Day 32 – Sunday, July 26 – Back Home

I made it back home.

Sudbury to Home

The weather was warm in the morning but it quickly reached 31 C (88F) and stayed there for most of the day.

I packed up early and I left the campsite shortly after 7 am. As I drove the 80 km to Sudbury, the noise from my wheel bearing was painfully loud so I decided that I would need to see if there was an Auto shop available to replace it. Sudbury has a population of 160,000 people so I assumed there would be a shop open for service, if not, I would possibly stay overnight and have it repaired in the morning. I stopped at a Tim Hortons and while eating a breakfast sandwich and drinking a large cup of coffee, I found a ” Canadian Tire ” auto shop on the internet, that was open at 9 am. I called them and they informed me that they could check and replace the wheel bearing but it would be on a first-come, first-serve basis, so I immediately drove to the shop and arrived there at 9:30.

By 1:30 pm, I was back on the road with a new front right wheel bearing and an oil change, but the whining noise was gone. It was a pleasure to be driving again.

I decided to check out Manitoulin Island and drive to the ferry landing, since I had never been that way before. Manitoulin Island is Canadian lake island in Lake Huron. It is the largest freshwater lake island in the world. To get to the ferry on Highway 6, there is a single lane swing bridge that has to be crossed.

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The island has a lot of open space and the trees aren’t as large or plentiful as on the mainland but it is a very nice place to visit.

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I was planning to check out the ferry schedule to see when I could get on and determine my options. I arrived at the ferry loading dock, shortly after 4 pm and when I approached the attendant, he guided me into the waiting line for ” standby ” and I decided to see what would happen. He told me that I would have to be back by 4:45 pm and they would let me know if I could get on the 6 pm ride. I got out of the car and since it was hot out, I went to a cafe and bought an ice cream cone. When I got back, I was informed that I would be able to take the 6 pm ride to Tobermory, so I paid my $61.45 and got in line with the other cars.

The ferry from Tobermory soon arrived.

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There were 5 lines of motorcycles, bicycles, cars, trucks, campers and motorhomes waiting to get on the ferry.

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We were all packed neatly inside on 2 decks.

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No one is allowed in their vehicles during the ride, however, they have nice facilities in the upper decks for sitting, walking around, shopping ( of course ), eating and drinking.

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The 50 km ride took about 2 hours and from the time I arrived at the ferry loading dock until I left the ferry at 8 pm took 4 hours. I decided to take the 4 hour drive home and sleep in my own bed. The traffic was busy leaving the ship, because there is only one road leaving Tobermory and most of the people were heading back towards Toronto.

I finally arrived at home, shortly after midnight.

So, after 16900 km, 1580 litres of gas (9.4 l/100 km or 25 mpg), $5000 in expenses (for gas {$2000}, accommodations, food, car maintenance {$1000} and entrance fees), 1 replaced tire, 1 repaired tire, 2 oil changes, a new wheel bearing and after visiting with many wonderful people, making new friends, seeing a lot of wonderful sights and experiencing a lot of different adventures, I am back home to my own bed, bath and kitchen. The most I paid for gas was $1.50/litre in Eagle Plains, YT and I averaged $1.26/liter. Most of my lodging was in campsites where I paid between $12 and $44 per night.

I want to thank everyone for their comments and suggestions.

A big thanks for the hospitality shown to me by Gordon & Maria Martens, Pat McKenna, Tim & Shannon ( and of course the boys, Warren and Kevin ) and Rob & Barb Bronson.

I also want to thank my neighbour, Bill Kovacs, for looking after my house and my yard, my brother for checking the house and feeding my cat and my sister for watering my plants.

As in the words of Bonnie Mohr, which I saw hanging on Gordon and Maria’s house in Grunthal:

‘Life is not a race – but indeed a journey. Be Honest. Work Hard. Be Choosy. Say ‘thank you’, and ‘great job’ to someone each day. Go to church, take time for prayer. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh. Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper. Love your life and what you’ve been given, it is not accidental ~ search for your purpose and do it as best you can. Dreaming does matter. It allows you to become that which you inspire to be. Laugh often. Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them. Some of the best things really are free. Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming. Forgive, it frees the soul. Take time for yourself ~ Plan for longevity. Recognize the special people you’ve been blessed to know. Live for today, enjoy the moment.

http://www.bonniemohr.com/store/living-life.html

Day 31 – Saturday, July 25 (Thunder Bay to Sudbury)

Thunder Bay to Sudbury

It was 20 C (68F) when I left Thunder Bay and the temperature reached 28 C (82F) by the time I reached the outskirts of Sudbury.

I left Thunder Bay at 8 am because I didn’t know what was in store for me as I continued my travels. I was still contemplating my route as I travelled down highway 17 and I approached the turn for highway 11 which goes northeast from Thunder Bay to Kapuskasing, Cochrane, Timmins and Sudbury. I considered my options, while listening to the low hum of my wheel bearing. Would it last until I got home? The northeast route is a little longer but not by much. When I finally reached highway 11, I turned onto it and my choice was made.

Highway 11 is slightly less travelled than highway 17 but it is in relatively good shape. I was surprised at how many small towns there were on this route, particularly near the east end. There were plenty of opportunities to stop for food or gas.

Lake Nipigon, which is a very large lake is next to the intersection of Highway 17 and Highway 11.

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One of the first towns, I encountered was Beardmore and what intrigued me about this town was the statue of a snowman with a fishing pole.

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I drove through Longlac, Hearst, Kapuskasing, Smooth Rock Falls until I finally stopped in Timmins, for a bite to eat and to decide where I would spend the night. I checked the internet and it appeared that there were some provincial parks on my way to Sudbury, so I decided to continue driving until I found a campsite. It was almost 300 km to Sudbury and it was already 7 pm when I left Timmins, but I was hoping that I could find a campsite near Timmins.

Along the way I saw something running about 10 feet from the road. I thought it was a wolf at first because of the long hair but as I got closer I noticed it was a black bear. As soon as I got close, the bear darted into the woods so I wasn’t able to get a picture.

The hum of the wheel bearing was much louder than it had been before and I was getting difficult to hear anything else, but I continued to drive southward until I finally found a provincial park , about 90 km north of Sudbury, where I stopped for the night and acquired a campsite.