The day looked calmer as we headed out about 10:20. We would have left later in the day but it was Friday of the Labour Day Weekend and we would be traveling north out of Toronto. Long weekends are crazy with the denizens of the Greater Toronto Area trying to escape to Cottage Country all at once. We were used to seeing them stopped in three abreast lines of traffic on Highway 400 as we headed the other direction, but this would be the first time we would be traveling amidst the mass migration. I hoped we could beat the rush.
After getting on Highway 406 at its southern end, we joined the Queen Elizabeth Way. It was moving well until the Burlington Skyway, where everything ground to a halt starting with the left lane. This was an eight-lane highway and I had trouble picturing why the fast lane stopped first. We never did get an answer.
Once across the Skyway, I decided to pay the outrageous toll charges and bypass Toronto congestion on the Express Toll Route 407. Traffic moved quickly as it took us across the top of the city to Highway 400 North. This was where I expected we would begin to encounter trouble. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Highway 401 was moving well in both directions as we passed over it.but, as expected, traffic on 400 was heavy. It was stop and go all the way up to Barrie, where the six lanes split into two four lane highways. Stop meant stop and go, at times, meant 70 MPH.
Once we cleared Barrie and a lot of cottage goers (Cottage is a southern Ontario thing. In Northern Ontario, we say camp) split off on Highway 11, traffic on 400 started to flow steadily. As things opened up, we were passed by quite a few cars. These day, I travel at 15 kms over the posted limit which meant I was doing 71 MPH in a 62 MPH zone. That is the point at which demerit points kick in.
It did occur to me that if the Province really wants to deal with the huge current deficit, it would up the speed limit to 120 KPH (75 MPH) and set up photo radar units. No demerit points since the driver can't be identified and no reporting to the insurance companies. It would just be a tax on going fast, and the drivers are faster the closer you get to the GTA.
At Derek Roberts Esso in Waubaushene, we stopped for fuel, a Subway sandwich and coffee, along with some muffins from the Country Style donut shop. The CS muffins are so much better than Tim's that I can't understand why their stores keep closing.
Traffic was lighter and lighter as we headed north.
There was one incident just south of Still River on the two-lane Highway 69. We were behind an SUV following a couple of semi's as we got to the passing lane south of the Magnetawan River. They were doing about 50 MPH in the 56 MPH zone but, when they got to the passing lane, they immediately pulled left to pass a slow RV trailer. That maneuver took the entire passing lane but that was fair. There was another long passing lane coming up.
When we got to the next passing lane, the trucks (which were now doing about 55) again moved immediately to the passing lane even though the semi ahead of them was about a quarter mile ahead. It is legal to pass on the right in Ontario when there are more than one lane in EACH direction, which made a right side pass in this situation illegal according to my reading of the law. Still, there are limits. I passed on the right and held the horn button down as I did. Sandy asked if this was to let them know I was coming. OK, that sounded good but I really wanted the inconsiderate SOB's to know that I was displeased with their driving. Not Road Rage but Road Annoyance.
Rather than take the bypass when we got to the city, Sandy wanted to go through town and check out the new mural on the old hospital. It certainly was bright and cheerful, sort of like a rainbow exploded. We both liked it.
We pulled into the driveway about 4:45 PM. In just a week, we would be leaving again for the VROC Reunion in Eureka Springs, Arkansas and then the reinstated VROC Maine Weekend in Bethel.
Today's Route (332 Equinox miles):