I've retitled the last two posts. Original day one is now day zero, and day one is a new (different) post. I won't attempt to explain what I was thinking, but it's fixed now.
Yesterday morning we woke up to a bright blue sky and freezing cold weather. It was -17 C with a windchill of -27 C. Everyone at the motel was talking about how cold it was. I was thrilled because it was sunny and bright. Who cares how cold it is when we're driving all day?
We got off to a slow start, with so much of what we needed in the truck, including the damn netbook adapter (it wouldn't boot up without it), and various other delays. We thought that was fine because we had only 480 kilometres planned, so we assumed the whole trip would be in daylight. Ha!
Allan and M went off on another M quest, while I hammered away at the keyboard. About 45 later, when I hit publish, the post disappeared. So now I have no post and I've delayed us for nothing. Yay.
We finally hit the road around 11:00, getting the Trans Canada Highway in Sudbury, west towards Sault Ste Marie and beyond. It was very scenic, the road winding through snow-covered fields and evergreens, small towns, and frozen rivers. We stopped a few times for Diego and to pick up caffeine in various forms. Just a few stops here and there, no lunch break or anything substantial, yet somehow, it was growing dark and we were still 300 kilometres from our destination. Which would be less than three hours on a fast highway, but following Lake Superior from The Soo to Thunder Bay is decidedly not a fast highway. We knew this -- we just drove the damn thing in September! -- but that was in daylight. And dry weather.
As soon as it gets dark, it also starts to snow. And here we are again on a completely dark country road in the snow! We said we weren't going to do this again, and we're doing it again on the very next night. Plus this time the road is winding and hilly, and huge logging trucks are flying by, too. I had been driving, but once the snow started, we switched. It was stressful enough as a passenger. No way I could drive in that. Allan is great that way, though -- nerves of steel when it comes to driving.
The snow was coming down hard. During the day, it's a beautiful scenic drive. At night, in the snow, a painful crawl. Much of the time we were doing 40 or 50 kms/hour, just trying to stay on the road.
We had no phone signal for much of the time, so I had no idea how M was doing. When I reached him, he was already in the motel! He had seen a car in a ditch with highway patrol people and was very relieved to learn it wasn't us.
We pulled in to the Best Northern Motel and Restaurant at around 7:00, tired and hungry, but very happy to be there. Except for the big sign that said RESTAURANT CLOSED FOR SEASON. When I checked in, I asked, "So there's no restaurant right now?" The woman said, "There's a restaurant, but it's closed for winter." Ah yes, very helpful. To be fair, she gave me a dog bowl with the hotel logo on it, for use in the room.
She said two restaurants in Wawa would still be open -- if we hurried. We quickly got stuff in the room, Allan set up Diego's crate, and we set out in the snow, about 6 inches by then, and still coming down. M was done for the night, so we took his order, hoping we'd find something.
In Wawa we saw a Tim Hortons (of course) and a Subway, so we had a last resort. The two restaurants were side by side. The Embassy looked more promising, but they were closing early: "It's a slow night".
North of 17 was like the diner of my dreams. The server was an older woman who seemed to want to feed us. I ordered my favourite comfort food: hot turkey sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy. I hadn't had that in eons. Real roast turkey, homemade gravy, and a $6 glass of red wine, a huge glass that costs $19.50 at Canyon Creek. The whole thing was heavenly.
We tried not to order dessert, but since we were taking food back for M, the server suggested she box up dessert as well. Who were we to refuse.
When we got back to the room, Diego was calm and happy. I don't know if he was barking while we were gone, but I've decided not to worry about it. I hear other people's TVs, they might have to hear my dog.