Friday, July 18, 2008

Part II, Day 7: 080703

I cleared my traps this morning, though I was pleasantly delayed for a few minutes by a conversation with the travelling flying-squirrel expert. He is also moving West, though more slowly than I, and will be visiting provincial and national parks all summer.

Then, big drive. We stopped for lunch almost before we got started, in Marathon, then a nearly uninterrupted drive along highway 17 to Thunder Bay for dinner. I was born in Thunder Bay, but as my family moved to Southern Ontario before my 2nd birthday, I have no memory of the place. I have also visited only twice previously in the time since I began forming permanent memories, and neither visit was long. Dinner took a little longer than I would have liked, apparently because of our trainee server at the Swiss Chalet. Still, the food was good.

Highway 17, travelling West along the central Northern shore of Lake Superior.

Then, driving driving driving. We crossed the continental divide separating the St. Laurence drainages from the Arctic drainages just after sunset, and gained an hour by crossing into the Central time zone shortly after that. It was very dark and we were pretty tired when we stopped for a planning meeting (“what do you wanna do now?”) in the small town of Ignace. There are two motels in town, one of which had closed (I didn’t realize motels actually closed, and had no staff on-duty, at night) just 5 minutes before. The Lighthouse Motel, however, provided a lovely pair of nice big beds in a room that smelled only faintly of cigarette smoke, as well as a patch of level ground in front of the room to park the RV. The latter was procured by cash, as that saves some paperwork and meant the person on-duty didn’t have to clear anything with her boss in the next room.

Tomorrow I need to be in downtown Winnipeg before about 4:00 pm so I can purchase a few litres of liquid nitrogen from the one of only two suppliers in all of Manitoba, both located in Winnipeg. We’re about 5 or 6 hours on-highway away from Winnipeg here, so I’m not worried as long as we can get up and get moving in reasonable order tomorrow. Convincing 8 people to get up and go will probably not be easy.


King Aardvark said...

Damnit, now you've made me hungry (I want Swiss Chalet now). Their service is substandard at the best of times; I can't imagine how bad a trainee would be.

TheBrummell said...

He was just slow, but very polite, and he got our order right. For some reason, even though they're writing it down and presumably passing the written order to the cooks, large groups tend to generate errors in orders.