Monday, October 12, 2009

My Travels To Ontario

Starting a trip that I have made countless times since the first, when I was about 16yo, from Nova Scotia to Ontario... I have done it on my thumb (can't do that any more), by train and plane, and by car... it has taken me as few as 18 hours and as long as six days (that's the thumb)... this time it was the better part of three days to travel the 1,260 or so miles. It turned out to be a great trip.

This picture is at the start, two kayaks up, three bikes on, five pair of skies in and a pair of five wheeled roller blades... not to mention the crash kit, luggage, treats and me. Now I only need a dog and I will be happy! For the trip that is, I can't be long without Lynnda, eh!

I was on my way to close the deal on our new home in Niagara-on-the-Lake... but had plans on the way... stop and see my cousin in Truro (check, had lunch with Leigh Ann Hyndman); stop in Amherst to visit with Donnie and Karen Cormier (check, they are doing very well, as is their business); stay with my long time friend Yvon Turcotte for a night (check, he and his Yorkies Winnie and Tweety are doing great in their home on the St. Lawrence near to Montreal); stop and meet Evan Friedman at Intronix in Bolton, Ontario (check, what a neat little company that is looking for distribution and partners in the USA and around the world) and then visit with my great friends David and Shirley Kuehner in Meaford, Ontario (check, we stored my gear in their barn, walked the 100+ acres of spectacular farmland and had a great tongue wag over some great Shirley's cooking and libation)... these interesting sunset pics were from the first night out...

I had been travelling through a rain and heavy wind storm when the clouds began to break-up. The first inkling of good weather (turned out to be fools gold) I decided to occupy my hands with the camera and get a picture of what was a promising addition to my sunset collection...

Soon I had to pull over and catch some keepers... the first with the flash on from the side of the highway... I could drive for miles here in Northern New Brunswick without worrying about traffic...

This pair is a Portrait format below, and a Google reformating of a great Landscape shot that will be in my library, on the top. Why in the... did they ever reformat it? Nothing I can do in Blogspot land about it, so I just have to complain here...

On the trip it was inevitable that I would run into some traffic. It started in Quebec, and I shot this relativelly complex pic (below the sunsets) with blue skies, mirror reflection, still and moving sections, all in focus.

Anyone who has driven into Ontario on the 401 will recognize the next photo, when coming to the first of several exits to Kingston. The layers of white/grey stone are spectacular. When the 401 was carved out of the granite, they didn't anticipate the need to one day have more than four lanes... so the over-passes are concrete and ready for... ever! But one day they will have to be ready for the floods of traffic that are already a mainstay of the days on the 401 west of there, as one approaches the Big Smoke.
Still, it is always exciting, after a thousand miles, to consider how to reach out of the Jeep and in to the back gate of a Labatt Blue... it is in fact "The Good Stuff" for many,

but a more true representative of our beers might, I say might, be Molson's Canadian... the former is ironically made in Ontario and the later in Quebec... go figure that the guys 'making' beers got their names mixed up, English to French. No wonder the guys drinking them can't tell...

After a while it became necessary to start getting serious about driving... after all, the two kayaks up were giving me new dynamics to deal with when these guys started ganging up on me. They pretty much had me penned in here... but I emerged unscathed... I simply jammed on my breaks, made them jack around me, and I floored it into the far left lane, going for the smooth air in the lead... right...

Well, here we are in on the outskirts of Toronto... still the 401, but now 14 lanes wide... concentrate! All I have to do is keep those two lines somewhere to the right of center... wow, what a pretty sky.

Breaking free of Toronto, and headed north on HWY 50... the sun is going down on me... and the kayaks are racing with me. It is close, this is like a photo finish, the Jeep wins by a nose... I am getting close to Dave and Shirley's and I can taste a cold one... Look at those farm fields... I must have just missed that bike in the mirror...

That sun is really getting down... it kinda looks like there is a guy up there paddling hard to pass me... still nice fields, but harvested.

This is close to last light before sunset... those horse tails mean a windy day to come... but it did break beautiful in the morning, as I pulled away from Kuehner's farm and down the hill into Meaford... and toward the reunion (if we are allowed to call it that) in Muskoka.

I will arrive there in time to meet Ross at the marina, with my two bottles of Nova Scotia wine, and a case of Alpine Lager.

I am thinking ahead to the tenth gathering of these guys who were the mainstay of Camp Pinecrest in the later 60's and early 70's. I missed last year, so it will be great to see everyone. This is the 40th Anniversary of a great year that we had in Muskoka together (along with about 800 other campers.

Camp is down that highway, across the Georgian Bay (I will ahve to drive around the Bay for about two hours to get to where I am to meet Ross... but it gives me time to think of the lies and tales I will hear and tell this year. They get larger with the anniversary, and next year we will have a three day celebration of the first century for Camp Pinecrest.

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Grad. Saint Mary's University, 1975, got into the medical device business initially in sales, then various management positions up to president, all in Medical Devices. I prefer therapy products over diagnostic, but they are all fun, and in a way have defined my life. I have now evolved, with help from my 35 year partner Lynnda with whom I now share every hour. I am into staying healthy, photography, kayaking, bicycling, gardening and two books a week. I wish I had gotten to this stage earlier!