Monday, September 24, 2018

Grayling Michigan to Sudbury Ontario

Sandy and I got up at 7:00 AM Eastern and found my phone was still on Central. It was set to take the time from the network it was connected to. The same thing happened in June between Mountain and Central time, when my efforts to override the phone's automatic function had some serious repercussions. My decision today was to leave it alone and let it work itself out.

It was grey, overcast and 55 F as we skipped the hotel breakfast and hit the road at 7:30.

In the low light of near morning. I came to a realization about certain drivers. Those who drive on a freeway with their high beams on are the same folks that hog the left lane. I reached this conclusion after the third vehicle fitting the profile passed us. I'll bet their self-centred disregard for common courtesy leads them to park in RV spots as well. Are some drivers really inconsiderate or am I just becoming old and grouchy? Or, maybe, both??

We stopped in Gaylord for fuel and the traditional Golden Arches coffee and breakfast to go.

The signs at the Mackinac Bridge warned of high winds and said big trucks, RV's and cars with trailers would be limited to 20 MPH on the span. In fact, there was only one northbound lane open so the first big truck limited EVERYONE to 20 MPH. Today, oddly, the high winds were out of the east. I can't remember encountering that before.

Big Mac

Wind warning

Reduced speed

Construction - can it get any better?

The Straits are choppy

The only open northbound toll booth

Traffic in the Upper Peninsula was very light and not many trees were changing colour. Fifteen miles south of The Soo, the temperature was 51 F and the skies were still grey. We took on our last load of relatively cheaper fuel before crossing the border.

Very little traffic and green trees on I-75

There was absolutely no US bound traffic on the bridge thus morning. After paying the bridge toll, we crossed the border at 10:40 AM and reached Canadian customs moments later (after negotiating a one lane construction area on the bridge). There were a couple of cars queued up in the line I picked and the time each took led me to believe the officer was being thorough. When we got there, we found he was actually being more chatty. He was amused by my list of purchases specifying both US and imputed Canadian costs. He also chuckled because I was bringing back part of a bottle of bourbon that I had bought in Ontario and taken out with us. There was no comment about the back end of a GoldWing in a box. At 1:50, we were released and allowed to go on our way.

No line to pay the bridge toll

The border

One lane on the bridge

The steel plant is looking busy

Lucky for us the line was short

We stopped at Mickey D's for a smoothie and coffee. Plus a few McNuggets. The electronic compass sign said the Highway 17 was closed at Nairn Centre, just outside the City of Greater Sudbury boundary. We hoped that it would be cleared by the time we got there. Detour options might be available depending on where the road was closed.

Just a bit of colour

Osprey on its nest

Road work east of Iron Bridge

More along the Mississagi River - nice paving job

A little sunshine

We stopped for a bathroom break at the Esso station in Blind River (long may you run....) and I checked Google about the road closure. A morning post by MTO said they were detouring around a wreck using Lorne Falls Road. Google Maps confirmed that this was within the City and that the detour was only a couple of miles in length.

We saw blue skies as we reached Webbwood and then came to a halt just after passing through Nairn Centre at 2:15. It was not very far from the supposed crash site so I didn't think we would be there very long. At first. Soon it became obvious that a lot more traffic was going west that was going our way. We crawled until we could see Lorne Falls Road and then stopped. I believe that the heavy recovery vehicles had arrived and shut down the highway but that no one was there to tell the drivers about the detour. We could see the odd vehicles turning onto the back road or coming from it. Finally we started to crawl again and, after an hour sitting in line, we reached Lorne Falls Road and turned right. No one else did. After about seven minutes on the dirt road, we reconnected with Highway 17 and immediately got up to speed. I was disappointing in both the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of Transportation for allowing vehicles to sit for an hour or more when the detour they had announced was right there. Further, MTO had tweeted the road was open three minutes before we first encountered the line. Oh well, what can you expect from government?

The line leaving Nairn

The official City boundary

The detour is just around the bend but no one is moving

Home - sort of

One casualty of the line

We see it but we aren't moving

Finally - Lorne Falls Road (all to ourselves)

The rest of the way home was uneventful. The four lane stretch of Highway 17 was still just two lanes.

How do the suction cups on those posts stay stuck?

It was 62 F as we arrived at the house just before 4:00 PM. I backed into the driveway and unloaded the bike before parking and disconnecting the trailer. All the bags and gear in the car were moved into the house except the final drive by 4:45. We stopped by Kevin's and gave him the drive, fueled the car (a shock even at $1.27 per liter), got some groceries and were home before 6:00 PM.

Tomorrow it will be three months until Christmas. Our out-of-Canada travel is probably over until 2019, which leaves me feeling sad. I hope we can still get some riding in before the bike is put to bed for the winter. On the plus side, the snow blower has been tuned up for what I hope will be a mild snow season.

Happy tails to you until we meet again!

Today's Route (347 Equinox miles):

No comments: