We took exactly three pictures on our cross-country adventure. I can sum up the whole trip in just a few words: smooth, awesome, and holy crap go buy yourself a GPS before your next road trip. Those things are amazing. And smart! And amazing.
But if you know me, I’m not going to stop at just a few words.
We did close to 6000 kilometers in six days, including eight hours on an overnight ferry.
The trip got off to a bit of a rough start. We pulled out of the driveway on Jan. 1st, with little more than a quarter tank of gas. Whoops. BUT! The intelligent GPS gave us the address and phone number for all gas stations within a 200km radius, and on our third call we landed on one that was open on the statutory holiday, AND along our route.
Next, I called to confirm our ferry crossing… and discovered I had booked the wrong direction. And the ferry we hoped to take was actually a dangerous goods crossing, so we bumped up our plans and left the rock a full 12 hours ahead of schedule. We covered 767 km that first day by the time Sylvia steered us onto the Highlander.
The ferry crossing was smooth but sleepless. My misguided reservation meant we missed out on a cabin. Luckily Sylvia had her PeaPod and Travis and I made do where we could in recliner chairs and later, on the floor.
Day two saw us cruise through Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. We stopped for a swim at the Truro Centiennial Pool. (Pro tip, Truro: a SIGN on your pool building would sure help). We straightened her out for Edmunston, with a brief detour off the higway in Moncton to check out Magnetic Hill. Don’t bother wiki-ing it. Nothing compares to your car actually ROLLING BACKWARDS UPHILL. Optical illusion be damned. I don’t know if it was just becuase I was behind the wheel, but it affected me a lot more than Travis or Sylvia. SO. TRIPPY.
We clocked 957 km that day.
January third we got our first major time change. We rolled across the New Brunswick-Quebec border at 8 a.m., gaining an hour. I’ll spare you the details of Sylvia’s diapers this day, but lets just say we went through FOUR outfits and made three emergency “FIND A GAS STATION RIGHT NOW!” stops. My trip jounal simpy calls them “diaper situations.” We also did three major cities: Quebec, Montreal and Ottawa. Again, the GPS did it’s magic thing and told us how well traffic was flowing, how long the rush hour delay was, and how to avoid that accident up ahead. Apart from a few choice words from Travis at a hairy off-ramp in Quebec city, the day went smoothly. We intended to stop in Ottawa for the night but we were making such good time we rolled through the capital city and stopped in Pembroke instead. The hotel had a pool, so Sylvia was in heaven.
Day three totalled 942 km, but our gas mileage was so crappy we stopped to check the tire pressure. All four tires were fine, so we blamed it on Edmunston’s bad gas.
January fourth was our only day of winter driving. We drove in the snow for 3-4 hours in the morning, but the roads remained clear. This was my first taste of Northern Ontario. We passed Sudbury but didn’t see the giant nickel 😦 I was hoping for a glimpse of the cast of Men with Brooms, but had to settle for the town of Espanola, who wants the world to know it is “NOT just a paper town!” How’s that for a municipal slogan?
This was our shortest day at just 660 km. We pulled off the road early in Sault Ste. Marie to spend the evening with Kim. Hi, Kim! We dined on delicious quesadillas (Kim – can you e-mail me the recipe for that black bean filling?) and I got a brief walking tour of the Cancer Belt early the next morning with Kim and Jack (the dog).
For those keeping track, that’s 3326 km so far.
We crossed an international border on Day 5, and Sylvia got to use her passport for the first time! More on South-of-the-border adventures tomorrow.