City Visit: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

This post is one chapter on our trip to Atlantic Canada on Air Canada. This trip was booked and credited to Aeroplan. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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City Visit: Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada

On arrival, I went to the Hertz counter and picked up the rental car. Today’s assignment was a Dodge Charger. I was expected a stripper kind similar to the usual ones found in the rental car fleet, but I actually ended up with a full GT version.

Driving from Halifax to Moncton:

I headed out on the highway for the 2 and a half hour drive up to Moncton. The plan for the rest of the day was to take in the Honor Garden in Moncton, then meet up with a colleague of mine that I hadn’t seen in 17 years. Time goes all too fast.

The drive up to Moncton, New Brunswick was pretty un remarkable. It was time passed through rolling hills amid a comfortable four lane highway. I was surprised to learn there was a short tolled section, and was even more surprised to see the highway signs that they only took “Cash” or “E-Pass”. Since I had neither, I had to backtrack and locate a run down Petro Canada gas station in order to find an independent ATM to withdraw $40 to pay the toll.

Crossing the Provincial Border:

Eventually, I made it to the provincial border marked by 6 flags; three for the Nova Scotia side and three for the New Brunswick side. With my arrival into Nova Scotia and now New Brunswick, I entered into the last 2 Canadian provinces that I had yet to actually visit. Winter conditions started to prevail the further north that I got with the first snowfall of the year (in early November!).

Visiting the Honor Garden:

There are not many typical tourist attractions in Moncton, New Brunswick. However, there is one particular memorial which is unique for Canada, the Honor Garden.

On June 4, 2014, a twenty four year old from Moncton went on a shooting rampage throughout the town of Moncton shooting at 5 members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police; killing three. After a twenty eight hour manhunt, he was captured alive and found hit to stand trial. He ended up pleading guilty and was sentenced to 3 consecutive life sentences or 75 years; the harshest penalty ever sentence in Canada since the abolishment of capital punishment. He had claimed his rampage was a rebellion against the Canadian Government, whom he believed served the wealthy.

The three fallen members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were honored by artist Morgan MacDonald who was commissioned to create three life size statues of the fallen police officers.

I eventually made it to the Honor Garden of Moncton New Brunswick. The garden was covered in the first snow of the year. It made the visit a little erie and somber thanks to the grey and and the cold. It featured the fallen 3 in the various uniforms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police: the ceremonial red serge, the patrol uniform and the police dog services uniform.

The statues were exceptionally detailed and very accurate to the uniforms themselves. Right down to the fonting on the uniform Velcro name tags.

Overall, it was a fitting memorial for these heroes that perished all too soon.

Leaving the Honor Garden, I then met my colleague for a beer at The Old Triangle Irish Ale house for two local pints. We had some good laughs and good catch ups over times gone by. During my time there, it started to snow. Instead of hanging around, I headed back on the two and a half hour drive to Halifax where I intended to stay the night.

Driving back from Moncton to Halifax:

Unfortunately, my “weather” luck ran out. As I was driving back from Moncton to Halifax in the snow, I came to a full stop on the highway. I ended up stuck on the highway from 8:20 PM to 11 PM without so much as a word of information. It was snowing heavily around me and at one point I was a little worried about running out of gas. I had set out with half a tank but having to idle the car for two and half hours to avoid freezing over wasn’t something I was planning on, especially with the mild rolling hills I had experienced on the smooth drive out.

Eventually, the weather appeared to break and the plows must have unstuck the semi trucks littered all over the highway. Of course, the terrific rear wheel drive Dodge Charger was terrible in the snow, and I ended up getting stuck on the highway with the 10 centimeters of snow that had accumulated around the car in the past 150 minutes. At least I was in good company with all the trucks surrounding me whom had gotten stuck without chains. Once the back log traffic had disappeared, I rolled backwards and was able to get the car moving.

I eventually made it to the hotel in Halifax at 1:00 AM after an 8 ½ hour day in the car. Ughh, not what I had planned when I set out this morning, but happy to have made it to my home for the night.

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