Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its sixth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

August 27, 2014

PEBBLE BEACH MILKY WAY

... after shutting down the bookstore, i scurried up to bangor so chad and i could go out and make use of a dark sky night ... his wife, em, fed me a delicious meal, i chatted for a few minutes with the kids, and then we were off ...

... i'm not really even close to mastering this sort of thing, but i don't care ... mostly, it's a great excuse to be out enjoying the universe ... i'm really glad g*d had the good sense not to sprinkle the stars evenly, do you think perhaps g*d had photographers in mind when constructing the milky way ...

... after awhile, the heavens above ablaze with uncountable sparkling diamond like lights and the ocean singing a soft song as ever-so-gently it continued with its timeless chore of rearranging the continents, chad and i reverted to being five-year olds ... he dug a great hole, wondering all the while, "what do you think is beneath these pebbles" ... i, knowing his aversion to all things dark of the night, responded, "oh, it'll be like a law and order episode ... a body ... you'll find the face first, of course, all squished out of shape by the plastic it's wrapped in" ...

... me, like a lazy seal i flopped down at the edge of the sea and continued my life-long quest for the perfect rock ...

... we drove away, milky way captured, if not in digital files for sure in our memories, laughing as chad mused, "what if they've got a roadblock and we get busted for taking rocks" ...

... tomorrow these'll go with liz to school, for her students to curiously explore ... i'm sure she will say to them, "how marvelous, that if you collected all the rocks and pebbles from all the beaches and shorelines in the world, and then examined them closely, never would you find two exactly the same" ...

... people, us, humans, how can we ever find it anything but wonderful that never are two the same ...

GASPE WANDERABOUT - EPILOG

... i wish you could have been alongside as we meandered across the gaspee, cruised the great st. lawrence, and flew low west and east the length of the great saguenay fjord ... with all my heart i hope that perhaps my words and pictures of our journey will serve inspire a wanderabout of your own ...

"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls."
—ANAIS NIN

GASPE WANDERABOUT - FINAL POST

... we're home, safe and sound ... our last day was one of three-for-the-price-of-one parking, wrong-turning eric, pizza at a little cafe in the heart of french quebec, a most pleasant immigration official, and, with no apologies for taking the lead, a "fast and furious" descent from the border to jackman ...

... the last part of our little wanderabout was as wonderful as the beginning ... a bonus, of course, was the clear blue skies and air temperature absolutely perfect for riding ... our final day on the gaspe was only 120 miles of riding from our hotel to the ferry slip in matane, so we took it easy ...

... on the ferry jon and eric seemed determined their bikes would survive even a titanic class disaster ... jon brought straps i know for a fact are strong enough to hold in place a b-52 with its engines running ...

... from the comfort of our fancy airplane seats we could view a movie (robert redford sinking his sailboat in the middle of the pacific, my opinion not all that appropriate for the situation) or watch the deck hands as they went about their chores ...

... the ferry boat was huge ... dozens of semi-trailers fit alongside us in the hold ...

... jon had his iPhone, i my little olympus ... we had a friendly competition to see how well each of us could capture a bird flying alongside the ship ...

... the surface of the st.  lawrence was calm and the ride was smooth ...

... i met john stewart ... he's a car dealer in matane ... his job for the evening was to take a vehicle across the st. lawrence, drop it off, then scurry as fast as he could to get in line with red jeep that he had to bring back to matane ... five hours on the ship, scheduled to return near midnight, my suggestion was that he hit up his company for a night in a motel ...

... a result of my rather laissez-faire planning, we ended up enjoying the good fortune of staying in what i'm pretty sure is the fanciest hotel in baie-comeau ... nice towels, good soap, great water pressure, well worth the expense ...

... the next morning we enjoyed breakfast on the patio overlooking the st. lawrence ...

... the drive to the saguenay fjord was, well, it was zooming fast beneath huge glacial gouged cliffs and flying low around great sweeping curves that cried out, "please, please, lean it so i can feel your toes scraping" ... ah, what fun ... we took a side trip to sainte-rose-du-nord, a most wonderful little village, where we enjoyed maple laced soft-serve and a panoramic view of the fjord ...

... it is, indeed, a most impressive place ...

... after a night in the city of saguenay, we took the scenic route back to the st. lawrence, with another stop in l'anse-sainte-jean to take in the view from the southern side of the fjord ...

... jon appeared to be enjoying his vacation, or, perhaps, simply that he'd survived our kamikaze run down the river valley ...

... everywhere, there was beauty ...

... before mountains miles high were thrust from the crust and then worn by wind water and great rivers of ice until their heights were mere geologic memories, these parmeliaceae had already existed unchanged for hundreds of millions of years ... they are symbiots, fungi and plants living together in a timeless dance, the hardest of rocks eventually crumbling at their touch ...

... we stopped to see the great montmorency waterfall, which is 90 feet higher than niagara ...

... in quebec city eric used his wife's "points" to get us the executive suite in the hilton ... we had a parking garage adventure, enjoyed a fabulous meal, and marveled at the view ... to the right of center is "the plains of abraham," where in less than twenty minutes on the 13th of september of in 1759 the history of north america became a story of english domination ... to the french people of quebec, this was the beginning of what they still see as occupation by a foreign nation ...

 ... it was a beautiful evening ...

... the next day we motored home, pausing only for an errant eric to rejoin us ...

... what a wonderful wanderabout ...