Night driving is a zen exercise for me. The dark empty road lit only by the sky and my headlights pushes me into a form of self-meditation that evokes a feeling of tranquility and reflection. And that's how it was for most of the night trip from Quebec City to Halifax. The last couple of hours, however, were a white-knuckle terror ride.
Hilly roads where you lose sight of what few vehicles are in front of or behind you. Opposing traffic visible for only short stretches before being hidden beyond trees -- giving you the feeling of being alone in the world. An onslaught of torrential rain. Curves that seemingly pop up out of nowhere and run the gamut from relaxed to near-hairpin. And of course, utter and total darkness beyond what meager visibility your headlights can give you in the downpour. All of this made me feel like I was driving a hellroad straight into oblivion. It was not especially fun. But it did keep me awake.
The drive out of Quebec was fairly uneventful. A smattering of raindrops here and there but nothing that would slow me down. Just into New Brunswick and about an hour before dusk I stopped off at a truck stop St. Huberts(which is basically a less tasty Swiss Chalet). The view from the the truck stop was pretty tremendous and I took the picture above from the outside tables.
In Moncton I decided to see Magnetic Hill, the "incredible and magical" place where if you put your car in neutral at the bottom it actually rolls back uphill! Getting there at around 1am Moncton time made for some interesting maneuvering through the tourist attraction area surrounding it but I did eventually make it to the bottom of the hill. It worked as advertised. I think I would've been more amazed had I not googled the secret of the hill before I got there.
I didn't want to hit Halifax too early so I stopped at Casino New Brunswick (conveniently just down the street from Magnetic Hill!). I had some highs, bought some food, then lost what I won. So basically I won some wings and garlic bread and killed almost two hours. Good deal.
The hotel got me in a room fairly early and I slept most of the day.
Tomorrow I hit Halifax for real.