The bad news is that we’re still in friggin’ Ontario, and will be until tomorrow night, when I hope to reach Manitoba and we get to turn the clock back an hour.
It was rainy and foggy all morning as we drove along the Lake Superior coast. We were still able to make good time though, averaging about 55 mph with few stops. Joe has been driving in the morning and then I take over after lunch.
About every 20-30 miles we encounter a construction site on route 17. About a mile of orange barrels signals an impending stop ahead and soon we encounter the flagman, who invariably signals us to stop. We then wait as the opposite line of cars and trucks slowly drives single file over the bridge under repair. After they have safely passed us, we then get to go. The whole thing takes 5 minutes and it’s always interesting to see the bridge work as we drive by.
There wasn’t much to the museum that was railroad related, other than a diesel electric yard switcher mounted on a stub outside. Most of the memorabilia on display had to do with the town’s Heritage Day celebration, but it was inside a couple of freight cars, so there was that.
This part of the Trans-Canadian Highway is most reminiscent of a drive through NH north of the White Mountains with long stretches through rolling, pine-covered hills and mountains. The many truck stops, small towns and homesteads along the roads, with their primary emphasis on functionality over aesthetics, add to the similarity.
The big rigs on the TCH are the biggest allowed. We were told that 18 wheelers now must have 105 kph governors installed to limit speed to about 65 mph max. This has cut back on their drivers’ aggressiveness and, not coincidentally, the number of gruesome accidents.
Good news on TV at the motel: the Calgary Stampede, allegedly the world’s biggest rodeo, and its concurrent huge fair will be going on when we reach Calgary. This will most likely make it tougher to find a room but it’s the chance of a lifetime to take in the big show.
Nipigon, Ontario – 1,510 miles so far.