Northwestern Ontario

We finally arrived in Sault St. Marie and after crossing the border (with almost thirty bottles of wine and a one gallon jug of hooch) we arrived to the Waters’ home just in time for supper. They put on a great meal (man, we were really getting lucky that way with the generosity of friends along the way!) and we visited late while catching up on each others lives. Time and Emily went on a school field trip down into the States the next morning. With the school year almost finished Laura had no qualms about keeping Maggie home for the morning while we packed up and the three kids ran around and played outside. I was great to see the Water’s family again, and we visited and shared lotsa stories, many that only Northerners could understand.

To get to our next stop was an interesting drive all along the Lake Superior shore. Thunder Bay has always had a very Northern “feel” to it. Even though I’ve never been there before, just the way everyone talks about it gives that strong impression. The blackflys in the area also probably help out a bit too with such an allusion. I enjoy confirming these loose assumptions about Thunder Bay with people we meet. Most tend to agree that that is indeed their opinion of Thunder Bay. The interesting part is that Thunder Bay is below the forty-ninth parallel. This means that it is at a lesser latitude (or “height” up the globe from the equator) than all of Western Canada. That’s a pretty wild thought for most people.

The Canadian family we had met up with in Thailand recently moved here, and so we stayed with the Cook’s. We had rented an apartment next to them on Phuket Island with the shared swimming pool. It was pretty cool to to see Phil & Joy again, and our kids immediately set out to the trampoline to join Kyla & Josh working off some energy. Phil had a magnificent roast on the BBQ and we sat around and caught up for the rest of the evening. It turns out that as much as they enjoyed living and working in Thailand, the company there had proved unreliable and so they returned to Canada. The next morning, the kids stayed home from school to fool around with Alex and Luke for a couple of hours while we leisurely packed up. After a huge breakfast we said our goodbyes and departed on to Winterpeg.

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