Friday, October 17, 2008

Fall Break: The View from Route 202

Last weekend, we had a four-day Columbus Day/Fall Break from school (also, Happy Thanksgiving to our Canadian friends!). Since I knew I’d be going to a dog show the following weekend, I didn’t have any grand plans for the break. But I did get a lot of nagging chores and errands accomplished, caught up on my sleep a bit, and even managed to squeeze in a few special events. Friday night, I took a glorious drive through the Adirondacks up to Saranac Lake to see Cheryl Wheeler in concert. My dear friend, John, has always been her biggest fan, and I can see why. Not only is she a gifted songwriter and singer, but she is a delightful performer—an engaging storyteller and wickedly funny to boot!

On Saturday, I was supposed to go to Montreal with my next-door neighbor, Ken, to see a movie and go out to dinner. But he wasn’t feeling well that day, so I was on my own.

I decided, instead of going into the city proper, that I would take a lovely drive from Hemmingford, QC west on the Covey Hill Road (Route 202) to Franklin and stop at some of the beautiful orchards and see what kinds of fall activities that they had going on.

One of my favorite places is Blair’s, where they have live Quebecois music and country dancing under a big outdoor pavilion.

They also serve the best thing in the world—known in these parts as a “beaver tail”—but you may know it as an elephant ear or just plain old fried dough. But plain it is NOT, especially if you get it slathered with real maple cream as I did. YUM!

As I was enjoying my treat, I looked up and saw this. Her name, I learned, was Axelle, and though she was previously munching on a freshly-picked apple, I guess it paled in comparison to my beaver tail. But I told her in no uncertain terms that it was MINE and to go away! (Just kidding…I offered her some of mine, but her mom assured me that they would get her one of her own.)

At Blair’s and also at another place up the road called Arthur’s in Rockburn, they had petting zoos, so besides new human friends, I made some animal pals as well.

This sassy boy, though technically not part of the petting zoo, was my favorite.

I ended my autumnal tour at Huntingdon, a lovely place with a river dam in the middle of town, and home to some of the best poutine in the province.

Behold, friends, the national dish of Quebec! Fresh-cut fries with brown gravy and melty cheese curds—so gluttonously good, it should come with a side of Lipitor. Nevertheless, it is some good Frenchie eats!

After Huntingdon, I headed up to Ormstown to the IGA to procure provisions for the next night’s dinner, inspired, as usual on the weekends, by a show on the Food Network. But that’s another story for another post. In the meantime, dear readers, I urge you to get out there and have some breathtaking fall adventures of your own. I’m not sure what the conditions are like where you live, but this is my eighth autumn in the North Country, and it is the most amazing color season that I have ever seen. And it’s so fleeting (leading into the six dreadful months of winter that we endure here—that’s our trade-off), that we must make haste to go out into the glory of it and soak it all in before it’s gone.

1 comment:

Just the Right Size said...

Gina, I'm gonna come up there to see you next fall!

Fries, gravy, AND cheese???? Be still my heart (literally). :-)

Beautiful pics!