Cyclists, Geese & Highways

* While driving to Thunder Bay from Pukaskwa National Park, we pass an impressive number of cyclists, some alone but most in small groups, who give the impression they are cycling across the country. Or, if not the country, at least a big part of it. The first thought that comes to mind: What a lonely task!

Cars whizzing by at 120 klics an hour, these men and women struggling with full paniers uphill in the spitting rain…

After Thunder Bay, however these small groups disappear; there are none to seen in any other province from this point westward, leading me to think that perhaps these intrepid travellers are only cycling through this part of Ontario – a daunting enough task.

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** One of the downers of Lake Superior Provincial Park is the fact that the Trans-Canada Highway runs right through the park; one must live with the fact that the highway is quite close to the park’s campsites as well as the hiking trails that lead up into hills.

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When you cannot sleep, it’s easy to get woken up, and kept up (especially for a light sleeper like me) by the giant 18-wheelers barrelling down the road at two o’clock in the morning. And who wants to hear a motorcycle’s throaty rumble or obnoxious whine while on a hike enjoying pristine Nature?

If I were in charge I’d reroute the highway away from the park altogether.

Of course, that would make many motorists who need to get where they’re going awfully upset…

*** So Wawa, Ontario, is famous for its giant Canada goose sculpture on the outskirts of town. Heck, I even remember seeing it in 1967 when I passed through many moons ago as a 13-year-old. But realizing its popularity, other businesses have decided to copycat the statue and create their own lookalikes all over the place: at the entrances to their establishments, in front of hotels and restaurants.

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One of the many lookalikes…

**** It’s a Gas! Coming from Quebec, we all know that once you cross into Ontario, the price of gas goes down. And so it is – we pay 91¢/litre near Pembroke, Ontario, 147 km west of Ottawa. But alas, this gas price nirvana is not to remain. As we drive further west, the price of fuel also creeps up. By the time we reach Lake Superior, Naomi and I are gasping at $1.28/litre signs at the pump. One of the first things we’re happy to find when we enter Manitoba is the price of gas at a manageable 99¢/litre.

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We expect the price to be even lower in Alberta, and it will be – 88¢/litre, but only in Edmonton.

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