2012 Rolling Over the 100K
Part 9 of 10
You're OK to Go!
Iron Bridge, ON
Papa's Welcome Home
You're OK to Go!
It was a nice feeling to see the border crossing into Canada in the far distance. I couldn't help but think of the hard time given to me by the US border guard at Montana about carrying my passport in my front pocket and remembering my BC plate number. I figured I'd be all ready for the Canadian border guard. I pulled over at a rest stop and committed my licence number to memory. “BC Plate SO 6766” . There! ...I just stated it correctly off the top of my head without having to look at it again. I had a problem with my passport though. Firstly, it had gotten wet and then dry again so many times that I was embarrassed to show it to anyone. It looked like it had been dredged-up from the bottom of a Florida swamp. My rain-suit had no front pockets. I couldn't hold it between my fingers as I drove the bike because I needed my left hand to operate the clutch and my right to apply the front brake if necessary. I tried sticking it between my chin-strap and my face but it didn't feel secure enough. I'm sure the wind would have blown it free. I tried sitting on it but if it would have blown free I wouldn't have known about it. Then I'd have a real big problem. I wasn't sure what to do. As I approached the border guard's station he smiled from ear to ear and said “Is that your passport in your teeth?” I nodded my head. He told be not to turn my engine off. He reach over – took my passport from my teeth – flipped through the pages – stuck it back in my teeth and said, “You're OK to Go! Have a nice trip!”
Iron Bridge, ON
It was so nice to get back into Canada and visit the very fabric of Canadian good-living - Tim Horton's. Good food; great coffee; clean washrooms; those hot, thick “Cream of whatever....” soups; those happy smiling faces and unlimited parking. I never passed on the Cream of Broccoli soup because that is my all time favourite. What more could you ask for? I gave some thought to trying to make it to Ottawa non-stop but I was looking at another 800 kilometres in addition to the couple of hundred I'd already done since Ashland,WI. That was going to be too far even in the best of weather. Moreover, I had no doubt that I was still travelling in a weakened condition from the non-stop pounding and soaking I'd suffered from the downpours in Alberta and the mid-western States. I decided to treat myself to an overnight stay at the Red Top motel in Iron Bridge, ON. This beautiful little town is ideally situated. It's located near the half-way point between Sault St. Marie and Sudbury and it's well known for camping and hiking. The junction between the Trans-Canada and HWY 546 North to Mississagi Provincial Park is at Iron Bridge. Lots of rattlers there I'll bet. Later in the evening I ordered six egg rolls with plum sauce at the Motel's restaurant with one bottle of Coors Lite. After that, I had a very good night's sleep.
Papa's Welcome Home
Early the next morning was cool but dry so I took the time to discard anything I wouldn't be needing seeing that I would most likely be cruising the streets of Ottawa that same afternoon. I lightened my load substantially using my de-cluttering rules I invented when I was moving from Ottawa to Burnaby BC. They go like this and they work!
If you need it – keep it
If you don't need it – get rid of it
If you can't decide – get rid of it
I had about 700 kms to go to get to Ottawa and my family. In no time at all I was cruising through the towns of Blind River, Massey, Espanola and Sudbury. I am so familiar with this route I can tell you where every Tim Horton's restaurant; gas station and Canada Post mailbox is located. I could drive the rest of the way with my eyes shut, speaking metaphorically, of course. I was glad to see that it wasn't thunder-storming for a change and that it was starting to warm up. HWY 17 by-passes Sudbury and takes you directly to the City of North Bay on the eastern shore of Lake Nipissing. It's the 200Kms stretch of highway from North Bay to the City of Pembroke I like the best. It shadows the Ottawa river separating Ontario from the beautiful Province of Quebec. You go through Mattawa; Deep River; Chalk River (home of our Atomic Energy Facility); the military town of CFB Petawawa; and the City of Pembroke which makes fabulous pizzas. The scenery never changes - its breathtaking.
I named this concluding part “Papa's Welcome Home”. You'll see why. My ten year old granddaughter saw me as I rode into her driveway. She was playing with friends in her front garden. I shut-off the ignition and parked the bike. I was struggling like mad to remove my knapsack so I could hug this charming bundle of joy. She was bounding towards me with outstretched arms yelling “Papa!...Papa!....Papa!”. With half a moment to spare I threw my knapsack to the ground as she leaped and locked her arms around my neck almost knocking me to the ground. She was jubilant. I was jubilant. WOW!!...what a wonderful welcome home! The wet; the cold; the exhaustion and the minor aches and pains that accompanied them suddenly faded into a distant memory. What a glorious welcome! ..... She made it all worth it!