Last week, while most watched Obama do his 100 day thing and also witnessed the American media continue to create fear in viewers eyes over the swine flu pandemic. (How many people are going to visit Mexico after this whole thing is over? Probably not many who consistently follow the views and opinions of some of the American media outlets.), I tagged along and went on a trip of a lifetime, the Great Canadian road trip out west. Now I know most people that view this blog don’t usually look at content that is Canadian specific. But I hope you will come along over the next five days, and enjoy some great Canadian landmarks along the way.
Day 1 – Ontario
It’s 8:00am, a misty morning. Slight breeze coming off the water and we’re about to set off. Most people can’t start the morning off without a cup of warm brown water, and in this case we couldn’t start our day and leave without saying goodbye to one Toronto’s favorite landmarks. No, not the CN Tower, or Skydome. I’m talking about the Giant Woodpecker. Many can’t believe that Toronto is home to the largest woodpecker on the planet. Many don’t even know that it is there. But it is, just standing there.
Made it out of Toronto. Only sat in traffic for about an hour when the conversation went dry. We didn’t want to ruin the rest of the trip by saying everything we had to say, and catching up too quickly so we turned on the radio. Problem with Canadian radio is the stupid CRTC law that mandates all Canadian radio stations play 50% Canadian content. You can only take Nickelback, Avril Lavigne, and Celine Dion a few times an hour before you start envisioning yourself as a punk-pop princess, playing for empty crowds, singing horrible songs, all while doing synchronized fist pumps. Maybe that’s why they are hated so much in Canada. I honestly started crying during the third installment of that Titanic song in a 20-minute span — so we had to stop. This time, however, it was another local landmark: the Big Apple. This place is magical. Some would even say majestic. But unfortunately it attracts more tourists then the city of Buffalo.
Driving for a while. Once you reach about 4 hours north of Toronto, it kind of becomes a remote possibility that any humans are within a mile radius from you. Except for the Largest Canadian Goose on the Planet, in Wawa, Ontario of all places.
Hey look! It’s Big Joe Mufferaw
Not going to lie. It took a while to get out of Ontario, two days in-fact. So I will spare you the boredom of listening to me go on about what to do in a car when it gets dark. If there were cars coming toward us it would have been more enjoyable than sitting in the dark.
We made it to Sudbury the first day. Home of Canada’s Nickel Mine, the whole town/city is basically in a pit. But that’s not why it’s important; the Giant Nickel is big tourist draw in this town. People come from all over the world to visit this attraction. It borders on being called a National Historic Site.
Don’t fool yourself, it’s not real nickel. It’s made out of plywood, and some rusty old nails.
Day 2 – Ontario
8:00 am to whenever
Anyone who is familiar with the Great Lakes will understand that Lake Superior is large. Too large, in fact. It nearly took a whole day just to drive around it. The sights were beautiful, lots of water and trees. But it took too long. It also didn’t help that we had nothing to talk about, and nothing to listen to on the radio.
Right before sundown we made it to Thunder Bay, the western-most point of Lake Superior. Thunder Bay. Not to be mistaken for any other Bay, which might have many things to do there. There was no giant Nickel or Apple, no Goose, or woodpecker. But it did have the quiet memorial for Terry Fox, Canadian icon and hero.
As we drove into the night towards Manitoba, I have to say it was an exciting two days. Boring for sure. But sometimes only those who went on the voyage can really appreciate the pure beauty of the landscape and cheesy attractions you see when you’ve been in a car for 21 hours.
You’re looking at Day One
Link to Day Two: On the Road Again … Manitoba
Link to Day Three: On the Road Again … Saskatchewan
Link to Day Four: On the Road Again … Alberta
Link to Day Five: On the Road Again … British Columbia