Hobart to Stratford (Canada!)

Hello Canada!!

Today was a really good day, with the exception of a sudden and intense withdrawal from internet panic attack that only Richard got to witness over the $1/minute phone call, so I shall not speak of it, except in passing*.

Before setting out, I bandaged up my poor blue bike with paper towels (HA! to the paper products doubters) and duct tape. I tilted the handlebars on Richard’s bike way up and now they sit better on the rack.

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From Hobart all the way to the border, it was smooth sailing in terms of traffic. The roads really do suck though. I’m looking at you Illinois and Indiana. California roads are bad too, but I cautiously venture to say these are worse. At least there was lots of construction so it seems you guys are working on it.

Michigan is very pretty. There were lots of fields starting to bloom and it all held a supremely lush feeling, especially compared with my drying up homeland. And I saw a vintage trailer on the road! Here are some pics:

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Crossing the border was very exciting for me! I have been to Canada once but that was on a plane, so it didn’t have the same threshold into a new world feel. On the U.S. side, it was really just like paying a bridge toll and moving on. I wasn’t sure if that was all there was to it, but it was still really exciting. The magical bridge that led me into the new world was way too high and made me wonder a lot about how much weight was in all the stopped cargo trucks just sitting there across the span.

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On the Canada side, I had the most awesome exchange with the customs officer. I’m glad I’m blogging because I hope to never forget it.

Him: What state are you from?

Me: California.

Him: Why are you coming into Canada?

Me: To buy a camper trailer from a company called Safari Condo in Quebec.

Him (after a classic dead pan pause): You drove all the way from California to Canada to buy a camper trailer?

Me (with childlike enthusiasm and wondering if I should mention I waited a year to do this): Yes!

Him (asking the all time most relevant question): Why?

Me (wondering how much detail to launch into): Because it is unique and really cool. It has this retractable roof…

Him (detecting this could go on for longer than he needs): Ok. Any firearms?

Me: Nope.

Him: Ok, good luck.

In that deadpan pause, he must have been calculating the risk factor; carefully weighing how likely it is that I’m just a crazy American with money to throw around, vs. a dangerous level of crazy and shouldn’t be allowed into the country. He obviously made his decision and I shall try not to let him down.

The drive to Stratford was truly lovely. Endless fields, charming houses and occasional wind farms filled my view. Here are some road shots:

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When I got into Stratford, it became immediately clear that I had arrived right in time for a big festival. Richard had gotten me a room on the outskirts of town, but when I had trouble finding it, I suddenly realized all of my technology no longer worked. After an expensive phone call*, I got checked in and headed back to enjoy the scene. I wasn’t up for sitting down and seeing a play but I did get to stroll by a fairytale lovely pond, complete with swans (and baby swans!), ducks, geese, herons (look closely!), and perfect little bridges and fountains. I got a bite to eat from a booth and strolled the streets while eating gelato. One missing piece was my sweetie. Otherwise perfect ending to a good day.

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Thanks to Richard, I had a fantastic place to stay, and now, a cellular travel plan for my cell phone. I have to be sparing though, and it doesn’t take care of data, so I may not be checking in with the online world as much until we get back into the states on June 30th.

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Total miles for the day: 411.9, Total engine time: 8 hours, 21 minutes

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