We had a wonderful visit to the old city of Quebec and now it was time for the taxi to take us to the airport and plan for our flight to Fredericton. Thunderstorms were still in the Quebec area so our departure from was delayed until mid-day to allow nature to run its course. The Arrow had a real good washing then the sun came out for the drying cycle.
We finally got underway and were flying in good visual conditions with smooth air between the now distant thunderstorms that were still along our route but moving south-eastward.
Continued deviations to the north of track kept us well away from those nasties with our actual track over 30 nautical miles left of our planned direct routing. Climbing higher above the scattered clouds to 11,500 feet allowed us to better see where the thunderstorms were and the StormScope displayed the lightning activity way off in the distance.
The StormScope helps occasionally in British Columbia but once you are east of the Rocky Mountains there’s often weather systems with lots of thunderstorms and lightning so the StormScope really helps in making strategic decisions to avoid that mean weather.
Cruising at 11,500 feet we picked up a 45 knot tailwind to speed us along the way with ground speeds approaching 200 knots.
Fredericton had received their fair share of the weather activity, however by the time we arrived all had passed by and the skies were wide open.
The Citadel is a very historic site and very important to the early formation of Canada.
Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from our hotel.
The Citadel is the Official residence of the Governor General of Canada and home of the Royal 22nd Regiment of the Canadian Army. They are the only army unit in Canada that is bilingual.
Changing of the Guard
Inspecting the troups
changing of the Guard and their mascot, the Goat
Quebec City is our sixth stop at a provincial capital visiting the provincial legislature buildings. Now we are more than half way there in our quest to visit all ten provincial capitals. We have been welcomed by a Provincial Minister in Regina and a Special Assistant to a Minister in Winnipeg and had photos with those folks, sometimes on the steps of the building and sometimes inside the building, with our Canada Flag.
This beautiful city is very easy to enjoy the old charm of Europe. We stayed in a real nice quaint boutique hotel only a short walk through the old city gates to the provincial legislature buildings.
As we had found in Victoria, there was some construction on the legislature building so we were not able to go right up to the steps at the front entrance. Our Canada Flag photo was taken outside the construction fencing. The work should be completed for next year’s tourist season.
In Quebec, the provincial legislature building is called the Parliament Building of Quebec and houses the National Assembly of Quebec.
We walked around to the west side of the building to the entrance that was open for public access. Like the other legislature buildings, security screening is in place prior to entrance, much like airport security.
The folks at security were very pleasant and I mentioned our trip across the country and the photo ops with our Canada Flag at the other legislature buildings. I had been carrying the flag in a “flag bag” (sometimes known as a “Man Purse” or “Murse”) and motioned to the security of my intention to take a photo of the Canada Flag inside the building in the legislature chamber. We were informed very emphatically that we were not allowed to display our Canada Flag inside the building nor to photograph the Canada Flag inside the building. The discussion seemed to be less positive as it had been at first.
A guided tour was offered, however we decided we could see as much of the building as we wanted in our own time.
There was a Quebec provincial flag but no Canada Flag.
The National Assembly had a Crucifix on the wall behind the seat of the Speaker.
The only Canada Flag that we saw in the building was in the Senate Chamber.
Our observations of the Canada Flag and the crucifix causes one to reflect on the meaning of “Canadian” and the structure of government including separation of “church and state”.
Quebec is another big province so this leg was all within Quebec.
There were thunderstorms in the area and along our planned route so our departure was delayed to allow them to move on. We stayed low along the Saint Lawrence River and could see the many farm fields that were long and narrow, initially laid out that way to give each farmer access to the river.
The airport at Quebec is one big construction site. The main runway is closed for maintenance and repair. For overnight parking we taxied to AVJet, an upscale FBO with excellent service.
By chance we met up with two men who are flying a Robinson R44 helicopter around the world. We had previously met them a couple of months ago on the other side of the continent. We were parked at customs at the Bellingham, Washington airport and the landed and were parked next to us. We shared stories of what they were doing and what we planned to do but never guessed that we would meet up again at an airport many, many miles away.
Quebec City is a very special place in Canada. Some of the buildings are well over 400 years old. We enjoyed our dinner in one such place.
The evening was nice and warm but the sky was overcast and quite ominous so we went for a walk around the city knowing that we might get a little wet and have to take shelter.
By now the sun was down starting to cool, however, seeing the silhouette Samuel de Champlain assured us that he was still watching over the city and the “New Lands” and all was well.
Sure enough, the rain came and we thought it would be a good time to stroll through the Chateau Frontenac.
The hotel has an interesting elevated wine cellar at the main floor restaurant. I’m sure there is a much larger wine cellar a few floors below.
I was wondering if soon we might see a little person riding a tricycle.
The years are going by faster now and we find it even more important than ever to hold on to family moments. Valerie wanted to visit with her Aunt Marie Paul in Montreal so me made a special effort to meet with her at her seniors residence. She has a very nice appartment overlooking the Montreal River and she said she was very comfortable and well looked after at this facility. As can be expected at her aunt’s age, there are some medical issues the she is facing but still she is sharp and witty as ever. We were able to have a meal together and discuss the family members of the past, our family in the present, and the new generation of family members on the way.
Special family visit with Valerie’s Aunt Marie Paul.
Air Cadets at St. Hubert Airport
We found there are many way to celebrate Canada 150 and at ChronoAviation, St. Hubert Airport, Montreal, Quebec, they had painted one of their Beech 1900 aircraft with a special Canada 150 paint scheme. I think the paint job looks quite nice.
Today we left Brantford and continued our journey eastward to Cornwall. Toronto Terminal kept us low at 2000 feet then were switched to City Centre Tower.
Due to traffic departing westbound we were asked to remain north of the CN Tower and descend to 1500 feet. That routing gave us a view of the observation deck as we flew past the CN Tower. It must have given the folks on the observation deck a bit of a surprise.
We continued along the north shore of Lake Ontario past Oshawa and Trenton then along the St. Lawrence River to Cornwall. Approaching Cornwall the radio communications were now bilingual, for eastern Ontario and Quebec.
Cornwall Aviation seemed quite busy with three Piper Seminoles coming and going on a regular basis. Hoping to check the weather on my iPad through their WiFi access, I asked for their password and was informed “No – we do not give out the password”. That was different and certainly not normal for flying schools or FBOs these days. Not very encouraging customer service. I have received much better customer service and attitude at all other operators visited on the journey across Canada.
We were able to meet up with Barry Franklin at the Cornwall airport. Barry was an Air Cadet in the 1960’s and obtained his pilot licence on a Flying Scholarship as did I. He is also a very active member of COPA for many years.
Cornwall to St. Hubert was a short flight and a quick taxi to Air Richelieu for fuel and parking. The flying school is training the Air Cadets this summer and we met with them and had a photo with the Arrow. It was nice to meet with enthusiastic young men, some we hope will be in the aviation industry for years to come.
The drive from Brantford to Toronto was quite busy but uneventful. Finally we visited the CN Tower for views of the city and surrounding areas.
After flying for so many years the views from the tower seemed less interesting than they might have been earlier.
The Legislative Assembly of Ontario was about a 30 minute walk up University Avenue. I hadn’t realized how many hospitals and medical facilities were located on University Avenue.
We had one of the security guards as our photographer for the shots with the Canada Flag.
The drive back to Brantford was over two hours and reaffirmed that I don’t miss the workday commute.
Joining us for dinner with Lyn and Randy was Hector, our long time friend. Hector was on of my first passengers in a Piper Colt in the late ’60s. We had several flights to Niagara Falls and around the Niagara Peninsula, and Hector always liked to do spins.
After spending a few days being tourists it was time to get ready for continuing our journey eastward. We drove to the Brantford Airport to ready the Arrow for flight, refuelling and cleaning up the interior. It’s amazing how you can make such a mess in such a small cockpit.
The Brantford Flight Centre is home to the Brantford Flying Club. The club has a nice little restaurant and a fuel truck to make that chore a little easier. You don’t have to taxi to the fuel pumps. I find it interesting how few airports have a convenient coffee shop or restaurant on site.
For the last several years I have been using an iPad 2 for all my pre-fight and in-flight references. Normally I fly VFR and IFR with only the iPad; I do not carry any paper charts nor any instrument approach plates. This spring I bought a new iPad and since it is smaller than the iPad 2, it doesn’t fit the RAM mount on the control column.
Aircraft Spruce has a new facility at the Brantford Airport and I wanted to visit them to look for a new RAM mount for my new iPad. Since Aircraft Spruce was some distance away, the good folks at the flying club offered us a ride in their golf cart; much appreciated. Sure enough, there was a RAM mount for my new iPad in stock so I bought it and quickly installed in on the left control column. Both iPads are onboard just in case I need the second one as backup.
After getting the Arrow fuelled and ready to continue the journey we visited my older brother Eric, and his wife Joanne, for dinner. We spent the evening reflecting on the past, sharing the present, and wondering about the future.
Returning to Lyn’s in Brantford we ended our day winding down with Lyn and Randy.
Valerie had been on Facebook and met up with her cousin Randie whom she hadn’t seen in many years. They had grown up together as little girls in Hamilton and, as it happens with many families, drifted apart for no particular reason as life happens. We made a special effort to visit cousin Randie in Hamilton, and her friend Eddie.
Randie has a special interest in cats. In her back yard she has an elevated hot tub and in the space around the tub has created a home away from home for cats that happen by. Randie makes sure that there are enough blankets for the cats to cuddle up in and puts out enough food to keep them well fed.
I think Eddie is the one behind the actual construction of this inner-city oasis.
Randie insisted that she take a photo with our Canada Flag.
I also had made a connection on Facebook with someone from the past. I had worked as a flight instructor in Hamilton during the late 70’s and one of my students reached out a couple of years ago to connect. We met 37 years ago when Dave Nusca was my student for most of his training. Dave had all of his pilot training completed and considered a career in aviation, however he chose to have a career in the steel industry of Hamilton. Like many people, life happens, you get married and have a family and your interest change. Dave was away from aviation for many years and has now retired. Now with more time on his hands, he has recently returned to aviation and is the proud owner of a Rockwell Commander 114, flying as much as he can.
We met up with Dave, and his wife Lorie, at their lovely home in Hamilton. You can tell you have a good friend when many years past by since you last saw them and when you do meet it seem like it was no so long ago that you shared your life experiences. So today, we shared a meal and had a wonderful time chatting about past times flying, our families, and what may lie ahead in the future. I would like to think that we will meet again in the not too distant future.
After travelling for the last two weeks with all the flying, aircraft issues, weather challenges and meeting so many nice folks along the way it was time to spend a quiet Saturday with Lyn and Randy. We had more of a normal day; slept in, went grocery shopping, went to the beer store, then had a few enjoying the warm sunshine.
Then it was time to fire up the BBQ for Beer Can Chicken. Valerie made a great salad and I was there to ensure all went well.
Randy and Lyn have mastered their BBQ skills
After sunset the backyard fireplace kept us engaged while we talked away the evening.