Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mooses and foxes and bears, oh my!

Add some pea-soup fog at 3 in the morning, and oh, what a lovely mix it is.

We travelled from Falcon Lake, Manitoba, with intentions of making Sault Ste Marie, aka “The Sault (pr: Soo)” that night. That was all fine and dandy, except there was non-stop construction from the border to Marathon, Ontario. Non-stop. Oh, sorry, it wasn’t non-stop. We had to stop for 20 minutes at a time every 10 kms. There were LOTS of stops.


What should have taken about 7 hours to get to Thunder Bay, took 10 hours. We decided come hell or high water, we would make it to the Sault that night. We continued on slowly, but uneventfully (barring frequent stops for the construction, of course) until we were about an hour from Wawa (those of you in New Jersey are laughing right now, but it really is a town).

That’s when we started to see them:

MOOSES! (meeses?)

I saw a moose!! And then we saw about 4 or 5 more. The first one, standing by the side of the road, was very cool. The others, all either standing in the road, or crossing the road - not so cool. The two bears that were near-misses (both literally by 30 seconds or so) were kinda cool, once my heartbeat returned to normal. The two beautiful foxes were well across the road by the time we went by, so we were able to just enjoy the green flash of their eyes.

We stopped in Wawa around 11:00pm, at the Tim Horton’s (which was hopping! in this quiet little town). There was a party in the parking lot, where the topic of the evening was the moose party on the highway. Everyone was talking about how there were so many moose out on the road that night. A local cab driver told us to just take our time, and we’d be fine.

No one was counting on the fog, though. From WaWa to the Sault (about 3 hours’ drive) it was solid, pea-soup fog. So I drove about 60 kph, me looking back and forth for the moose and bears, Morey’s eyes peeled to the ditches where apparently, the moose like to hang out, praying the whole time that there wouldn’t be any moose and foxes and bears, oh my.

We made it to the Sault without seeing a single moose or bear, thank G-d. And boy, did we thank G-d :) Even the ubiquitous OPP (Ontario Provincial Police), who are known for always being where you don’t want them, made themselves scarce.

Once we hit the Sault, we decided to just keep driving. If we drove all night, we’d get to Ottawa around noon Friday, with plenty of time to prepare for Shabbat. If we stayed in Sault Ste Marie, we’d have to get up so early, it wouldn’t be worth it, and we’d get in to Ottawa too late to really be able to enjoy Friday night dinner. We did pull over for about half an hour for a quick power nap, and made it to Ottawa by 12:30.

Which gave us plenty of time to deal with the phone call we received on the road about having lost our great apartment in Modi’in…

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