We set out from Ottawa this morning just before 10 am, heading for Freddy Beach. The drive went pretty well until just past Montreal – probably 30-40 km past. Actually, just before getting to the tunnel on the way out of Montreal, the check engine light came on in the Protege and the engine starting running a little rough. We stopped, checked the manual and tried turning the car off and then back on (sometimes that clears the problem) but to no avail. We decided that since nothing was open anywhere anyways, we’d just keep driving and hope for the best. We’ll get it looked at in Freddy when we get there.
Anyways, as I was saying, trouble outside Montreal. Traffic came to a dead stop! We got to watch some crazy impatient drivers as they got onto the shoulder of the road and reversed back to the cloest exit. That went on for quite a while and then people got bolder – instead of reversing, they were driving the wrong way down the shoulder of the highway. We opted to stay facing the right way and wait – and wait we did! After over an hour we finally started moving. We took the first exit (cause we both had to use the bathroom) and after searching for a place without a lineup that was a mile long, we gave in and waited in line.
After our short bathroom break we got back on the highway and back into traffic. We made it past Quebec city and on our way home. Unfortunately the highway (20) was closed between Levis and Montmagny. Why was it closed? Serious white-out conditions thanks to crazy winds and blowing snow – we experienced it first hand and it wasn’t pretty. That meant getting off the highway at Levis and looking for a place to stay. EVERY single motel in Levis was full so we had to start heading back west towards Quebec city. We eventually found a Best Western and booked a room. That is where we are now. We had to sneak Ellie into the room (we didn’t tell them we had a dog) but luckily there is a large window in the room (we are on the ground floor) so I can let Ellie out to pee without having to go out into the hall with her again.
We’ve just ordered some grub and will likely hit the sack early tonight since we plan to get up early to continue our journey. I believe the weather isn’t supposed to be too nice in NB tomorrow, but we’re not staying here, I’ll tell you that! Wish us luck.
This is the first time in all the trips I’ve done between Ottawa and Fredericton where I’ve encountered a closed highway. Don’t get me wrong – it should be closed, I’ve just never experienced it personally.