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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

August 26, 2010

Ontario is big!

Passing the border from Manitoba to Ontario changes everything; the drivers get more dangerous, the cost of fuel and camping jumps dramatically, the distances are greater and the mosquitoes are cruel. The really good thing is the scenery and the brick and stone buildings are beautiful. We traveled through Lake Superior National Park and I commented to Deya that we haven’t seen that kind of beauty since the Rocky Mountain range.
On our way through Thunder Bay we stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial. This is worth seeing and is the place where Terry made it to before he was finally stopped by his cancer. It’s easy to feel pride for this guy, as a Canadian, as a champion for an important cause. I often hoped that one day I’d be able to champion an important cause as I think many people do and it’s people like Terry that light the way for others on their journey.

It was nice to be on the road again though the constant search for a spot to camp can be draining. Since the campgrounds are all equivalent to 4-5 days of camping budget for us we have to look for other places to stay. I’m not sure how pitching a tent on an unsheltered piece of ground can be worth 36 bucks but I guess it’s whatever the market will handle.

We decided to take the ferry on Manitoulin Island South of Espanola. Once we got there we found that instead of being able to camp on the island and take the ferry in the morning we would have to take the 10pm ferry and find camping at about midnight on the other side. Turns out that the ferry was fully booked the next day and the only spot was that evening. We headed there intending to find a spot to make some dinner but first had to stop for a photo at Espanola. This is where we met David and Cristina, with a couple of new bikes. David is a Veteran from the first Gulf War unlike me who was just injured badly during the first Gulf War. They invited us for dinner and if we didn’t have to catch the ferry, for accommodations. We had a really great visit and like many of the folks that we have met along our travels hope to see them again. The island itself was very nice, had a relaxed feel and would be worth spending more time. While on the island it’s worth stopping by Buddy’s Fries near the Market on highway 6, everything is awesome and fried pickles rock!

At the ferry we met a fellow named Glen who was an avid Kite Surfer and apparently a hard core long distance mini van driver. Glen made it from the Toronto area to the Oregon Coast in two and half days, wow. We shared some stories and Glen was full of good information. That evening we went to the first campsite we could find because it was late, this being the problem with looking for lodging at night, and set up camp. Unfortunately this meant 4 nights of budget blown in 6 hours.

The next day we headed South towards London, stopping in a place called Walkerton for a glass of water and a coffee. Some might laugh at this, most people won’t know the irony but the water was refreshing and the people we met were too. After a short chat with some locals we went looking for some local attractions but realized that we were running out of time so had to carry on South. We found out later that Christine, the lady we met came to look for us to offer us some dinner and a place to stay. This kind of courtesy amongst people really helps to negate that feeling that we often have about humanity and the world once the 6 o’clock news is finished. I know both Deya and I really appreciate this kind of people.

Finally we reached London and found our friends in good order. We were able to enjoy some time with them, do some important maintenance, tyre changes and visit the city. London so far is one the nicest cities for me in Ontario. That might demonstrate how little of Ontario I’ve really seen but doesn’t change the appeal of the city. London is where the Budgie story comes from and our hosts are a barrel of laughs. Thanks guys for being there for us. Sally and Ash, good luck with your journey, our thoughts are with you!

We took the long road to Toronto, the highway is a disaster and the drivers here really are ridiculous. As much as I’m annoyed by traffic cops, I wish there were more. Tailgating really bothers me, being on a bike, when someone follows too close it’s like waving a 4000 pound sword at your back, the consequences are staggering. Just in case people don’t know I’ll rant about this for a minute. Average human reaction time is about 1 second, mechanically your vehicle takes about another second to come into effect, that means that under ideal conditions, not rain or dirty roads, or high speeds, that if you are within 2 seconds from the person in front of you than you are operating on luck alone and risking the other person’s life. To me I see this as an assault and endangerment of my life or Deya’s life and if I could I would use equivalent force to stop the action from continuing. Unfortunately the police barely even go after people speeding and I’ve never even heard of people getting pulled over for following too close. Ultimately, the bears and the bandidos are not the real threat to our safety on this adventure but the drivers who think that driving is a right and not a privilege. Rant done.

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