Let’s go on a fun journey, shall we? Imagine you’re basking in 90 degree heat with a warm tropical breeze cooling you off while the ocean’s waves crash against the shore, lulling you into a nice afternoon siesta as you rock back and forth in your hammock. Close your eyes and get that picture of paradise in your head.
Yeah, that was us just a few short months ago. Then we came back to this horrendousness:
Canada Road Trip: Day 2
WTF. Seriously. What. The. Frack. Canada! You just had the mildest winter on record — so what, you wanted to go for two records in a row and attempt the coldest spring ever recorded? Go home old man winter, you’re a has-been! It was bad enough we had to deal with you on day one of our road trip.
Okay, done ranting.
Our drive did start off this way. Actually, it started off with rain in the Soo. As we ventured north on the Trans-Canada we hit some light snow, then some heavier squalls. I knew I had to be cautious for two reasons:
- I haven’t driven in snow/winter conditions in over two years.
- Blinky’s just a little car, so you can’t give’r too much in those conditions.
But on the horizon we could see the distinct line of an incoming front that was moving in and sweeping across the lower Great Lakes, providing us with said snow, along with many other towns and cities, for that matter.
It wasn’t too bad for us, and Blinky held his ground well doing 90 clicks until the snow stopped. Then we set him at 94 clicks on cruise for a nice easy drive through the rolling rocks and glass-like lakes dotting the Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario.
When driving from the Soo to Thunder Bay there are a few must see sites, at least there were for us. Our first was Lake Superior, where I made a pathetic attempt at skipping stones with stones not meant for skipping. It’s the only Great Lake I’ve never been in, so I had to put my hand in.
Next, a stop in Wawa to get a picture of the giant Canada Goose. For those who are familiar with Canada Geese, you probably know they like to leave turds in their wake everywhere they go. Lucky for us we didn’t see any turds from this giant gander goose. And here’s some more Canadiana for you; Canada Geese are protected, thus can only be hunted in specific seasons using specific methods. So put that in your back pocket for the next time it comes up in Trivial Pursuit (invented by a Canadian) or is a question on Jeopardy delivered by Alex Trebek (also a Canadian).
And speaking of poo…The next must-see is the Winnie the Pooh monument in White River. Okay, this Pooh is different from the goose poo, but come on – amazing segue – right?
Updated: Wondering how Winnie is connected to White River? Here’s the story…of a bear named Winnie.
The drive from the Soo to Thunder Bay is a beauty. With ice-falls, lake views galore, and wildlife a plenty, you’ll want to keep your eyes open. Heck, we’re driving in the early Spring when nothing is even in bloom, so imagine this place in the fall with the oranges, reds, golds, and yellows adorning this Boreal forest. Moose, deer, bear, and wolf sightings are not uncommon, as we found out:
There are a few places to pull off to the side to enjoy the views as well, or to have lunch, or to just stretch those legs. As comfy and roomy as Blinky is, it’s still a pain in the ass to be sitting on your ass for hours on end.
As we continued on through Nipigon and onward towards TB, we had one last stop to make – the Terry Fox monument. Every Canadian knows Terry Fox. Every Canadian loves what Terry Fox did. He is the definition of “hero” and “courage” to every Canadian.
A photo posted by Shelly and Al (@sellallyourstuff) on
For those of you who don’t know who this courageous young man was, I’ll tell you. Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer in his early 20’s and had his leg amputated. Shortly thereafter, in 1981, he began a journey, no, a legacy. He dipped his foot in the Atlantic Ocean then ran 26 miles a day on one leg. It was called the Marathon of Hope. He asked every Canadian to donate one dollar to cancer research as he passed through town after town along his odds-defying run across this huge country. Terry had his bad days, though, and just before Thunder Bay, a few kilometres from this monument, Terry had to end his run. His cancer had returned.
Terry died a year later but left his mark in the world. Every September, Canadians and many other people from all over the world run, but not in his honor. He wouldn’t have wanted that. They run to raise money for cancer research, which is all Terry ever wanted. People may think Terry didn’t reach his goal of running across Canada. But that wasn’t his goal.
We spent 16 hours driving from Toronto to Thunder Bay, up and down numerous hills, or standing outside taking a picture and feeling the cold biting wind that made our eyes water. To think Terry ran that terrain with one good leg battling cancer. Puts a lot of things into perspective.
Canada Road Trip: Day 2 complete. Next up, TB to “The Peg”.
Now go sell all your stuff and donate to cancer research!