Canadian Road Trip, ON - AB Edition: Day 1

Day 1

Couldn't sleep last night. Finally went to bed at 2am, then woke up at 5am and slept only fitfully for the next 4 ยฝ hours. Today was coloured with exhaustion.

Of course it took longer than I expected to get out of Peterborough โ€“ my final packing took about 3 hours (I had to vacuum and do a bit of cleaning, too), and I was moving pretty slowly. Some frustration with trying to get everything to fit in my car, and being worried about visibility (my car is that full! I'm going to try to re-arrange some things tomorrow morning so that my shoulder checks are easier and more effective). I said good-bye to the roommates last night (they gave me a mix cd for the drive!), and gave some kisses to [name redacted] the border collie/german shepherd cross, but the hardest farewell today was to my buddy, the 15-year-old sweet-as-pie border collie with whom I've really bonded over the past few weeks. He's taken to hanging out with me during the day โ€“ sleeping outside my door waiting for me to wake up in the morning โ€“ and I shed some tears for him. Don't know if I'll ever see him again.

Filled up with gas, then had one last stop before leaving Peterborough: Home Depot for some extra long ratchet straps to re-inforce my tie-down of the stuff on my roof. Worth it for the peace of mind.

Finally at about 1:30 or 2pm, I left the city. Typical Eastern Ontario countryside for the first couple hours of the drive โ€“ gently rolling hills, farms, small towns without bypasses. I got lost in Orillia, as I always do โ€“ ended up on the 11 instead of the 12, and had to turn around and go back. Oops. I needed a coffee/pee break anyway.

Back on the right road, things turned rocky as I entered Georgian Bay country. This is Tom Thomson territory โ€“ I do love me some white pine. The province must be having fun twinning the 400 up to Sudbury โ€“ I've done this drive several times over the years, and it seems like every year they only gain a few hundred yards. So much rock to drill through!

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I forgot that the ring road around Sudbury is really a ring road โ€“ no gas stations! So I had to make a little detour there, as well, doubling back after I'd already passed Sudbury. Had another much needed pee break, but forgot to clean my windshield. Buggy, buggy, buggy. I did remember to fix this one piece of rope that had come loose and was thwapping against the car โ€“ at first I thought the noise was something cracking, but nope. Thank goodness.

The home stretch from Sudbury to Sault Ste. Marie was a Tragically Hip Run โ€“ I made it through Day for Night, Fully Completely, Road Apples, and almost all of Up to Here. Wish I had Trouble at the Henhouse on my Ipod, but oh well. Tomorrow I'm going to pull out the new music.

I was getting really tired when the sun started to set around 9pm, and the last hour was tough, in spite of the beautiful pink and orange sunset. Beautiful, but not so great for driving towards. Crawled into my hotel bed at about 10:30pm, and now I'm sitting here drinking beer, reading GT, and watching The Bourne Legacy because I missed my shows.

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Mileage: I forgot to start my trip odometer until around Omemee, so I'm a bit short, but today I traveled around 700km (435mi) in about 8 hours (maybe 8 ยฝ). Tomorrow I'm aiming for Upsala (823km) or Ignace (928km), which will be a longer day (9 โ€“ 11 hours). I might not make it that far โ€“ I don't want to drive tired again, so I'm going to sleep until I naturally wake up and see what happens.