisited the sites of a number of WWII Pacific island battles in 1978, 30 years after his experiences there as a Marine Sergeant. He was still a young man, by comparison.

We also drove to a place called Le Canyon des Portes de L’enfer and took a six mile hike. It was mostly up and downhill and I really can feel the unneeded extra forty pounds I’ve put on over the years. The young Lieutenant appears in my dreams and wonders aloud why I can no longer run a seven minute mile or do 50 push-ups...I tell him he was a screwup in his own way and own time.

We (Mrs. Phred and I, not the young Lieutenant) argue about whether chutes are waterfalls and sault means rapids, but we may have those two mixed up. However now that we have the internet we know that the word sault (sue) comes from an archaic spelling of saut (from sauter), which translates most accurately in this usage to the English word, cataract. This in turn derives from the French word for "leap" or "jump" (similar to somersault). Citations dating back to 1600 use the sault spelling to mean a cataract, waterfall or rapids. In modern French, however, the words chutes or rapides are more usual, and sault (sue) survives almost exclusively in geographic names dating from the 17th century.)...so much for Sault (Sue) St. Marie and its rapides.

No internet for four days. My keyboard is really acting up. Certai letters ol respod we I pod o te. It’s very frtatig at ties. …Aha! Somebody has been messing with the control panel keyboard settings….The perils of sharing a laptop. Certain letters were only responding when I pounded on them. It was very frustrating at times.

Today we will visit Rimouski, one of the larger settlements along the Northern coast of the Gaspe Peninsula. We need milk, eggs and more cash.


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