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My adventure in the north today.....

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Old 03-10-2002, 09:00 PM   #1
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My adventure in the north today.....

I had a very interesting day today, I thought i might share it with you. I'm posting from a bar in the middle of Sault ste. Marie, and my journey here was a long, arduous test of patience.

We started at 8:00am in Hamilton, hoping for an easy trip. We stopped at a McDonalds in Meadowlands for a taty meal of Egg McMuffins and hash browns, and set off towards Toronto. The winds were unusually high along the highway, blowing our car every way it pleased. The way to Barrie was quite tame other than the wind, and we thought we'd be here in no time. We switched driver/passenger roles and continued toward Sudbury. As we became closer to Parry Sound, the weather deteriorated into whiteout conditions, and our speed was reduced to a mere 20 km/h. We pass an accident, and as we see emergency vehicles pass by, the radio informs us of a road closure behind at the accident. We just made it! yay. Now the bad news reaches us. Highway 69 from Parry sound to sudbury is closed. Shit. But we are spared yet again. The radio says it is open, but use at your own risk. So we head on along the snow-covered roads to sudbury, making great time. As we reach hwy 17, we are greeted with a nice, fairly clear route, and only 300km left to go. A couple hours later, after an inconsequential trip, we reach the hole.....er...town of Blind river, and see a line of tens, even hundreds of trucks! WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON!!!! We keep driving, and see an equally huge number of cars milling around. The road is closed all the way to the sault. Shit. But we're getting there today, no matter how rough it will be. We get out the map, and notice some small roads that go around the town. After travelling some of them, we see that only 4% of them are actually on the map. OK, so all we have to do is get around the roadblock and back on the highway....

oh shit, my time is up. I'll have to tell you the rest when I can find a way to get online for free. Too bad I couldnt get to where it strts getting interesting.

To be continued, I promise!


ps it's cold up here!
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:03 PM   #2
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Mmmmm....Egg McMuffins. Yummy!
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:40 PM   #3
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my sister went to take her kids to see their jerk ass dad in Sault Saint Marie on saturday..

i hope they are okay
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Old 03-10-2002, 09:53 PM   #4
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Why didn't you just fly your plane?
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Old 03-10-2002, 10:33 PM   #5
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Hi Josh.
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Old 03-11-2002, 04:05 AM   #6
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Re: My adventure in the north today.....

Quote:
Originally posted by quantumdj
[We started at 8:00am in Hamilton, hoping for an easy trip. We stopped at a McDonalds in Meadowlands for a taty meal of Egg McMuffins and hash browns, and set off towards Toronto.
ps it's cold up here! [/B]


ewww the meadowlands, i live 7 mins west of there.
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Old 03-11-2002, 05:07 AM   #7
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my friends and i had made the brilliant decision to go hiking on sunday. desptite the howling winds we decided to stick to our plan. we drove (slowly and carefully) to the mono cliffs provincial park. where it snowed all day. i have no idea how far we hiked but i'd say more than 20 km mostly over icy trails in blowing snow and white-out conditions. in the trees it was less windy and less cold, but along the escarpment ridge we were havily exposed to the blasting wind. i really don't think i can capture the experience here in words, but needless to say it was great day for a hike.
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Old 03-11-2002, 08:11 AM   #8
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Let me guess, you were at the Log In Cafe at the Ramada Inn right?

I'm from the Soo, and I can tell you that if you drive through Perry Sound in the middle of July you will have white out conditions. That area is perma-winter.
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Old 03-12-2002, 09:27 AM   #9
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I'm back home now.

Josh:
I was supposed to fly up there. I had the flight route all planned, the plane signed out, and all I had to do was my wind and fuel calculations. But the weather was too bad. It was what we call IMC or "instrument meteorological conditions". I dont have an instrument rating, so i can only fly VFR (visual flight rules), which basically sets some weather minimums so that I always have visual reference to the ground.

Ming:
Yes, they are yummy.

defazman:
Yes, it was the log-in cafe.

joey:
I hope they are ok too. People are scary up there

Now for our feature presentation:

So, a half hour later, we emerge from the wilderness back onto hwy 17. We are the only people on the highway. The road is perfectly clear. We are making great time, I dont know why they closed the road. All is well until we arrive in the town of Thessalon. Another roadblock awaits us, with a friendly female cop who tells us that the town hall or legion or whatever is open, just head into town, and she'll be there in a few hours, too. So after a friendly "see you later", we go into the town, only to find a way back to some sideroads. We werent stopping. Fortunately, I had my pilot gear with me. I noticed that My aeronautical chart of the sault area showed all these little sideroads, but didnt have any details about them. At least we know what we can expect. We go up into the woods again and things are going well. we turn down this sideroad that leads us to a ministry of natural resources station in the middle of nowhere. the road continues on, but it is only ploughed to the MNR station. As a result of this, a three foot high snowbank blocks our way. It has a gradual slope, and has been there for a while, so it is rock hard. After a running start, we try to get enough momentum to get over the obstacle. It turns out it was softer than we thought. The car gets lodged on top of it, with the wheels hanging out in the open. we arent going anywhere like this. My dad starts digging underneath the car with our snow scraper, and I break a large branch off a tree and start digging with it. After removing the hard-packed snowbank form under the car, and driving some small branches under the tires for traction, the car is finally free. Now we have to backtrack and find another road. It is starting to get dark, and the wind and snow have whipped up into an impressive storm. We drive along through blowing snow, and whenever the road dips down beside a lake, the high water level has caused water to flow across the road. We are just three kilometres away from the highway when a huge wall of white looms in front of us. We plough through the snowdrift, causing snow to fly all over the place, covering our car. Just as the windshield wipers start to clear it off, an we encounter an even bigger snowdrift. It is too late to stop. Our car is buried as it punches into the five-foot high drift. We cant back out of it, so all we can do is start digging. About ten minutes later, to our relief, a snowplough comes along the road behind us. He pulls us free, and we follow him down toward the highway. We watch him struggle through another drift, about five times the size of the one that buried us. He makes it through. We are only 500 metres from the highway when he gets stuck! His giant grading machine is buried in a mountain of snow. He gets out and informs us that "well...um...i'm gonna be here a while". He continues to plod through with his array of large shovels, and we head back along another back road. We emerge in the town of bruce mines, right into another police roadblock. This guy is not very nice. He tries to get us to admit to running roadblocks, and informs us of a large fine. He tries to make us out to be criminals, even though they dont have any jurisdiction over those back roads. They only have authority to close the provincial highways. He knew what we were doing, but didnt realize that we could legally do so. We interrupt him in mid-sentence by saying "ok, we better get back to that motel" and simultaneously driving away. He didnt chase us. We go back along our route of tiny wilderness roads, and find one that isnt too bad: road #638, which would take us to Echo Bay. It weaves its way up to the village of ophir, and then cuts west. We travel along this road through giant, rocky hills in a blizzard. We are tired, hungry, and starting to get a little impatient. As we go down into a valley, a jolt shakes the car with a loud sloshing noise. Another one of those swollen lakes, but this time, the water level is almost to our windows! Water sprays all around us, and rushes over the windshield. We see the start of the road again, and have barely enough momentum to get to it. This was a very dangerous situation. The water could have stopped the car by friction alone, by the absence of traction from the tires, or by filling up the car's air filter, since the water level was higher than the car's hood. If we were stopped in there, the car would have filled half way up with icy water, we would have to wade through it to land, and get to the nearest sign of civilization. Soaking wet in the frigid cold, severe hypothermia would have set in very quickly. We are lucky. The rest of the drive was easy. There were no cops in echo bay, and we could get back on the highway and drive into the sault. A roadblock with tens, maybe a hundred cars trying to get on the highway in the oncoming lane was our first sight of the city. We continued to the hotel, had a nice dinner, and went to bed.
I think I did well on my college entrance exam, the reason for the trip. This college is my first choice, I hope I will be accepted.


Moral of the story?
-It is easy to get around a roadblock.
-It is dumb to get around a roadblock, it is there for a reason.
-They shouldnt have closed the highway, they should have just reduced the speed limit. It would have been much safer to travel on a poor highway than to sneak around it.
-If you are determined enough, you will get to your destination.
-I will go through a lot to get into this college, they better accept me.


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Old 03-12-2002, 09:39 AM   #10
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Dude, you and your dad are fucking crazy.

Welcome to the club.
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