Late in August most of the lockdown stuff was over. We’re still wearing masks because we’re not idiots, but back then we were like bears poking our head out of the cave, unsure if we wanted to come out. Being a bit apprehensive about traveling anywhere, but also feeling like most and wanting a change from being sequestered at home, we decided to take a trip.
We didn’t need or want a big “see the sites” trip and most tourist things were shut down anyway, so we decided to go somewhere and sit, without our computers, without TV, and without an agenda. I even made the decision to limit my sketching during the trip.
We chose St. Simeon, Quebec because there isn’t ANYTHING in St. Simeon except a coastline along the beginnings of the Gulf of St. Lawrence. When I say there isn’t anything I really mean it. No good restaurants, no coffee shops, no nothing. But we did have a hotel that looked out on the water and it was quiet enough. We drove up a valley that holds the Black River and did a bit of sitting by the river. I spent half an hour making a sketch of the tree-lined roadway. I had a lot of fun doing it but I can’t show it to you. I’d forgotten what a spiral-bound sketchbook can do to a pencil drawing and the sketch has become a cloud of smeared graphite.
On another day, however, we went to “Port au Persil,” which is a small town with a gorgeous cove area and a pier where you can sit and watch whales. I got to see my first beluga whale which was exciting. Actually, we saw lots of them during our trip. By whale standards they’re quite small but they’re snow white and gorgeous. My sketchbook came out around the cove though. The cove is full of rounded sandstone rocks and I couldn’t resist. This reflects those formations.
Mostly, though, we sat on the balcony of our hotel, or walked along the beach. This involved a lot of whale watching, some beer drinking and a lot of salsa and chips. It was delightful. I decided that I should try to paint the coastline and I’m afraid I let the paint get away from me a bit but I’ll share it anyway.
The trip was a big success. It seems that doing nothing appeals to both of us and we felt great as we headed for home. I need to spend more time doing nothing.