Quest for the West
April 15, 2003 Orillia, Ontario
I have made it to Orillia in my quest westward. I stopped in Owen Sound, Barrie and now here. I should rest here for a few hours before I set out on the highway again. I parked on the wrong spot to afford myself any privacy though. Despite all this park must offer people seem content to loiter around their vehicles.
March 31, 2017 – remembering back to this night I ended up forgetting to turn off my headlights when I parked. It didn’t get dark until after 9 and no one bothered to tell me my lights were on. Fortunately I had auto club and called them after 11 to come out and give my van a boost. It was worth every penny.
April 16, 2003 Parry Sound, Ontario
Do you ever wonder why I censor things from myself? This journal won’t be reproduced verbatim. Tonight, would be a good night for the Fates or spirits or angels to watch over me. I’m parked with the back of the van to about a thirty-foot vertical drop. I was going to park over a bit but it leaves me sitting out in the open. This spot I chose no one is going to come up from behind – unless they have climbing gear. The brakes are engaged and the wheel turned so if I rolled back (which I won’t) it’ll hit the curb. The spot is almost perfectly level too – I am not worried.
March 31, 2017 – I can still remember the view out the back window of my van. The city laid out before me just down below and the sunset in the distance. I think it was Parry Sound or maybe Sudbury where some young man asked me for change for “a bus ticket home” he claimed. I gave him the $5 I had in my pocket, he probably went to buy cigarettes instead.
April 17, 2013 Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
I’ve arrived in Sault Ste. Marie. It’s a hazy but sunny day and plus 5 Celsius. I’m at a park overlooking the river. Across the river is Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, I know not very original name eh. I could cross here, take the state highways back up to Winnipeg but not high on my list. I’m going to see what weather they’re expecting up there; up here they are calling for snow, wet snow and rain for the next two days.
March 31, 2017 – I remember going down to a park along the river, you could see the dirty buildings of Michigan across the way.
April 18, 2013 Somewhere in Michigan
In Michigan after a twenty-minute vehicle search. They moved a lot around but happy that’s all, they could have trashed my van and said no. I hope this isn’t the way it will be every time I pass through into the U.S.
March 31, 2017 – As usual they didn’t bother to tell me why I had been pulled over. I guess they didn’t like the fact I was using the US as a drive thru and had no intention of really staying there for more than what was necessary. I checked my border crossing file this year but everything had magically disappeared from it during an “upgrade”. Yeah right, so then why did they stop me when I was entering AND leaving the US? It’s not like they weren’t expecting me in Manitoba, I’m pretty sure the Michigan crossing flagged me to make sure I left.
April 18, 2013 Wisconsin – Michigan State Line
If I get to Duluth at least I have more options than here in the middle of nowhere. With the wacky off beaten path route and deer yield I’m going for it, 89 kilometres that’s two hours. Ugh. Hugs me!
It was a hell of a drive from Ironwood to Duluth, one to three inches of snow, speed was 60 kilometres per hour at the best, I was the only one westbound Ironwood to six or five?
March 31, 2017 – The GPS took me down some road numbered 13. It was basically a country lane that cut a few kilometres off taking the main highway. I remember driving along one stretch of highway and a couple places where cars were in the ditch. I stopped for one, a woman who put her Grand Prix into the ditch but she was okay and had already called a tow truck so I continued my way.
April 19, 2013 Duluth, Minnesota
Snow, snow, and more snow, about three to five inches. I booked a hotel room in Grand Forks, North Dakota, it’s about forty percent of the way to Manitoba. Not bad, used my free night from rewards club so a $120 room cost me $11. Had a nice hot shower, first one in almost a week.
Duluth was beautiful with its snow dressed trees. It looked like a Christmas card when I woke up the next morning and headed out of town. I should have taken some photos but I was worried about getting stuck in the snow.
March 31, 2017 – I can still remember driving down one of the streets near the hotel trying to find the interstate out of the city. The trees, cars, houses, everything had at least six inches of snow piled on them, all of which had fallen the night before. It was like the inside of a snow globe or something magical. It was like a painting.
April 19, 2013 Grand Forks, North Dakota
The recession hit the southern states, like Florida but in this area of second homes I saw a lot of them for sale and for rent, lots of places, were they summer homes or foreclosed? And what’s with the train, one town had rail cars parked for two miles with breaks for driveways.
Is a hotel room bed better warm and fuzzy or cold and crisp? This one is warm and fuzzy, Duluth was cold and crisp.
Ad Revenue / Orange Key Fund Pending Donations to Charity:
of that balance the total donated to charity was:
Open a Tangerine account with my Orange Key
and get a bonus!