Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 35: Englehart to Toronto, ON

Technically, the day started in Kirkland Lake, which is where our hotel was; thus adding a half-hour on to my day's drive! My Mom insisted that my Dad try driving the bus. She said that otherwise he wouldn't understand just what a feat it had been for me to drive halfway across the country in it. So, Will went with Mom and I went with Dad, and after I started it for him (Bobby does love me best) he drove me as far as North Bay.

We stopped at the Thornloe cheese factory, where we always stopped when I was a kid for cheese curds. The factory had been bought by Parmalat, who then decided to close it. Fortunately for me, it was bought out by area milk farmers, and they're still producing those toothsome, slightly rubbery cheddar cheese curds that I love.

We also made the absolutely obligatory stop at the Highway Book Shop, in Cobalt, ON. They have 350,000 books in a delightful warren of additions to the original building, still presided over by Dr. Pollard, the same gentleman who founded the store in 1957. I'm not sure Will really thought it lived up to all the excitement I'd felt about going there, but I did help him pick out a few books to get him through the final hours of the trip.

Lunch was in Temagami, where we had the worst meal of the trip at a restaurant I won't name for you. We drove on to North Bay, where Mom and Dad were splitting off from our route. There I discovered that I'd left my bag - including my camera - at the restaurant. Driving back to get it would easily put another two hours of driving into my day, getting me home after dark, but Mom and Dad wouldn't hear of it. I'll feel guilty about this for years, I'm sure, but I let them go back and get it, and I drove on! They put in the extra kilometres (thanks, folks), and mailed it express to me the next day.

Will and I got McDonald's, which we hadn't done since the first week of the trip, and cursed the slow road at the top of the 400. It turned out to be a fender-bender that everyone was gawking at, and after that we moved quickly, despite it being a long weekend and tons of people coming back into town. We were home at 8:30pm and had time to unpack a little bit, bathe and shower before going to sleep in beds that had grown unfamiliar after so much time!

Total: 13,638km.

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