Friday, November 18, 2011

Sudbury Ontario to Woodstock Ontario

This was the first really chilly morning so far this fall. We were heading back down south (again). Kim and Mike had decided to hold a joint birthday party for our granddaughters even though Jolene's actual day was December 23rd and Robyn's was back in October. All the grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins were going to be there so we couldn't miss it. And we were looking forward to it. We'd spend tonight at Tom and Heather's in Woodstock.

I would have liked to leave early but stayed to put in an appearance with my Action Sudbury - Citizens Against Impaired Driving cohorts at a cheque presentation. We are in a partnership with the Sudbury Health Unit and Greater Sudbury Police Service for a project that Ontario's Trillium Fund has seen fit to fund and the ceremonial cheque was being presented at 11:00 AM.

We arrived early at the Alzheimer's Society building where the presentation to us and five other groups would be made. Eventually, the VIP's and media were in place and the promise of funding our project to the tune of $50K was made by Sudbury MPP and Ontario Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci. Then we had coffee and took the obligatory photos before hitting the road.

The Action Sudbury Crew & our benefactor
Rolly, Mary, Ron, Honourable Rick Bartolucci - MPP (Sudbury), Brenda, Me and Normie

We fueled up and stopped at McDonald's in the south end on our way out of town. This Mickey D's has a small parking lot and the lunch time drive-thru customers had it totally blocked. I didn't realize this when I pulled in and was stuck in gridlock until the drive-thru line moved ahead. This is one of the worst lots I have ever seen. We would have stayed in the drive-thru except that we needed to use the facilities inside.

We were finally on the road by 12:25 with our bag o' burgers in light snow squall conditions. There were very few cars on the road and the CBC radio gave way to the highbrow classical music those elitist SOB's put on between talk programs. I note public radio in the US does a similar thing. I guess they feel this sets them above the unwashed masses.

Snow squall near Estaire Ontario

About an hour south of Sudbury, we started to encounter snow accumulations from a good fall they had yesterday but the roads stayed clear. This continued almost all the way to Barrie before the green terrain returned. Interestingly, near the Shawanaga Reserve north of Parry Sound, we saw a snowplow generating a mass of sparks as he plowed and salt/sanded a bare highway. Another one of those things that make you go hmmmm.

 Tom Thomson Georgian Bay style jack pines

Deeper snow than at home

Typical Northern Ontario scenery

On the 400, I was passed by one more driver with a cell phone stuck to his ear. It makes me wonder about the politicians who outlawed the practice. I bet they went home feeling pretty good about themselves because they passed a law. But, as usual, a law without the resources or strategy to enforce it in anything more than a piecemeal basis is useless. Better to let the drivers govern their own behavior and, if cell phone records show the driver was on a call during a crash, lower the boom on him for distracted/careless driving. Oh well, that's my rant for the day.

We stopped at the Timmy's in Mono Mills and I had my first TH caramel latte. Not bad and cheaper than Starbucks. Then we took Highway 24 southwest and Sandy got some photos of the sunset as we went through Caledon towards Erin.

Sunset over Caledon

More sunset

Waves of clouds

I decided after the last time that the shortest way to Woodstock was 24 right to the 401. It may be the shortest but in Friday rush hour traffic it sure wasn't the fastest between Guelph and the 401. We sat for quite a while as traffic backed up trying to turn left on County 38 South. When we got to the 401, it was congested as far as Highway 8 but then opened up and we cruised into Woodstock without further problems.

We went to the Family Restaurant in the Travel Center of America for supper and then headed back to Heather and Tom's where I sacked out early for a change.

Today's Route (315 van miles):

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