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Quebec City, Canada

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

On my way down Cadillac Mountain in Maine's scenic Acadia National Park, I run into Jean, Celine and their cute puppy Dingo. Slowed down by the small strides of Dingo, I catch-up to the trio on the Cadillac Mountain South Ridge Trail.

I could have just passed them by, having first waved hello followed by a quick pet of their puppy, but I decided to hang back and enjoy their company. Their slowed pace was a welcome change from my typical rushed hiking cadence. As we hike and chat, I learn the couple is from Quebec City, Canada and are in Acadia for a few days for some hiking. In tow they've brought along Dingo, a mixed breed that is actually part dingo, hence his name.

Jean is a doctor who specializes in sports medicine. In the field for over 23 years, one of the many interesting feathers in his career cap is some consulting work he did a while back with the French Olympic Team. Celine is a realitor and has been in the business of selling homes for 14 years. Between the two of them, they bring together a family of 4 kids, 2 kids each from previous marriages. They tell me their homelife is a lot like the Brady Bunch TV Series.

During our hike down the mountainside, the three of us talk about all sorts of things, from politics to science to ethics. They are a very interesting couple indeed. One thing they tell me that really piques my interest is their penchant for street-camping. Like me, they park their van on the street and live in it. We swap not only stories about our experiences but also strategies for keeping a low profile and how not to get caught in the act.

At trail's end, Jean and Celine give me the nickel tour of their RV-convered van. It's a really nice setup, it actually has maple cabinetry and a solar panel. Pretty impressive! After the tour we exchange our goodbyes. I enjoyed spending time with them, hope they continue to have happy travels and safe street-camping experiences.

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