In the great tradition of blogging, I'm now finishing up discussion of my exciting adventure.... Well, at least it was exciting two months ago. You know, when it happened.
I arrived on or around September 4 in the bustling metropolis of Ottawa, and enjoyed one night and two days in the company of MEAT and teh Lauren, exploring the byways of the National Capital Region - and forty degrees warmer than the last time, too!
From there, it was on to Toronto, this time, not through an ice storm, to the luxurious Indian Line Campground. It's the closest campground to downtown Toronto (if such a concept exists), located a twenty-minute drive away from the city core, nestled off Finch Avenue, just west of Highway 427, and minutes north of Pearson International Airport. Now way back in the summer of 1998, our family stayed there for a vacation. It was an interesting place, with train tracks bordering the tenting area of the campground, and a single, young sapling providing the only air of wilderness camping in the place. :-P
Yet, six years later, I felt the need to go back. Had someone, in a fit of 2AM train whistle-inspired rage, taken a brick of C4 plastic explosive and blown up the train track? Had the young saplings grown to provide something resembling shade? Could you still hear planes taking off from Pearson? These questions quickly took to the back burner, as I discovered, while setting up the tent, that I left my tent poles in Maine, three days earlier.
Thus began furtive attempts to prop up my tent using the single pole I had for my rainfly -- which didn't come with the tent, though its poles did -- and culminating in my sleeping in the car. All this happened, of course, under the watchful eye of the Peel Regional Police, who circled through the campground all night. I'm sure they thought me drunk off my rocker. Also, the ground here is made of stainless steel, and my tent pegs only of lightweight aluminum. They didn't stand a chance. :-|
Following this, I spent a quick day in Waterloo and Hamilton, dropping some stuff off at Shannon's, and visiting Steph for a while. We attempted to enjoy some of the charms of Niagara Falls, but it was quite busy, our timing was disastrous, and we ended up leaving, having caught only a glimpse of the Falls themselves. :-(
After returning Steph to Hamilton, I left promptly for Windsor/Detroit, and the Ambassador Bridge. I learned that people at Windsor Tim Horton's restaurants don't understand the difference between coffee and hot chocolate, that Detroit is a very, very dirty city, and that in some places, like the privately maintained Ambassador Bridge, charge tolls ($4.00 Canadian!) to cross into the United States.
Upon crossing, I drove for a bit, discovered that I hated Michigan, got tired, and slept (in the car again) at a truck stop in Toledo, Ohio. My goal, here: to find a postcard saying nothing but the words:
I was unsuccessful.
Continuing toward home, I passed through:
- Cleveland, which I thought was a very nice city
- northern Pennsylvania, along the coast of Lake Erie, which was also quite nice, though I didn't get off I-90 'cept for gas
- upstate New York, through Buffalo and Rochester to Syracuse, Schenectady and Albany, down I-87 to Hudson, NY
- through western and northern Massachusetts, including Worcester and Springfield
- into southern New Hampshire, through the small town of Seabrook, through to the border with Maine
where, having driven for nearly twenty-one hours since that last break at Toledo, I pulled over near Kittery, Maine, at a rest stop and took a nap.
A few short hours later, it was off to Winthrop to retrieve my errant tent poles, and be on my way home. All in all, a good trip. I have pictures, but they're all analogue, and my scanner is non-existent. I'll scan 'em eventually - the good ones, anyway.
Here endeth the trip. Sorry it took so long.
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