Good to be Home

After almost three weeks in the road and 8230 km later it is good to be back in Regina. I am a bit tired from all the driving but I feel rejuvenated as well. I look forward to getting back to what I enjoy about this blog. Focusing on the ironic, political stupidity and what ever controversy grabs my attention

Ottawa is moving into the silly season, the Liberals want an election desperately, Harper has moved into a soft coalition with the people he so recently described as Separatists and Socialists and the American public seems to have lost their collective minds.

It looks like it is going to be a good fall for bloggers. I look forward to it.

So, where the hell is the beach?

There is nothing like a trip to Europe to remind Canadians about where so many of our place name came from.

We have London, Keswick and Paris in Ontario. Halifax and New Glasgow in Nova Scotia and New Westminster in B.C.

The prairies are no different, here in Saskatchewan we have town named after Stornoway, Stockholm and Runnymede and Manitoba has Killarney and Norway House but don't you think that Miami Manitoba is pushing it a bit far. No beach, no alligators, no CSI.

What were they thinking?

The Nanton of Manitoba

I always think of the drive from Kenora to Winnipeg as a short hop so I was a bit surprised that a side trip to Morden to visit friends seemed to take longer than I thought it would. And, to be honest the drive, down from the Trans-Canada Highway through Steinback and across country isn't the prettiest.

Morden though is a bit of a jewel on the prairie with lots of tall trees and stately old homes. It has a character many communities around here don't possess. It is a pretty little town.

I don't understand much about agriculture but something about the Morden's climate makes it great for sweet corn and apples so like Nanton in Alberta, Morden Manitoba is known for producing the sweetest corn around. "Better that Nanton" swears Vance. I am not sure I'd go that far but, it is at least as good.

Many Canadians tend to think of the Canadian prairies as one huge homogeneous climate zone but we couldn't be more wrong about that. The prairies are full of micro-climates and while any given community may be having a bumper crop while 20 km away, the crops are drying up in parched fields. I don't understand why but, despite how tough it is to produce corn in much of flat land country, Morden produces does a hell of a job at it. Not "as high as an elephant's eye" but sweet none the less.


Thinking of Kenora as the Flat Land

Yesterday I got a good start leaving Wawa and drove right through to Kenora, about 950 km. The last time through here I drove on to Winnipeg but that seemed a bit excessive yesterday.

I settled into the same hotel Chris and I stayed at on the way down. I was pretty relaxed but, when the time came for a beer and supper - my plan was to head for Casey's just across the parking lot - I noticed my left rear tire was flat.

I tried to change it but after getting three nuts off the others started to slip and I was smoothing out the edges of the wheel lugs. I called CAA. A small young woman and a very big truck finally turned up and we wrestled the wheel off and put on the spare..

I guess it is Canadian Tire first thing this morning.

So much for an early start.



It would be going too far to say that Wawa is my least favorite north of Superior town on the highway but, not very much too far. Every time I drive by I remember that old Crowbar song, Stuck on the Road in Wawa Ontario and I am afraid it might happen to me. I know, few of you remember the old Canadian blues band Crowbar.

Anyone who has passed by however would remember the goose. It is one of those roadside attractions Canada is famous or. A Canada Goose. there are now two other huge goose statues in town - if that is what we call those things, You just can't get too much of a good thing.

So, here I am in yet another Wawa motel. Just down the road from the big Canada goose

The drive from Manitoulin Island to here was slow. Too many small towns.Tough to make time

For what it is worth. The pizza at the North of 17 Restaurant is pretty good. So, if you spend the night here. Take my advice, chose pizza over Chinese. I've tried them both and pizza wins hands down.

The Chi-Cheemaun

I was in the ferry line-up in Tobermoray at 7:00 this morning and they started to load the ferry Chi-Cheemaun about 1/2 hour before her 9:00 sailing time. It is a fair sized, the largest ferry on the great Lakes at 365 ft long and able to hold about 143 standard American cars.

The ferry runs between Tobermoray on the Bruce Peninsula and Manitoulin Island to the north. For those who are geographically challenged, it is on the edge of Georgian Bay. Music fans will remember Gordon Lightfoot's song Christian Island which is on also Georgian Bay but, alas nowhere near my route.

The first part of the trip is through the Fathom Five National Marine Park, a regular Parks Canada park, except underwater so, no camping sites or picnic tables. I couldn't see much, it was, you know, underwater.

The sailing was fun. as an old navy guy I just like ships but when we got to Manitoulin Island the crew followed that old ferry load-unload rule - first on, last off and I got stuck behind a number of American RVs.



I left Wolfe Island this morning on the 7:45 ferry intending to make it a short day by stopping in Owen Sound.

At first glance it seemed like a pretty small town - the home of Billy Bishop - but after a dreadful meal at a Chinese restaurant for lunch I decided prospects for supper looked pretty thin so I moved on.

I will spend the night in Tobermoray on the Bruce Peninsula and take the ferry to Manitolin Island in the morning. I haven't looked at the map closely so I am not sure where I'll spend tomorrow night

Wind Power

It has been a couple of years since I have been to visit my brother on Wolfe Island. Since I was last there a massive wind farm has been installed. I had heard something of the proposal but, had never imagined the size of the project.

Unless you happen to have land where the company wanted to put one of the 86 windmills, I can’t imagine you’d be very happy about it. The project has significantly changed the landscape of the island and even if you were all for green power, the installation is more than a bit imposing.

On the upside it has allowed Ontario to close one of their coal generated power plants but, it ain’t subtle.