Friday, 8 August 2008

On leaving New Brunswick

I am in Cape Jourmain Nature Centre, about to get on the shuttle bus to P.E.I.. I saw P.E.I. for the first time last night after supper. I was sitting on the beach in Cap Pele looking at the sunset when I noticed land on the distant horizon. It was a very special moment as I could see rain squalls, a rainbow and a beautiful sunset.I am now two provinces down with three to go. Each time I change provinces it will be (or has been) over water.
Sorry. The writing of this blog entry got interrupted by the shuttle bus arriving. I am now in P.E.I. at the Greenvale Acres B&B. The Confederation Trail makes for wonderful biking, especially after the indifferent biking on New Brunswick roads. It is, however, less scenic than some of the roads I was on in New Brunswick.

Getting back to my point about crossing from province to province over water, it seems a mite odd that it is the reality of this trip. If I weren't going by P.E.I., three of the provinces would be connected by land. However, given the sequence and the layout of the provinces, I guess it is only a bit odd that I crossed from Quebec to New Brunswick over water. Or possibly not. The two main crossings are in essence Edmundston and Campbellton of which the latter must be reached by water owing to the Restigouche River. I am not sure what it means, but it feels like there is something different about changing provinces by water rather than by land. I suspect that there would be something about liminal experiences and the like.

In other musings, I read a few weeks ago that farmers in some parts of the U.S. are finding it difficult to get day workers (pickers and the like) because it costs the day labourers too much in gas for them to get to the fields. The writer speculated that the high price of gas could wreck havoc in the lives economy of the rural poor who are more dependent on cars, etc. than city folk.

Why do I write this? Well, biking in northeastern New Brunswick, I saw a lot of houses and low-end economic activity that suggested that the people of the area weren't that rich and had drive significant distances to get to services and/or work. I wondered how high gas prices would affect these people. Compounding the question was the fact that the gas prices seemed to be lower than in Quebec. Given that the Irving families pretty much own the province and that they made their start from the gas industry, I speculated as whether the Irvings might decide to look after their subjects or simply exploit the buggers for all they are worth.

The train was 90 minutes late. This was probably better than it had been a few days before when I suspect it was three hours late based on when and where I saw it. It was one of the new "Rennaissance" trains and therefore quite modern and a little mystifying. The seating areas were raised slightly above the walking area. In addition, the seats were three across rather than the four across I was expecting. Very comfortable. From my impressions of the Via Rail website, there are both the Rennaissance trains and the old stainless steel trains operating on the Ocean (Montreal to Halifax) run. I must admit that I had been expecting the stainless steel trains.

The B&B I am staying tonight is a mite eccentric but very reasonable.

1 comment:

Victor Chisholm said...

" feels like there is something different about changing provinces by water rather than by land. I suspect that there would be something about liminal experiences and the like."

Hmmm: liminal... limnology... maybe you've got something there! Happy trails, Daniel.