Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Isle D'Orleans

We found a mention of the island in a hotel pamphlet about local attractions and it mentioned this 24 mile long island just up the road from Quebec City. This narrow bridge is the sole connection to the mainland and as the island is an elongated oval you end up back here after spending most of a day circumnavigating it.
 It was a gray day and it might seem counter intuitive to go out into the countryside but it wasn't cold and it drizzled only occasionally so it turned out quite well.
My wife wanted to check the fruit stands and they grow strawberries here so she dug in and they were excellent.
Rusty was not amused by the giant advertising strawberry and much to my astonishment he started barking at it which made the farmer laugh.
 The views across the wooded rolling landscape were quite delightful:
Decidedly rural...
 And at every stop Rusty got out and explored this totally alien environment. He had a blast.
My wife made us stop at an artist's co-op, against my will, and of course it was great. Rusty stayed outside watching the world while I chatted with the artist who declined to have his picture taken. We talked about traveling, he has a camper in his old age to replace his tent and likes Tennessee. A place that felt miles away from this odd island in the French speaking St Lawrence river. 
The St Lawrence in it's awesome riverine majesty. Rusty was fascinated but the wall was too tall and there was no beach access. 
They like colored roofs Up North.
 It was windy as Rusty and I strolled and my wife took refuge in the car.
 You also get silver roofs and those gables that remind me of Paris...
I don't know what this road sign was all about. Low flying cars crushing bicycles..? Whatever it was it stopped here.
I saw a trail so my buddy and I took off down it. I can't imagine what Rusty was thinking so far from the tropical world he knows in south Florida. He was as busy as you like chasing around and sniffing everything, taking it all in.

 My wife was studying Trip Advisor and they mentioned this "Trailer at the Corner" so we stopped.
 Rusty did the rounds making friends as he went.
We ordered two lunches, and as they do duck there we had a pulled duck sandwich which wasn't nearly as weird as it sounds and  a container of poutine with duck. I'm not  a huge fan of duck but this lot was excellent, not too fat and not too rich. I am not  a great fan of poutine either, a dish attributed to Canadian ingenuity. Most people I talked to about it dismissed it as, at best hangover food. The only time it gets any respect is when it is gussied up with bacon or fois gras or truffles or something. As most people know its french fries, and in Canada they seem to like real potatoes, curds which are flavor-free lumps of cheese material and brown gravy, a British import from the years before people cooked real food in England. Make of that what you will. It's on the right in the picture below with duck meat and a sprig of green.
We drank local sodas, we sheltered from the wind and tried to keep an eye on our wayward dog. It was cold enough in July that we were wearing our winter jackets. A wooly windproof vest is my favorite cold weather gear.  
Tomorrow's lunch. They looked more like geese than duck which was possibly why I liked the meat better than I usually do:
We did the wine tasting thing as well. This far north there is limited sunshine so the wines we are told tend to be lighter and less sugary and tannic. I liked them, not that I got to taste as much as my wife the passenger. I left the windows of the car open and he was a good boy until a passerby started fussing with him and he jumped out and came into the wine tasting room much to Madame la patronne's horreur. That was my cue to abandon wine and enjoy Rusty outside for a while.
We also took in an apple orchard for the cider which was actually more interesting than you might expect as they had quite a few flavors. Rusty as usual got his walk, no wonder he enjoys travel.

Don't throw apples, break branches,climb in the trees or shake them. So there bad mannered French speaking people. But you can walk your dog, so that was all right and we didn't touch the pommiers.

 We climbed the hill as my wife the inebriate continued to test ciders in the shed.
I love how when I whistle he comes running. It never fails but I only ever call for him when I really need him to come back. That way he gets to exercise his mind and his body, to run free as a change from being on a leash. In this instance it was starting to rain and the little runt ran straight past me and went down the hill half a mile to the waiting car where my wife scooped him up and sheltered him from the weather. I plodded back at my speed getting rained on. Good dog.