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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Quebec

Victoria Beyer

Canada Trip 2019

Strolling down one of Quebec’s lovely streets.

Strolling down one of Quebec’s lovely streets.

Last year we toured around the United States in our RV for the summer, and we decided we should do the same this year, but in eastern Canada. Neither my husband nor I had ever been, and we were excited to fill in that big blank spot on the map with images we had seen with our own eyes.

Our first big stop was the city of Quebec. What a beautiful place! It reminded me of downtown Charleston (near where I am from) with the old buildings and welcome of tourists. We stayed in a campground at the southern edge of town, and took a cab in every day to see the sights. We spent a lot of time just walking around, soaking it all in.

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One thing I really liked about the city was the juxtaposition of the new with the old. Modern art was around every corner, it seemed, and we thought it was really beautiful.

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Line Roof Garden, Musee de la Civilisation, lovely installation art by Coryn Kempster, Julia Jamrozik

Robert Moses State Park, NY

Victoria Beyer

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We spent a lovely few days at Robert Moses State Park, in New York. We had a huge campsite, with a nearly private beach. Wyle was delighted that there were kids in the next site over. They played at the beach together for days, staying up late since the sun sets so late this time of year. My grandpa was still with us for this part of the trip, and we really enjoyed chatting by the fire while enjoying the sunset over the St. Lawrence River.

We had our first good wildlife spotting here too, seeing a short-tailed weasel several times. The first time, it emerged from the bushes at the right of the photo to cross the sand, with a chipmunk in its mouth. Upon seeing me standing right there, it dropped the dead chipmunk. Then, deciding that was too important a meal to lose, it grabbed it and continued on its way to the bushes on the left. Pretty cool!

Boldt Castle, New York

Victoria Beyer

It’s tough to get a good picture of the mansion, because of all the lovely trees surrounding it.

It’s tough to get a good picture of the mansion, because of all the lovely trees surrounding it.

The island was originally Hart Island, and I learned hart is another word for stag. So there are stags adorning parts of the castle and the grounds.

The island was originally Hart Island, and I learned hart is another word for stag. So there are stags adorning parts of the castle and the grounds.

The castle is surrounded by lovely gardens.

The castle is surrounded by lovely gardens.

We drove up through The Thousand Islands region of New York, along the St. Lawrence Seaway. We didn’t have any particular plans, so we got some brochures as we stopped here and there, and we decided we had to see Boldt Castle in person. It’s a quick boat ride from Alexandria Bay to the island where famed hotelier George Boldt built a dream house for his wife, Louise, on Heart Island. When she died suddenly, just months before the house’s completion, he sent all the workers home and never stepped foot on the island again. The mansion fell into ruin for the next 77 years, until The Thousand Islands Bridge Authority purchased it and began to restore it.

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A portrait of Louise Boldt hangs over the fireplace.

A portrait of Louise Boldt hangs over the fireplace.

The inside is just as majestic as the outside of this grand house. With the original plans, the first two floors of have been restored.

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Grandpa takes a photo of a map of the area.

Grandpa takes a photo of a map of the area.

The top floors have not been restored, which shows just how much work had to be done. There are unopened crates with building supplies that were abandoned when all construction ceased. And there is graffiti everywhere from the years when it was empty - clearly this was a place for local kids to go hang out.

The power house is a castle in and of itself.

The power house is a castle in and of itself.

The water has risen past where it was in 1900 when construction began, and you can see that it has intruded into some of the structures on the island, including the power house, shown above. The children’s ‘play house,’ another mini-castle, has water flooding the bowling alley. It’s sad to see the areas that have been loving restored being damaged again, but the house sits higher up on the middle of the island, and so far is out of reach of the St. Lawrence River.

Old Fort Niagara, NY

Victoria Beyer

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Not far from Niagara Falls is Old Fort Niagara, one of the prettiest forts you will ever see. The French built it in 1726, but wanted it to look like a ‘House of Peace’ instead of a fort, so as not to arouse the suspicions of the Iroquois. It was later taken by the British, then the Americans, and one again by the British. It was returned to the Americans at the end of the War of 1812. That was the fort’s last armed conflict, and since then has served as a barracks and training station .

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Niagara Falls, NY

Victoria Beyer

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I live about five hours from Niagara Falls, but I have just seen it for the first time. It was as impressive as I had been expecting. It’s actually three falls, which you can see in the first picture: American Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and the largest of the three, Horseshoe Falls. We rode the Maid of the Mist ship, which was fun but frankly, it was hard to see anything when we were close to the falls. But without my sight, I really focused on the power of the falls through the overwhelming roar. It was incredible.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Part 2

Victoria Beyer

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I have spent the last month revisiting all the photos I took last summer on our 7-week road trip across America. I took so many photos, and I even did a good job keeping up with them as I took them, but there are always some gems that slip through the cracks. How did I not notice the above image, from Great Sand Dunes National Park? It is my favorite, I think, from the whole trip. We just happened to be there on a day when storms were rolling through but not really dropping much rain.

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I like this one, too. The shadows the clouds are making are so dramatic.

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All these folks are boarding down the dunes with special sand boards you can rent a mile or so from the entrance of the park.

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Here, my husband looks like he has been walking in circles.

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And this one isn’t too shabby, either. I love how small the hikers in the distance are. It really helps give scale to the sand dunes.

I’ve added the first and last images to my shop if you need some pretty for your walls!