Tuesday, May 29, 2012

On the road across Canada

Cruising on the Trans-Canadian highway in western Ontario on day three of a road trip across
Canada. My traveling companion is one of my former students who just graduated college up here. He and I always said we’d make this trip and now we both have the time so we’re doing it. It’s sort of like a father and son trip, since he has become over the years like a son to me.
The trip started two days ago in Toronto and has taken us through Michigan, then up around Lake Superior. The drive around Lake Superior is so beautiful, with vast pine forests and small

lakes poking out of the trees along the way. We get a glimpse of the big lake now and then as we wind our way around it. This is moose country and so far we haven’t seen any, which according to the locals is a good thing.
Last night we stopped in Marathon, a small city along the route. We got in late and fortunately found a 24 hr restaurant that just happened to be attached to a hotel where we ate and crashed for the night. Rover’s restaurant is run by Mark who has moved in to town and stirred things up by adding a splash of color to the place, decorating the restaurant, giving it a cozy atmosphere and staying open 24 hrs. The locals have grumbled a bit he told us, but change is never easy and I’m sure they’ll come round to his way of thinking.
G and I have one main rule for this road trip—exercise. This morning we got up as early as we could and started our jogging regime that will be part of our daily routine during this trip. We both need to shed some pounds, plus after sititng all day in a car, it’s good to get some exercise. I’m sure by the time we get to Vancouver we’ll be looking rather fine.
Our first day of driving had us going from Toronto to Traverse City, where my uncle and aunt live. My Aunt Sharon is in her last stages of a long fight with cancer and I needed to stop by and see her and bring a smile to her face. Despite her condition, she is still rather spirited and upbeat although it is not easy for her to be positive all the time. This is really taking a toll on my uncle and cousins to lose someone they love so much. It is also very sad for my whole family to lose someone so wonderful. It’s a strange feeling to say goodbye to someone you love and know you probably won’t see them ever again. We didn’t want to cry but we did shed some tears, and hugged and kissed each other goodbye just a little bit longer. She was very excited about our road trip and always wanted to do it. I promised I’d send her postcards from along the way so she can live out the road trip through my postcards. This will give her and my uncle to look forward to in the mail everyday. Sharon also told me she was upset that she never got one of my TCat t-shirts. Well I just happened to have one in my bag that would fit her so I took it over to her. It came at a perfect time for she was having a bad morning, and the bright green shirt with a big blue cat on it brought her mood up and a giant smile to her face. I can’t make her better, I can’t cry in front of her, I can just bring some simple joy to take her away from her pain and suffering. This is what I do best in these situations.
We slowly inch our way towards Thunder Bay, through the small towns and forests. G is getting his driving practice while I blog and look at the gorgeous scenery. It’ll be a great trip these
next two weeks, all the way to Vancouver and then back through the US. Our goal tonight is a Ho-Jo in Winnipeg, another 10 hours or so to go!

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