Neil Gaiman says:

Neil Gaiman says:
pic by Allan Amato

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Rolling stone gatherin' no moss (BUT I'M GREEN!)

Whew. I have not been looking forward to the post, because it's long, complicated and I'm tired & sick... My typing speed is uncharacteristically slow..and I'm not trusting my spellig abilities :-O So, apologies in advance for any wrongdoings related to my fever/flu.

Let's see..when did I post LAST? August 10th? Ok.. so a bit of history: The weekend of the Perseid meteor shower up at the Big Rideau was spent in town, because our annual family reunion was bringing all of my cousins and their kids HERE for once. Usually the reunion occurs part-way between Ottawa and Toronto at a campsite and everyone camps, swims, sits around fires eating Smores..mmmmmMMMMmmm and plays mini-golf & loose and fast rules with Scrabble.

Since my Dad's health and mobility were worse this year than last, instead of heading out, we stayed here and people headed to US (the old Mountain coming to Mohammed thing I think.) Friday we gathered in Aylmer at Lisa & Hugo's place and got to see everyone! I'm constantly amazed by how fast kids grow. Wow :-) Got to meet my cousins' new Newfoundland doggie "Elvis"; a friendly and HUGE puppy. Although, he's not really a puppy anymore at over 100 lbs!

Saturday we gathered at my folk's place in Stittsville, and the weather was generous to us: not too hot and not pouring either. Hurray :-D It was cool seeing my niece Bronwyn booking all over the lawn with a ball and her cousin Eric stumping along after her. If Anders has his way, he'll have a mini soccer team going in no time! We hung out, laughed, played with the 20Q game and the Scrabble cube game from 1971 I found at the Thrift shop in Bells Corners. I haven't laughed so hard in forever. The best one was the 20Q trying to guess "vomit" and guessing "fairy" instead... Hahaha! Look! It's Velma! The Vomit Fairy! Heehee... uhg.. anyway, I shouldn't laugh as I have been visited by Velma and it is NOT fun!

We said our "good-byes" and the quick reunion was over all too soon.

Sunday, I spent an annoying afternoon at Canadian Tire getting my little red Echo ready for my trip. Don't you love when initial estimates of $70 always go to $250? What are you supposed to do? Say "no", I don't want you to do the extra work and fix my back brakes before I go on a road trip? Sighhh. Just Clayton's & my luck; the Cnd Tire shuttle had JUST left when we dropped off the car. So we were stuck at the store for about 3 hours. Urg. Oh well, at least the brakes and the washer thingie got fixed. My blubbering gasket couldn't be dealt with because it was a part that had to be ordered from the dealer..and it was a SUNDAY. *sigh*. So, I got to sound loud and proud all the way to Newmarket and back...

Monday August 14th, packed artwork, supplies, clothes and cooler with water, a bag of cassettes (yes, I am living in the stone age I suppose. But a cassette player in the car is still an improvement over my old Mustang's radio that only got 5 channels!) I rolled out of Kanata around 12:30pm after topping up the gas tank. I took Hwy. 7 West and just stuck to that long and winding road as long as I could. It was perfect driving weather: bright blue sky, puffy white clouds and great music flowing from the speakers: mixed tapes mostly, and SOTW, Great Big Sea, Alison Krauss & Union Station and of course Bif Naked!

After Peterborough, I knew things would be a little more challenging, as according to my Mapquest map, I had to keep an eye out for the route that would hook me up with the 47 that would link me easily to the 404, then north to Newmarket. Suffice to say, that what should've been a fairly easy jog turned out to be like a 3+ hour detour! The last thing I remember was plummetting from the marked path onto a dirt road, and then by "feel" finding my way west, then north..past farmer's fields..more dirt roads.. Oh, then the sky clouded over and started raining on me..and the sun started to lower... EEP!

By the time I managed to orient myself, I was within spitting distance of Orillia! AUGH.. how did that happen? I blame the "Run Lola Run" tape.. lack of a good map and people riding my butt when I was driving. I had gotten turned around on dirt roads and was just so grateful when I finally found some hardtop (the 12 North) I just jumped on it and kept driving!

So, I bought an Ontario map at a gas station. And a Snickers bar to cheer me up. Then I returned to the Echo and figured out that the main problem that had been in my way (the reasons roads to the west stopped going, and were NEVER going to hook me up to the 404) was that there was a bloody great big lake in the way: Lake Simcoe! *&#^

I finally found myself on the 11 South and that mystically transformed into the 400 S, just past Barrie. BARRIE! Augh.. With Bif singing away and the car zooming in the correct direction, the sun burst through the cloud cover and lit the fields and trees bright gold and green. The sky was an indigo backdrop that was unearthly. The rigs and cars shooting by didn't bother me a bit. I was heading South! I had a map..and all was well with the world.

I arrived in Newmarket around 7pm in time to say hi to Beth, Fi, Brad and the lovely twins (who were on their way to bed.) They'd saved some Thai food for me for supper--how nice; and a cold Keith's as well. Just what I needed to restore my faith in the world and encourage me to sally forth yet again. By the time Fi and I got back to her place and threw all of my luggage down, I was all for bed. We did a quick run for beer and supplies, then I settled on Fi's futon and just drifted off to dreamland with CSI playing in the background.

More later, amigos.

For your amusement, a map of my forays..

2 comments:

Doc Savageland said...

You poor girl! Did no one tell you about the 401?

Eifriger said...

Now Keith, I know you haven't personally driven the 401... Up until the outskirts of TO, it ain't too bad, but once you get closer to the metropolis, it is the most unpleasant experience one can imagine. Even driving lost in pastoral farmland was marginally better than shouldering next to semis going 140+ and lanes interchanging inexplicably all over the place. The 7 was very pleasant, right up until the getting lost bit.