Tag Archives: history

Happy Alaska Day!


Quebec Major Junior Hockey League

While in the province of Quebec, I was able to take in two QMJHL games with Brazil Lucas & The Curator.

The first was in Shawinigan, Quebec at the Centre Gervais Auto. The Shawinigan Cataractes were hosting the Sherbrooke Phoenix.

It was the 50th Anniversary for the Cataractes, so we were lucky enough to be on hand for the pregame celebration. The haze in the photos is from the celebratory smoke that hung in the air for the entire game.

This would prove to be a very entertaining game.

The Phoenix took a 2-1 lead in period one. Ryan Da Silva, whose parents we were sitting next to, would get an assist for Sherbrooke.

The second period saw the pucks flying everywhere. Shawinigan would score three, Sherbrooke two, and things were tied up at four. Da Silva notched another assist in the period.

The teams traded goals in the third, so we went to overtime. It was a 3 on 3 OT, which ended quickly with a goal for the home team.

Cataractes win 6-5.

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The second game was at the Quebec City Videotron Centre. We would watch the Sherbrooke Phoenix once again, this time taking on the Quebec Remparts.

This was not quite as entertaining of a game. Even though the score was close, the Phoenix never really seemed to get things going. Goal tender Brendan Cregan kept Sherbrooke in the game, especially early on.

The first period was scoreless. Quebec took a 2-0 lead at the end of two. The Phoenix did score two in the third, with Ryan Da Silva getting one assist, but the Remparts also scored two. The final was 4-2 Remparts over the Phoenix.

The Vidéotron Centre is quite the hockey arena for a Junior team. It seats just over 18,000 for hockey. The announced crowd was 8500 for a Sunday afternoon game.


William H. Seward House

The Seward House

Built in 1816 by the future father in law of William Seward, the Seward House is now a museum.

William H. Seward

William Seward was the governor of New York State, a U.S. senator for New York, and probably best known as the U.S. Secretary of State as a member of Abraham Lincoln’s “team of rivals”.

The Seward library

Seward led a fascinating life. He was not a big man in stature, but he was certainly a bold man who dominated the politics of his era.

Leave your sword with the bear at the door.

Seward lost to Lincoln in the presidential election of 1860, but then became Lincoln’s Secretary of State.

Painting depicting the signing of the purchase of the Alaska Territory

We took the tour of the house, led by a volunteer guide. It’s well worth the hour it takes to conclude the tour. The price was $10 with the AAA card.

The House holds a lot of Seward family heirlooms. William Seward took the home over from his father in law, and Seward’s son followed him, and his grandson took over the home from there. William H. Seward III donated the house to the foundation.

The purchase of Alaska is prominently displayed throughout the tour. One member of our party tried to get the woman at the desk to let me look through the photo album in the glass case. She politely declined.

There is a Native Alaskan kayak displayed from the ceiling in the carriage house. The kayak was given to Seward during his visit to Alaska in 1869.

A parlor in the house. Seward passed away while lying on the couch in the picture, although the couch was in another room at the time of his death.

Seward’s office, which is the room the former Secretary of State died in.


Chute-Montmorency

Montmorency Falls

Named by Samuel de Champlain to honor the viceroy of New France, Duc de Montmorency, Chute Montmorency stands at 83 meters high. 30 meters higher than Niagara.

The waterfall is at the mouth of The Montmorency River, which flows into the Saint Lawrence after dropping off the cliff.

A suspension bridge spans the falls, which can be accessed three different ways. There is a tram that can take one to the cliff top, but there is also a trail that winds around from the side. For the adventurous, there is a stairway that climbs up one side of the cliff face, offering great views of the falls.

At dusk, Montmorency Falls lights up with a natural glow that highlights the entire cove. Although this happens throughout the year, due to the high iron content of the waterbed, the light show is best in summer.

A zip line across the top of the falls is also available for your amusement. The price was about 1/3 of the cost of the Niagara zip line.

Montmorency Falls at dusk. Photo credit: capitale.gouv.qc.ca


Street view

Quebec City


Quebec City

Citadel wall around Quebec

The Algonquian people called the area Kébec, meaning “Where the river narrows”. Jacques Cartier, the French explorer, built a fort here in 1535.

Samuel de Champlain founded the city on the bank of the Saint Lawrence River in 1608. Champlain adopted the Algonquin name, calling the new settlement Quebec.

The old city, Vieux-Québec, is still surrounded by ramparts. The fortified city walls are the last ones remaining in the Americas north of Mexico.

The Saint Lawrence River from the citadel walls

Lucas and I spent the day exploring Vieux-Québec. From the Plains of Abraham to the citadel walls and down to the railway station and the river port, we walked the historic streets of this fascinating city.

Monument to Samuel de Champlain

I brought the old Kodak 66 along just for this part of the journey. It offered a good excuse to pop into a pub for a pint to reload the camera with its 120 film. Since I’m traveling light on this trip, no laptop, just the smartphone and two film cameras, if anything interesting comes out of the film, I’ll post it upon my return to Alaska.

The Chateau Frontenac

I really enjoyed Quebec City, especially Old Quebec. I loved the history and character of the city, and found it so much easier than Montreal to get around. I would love to go back: spend a week wandering the city, then a week or more wandering the National Park to the north.

The city was not void of crowds, however. I found the tourist volume to ebb & flow. One moment we would have a street to ourselves, then a moment later we would be surrounded by madness. Luckily, both Lucas and I found a certain amount of amusement in that.

In many places, stairs link the lower and upper part of the town. The Escalier « casse-cou, literally means: “neck breaking” steps. Lucas insisted on getting the full experience, so we ventured both down, and then up this series of steps.

Gare du Palais, “The Palace Station”

The train Depot in Quebec is a work of art. Called the Palace Station, the Via-Rail station is the eastern terminus of the Quebec City – Windsor Corridor.

The Palace Station ceiling

Wandering the streets of Quebec City


Montreal Canadiens

Centre Bell; Montreal, Quebec

When in Montreal…

Brazil Lucas, The Curator and I spent much of Saturday exploring downtown Montreal. With a Habs game on the agenda for that night.

It would be my first game at Bell Centre, home of the Canadiens.

Warmups

The Ottawa Senators were in town to play the Habs. It was a preseason game, but when you’re traveling and have the opportunity to take in a home game of one of the Original Six, you can’t be fussy.

Opening face off

Ottawa drew blood first in the opening period , as Brady Tkachuk beat Carey Price. Cody Ceci doubled the Senators lead in the second.

Montreal finally got on the board with a goal early in period three on a score by Tomas Tatar. Nikita Scherbak would tie the game, and Paul Byron would put the Habs up for good. Price would end the game with 15 saves on 17 shots. Montreal outshot Ottawa 32-17 In the 3-2 Canadiens win.

Mike Reilly, #28

Mike Reilly, the product of Chanhassen, Minnesota, is now a member of the Montreal Canadiens, after being traded last year from the Minnesota Wild. I realized at the game that I have seen Reilly play for four teams now: the Minnesota Golden Gophers, Iowa Wild, Minnesota Wild, and Montreal Canadiens.

Reilly, a 25 year old defenseman, was the Second Star of the game against Ottawa. It was probably the best game I have seen him play since he wore Maroon & Gold.