Illustrate Your Travels with Postage Stamps

Travels of our “Blue Road”, on the northern shore of the St Lawrence River – Part 1

air canada 50th Anniversary on canadian stamp 1937-1987

Air Canada 1937-1987 50th Anniversary Scott 1145



Janice Mairiuna JeanClaude Scotiana's Team in Scotland 2006

Janice, Mairiuna & Jean-Claude ( Co-Authors of )

With dear friends Mairiuna and Jean-Claude, who flew over to Montreal from Bordeaux, France, we recently travelled within the beautiful Province of Quebec on a 14 days and more than 5,500 kilometers road trip.

As we stopped often to take pictures, I suddenly realized that a lot of the beautiful sceneries, people, wildlife and artefacts of the regions we were driving through had been pictured on canadian postage stamps and that gave me the idea of writing this article to showcase jointly some of our travel photos along side with stamps issued by Canada Post.

Autumn Maple Leaves- Canada Post

Autumn Maple Leaves

Therefore, we are delighted to share with you, in this series of articles, both in pictures and in philately, the highlights of our own “Blue Road” trip. I explain further down why we chose to title our itinerary as such. Hint?  It has to do with one of our favorite Scottish authors: Kenneth White . :-)

Departure On Our Blue Road Travel Path Along the Saguenay and St Lawrence Rivers

C'est un départ! on the road we go... Photo JC 2010

Daddy traveling to Judith's home

My Dad, Jean-Paul, comes along on the first length of the trip :-)


We will be heading to the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean region, then drive up north as far as the paved road 138 goes, and that is at Pointe-Parent’s village, on the northern shore of the St Lawrence river.

Quebec 1 Blue Road Travel map inspired by scottish author kenneth white

Our Itinerary Along The Blue Rivers - Inspired by Scottish Author Kenneth White

The following days, we will come back south by the same road, as they are none other, to Godbout city to catch the ferry crossing over the St Lawrence River to  Matane, on the northern coast of the Gaspésie peninsula. From there we will go south on road 195 to reach the road 132 that will tour us around the peninsula to Percé and back to Matane!

Route 132 to Rocher Perce Quebec on Canadian stamp

Road 132 to Rocher Percé, QC on Canadian Stamp


BCJP Lac Meilleur, St Augustin de Mirabel. Photo MA 2010

BCJP Lac Meilleur, St Augustin de Mirabel. Photo MA 2010

You can imagine how excited we were when we departed from home in St-Augustin of Mirabel towards our first overnight stop to be at my sister’s home, near Lac Bouchette, in the Saguenay/Lac St-Jean region.



Judith walking Inouk and Mozart

My sister Judith getting ready to walk with her dogs: Inouk and Mozart

We are really looking forward to the days we will spend with Judith. She is an unconditional nature lover, top trekker and we can expect a lot of fun together while she guide us around the beautiful settings of her house.  She has two beautiful dogs, Inouk & Mozart, and it will be a delight to take long walks in the colorful nearby nested forest. That will definitely keep us in good shape. ;-)



Canadian Fauna on Stamps - Grizzly Bear

Canadian Fauna On Stamps - Moose

Canadian Fauna On Stamps - Moose

We gotta beware though, because it is not unusual to spot bears, deers and mooses in the nearby forest surrounding Lac des Commissaires. Our cameras will be ready, but I am pretty sure you will see me running away for my life, rather than tempting to take snapshots, if I do encounter with one of these beautiful creatures…Yikes!


Highway 55 North towards Lac Bouchette, QC

Highway 55 North towards Lac Bouchette, QC


Mountain and Lake Scenery on Highway 55 North towards Lac Bouchette, QC

Beautiful landscapes reflecting in the St-Maurice river on Highway 55 North

It’s great to be outdoors, breathing bowls of fresh air while contemplating nature’s beauty reflecting upon so many lovely lakes and rivers.

Walking in the forest sparkled by automnal splendours

Even though we were not given the opportunity to photograph a moose, or a bear ( thank God! ) as pictured in the stamps above, we did encounter white-tailed deers on the roadside.


white tail deers on canadian stamps

White-tailed deers on Canadian stamps - Photos JC 2010


To savour a moment in history, while traveling up north on Road 155, along the banks of the Bostonnais river, (the river is called the Bostonnais after one of the original white settlers that came from Boston, USA ), we stopped at the Ducharme and Thiffault covered bridges, only eight kilometers apart, which were both build in 1946 to join the two sides of the village and meet the requirements of the times


Covered Bridge Ducharme - Province of Quebec -Canada - 1946


From the approximate 1,000 covered bridges that existed at one point in time in the province of Quebec, only 91 were still in existence in 1997. It was critical that something be done to preserve them! Under popular pressure, the provincial government finally got involved and the covered bridges are now under the responsibility of the Department of Transportation.

Covered bridge thiffault 1946 Province of Quebec Canada Pont Couvert

Covered Bridge Thiffault-1946-Province of Quebec, Canada

On the topic of covered bridges, Canada Post depicted the New Brunswick’s Hartland 1,282 feet long covered bridge on a 45c commemorative 1995 stamp series featuring canadian bridges. It is known as the “kissing bridge”.

The Kissing Bridge

Hartland Covered Bridge - New Brunswick -Canadian Stamps

Hartland Covered Bridge - New Brunswick, Canada

The longest covered bridge in the world in Hartland, New Brunswick, Canada an is a kissing bridge. This is a legend, which developed during the years when this covered structure was used mainly by horses and wagons.

This was of so much concern to the general public that there was great opposition when they talked of covering the bridge.  Sermons were even preached on how a covered bridge would destroy the morals of the young citizens.  Their concerns were heard, but not heeded and the bridge was covered.

It is said that young men trained their horses to stop about half way across the bridge.  The horse would wait until the couple shared a couple of kisses and then it would continue to the other side of the bridge.

Today, you can see many couples going to the bridge to share a kiss and receive the special feeling of their love with the spirit of the grand old bridge. We are certain that the bridge’s spirit will look favourable on these couples.

A good example of this was in September 1993, when Charmaine Laffoley and David Hunt of Toronto became the first couple to be married on the bridge


The colorful title given to our trip was inspired by our reading of Kenneth White’s book: The Blue Road , in which he relates his own travel in the area in the 1980’s, along similar roads. Once he reached Natashquan, instead of coming back south as far as we did, Kenneth White came back to Sept-Iles, and from there embarked on a train going north to the Labrador region, thus realizing a chilhood’s dream. We will follow his labradorian trail in our next adventure, “Quebec 2″.   

The Blue Road La Route Bleue Kenneth White

“He reminds you of Stevenson and he reminds you of Melville. To follow him, you need a map on which every day are marked new headlands”

Alsace Magazine

“White’s travels are very different from romantic wanderlust, modern globetrotterism or beatnik bumdom. At every instant along the way, he seems at one and the same time to be leaving the world behind and to be rediscovering it in all its freshness”


Stay tuned for “Traveling our “Blue Road” on the northern shore of the St Lawrence River – Part 2” as we go Whale Watching!

In October 2010, Canada Post issued a $10 definitive stamp depicting a blue whale, the biggest creature on earth.

Blue Whale Rorqual Bleu $10 Canadian Stamp Baleines

Blue Whale (Le rorqual bleu) on Canadian stamps - Pane of 2

“This is both the biggest stamp and highest stamp denomination Canada Post ever produced” said Alain Leduc, Manager of Stamp Design and Production at Canada Post. “We thought this made a fitting tribute to the largest creature in the animal kingdom”. He explains that he looked to prior issues in the Canadian Wildlife series to determine the size. “Since the largest stamp before it was the grizzly bear, we decided to double its length.”

Source: Details Volume XIX No4 Canada Post


Happy storytelling and stamp collecting!

Talk soon,

JaniceJanice Dugas - Topical Stamp Collecting Queen


Your Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)


Free Video Reveals #1 Secret To Stamp Collecting!


Scotland on Stamps: "The Vanguard" by Scottish Painter J.A. MacWhirter Adorns 1898 USA "Cattle In The Storm" Postage Stamp

Topical stamp collecting is such a thrilling and fascinating hobby! As an example, let me tell you what happened yesterday.

Being a topical stamp collector of many subjects, but primarily of  ‘Unicorns on Stamps’ and ‘Scotland on Stamps’, I performed  the indian “rain dance” ! following my view of the video (see below) taped during the AM Northwest TV Show hosted by Helen Raptis and Dave Anderson.


Read on…

The show was about stamp collecting and featured rare and valuable postage stamps and truly philatelic gems. When Alex Haimann from Mystic Stamp Co showcased the USA $1.00 “Western Cattle In The Storm” from the 1898 TransMississipi’s set of stamps and mentioned that it was one of the most beautiful USA stamp, I decided to google it and found out….

USA 1898 Cattle in a Storm Scott #292

=> that the scene depicted on the Trans-Mississippi’s $1 value originates from a painting of  John A. MacWhirter, a scottish painter!

I had stumbled upon a stamp that fits perfectly on my Scotland on Stamps topical collection checklist ! :-)

Hum…the price is quite steep though, so I guess I will post it on my Amazon wish list and hope  for the best. (wink wink) ;-) or try to find a spacefiller ( a stamp in poor condition, to be kept until a better copy can be found at a better condition and price.)

Isn’t it cool? It surely is…..and stamp collecting is an hobby that can fullfill you with happiness, no matter which subjects you decide to collect, as topical stamp quests are nothing less than fun.

Here’s more information about the “scottish related” stamp:

“.. and (it) was reported to have been used in the west by a cattle company as a sort of trade mark. Prints had been made and sold, and it was one of these prints that had come to the attention of the Post Office Department and designer Smith.

MacWhirter, however, was a Scot, and his painting, entitled “The Vanguard,” was soon discovered to have been a depiction of Scottish cattle in a storm in Scotland.

It was actually painted in a small farmhouse near the Scottish highland town of Calendar. The scene did not depict an event west of the Mississippi, but it might have been, and few really cared about this detail, for cattle were an important part of the western U.S. economy, and the design was certainly pleasing enough.   Source: Chicago Stamps

Needless to say that there is much controversy about  the “Cattle In The Storm” stamp being considered the most attractive stamp of the USA.

Now…do watch the video below to discover which USA stamps fetches $3,000,000. on the philatelic market.

1.  USA 1918 Inverted Jenny – Plate Number Block of 4 (Scott #C3a)

Market value:  $3,000,000.

USA Inverted Jenny Stamp

USA Inverted Jenny Stamp - Scott #C3a Topic:EOF(Errors,Oddities,Freaks)

2.  USA 1898  $1.00 Cattle In The Storm – pane of 50 (Scott #292)

Mystic Stamp Catalogue value: $2,000 (Mint Never Hinged) – $ 875. (Used)

USA 1898 Cattle in a Storm Scott #292

USA 1898 Cattle in a Storm Scott #292 Topic: Scotland on Stamps

3. Cover carried along the Pony Express Route from San Francisco, California to St-Joseph, Missouri

Transcontinental Pony Express Route

Transcontinental Pony Express Route - Source:

By the way, I totally agree with Fred Baumann, Director of Public Relations for the American Philatelic Society (APS) about bringing in youth into the stamp collecting hobby, as they will, further down the road, re-connect with their hobby.

At the turn of the century, we were bootholders at many of the Canadian and American Philatelic Stamp Show & Exhibitions, and it was always a pleasure to see younger ones sit at our tables and go through our topical stamps. And believe me, they knew what they wanted to collect. Most popular topics were dinosaurs, pets, animals, olympic games, trains, airplanes, music, disney and movies, to name just these few.

Whenever you have the opportunity to introduce someone to stamp collecting, be it collecting the traditional way, i.e. by country, or topically, by subjects, you will introduce them to a hobby that is so fascinating and rewarding, they’ll thank you for ever!

Did you, at one point in time, ever considered collecting stamps?

Do leave a comment below as I would love to read about it.

Happy collecting!


Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)

Member American Topical Association # 48264 (ATA)

Member American Philatelic Society #163921 (APS)



7 Secrets To Topical Stamp Collecting

7 Secrets To Topical Stamp Collecting

 Click on the arrow below to start listening.  Enjoy!

What Secrets Are You About To Discover ?


Secret #1:  Why Stamp Collecting is The Most Fascinating Hobby In The World!


Secret #2: Why Topical Stamp Collecting is the fastest growing area of the stamp collecting hobby!


Secret #3: Why it is important to store, organize, evaluate and care for your stamps!


Secret #4: Why starting a topical stamp collection is so easy and inexpensive!

Secret #5: Why you should open a blog to share your passion with other stamp collectors and by the same token, monetize your blogging activity to generate money to buy more stamps!


Secret #6: Why it is important to build online relationships with social media sites to boost your knowledge of the hobby and get others RAVING about your topical stamp collection!


Secret #7: Why Auction and Free Classified Ad sites are one of the best avenues to sell your duplicates and brand yourself inside the stamp community