It started out as a simple idea: Charles Gordon and his wife, Nancy, drive across Canada. Starting from Ottawa they drove east through Quebec, through New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland, where they learned about “soap for the moose.” From St. John’s they headed west on a different route through the Maritimes to Montreal, Toronto, and Lake of the Woods (scene of the famous cottage in At the Cottage). Then it was west along what used to be called the CPR route, all the way to Vancouver and Victoria. Then, via Prince Rupert, they followed the Yellowhead Trail back through Edmonton and Saskatoon, hitting Flin Flon and Northern Ontario on the way home.
Ranging from moose to chipmunks, from a cool jazz festival to even cooler icebergs, and from the Prestige Motel to the Chateau Lake Louise, this book is a highly personal look at a country well worth visiting, witty and affectionate, a fact that its own citizens tend to overlook. As Charles Gordon, the perfect companion, puts it in his final paragraph, “What does Canada need, you ask, to enter the twenty-first century? More passing lanes. More ferries. Reading lamps on both sides of the bed. Bridges you can see off. More animals beside the road. And more Canadians.”