Friday, July 6, 2012

Thunder Bay, Ontario, by Margaret Ullrich, part 12, Transplanting

It's hard to be a weather forecaster in Manitoba.
As the saying goes, If you don't like the weather, just wait 5 minutes.
Today was supposed to be another hot, sunny day.
It had clouded up overnight and we had a drizzle this morning.
Don't have to water the garden today.

The garden is doing well.
The zucchini and tomato plants have flowers.
The grapevine has little green grapes.
The rhubarb is due for another picking.

I didn't know how long it would rain, so I went to the mall as soon as I could.
I had to pay our Visa bill.
I also wanted to pick up the Safeway and Sobey flyers.

Both stores are on a new schedule.
The flyers are in effect from Friday to Thursday.
Safeway has special "Friday only" sales.
Last Friday I got the last of their "on sale" toilet paper.
Both stores open at 7:00 a.m.
I was in Safeway at 9:30 a.m.
Folks in my neighborhood don't fool around when there's a bargain to be had.

Forty years ago it was a clear, brisk day.
We were glad to leave White River Trailer Park.
Who knew a place could have so many mosquitoes?

We drove past the rest of Lake Superior.
Yes, it was beautiful and clear.
But how big could a lake possibly be?
We kept going further north and higher.
We were 1,363 feet above sea level!

We were still stuck on the curving two laner.
We were still afraid to go over 50 miles per hour.
We were still confined by the double line.
We were still leading a train of about 20 cars.
We pulled over as often as we could.
We were still being passed by drivers who shook their fists.

We were also out of the "Top 40 Radio Hits" part of the country.
There was a song about Trogladites who listen to stereos.
I don't think it got famous like Mongo Jerry's In the Summertime.
Guess everyone has to start somewhere.

Finally...  Thunder Bay, the Gateway to Canada's Great Outdoors.
As if we'd been in a city for the past few days.
We almost missed Trowbridge Falls Campground near Current River 
because we turned left instead of right.
We were still getting used to right turns being permitted on a red light.

The campground brochure said we were in the boreal forest.
Whatever that meant.
Another brochure was about the Sleeping Giant.
Well, a peninsula was supposed to look like a sleeping giant.
According to an Ojibway legend, Nanabijou had been turned to stone 
because he had told about the secret location of a silver mine.

Right turns on a red light.
A Sleeping Giant.
As Dorothy had said in The Wizard of Oz, We're not in Kansas anymore.

We got settled in a cozy spot.
Not "bushes hitting us in the face" tight.
It just looked very nice.
Paul wanted to barbecue again.

We went into Thunder Bay.
We saw electric buses on cables. 

We went to a Woolworth's for burgers.
We were getting tired of take out.
We were also feeling queasy and achy from so much sitting.

Paul bought a small old-fashioned steam engine model.
An odd little metalic engine with washers for wheels.
Well, it was a lot smaller and lighter than the rocks Lucy had collected 
We also got a steak and groceries and headed back to our campsite.

We barbecued, ate, puttered and walked around.
It seemed like the sun would never set.
The mosquitoes weren't as bad as they were at White River Trailer Park.
But there were still more than we'd ever seen in New York.

We didn't remember to call home until 10:00 p.m.
We were too late.
The office closed at 10:00 p.m.
We decided to tell our parents we'd stayed an extra day at White River Trailer Park.

We went back to our trailer and watched some television.
Something with Michael Dunn as a Martian.

Traveling may or may not be broadening.
It sure makes one appreciate having a working refrigerator.
And a phone of one's own.

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