Bits and Pieces

It is day 6 and we have just left Hearst, Ontario enroute slowly to Thunder Bay. This might be another night staying just off the road at a small reststop with no campground. On our maps there is no town of any real size between Hearst and Thunder Bay and we are not rushing to Thunder Bay today. Since we were in a campground last night our water is full and our tanks are empty so we don’t really need a campground at all. The picture above of Hearst appears to be the closest we will get to wildlife up here. We did see a sign about moose crossing the road if that counts.

As Mike and I biked around the campground this morning I saw lots of little kids biking, on their own or in small groups. It made me think of the number of episodes in the news recently about parents being arrested for allowing their kids to play and bike and go to the park. There was the mother arrested because she gave permission for her 7 year old to go to the park on his own. There was another mother who was arrested and lost her job when she let her 9 year old play in the park while she worked at McDonalds. The supposedly responsible 9 year old had a house key and cell phone and lived about a six minute walk from the park. The mother was a black, single mom working for basically minimum wages. Was having her arrested and losing her job really the right solution?  The kids I saw today were having a great time. I particularly noticed one little boy about seven years old who was with a much smaller child on a bike that still had training wheels. I bet the older child had been told to look after his younger brother. In theory every parent at Twin Lakes could have been arrested. At what ages can kids today go bicycling to meet their friends at the park? As a society have we become way over protective of our youth to their detriment?

I was surprised at how French this part of Ontario is. Although almost everyone is fully bilingual, French is definitely their first language. Apparently this is due to the history of logging in the near North and all the lumberjacks coming over from Quebec.

We just passed a rock museum. Both Mike and I decided to give it a pass.

Kapuskasing, or Kap as it is known locally, is one of the few towns up here that we hear about in Southern Ontario. I was very surprised to find out that it has a population of only 9,500. On Saturday and Sunday we drove past many towns within a couple of hours of Toronto that I had never heard of. I bet that many of them had as large a population as Kap does or probably even larger. I guess they just get overshadowed by Toronto and Mississauga while Kap is one of the largest towns in the area. I will say that Kapuskasing has somewhat of a feel of home. Canadian Tire, Tim Hortons, A&W, Home Hardware and Shopper’s Drug Mart could all be found near the centre of town.
Mike did get the sign made for the Lincoln. It now reads “Be Patient. Pushing Large Load”. Hopefully people behind us, especially on hills, will have some sympathy with the speed. We were really surprised to get good clear radio reception in the car last night. It turns out that unbeknownst to us the car is currently receiving Sirius radio. I guess that one of the advantages of buying a used vehicle is that you get the benefit of any remaining time for paid up services like Sirius.
When we open both living room sliders the room is 13 feet wide which is lovely. Of course the new chairs take up 1/3 of the width when Mike is resting in them. When we stop somewhere to make a coffee or go for a walk we often only open up one side, whichever is most protected from potential traffic. Even with only one slide open the living room is over 10 feet wide. It feels great.

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to towing a vehicle. Actually overall there are mainly big advantages. I previously addressed the fact that fuel probably wasn’t a disadvantage like you might assume. The really big disadvantage that I hadn’t considered ahead of time is that you can’t back up when the car is attached. Given that we are probably 60 feet long with the car in tow, not being able to reverse really cuts down on where you want stop. It means that you can’t even turn around in some fairly large spaces. I had no idea that towing a car was so different from towing a trailer. It probably does mean that there are times that we might have stopped somewhere and we don’t. On the other hand, we are much more likely to go out in the car in an evening than we would be in the RV once we had it settled in a campground. Hooking and unhooking is getting much better although Mike does need to use a pry bar to make it work since the bicycles are in the way of part of the mechanism.

Be Patient     Pushing Large Load
Be Patient Pushing Large Load

We are going to try and order rear mud flaps for the RV from a store in Winnipeg so that they will arrive by the time we get there. The front of the Lincoln gets really dirty when it is towed and I am worried about stone chips.

P.S. We are in a lovely, small campground on a lake for the night but I have no idea where. Somewhere along Hwy 11 between Hearst and Thunder Bay.

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