It was so quiet I could hear the water gurgling under our hull. Usually I would only hear that on a canoe in placid waters.
I last took the subway on Thursday, March 19, 2020, at noon. The TTC normally carries one million passengers a day. A single new subway train can hold over 1,000 people. Today I was one of seven people on the entire train.
The frozen wind is bashing the heat out of life itself as it barrels down the Ottawa River from the north, freezing the small town of Hudson, Quebec, along its way. A couple of feet of snow cover the ground and more clings to bushes and trees. Snow crunches under tires and under feet.
As I step off the trail, my boot presses down on a spongy 50-year-thick mat of decaying pine needles and blackened birch leaves. All I can smell are pine trees above and decay underfoot. It’s crisp and clean and at the same time a bit moldy. This pine scent is something many companies have tried to bottle but have never quite duplicated.