Friday, August 24, 2012

Gananoque Ontario to Sudbury Ontario

We awoke to a picture perfect morning. The sky was clear and the air temperature and humidity were very comfortable although there was the implied promise that it was going to be hotter than blazes later in the day. We skipped the continental breakfast at the motel and got McDonald's breakfast to go. At Mickey D's, we spoke briefly to an older (same age as us) gentleman on an orange Wing who was getting ready for a blitz run to Greenville, South Carolina. We wished him safe travels before we set out on the 401 East.

I wasn't aware that Ontario allowed trucks to haul two 53' trailers. This is common practice on the New York Thruway but I haven't seen it in Ontario before. I suspect it is a special rule for the 401. This is a direct route to Quebec and may reflect what is permitted there.

We turned north on the 416 to Ottawa and then took 417 to Parkdale Road and on down to the Canadian War Museum. Once inside, the signage wasn't the best and we had to hunt for the ticket counter. The overall exhibits were great,with interesting items and very nice presentation, but it didn't go into the same background depth as, say, the War of the Pacific Museum in Fredericksburg, Texas.

There was a special exhibition related to the War of 1812 since this is the 200th anniversary of the start of that conflict. The presentation focused on differing perspectives and presented the points of view of the Canadians, Americans, British and First Nations. I have to say that it made me look at things a little differently than I have up until now, so I guess it was effective. The four regular halls covered different eras, starting from before WW I, WW I, WW II and the Cold war/Peacekeeping/modern conflicts. The LeBreton Gallery had exampled of marge military vehicles and artillery with a CF-101 VooDoo flying cover.

Parking outside the Canadian War Museum (Peace Tower in the background)

The LeBreton Gallery

A piece of the Berlin Wall

Vehicles in the LeBreton Gallery

The bike was supposed to be ready at noon so we left the museum, hitting a McD's and gas station on the way to Kanata. We got there and hooked up to the trailer only to find that Peter the fussy mechanic wasn't in any hurry. Worse, Curtis the service advisor wasn't able to get a firm completion time out of him. We wandered the dealership and killed time until 3:30 when Peter finally finished. Curtis, who is getting married on Sunday and had wanted to leave at noon, was probably as happy to see us go as we were to be out of there. Bike loaded, we were rolling at 4:00 PM.

The frame is a 1975 but the engine looks newer

Skinny tires

As we cruised the 417 westbound towards Arnprior into a headwind, watching the fuel consumption numbers with dread, I got a call from a friend who shall remain nameless offering to buy me lunch next week in exchange for some historical remembering. After all these years, someone still values my knowledge and opinions. Of course I agreed.

Leaving the Eternal Arnprior Construction Zone, there was an electronic sign advising that Highway 17 was closed east of Renfrew but that a detour was in place. And so it came to pass. We were steered onto a side road by not one but two OPP constables and cruisers. I proceeded carefully because the road wasn't in the best shape and I'm sure the people following weren't thrilled. No matter because, after being directed onto another road by yet one more cop, we came to a halt in a line of stopped/very slow traffic. Eventually we made it back to 17 where the shortest male OPP constable I have ever seen directed us back onto the main road.

Highway 17 detour

Line of almost stopped vehicles

One short cop

Once past the detour, all went well. Andy from Cochrane, who was coming to Sudbury tomorrow to check out the motorhome, called to confirm our noon appointment. Sandy and I ate what was left of the side ribs from last night (one good reason to have them dry). I stopped for coffee in Deep River and talked to a young man who was raving about his Ford EcoBoost truck.  The construction zone between Stonecliff and Bissett Creek was shut down for the weekend but we were impressed with how much had been done in the short time since we were by yesterday morning.

Pavement ends

It doesn't look like much now but it will soon

Looking across the Ottawa River to Quebec

Sun getting low in my eyes

Sunset over Mattawa Ontario

Time to start watching for moose

The rest of the trip was uneventful except for one amusing sight. They had just finished a wood post guardrail outside Mattawa and lopped the tops off the posts evenly. A man was collecting the ends in his pickup truck, probably for firewood. We use every part of the buffalo up here:-))

We stopped at Walmart in North Bay for a comfort break. Walmart has large parking lots suitable for trailers. There was a 30' Majestic RV like ours, flat towing a large jeep, parked for the night. We did determine that the stretch of Highway 17 between the Bonfield and Corbeil turnoffs is now the worst stretch east of the Soo and I hope they get to work on this soon. We arrived home just after 10:00 PM and left everything parked on the street for the night.

Today's Route (387 truck miles):

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