Category Archives: Television

A Trek through Québec — Part 1


Our first sight of Québec from aboard Holland America‘s MS Maasdam:

Our First Sight of Québec City

Our First Sight of Québec City

Just down the St. Lawrence River from Montreal, a short 160-mile cruise or so, is a quaint little village called Québec City, also known as Ville de Québec.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it.  It’s the capital of Québec Provence in Canada.  As Québec is the letter “Q” in the NATO/ICAO phonetic alphabet I’ve spent most of my life actually knowing how to correctly pronounce it (one of the educational benefits of working in Air Traffic Control for 34 years):  Kay-Beck rather than the Kwah-Beck so often heard here in the United States.

Lower Town Fountain and Statue

Basse-Ville Fountain and Statue

Over the next six normally scheduled blogs — including the next two Fun Photo Fridays — I will offer you a sense and even a taste of this wonderfully charming city at the mouth of the St. Lawrence River and the approach into the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

Lower Town Café

Lower Town Café

We will tour about the town and take a look at such wonderful sights as the stunningly beautiful Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, the charming square outside Notre-Dame-des-Victoires in the Lower Town section (Basse-Ville) of Québec, and even take a ride on the Old Québec Funicular (click here to read about funiculars) before we begin our tour of Upper Town (Haute-Ville).

The Old Québec Funicular saves you a climb

The Old Québec Funicular saves you a climb

The grand Fairmont Le Château Frontenac sits atop the hill

The grand Fairmont Le Château Frontenac sits atop the hill

Additionally I’ll be having two bonus blogs this coming weekend aimed (pun intended) at you lovers of Old West firearms as we look at the 19th Century version of an “assault” rifle — the famous Winchester lever-action rifle — the “Rifle that won the West.”

Meanwhile, click on any of the images below to begin your tour of Québec.

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Fun Photo Friday — Montreal Favorites


I promised a picture of one-half of that other great Place d’Armes art piece, English Pug and French Poodle.  Here it is:

English Pug and French Poodle

English Pug and French Poodle

Today I present some more of my favorite shots of Montreal:

 

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High Chaparral and Rifleman Country


The drive through southeastern Arizona and along the U.S. border with Mexico in southern New Mexico brings with it numerous reminders of the Wild, Wild West.  That’s especially true if you grew up watching Westerns on television.  Depart Bisbee, Arizona, southeast bound on Arizona 80 to Douglas, Arizona.  From Douglas, continue northward on Arizona 80 (formerly U.S. Route 80) into New Mexico, where the highway becomes New Mexico 80.  Shortly after passing into New Mexico you will find yourself at the intersection for New Mexico State Road 9, which will ultimately lead you to El Paso.

What, you may ask, is so special about this route?  The answer is simple: For the most part is parallels the old El Paso and Southwestern Railroad line (also known briefly as the Arizona and South Eastern Railroad), and in some stretches of New Mexico 9 the road is actually built atop the old railroad grade.

Not only will you see signs of the long-abandoned rail system, you’ll also find alongside what appears to be many of the Old West telegraph poles that accompanied the line — beautifully preserved in the hot, dry climate of the  Chihuahuan Desert.  Many poles not only retain their glass insulators, but some even have remnants of telegraph wire hanging from them.

Now for a bit of television history:

  • Southeastern Arizona is High Chaparral country.  The mythical cattle ranch of Big John Cannon was supposedly not far from here — about midway between Tucson and Tombstone — but the series also dealt with Cochise , Gernomino, and their Chiricahua Apache tribe.  That would appear to place the High Chaparral Ranch much closer to the Dragoon Mountains than to either Tombstone of Tuscon.
  • If you watched The Rifleman (by far the best of the old, thirty-minute, black-and-white Westerns of the late ’50s to early ’60s), then you might place the fictional North Fork, New Mexico somewhere near Santa Fe in the north of that state.  That’s unless you’re paying attention to other references made during the series — references frequently made to southern New Mexico towns such as Las Cruces, Silver City, and Lordsburg.  that would place North Fork much closer to the U.S.-Mexican Border in the extreme southern half of the state.

So, what does High Chaparral and Rifleman country look like?  It looks a bit like this (click on an image to bring up an album of larger versions):

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