We finally got rolling at 10:30 under blue skies. The first stop was for fuel. The second and third stops were back at the house because a) Sandy forgot her pills and b) I forgot my 5 Hour Energy drinks. We do need to get better organized before the travel season.
Before leaving town, we stopped at McDonald's to try out the all day breakfast, a new addition to the Canadian menu. They only have a limited selection, but the hotcakes, varieties of McMuffins and hash browns are more than they had before. With the kiosk, it is now possible to order a sausage McMuffin with cheese, bacon and ham. However, the orders aren't any faster. I watched our food sit in a bag for five minutes before a pudgy, self-important young lady got around to pouring my coffee and delivering our order to us. The personal element is being lost as the new technology gets installed.
We finally hit the road at 11:15, rolling past a whole fleet of tow vehicles and sled trailers parked at the Chateau Guay Motel. Southern folks are here in droves to celebrate the recent snowfall. The salt build-up on the highway caused a mild shudder as if we had a tire out of balance. This is a winter phenomenon I have noted in all my vehicles, and it is one I could certainly do without.
The French River bridge was back to two lanes but the construction zone sign at Highway 522 said the highway construction there will be completed by the fall of 2016. Hello? Am I missing something?
Around Parry Sound, the skies clouded over and gave us the idea that we could be expecting some snow squalls. We stopped at Tim's at Horseshoe Lake Road for a quick bathroom break and then continued south. There were snow flurries off and on until Barrie, where we actually got a few patches of whiteout.
We left 400 at Highway 9 since going anywhere near Toronto later on a Friday afternoon was a no win situation. I was pleased to see an advance left turn signal onto Airport Road in Mono Mills. This improvement has been long overdue. An OPP Tahoe turned onto Highway 24 behind me so I drove within 5 KPH of the speed limit to Highway 10 in Caledon where he turned north. The speed seemed excessively slow to me and must have been even more-so to the officer, but what could he say?
There were Canada geese in the park in Guelph. The new long ramp onto 401 west brought us to a slow moving mass of vehicles. But at least it was moving, unlike the eastbound side. Traffic opened up after Highway 8 and we cruised to Woodstock without delay. The last couple of miles, we encountered some more squalls and found snow on the ground when we got to the Best Western Plus at 4:45 PM. This was the first snow cover since we left Highway 400, and it dashed our hopes of exchanging our boots for shoes.
Our King room was spacious. Table, desk, couch and bed. Large flat screen TV. We have stayed here a lot, enough times to be a gold rewards member. That means a complimentary bag of nuts and bottle of water when you check in.
We headed over to Heather and Tom's right way. She was holding a napping Fiona when we arrived, so I took over the holding duties. Tom and Jasper arrived soon after. We played with the grandchildren and Heather made supper of chicken, rice and (Ugh) Brussels sprouts. I haven't eaten them in decades but I managed to get four down. My opinion has not changed.
Fiona is sure mobile. Not ten months old, but she is crawling and climbing. Jasper is a big Lego fan and has some Batman toys. Eventually, Jasper went to bed but Fiona stayed up babbling away until just before we left at 10:00 PM.
Back at the room, I loaded the photos from the camera and uploaded the map of the day's travels to the blog. Then I took my Kindle and joined Sandy in bed for the night.
Today's Route (313 Equinox miles):