Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Flatter than Flat

Travel Day # 3 We slept in!! Yea!!!! But only by 1 hour.  We checked out of our motel, by 5:15am. As we were driving out of the parking lot, Bob thought a black cat crossed our path.  Oh no!!.  Really, to our astonishment, it was a black fox.  We have never seen one before.  They are native to the north (we are told)  He was quite large and had a white tip to his tail.  We crossed the Manitoba border at 6:18 am on the Trans Canada Hwy.  We have decided to stay in Canada, since we strongly support our Canadian economy.  Driving this far north we passed the sign for Latitude, Longitude of Canada  96" 48" 35o.  Hope someone can explain this to me.  As we were driving out of Ontario in the dark, the darkest dark, by the way.  It felt like driving through a tunnel.  We missed the Lake of the Woods region. That's OK, we will be retuning the same way in the spring. When the sun did finally rise 8ish or so, the land, it was flat, very flat.
Regina,Saskatchewan grain elevator
We thought, flatter than flat,... as flat as flat can be...flatter than a pancake,  etc.. Now the radio stations.  It has to get better.  We passed through Steinbach, Manitoba and stopped for gas.  The headlines on the news was as listed "local high school; serious outbreak of head lice posted on Facebook"  Keep on driving!!!! Then the song "Feelin Groovy".  Yes, we are truly hippies at heart.  I thought Manitoba was flat, yes, I am repeating myself.  Wait until you see Saskatchewan!!!.
Grenfel, Saskatchewan
  Bob said you can watch you dog run away for three days,  well,  maybe 5 days and he is still in sight.  Not even a tree.  Only silos, trucks and trains.  We travelled through Regina, Moose Jaw and arrived at Little Current.  Thank you Bob for driving through Moose jaw as we did hit black ice and he pulled us out and skidded along.  Yes, it will be 2 beers tonight!  We now are in the land of the Cowboy.  We checked into our room and went to the Lounge and yes, Cowboys discussing the snow fall.  "Gotta be 4 inches of that white stuff and the Highway up there is closed down"  On that note, we went back to our room, had our beer (Kokanee "Glacier Fresh"), ate microwave pizza (from home) and now watching the Hockey game (Toronto/Boston now tied, 2 minutes left in the second period).  Yes, we are truly Canadian.  Tomorrow, if we drive directly to Panorama, we would be on the road for approx. 10 hours drive time.  We will see how the roads are in the morning and keep you posted.
We're almost there.............the journey continues............... 

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Eagles, & Trees & Snow, OH My!

Marathon, Lake Superior 8 am 
Sun rise,Terrace Bay
Did you know the sun does not rise in Marathon until 8:45 am?  We left Wawa @ 5 am and we were still driving in the dark until 8:45 and -6 degrees. When the sun finally did rise, we were greeted with an amazing view of Lake Superior.  It is still just as beautiful and magical as the summer months. Our country is so very beautiful and we are all blessed to have clean air and such a vast land and resources at our doorstep.  Well, almost.  We have a very large doorstep, and watch that first step!  We were concerned about driving in the dark with the risk of not just seeing, but colliding with a moose.  We came close to a Bald Eagle instead as he was trying to catch a rabbit in the ditch as we were driving by. 
Yes, we have snow.. and lots of it.  Maybe 6 - 8 inches.  With all the pine and birch trees surrounding us, it feels "a little bit like Christmas" 
Self explanitory.
As for radio stations,  the CBC is not one of our favorites.  You can only listen to the local birthday announcements and the missing dog report so many times.  Carry on driving and searching for a radio station.  No such luck!
We are now in Central Time Zone and passed the Artic Watershed.
 Feels like.....well, cold and artic,  a dry cold as the locals say.  Remember, "Your in the real north now!"
 Once we passed Thunder Bay the land flattens out, but still surrounded by snow covered pine trees.  We headed towards Dryden and the Lake of the Woods region.  How beautiful!  Hundreds of lakes and rolling hills.  Much like Algonquin, except for the thousands of people running with cameras stopping in the middle of the highway.  Yes, the traffic up here in the real north so busy....So many vehicles!  We must have passed at least 3 trucks along Highway #17 from Thunder Bay to Dryden.  Love cruise control.  Bob and I have been sharing the driving.  Too bad we can't also share the knitting.  Just think about it; I could knit one leg warmer and Bob could knit the other!!  (some how, it don't think that will happen) 
  We arrived in Kenora one hour early.  (blame it on Central time Zone)  We get an extra hour sleep!!! Yea!!!!!! So, we are eating in our hotel room tonite. (they have a microwave and we have food) We are already getting tired of eating by default.
Tomorrow.. two hours to Winnipeg, Manitoba and the Praires.  The big camera will be in the front seat tomorrow with my wide angle lens.   As for now, a cold beer and a hot shower......

Monday, 28 November 2011


OK: I'm late by a day.  We disconnected the computer yesterday.  Between taking photos with Santa on Saturday, which, by the way was a great morning, editing, developing and completing the cards with envelopes as well as cooking Christmas dinner for our family, wrapping presents, cleaning the house, laundry and trying to pack....good luck.  Thank goodness Bob went to the Beer store!!
Back to Sunday.  Packing.  First we defrosted the freezer.  Can't say any more, but I was awake at 4 am with some one (no names) emptying the ice from the freezer into the laundry tubs.  So, on with packing.  Only 6 hours and more creative packing.  Yes, I did manage to get all my wool packed indiscretely among the clothing.  No, I did not pack the wool in the cooler.  We saved that for beer,  which, by the way I am presently on my second very cold one and very delicious beer before dinner.  I will send a photo of the car...packed, and packed may I say very well.  Thank you Bob.  The dishes are done, the vegetable oil has been poured down the drains.  Sounds disgusting!!!  I acutually keeps the sewer gas from smelling up the house when you are away for extended periods of time.  Now time for bed.  Can't sleep.  What did I forget?  I don't remember.  I think I have "sometimers".  We woke up at 4 am and we were driving by 5 am.  Yes, we made it to Wawa, the land of the Big Dumb Bird.  Drivng was smooth sailing all the way.  We are very fortunate we did not run into any traffic.  Actually, there was no traffic.  I mean absolutely nothing except the odd trucker.  I thing we are the only crazy people travelling this far north this time of year, except for the Ford Escape with the Cindora plate (Caledonia dealership) that kept passing us all day.  To my surprise, it is very beautiful with the browns and bald trees and the ice exploding from the rocks.  Lake Superior is still amazing,  Yes, we have snow and ice.  The small lakes and ponds are snow covered.
Tomorrow, we will do another 12 hour day and hope to arrive in.... not sure as I've just been told.  Most likely still in Ontario.    Well, I'm done my beer and it's time for dinner, shower and bed time.  (all in that order)  The journey continues................

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Getting Ready!

OK, we did a dry run packing the Jeep.  So far the bear barrels, snow shoes and ski gear fit.  My bucket of knitting won't!  So, more creative packing.  Since my addiction is knitting, it MUST go with me.  Five days travelling in the car will be insane without it, even though we will be sharing the driving.  By the way, the rule is if we can't fit our clothing (enough for 5 months) in the barrels, it doesn't get packed.  Again, creative packing.  How many shoes should I bring?  Bob said 1 pair and 2 pair of undies will do.  I don't think so, unless he changes with me and I change with him and after 2 days, we turn them inside out and backwards!!
Now the kitchen stuff....  The condo is completely furnished with a full kitchen and dishwasher.  I will still be bringing my knives, spices and all dry goods.  The freezer still has meat left.  We are frantically becoming carnivores to lighten the load in the freezer.  It will be defrosted tomorrow.  As for the leftover meat...the girls will have another gift in their stocking...ground beef, soup bones and round steak.
Since we will not be home to celebrate Christmas in December, we have decided to celebrate it on Saturday 26 November instead.  The girls are excited because they get to celebrate Christmas twice.  It's off to the shops to shop for Christmas.  We actually finished in two hours and no malls in sight.  We went during dinner and the shops were empty.  Patrons were either stuck in traffic on Upper James (which is a driving disaster!!) or eating dinner (except for us). It's almos beer time.  Now we wrap presents.  I hate wrapping!  What a waste of pretty paper.  The girls also want a tree.  We will decorate one of our many cactus plants instead.  If Christine is reading this blog, remember the cactus?  We call this very old cactus plant "the old prick" for a good reason.  Christine was visiting and unfortunately backed up into this cactus and OUCH!!! It's to the bathroom with mom (me) and a pair of tweezers to pull out the thorns from her bum.  You wonder why she won't allow cactus in her home.
Back to our trip...
Christmas is on Saturday and we actually found a fresh turkey today, so we are now ready except our house looks like a lifty's dormatory with all the ski gear spread throughout the house.
Time for a beer.....
The packing continues on Sunday.......