Canada - eh
Jun 23, 2011
|Woke up in the middle of the night to it throwing it down again-at least there isn't thunder or lighting. Lulled me to sleep and with those room darkening shades, I didn't get up until 7:45!!!
We had thought we might take a 2 hour tour of the Soo Locks, but the weather forecast was for 50% rain, which means that we would need to sit inside the boat. I'm still having visions of my seasickness on our cruise in May, so decide with the potential for crummy weather and sitting inside a warm room, we should just skip the boat tour (at least for today).
What to do-go to Canada's casino which is only about 8 miles away. Since we've been out of California, Rita has been hiding out, but Sam has to hide her friend as we don't think the Canucks will look too kindly upon one of them hitching a ride with us!
We both decide it's short weather. Cloudy, but not really cold.
Off we go. Wish I'd pack a snack---seriously. What I thought was the entry point for Canada is actually a US toll bridge ($3.00). Then up and over the International Bridge. We probably are about half way when we come to a halt----traffic backed-up waiting to get into Sault Ste Marie, Ontario, Canada.
It took us almost one hour! Crazy huh? Or were we crazy to wait? We probably could have turned around on the bridge, but we had paid our $3.00 already!
I told Sam they must really be quizzing folks since it was taking so long to get in.
Finally--our turn. Hand the dude our passports. He asks a few questions:
1. Where do you live?
2 Why are you visiting Canada?
3. Do you have any guns or alcohol in the vehicle or on your person?
4. Where are we staying?
5. Anything besides clothes in the vehicle?
He was making a mark each time I answered. Never did look at the passports. I thought wow, this is easy and then he says, "Take this (a piece of yellow paper with his marks and our passports) and go to the canopy on the left and wait for the officer!"
So I do as told and a female officer motions for me to take the second stall and put the vehicle in park and get out. I do and then she says (after I'm out) to turn it off and stand in front of the jeep. Sam gets out as well.
Next thing I know two more officers come and they all start searching---no luck, we're clean. Thanks us and off we go.
Now, I'm not looking at Sam because I know he's pissed! Finally get to the road and I ask him why he's pissed. He wants to know why I think that----maybe because we live together and I know what sets him off! Yep, he feels singled out because we're American and they weren't pulling any Canucks out and searching their vehicles.
I said he was lucky they didn't do a pat down on him or bring out the doggies! I thought---yay, material for the blog!
Stop at the casino just up ahead. Get parked and walk in. It's smoke free and very small which surprised me. We change out some US $$(not to our benefit either). Play a while and walk out losers. Oh yay, I even joked with the border dude that we were just going to leave some money at the casino (maybe that's why we got the special search?)
Decide to stop at their mall and walk around a bit. All I bought was a coffee. Oh and Sam bought some special beer (not Schlitz) at the state beer store (in the mall of all places).
I ask Sam if he wants to take a scenic drive up Canadian Highway 17. Sure.
We need to pit so we stop at the tourism office and I ask her if 17 would be a scenic drive. Yep and she gives me directions to get there. All the signs were saying 17N, 17S, 17W, and 17E. Guess 17 is THE highway!
Shortly after getting on the highway, we notice signs to watch for moose crossing at night. Shoot, it's not night, we probably won't see any. At one point, they even have a flashing light that is somehow connected to a bunch of sensors (it appears) along the road.
When we took a trip to see the Fall colors in New England a few years ago(we missed the colors by a few weeks), we specifically went to an area that we were guaranteed to see moose. Did we see any-nope. Of course, after seeing all the large signs along the road with the number of motorist deaths for the year due to collisions with moose, I really was glad we didn't see any.
About 40 minutes into the drive (we can only go 90 km), we both say at the say time, MOOSE!! About 10 yards off the right side of the road. I pull over (just ahead) and flip around. That boy is just staring at me. We move a little closer (across the road) and we're taking pictures like crazy. He doesn't care. He's just staring at me. Finally, I pull a little bit further ahead so when I turn to go back the way we were headed, I wouldn't be directly at him. Well, when I did that, he took off into the woods.
That was so cool. I've never seen a moose. Sam did bm (before me) in Yellowstone and Norway.
We drive aways further, but don't see any more moose. Take a side road to look at a lake and then head back. Hm, what's this...a po po behind me? Oops, coming up on the moose area and by golly, there he is grazing. I sorta slow down and the po po does as well. Of course, I think he's running my tags. I must come back clear, because he passes me and he's gone. I figure he's waiting up ahead to try and catch me speeding :-)
Get back into town and I think we better pit again cuz who know how long it will take us to get back into the States. Oh wait, they let everyone in don't they?
Oh goody, not much of a waiting line for re-entry into the States. Even get our picture snapped as we get close to the checkpoint. A few questions asked:
1. Are we both US Citizens?
2. What do I do for a living?
3. What does Sam do for a living?
4. How long was our stay in Canada?
5. Did we buy anything?
I told him that we were there about 5 hours. I wanted to find a moose. He asked if we did and when I said we did, he was surprised. Said most people go looking, but don't ever see one. Then asked where we saw him. I figure that was a test, to see if we really had. I wish now I would have shown him our pictures.
He thanks us, tells us to enjoy our vacation and we're done. Oh wait, we're going back into the States, so there is the toll booth and there goes another $3.00!
Sam is complaining about having to pay again. I remind him he didn't like Candada, now he doesn't like the US either!
Decide to grab a pizza to take back to the house. There is so much construction and detours around here. We're closer to getting back on I75 rather than go back through town.
Barely on I75 (2 miles from the campground) and we both spot something alive on the side of the road. I don't recognize it (no star for me), but it's very pretty. Sam says it's a Sandhill Crane! Wish we'd had time to take a picture.