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Friday, October 7, 2011

Day Six and Seven of Our Lincoln Highway Road Trip

I did not post a blog yesterday as we got in to our hotel at Lake Kirkland late. We left Thunder Bay at 7:30 am and after a few stops for sightseeing and a picnic lurch we did not arrive at Lake Kirkland until 8:30 pm. It was a long drive but the weather was fantastic and scenery in northern Ontario was great.

It was an uneventful day. No car problems, just numerous road closuresDSCN2372 where we were diverted to those one-lane deals due to road construction. It seems that the Canadians are working feverishly to complete all of their road repairs before the first snow fall. Believe me, many of their roads need these repairs. The heavy truck traffic is had on these two lane roads.

Canadians are lousy drivers. they either drive too fast or too slow and the trucks are always driving over the limit. I had a conversation with a fellow this morning in the breakfast room of the Comfort Inn and he told me that the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) will normalcy ignore 10 to 15 kilometers per hour over the 90 k/per hour limit on the open roads. So I drove 10-15 kph over the limit. I did not see one OPP car until I reached Ottawa and it was going in the opposite direction.

The two-lane roads have 1 or 2 kilometer passing lanes about every 20 kilometers or so and this is where you get around the trucks and slow pokes. Believe me, they are welcome sights.

Just outside of Thunder Bay is the memorial to Terry Fox, the fellow with one leg who ran across Canada to raise money for the fight against cancer. It was quite impressive. Terry lost his right leg to cancer with an above the knee amputation and decided to run across Canada to raise money. He only got half way before the cancer returned and he was not able to make it all of the way. He was awarded many international honors for his brave endeavor.

We stopped for our picnic lunch at a very scenic spot at Longlac in the community of Greenstone. These picnic lunch stops not only save us money but more importantly they allow us time to walk about and take photos after sitting in the car for several hours. As long as the weather stays like it has been we will most defiantly continue with these picnic lunch stops.

Two things Canadians say a lot are “hey” and “for sure.” If you ask a Canadian a question like how far is the next gas station they will answer “ about a kilometer up the road hey for sure.”

When we checked into our hotel last night the desk clerk used about 25 “heys” and numerous “for sures.” It was driving me crazy.

Along the road to the border we passed Smooth Water Lake where the waterSmoothwater Lake was like a giant mirror with absolutely no ripples at all. I had to stop to take a few photos of this extremely picturesque spot. The reflections in the water were fantastic.

Today, according to the GPS we were scheduled to arrive at our hotel in Watertown, New York about 3:30 pm. We did not arrive until 6:30 due to two things. One was the numerous construction sites and the other was the border crossing at Ogdenburg and the Prescott Bridge. Things were going good until we arrived at the ICE check point and the customs officer told us we had been selected by the computer for a car check and told us to pull out of line and park in a designated area. We then had to go inside the building and answer a bunch of questions while the ICE officer went out and cheeked the vehicle. Obviously they did not find anything, but the entire procedure took about 30 minutes. I think I garnered his sympathies when I told him about the problem with the spare tire and fuel tank shield. He told us he had the same problem while on vacation in North Carolina last year, except he hit a 2x4 in the highway.

In our five days of driving across Canada we covered 2,637 miles and went through the provinces of British Columbia (partial) Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and most of Ontario. We stopped at Tim Hortons for lunch or breakfast five times and had two picnic lunches along the way. We saw a million birch trees in full fall color and learned a bit about the politics in Ontario where there were parliamentary elections on Thursday. We learned that the Liberals were the liberals, the Progressive Conservatives were the right of center and the NDP was really left of center.

We did not see any Mexicans, but we did see Indians (from India) and Orientals in the service industries, i.e. counter and restaurant staff. We heard hundreds of “heys” and “for sures” and meet a lot of nice people. We also drove through three time zones.

Tomorrow we will spend the day with Vic and Cindy LaRosa at their home in Cicero, New York and then on Sunday will drive to York Pennsylvania where we will join up with the historic Lincoln Highway and begin our westward journey.

You can see all of my pictures by clicking here. Don’t forget to click the “Slideshow” button at the upper right to view the largest image.

Till Sunday night.

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