Leaving Edmonton around 7:30 am we managed to get to Yorkton that evening. That was day one – no problems, no delays but leaving cheap gas behind (85 cents) and on to Manitoba and into Ontario for day two stopping in Dryden Ontario.
Now comes the province that seems to never end – it takes such a long time to get through Ontario.
Northwestern Ontario is really vast and the towns are small and often it seems very economically challenged. As there was a serious accident on hwy 17 involving three trucks in the early hours. We must have arrived shortly before the police closed the highway. We stopped for an hour in the little town of Ignace Ontario. A couple of ladies in a little motel/restaurant took pity on us by letting us use the washroom (this was a bit of a challenge in the journey) though they were closed due to the pandemic and then told us that they had been informed by the police that the road would be closed for 7 hours. They then showed us on the map how to get around the accident. It meant retracing our steps a bit by about 30 km and then driving south to meet up with hwy 11, but it worked!
This led us to the small town of Atikokan. It was about noon and we were looking for lunch. Wendy noticed that this chip place was just opening up so we parked and got in line! The whole town seemed to be turning out and soon the place was humming with locals. The OPP officer also arrived and was doing some public relations work with the folk and especially the kids.
Since we were near Rainy River I approached the officer and asked if she knew Earl Cole. Earl was from Listowel and I had done his wedding to Marilyn. His first posting was Rainy River, and while that was 35 years ago I thought I would ask. Yes she knew him – she thought he may have retired! I really am getting old!
We did try getting food in Geraldton Ontario but nothing seemed available – however on the food market sign was a TSA shield! Weird. I wondered who put that there?
Most of these little towns have something by the road – some are magnificent statues of moose or pioneers or occasionally a small float plane or recognition of a historic moment. In one small town however they had a snow man! A snow man with a fishing rod!
After spending our last night in Hearst Ontario at a really lovely hotel – the Villa Inn and Suites – we headed home! This route means you come out at North Bay which means that we drove by lots of familiar places from my youth! Huntsville, Burks Falls, the Magnetewan River, Bracebridge and all the small shops along the way! This is always a pleasant experience for me and I am flooded with memories as we pass each one! I can almost see myself in the back seat of my Nanny’s Cadillac zooming down the highway!