Friday, 23 September 2016

Day 27: Keewatin ON - Wawa ON


Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes Western Half-Devil Monster Face in Leftpondia - Part 5

Well, I have managed to restore some semblance of order to this laptop though it appears to have eaten my Thunderbird profile, which means that any e-mail I've sent or received in the last four weeks has disappeared into the bit bucket.  Thanks for nothing, Microsith, you useless, feckless cretinous morons.  Some people take their Windows systems travelling, you know, and are thus deprived of the team of support specialists and a second system which you twerps haven't yet broken to repair the damage.  This is why your nanny-state approach to updates in Windows 10 is a deeply fucking stupid idea.  Well, one reason, anyway.

Western Ontario may be more pleasant in the scenery department than the Prairie Provinces of Canada™ but there's still an awful lot of of it.  I don't think I've driven that far in a day since arriving in Battle Mountain for the 2008 event, and it's not something I intend to repeat any time soon.  Western Ontario consists mostly of:

  • Rocks (quite a lot)
  • Water (an elegant sufficiency)
  • Trees (more than you can shake a, er, well, you know)
  • Not traffic congestion because although this bit of the Trans-Canada Highway is only single carriageway it's well found for passing lanes.  Also Canadian truckers seem to have just as cavalier an attitude as their brethren south of the 49th parallel, though the B-Trains can struggle a bit on some of the steeper hills.
Before setting out we went to have a quick shufti at the Lake of the Woods.
"Woo! Scary geese!" squealed Thomas, like a big girl's blouse.
"You scared them off!" retorted Mr Larrington
What was there to see on the way?  Well, in Vermilion there was this chancer trying to hop a lift:
What he was doing outside a piston ring specialist is a mystery to greater minds than mine.  And there was this:
"Yay!" cheered Thomas.  "2D company for meeeee!"
Halfway across a continent to get dumped in a snowplough turnaround in the middle of nowhere.  And if that is typical of the roadside grumble to found in this country then it's little wonder we lost the Empire.  Or something.

And, er, you know when I said we wouldn't have to put up with any more of that time zone malarkey?  Seems I was this: wrong:
"You berk!" jeered Thomas.  "Fancy not noticing something like that!"
And after all that we finally reached the junction to which Emily was referring when she said "In four hundred and twenty-four kilometres, turn left."

Having turned left we went north for a bit and managed to miss seeing Thunder Bay entirely because, in spite of being a city with a population of more than 100,000, it has a useful bypass.  And if we hadn't made a strategic detour it would have been possible to miss Lake Superior too, which is good going for something almost four times the size of Wales.  But it's clearly visible from the Terry Fox Memorial:
Lake freighter, or laker, on Lake Superior.  Empty, by the look of her.
"Who Terry Fox", I hear you ask.  Well, you can jolly well look him up on Wikinaccurate as the Internets here are nearly as slow as the Battle Mountain Super 8 and Blogger has already et the first version of this entry.
I heard about him thanks, once again, to the late Phil Llewellin, who passed this way during a truck trip from St Johns to Whitehorse.  While I've been to many of the Leftpondian locations mentioned by Phil in the splendid collection The Road To Muckle Flugga this one seemed to strike a chord.  I got some funny looks when trying to perch Thomas on the fence surrounding the plinth, though, so had to beat a tactical retreat and slip him in surreptitiously.
And that was about all there was to see.  And that was only halfway to Wawa.  Highway 17 runs north and then east around the lake and has lots of trees and rocks and minor lakes and occasional views of what I think is Lake Superior but might not be.
Lake.  Canada. Thursday.
With one thing and another it was dark by the time I got here, "here" being the Mystic Isle Motel.  It's perched on the hillside above Highway 17 and on the other side could be anything - a Mystic Isle, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the council tip.  I will have a look in the morning and report back.

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