Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I Arrive Home Safely- Got Lucky- One Heck of a Ride

From Blind River, ON, I nurse the car along through the night- stopping to sleep for an hour or two in various truck stops and gas stations along the way. I roll out of the Regent St., Sudbury, Tim's at 6:AM. Some driver was telling me that the 400 highway is closed between Perry Sound and Port Severn- but rolling out of Sudbury, things are not bad. They've been so bad for the last few days that the bar for BAD is now set pretty high. Nonetheless, by the time I get to Perry Sound things are starting to get interesting on the highway. This part of the road is pretty close to Lake Huron and, sure enough, there's a big "snow effect" taking place.

Contrary to reports, the road is not shut down. But as visibility nears zero, it might as well be. This road has traffic on it, and this is a very, very scary place to be at this moment. I get off onto a Muskoka side road and sleep for a couple of hours in a lumberyard parking lot. The side road gets ploughed, so I chance my way out to the big road. Snow seems to have let up... maybe I can get through before it starts again...

Not. This road has not been serviced, and the snow is blowing harder than ever. The highway is littered with ditch divers and I'm determined not to join them. After a couple of exits, I'm off again. Gas station parking lot for another two hours. At least these guys have got washrooms and coffee. Weather reports say more snow is coming and moving south! I do not want to spend another two days in this! When the snow lets up slightly, I shovel out the car and head off again. Once this road moves away from the lake, perhaps there will be less snow...

Conditions are as bad or worse than before. It's dark in the early afternoon. But suddenly, over a distance of perhaps half a km, suddenly I'm on clear road and in the sun! I've never driven out of a snow system so abruptly! What joy! What relief! Hammer down on the open road! I've not seen dry, clean highways since I arrived on Vancouver Island- weeks ago. Now, I'm on the edge of Barrie, ON, and just 100 km from home.

Toronto. I gas up, go through a car wash, and drive home. Motor off. Log book entry. Soon I'll be watering my dead plants. I carry my guitars inside and go for a long, hot soak in a familiar bathtub.

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