Saturday, May 14, 2016

Sudbury Ontario to Woodstock Ontario and Stratford

After a long winter, our first trip will be a double. First, we head to Maggie Valley, North Carolina for our traditional SEVROC spring gathering with members of our VROC family. At the end of the week, instead of coming home, we will relocate to Two Rivers Lodge in Bryson City, where some Freedom Riders will be joining us for a few days of riding the Smoky Mountains.

I had planned to arrive in Maggie Valley on Monday the 16th, so I booked a room at a Hampton Inn in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania for Sunday night. That left the question of where to spend Saturday night. We decided to stop and visit the family and then spend the night at the Best Western Plus in Woodstock. As you know from the prior post, this was lucky because Heather was about to have our fourth grandchild two weeks early.

With the trailer hooked up and the bike loaded yesterday, we finished packing this morning and I had to wait again for the Windows 7 on the laptop to update itself. Sandy used to be able to pack enough to do both of us for weeks on end in just two motorcycle saddlebags and a top trunk. Now she had so many clothes that the large suitcase wasn't enough and we had additional bags, all just for her. We were rolling in the cold morning air at 7:55. This would be our first trip with a loaded trailer behind the Equinox, so I was eager to see how it handled.

Almost ready to roll

It looks pretty good

First stop was at Tim's on Levesque where we usually park the truck/trailer in the Pentecostal Church parking lot while we run across the street to get coffee and breakfast to go. In their never-ending war with the truckers, the church put a gate on their lot so we reversed and went back to McDonald's. A nice lady in white introduced us to the new kiosk and helped us place our order. Sandy's Egg McMuffin got omitted so I went back and ordered it myself. My Sausage McMuffins with no egg had egg. So far, the new system is not hitting on all cylinders.

It was 46F as we hit the Brockdan Hill going south and the sky was starting to spit a light rain. Soon after, the rainfall became more intense and we decided we were happy we weren't riding.

Glad we're not riding

The loaded trailer felt good. It towed well and didn't sway. We made it down to the Tim Horton's south of Parry Sound where we took a bathroom break. There were two riders there heading north to Sudbury after attending the Port Dover Friday the 13th festivities yesterday. One of them remarked that he was saving a bundle on sun block. Always look on the bright side of life:-))

Returning to Sudbury from Port Dover

Just north of Moon River, OPP and a wrecker were attending the scene of a bad vehicle rollover. The highway is straight, wide and smooth so it's hard to see how this happened even with the wet pavement.

Rolled car just right of the cruiser

Daughter Kim called us as we were passing through Waubaushene to let us know she was with grandson Jasper in the waiting room at the Stratford General Hospital. She said that Heather was being taken to the Operating Room for a C-section momentarily. She called back at 12:25 to let us know that Fiona Claire Gronek had been born and weighed in at 6 pounds. She didn't have any other details yet.

The trailer lurched a bit as we were going through Barrie. I realized why when we stopped for fuel at the Innisfil On Route. The wind had to be blowing at close to 50 MPH. If a bit of a lurch was all we got, we were doing well.

The rain eased up as we reached Highway 9. I had set up a WiFi Hotspot for Sandy using my phone so she could look for news and pictures of Fiona on her tablet. She said that Billy Bob and Linda were reporting snow from northwestern Pennsylvania. We used 407 to get across to the 401 but had to stop at the Drumbo exit because I was getting so tired. A brief walk around as I was good to go again. We arrived at the Best Western Plus in Woodstock at 3:05 PM

I called Tom's cell as soon as we arrived at the hotel and Heather called me back a short while later. She asked if we could bring Tom some food, perhaps a Subway sub. She also asked if we had the key to their house since she had left her snacks on the counter . The key was back in Sudbury on my coffee table so, after unhooking the trailer, we stopped by Walmart for a few things and then got Tom's sub in Stratford, about 35 minutes north.

Heather was in a huge room with Fiona. Tom was there as well. We admired the latest addition and visited a bit before driving back to Woodstock. We'll sop in and see them again on our way back at the end of the month.

Stratford General has nice rooms

Fiona Claire Gronek - Age 6 hours

It's official

Our hotel - anyone got a Tesla?

Back in Woodstock, we fueled the Equinox and then hooked the trailer back up. I sorted photos and blog notes but didn't get this entry finished. We were both in bed before 10:00 PM, although I spent a short time reading my Kindle before falling asleep.

Today's Route (365 Equinox Miles):

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