Monday, September 24, 2007

Smithville, Ontario CA

Unit Chosen & Picked Up
Friday, September 21

From the website we chose a unit to deliver to Smithville, Ontario. It is a 38 ft Winnebego Adventurer with a gas Workhorse chasis. This would be an easy unit to keep! Has a washer/dryer, sleep number bed, mocha frost paint and interior done in cool jazz/ocean blue with Southern maple wood trim and cabinets, a video camera system and leather adjustable driver & passenger seats. But it is already sold to a Canadian customer!!
We parked it on our Prairie while we enjoyed a couple of days with our daughter and her children.
Harvest Look to Countryside
Monday, September 24

With the Saturn hooked up for towing and the unit loaded we headed east, watching the sun rise over the the midwest prairie lands, driving past fields of beans and corn ready to harvest. Further east the combines and pickers are running. Trucks of ear corn mean that seed corn is being picked. An ethanol plant is being constructed--another market for corn.
The ditches are like a still life painting of God's creation with the yellow golden rod, purple & white asters, and wine red clover contrasting with the various shades of brown seed heads on the mature grasses set in the still green grass.

City Travel
Interstate 80 makes going around Chicago easy, but still a lot of traffic to deal with and the ever necessary road construction. There is a huge gravel/rock pit cut out of an area on either side of the Interstate in this area. It is large enough to be called an open pit mine!
We are thankful for safe passage thru this area. The traffic was not as thick as sometimes.

As we follow Interstate 94 north into Michigan we see the leaves on the trees starting to turn various shades of yellow and red. There are orchards, vineyards and fields of ripe pumpkins. One vineyard had a machine helping with the harvesting of the grapes.

Elusive Ambassador Bridge
September 25, 2007

The Ambassador Bridge from Detroit, Michigan into Windsor, Ontario, Canada eluded us again!! It is so frustrating to see the bridge and not know how to get to it because the printed directions that come from the unit do not match the actual roads available or the signs. We were the morning entertainment for one neighborhood when we followed signs to "bridge" and had to unhitch the Saturn, back up, and rehitch on the street. We could not get a 12' high Winnebago under a 10'8" overpass!! Our recommendation is to go to Mapquest and follow their directions using the Interstate.

Ontario, Canada

Queen's Highway 401 is a nice road where the construction is finished. Traveling in Canada gives you a French lesson, since all signs are in both English & French. The Queen's Highway has a crown around the number. Distance is in kilometers, speed limits are posted as kilometres/hour, and temperature is in Celsius. (Fahreneheit equals (9/5 X C) + 32) Gas is sold in liters. 100 kilometres equals 62.5 mph. 3.8 liters equals 1 US gal and was selling for 94.5 to 99.5 per liter making it $3.59 to $3.80 a gal. (for those who are interested we averaged about 7 mpg with the unit) We did have a tail wind to help with the gas mileage!

It is an agriculture area near Windsor. We drive through a narrow arm of land between Lake Huron and Lake Erie in this area. Soybeans and corn look ready to harvest. Some land is worked and was rye or wheat a month ago when we came through. The Leamington area is the "Tomato Capitol of Canada". We saw semis heaped with ripe tomatoes headed to a processing plant.

We are back in Tim Horton country! They sell a variety of flavors of coffee, pastries and sandwiches. Last year we stopped at one for a late lunch and had a dry bun and lukewarm meat in our sandwich. We could not understand why they are always busy, especially in the mornings when there is a solid line going through the drive-thru! We did stop on this trip for a coffee and danish to see if we liked it any better! Danish was excellent, coffee seemed strong and bitter. We decided we had developed a palet for "service station" coffee!!

The leaves are beautiful shades of yellow with some orange and red. The farmers plant rows of trees at the edges of their fields for windbreaks making the colorful "fences" a backdrop for their farmsteads and golden corn and bean fields. There is a Highway 3 that runs parallel to the coast of Lake Erie and we are tempted to take it, but the 4-lane will make better time and definately be "safer" for the big rig.

We meet hundreds of loaded car carriers with new Chrysler cars headed to the US. (There are Chrysler plants in Windsor and Brampton.) Tobacco fields were a surprise to us. We tend to think of them in the South in the US. Several fields had a short green plant growing under a black covering stretched on 4 ft high posts. We have not been able to find out what they were. The Grand River area was really pretty when the sun came out making the leaf colors vibrant.


Smithville is in the country on Highway 20. We did a "scenic tour" because of another mistake in printed directions. This trip Papa really amazed me with his talent for turning the big rig around on a dime with a nickel left over! We are both thankful for the God-given ability to problem solve!!! After washing the rig having it inspected and doing the paper work we were in the Saturn and headed for Niagara Falls!

As we head east we drive through a dry area. The soil is a light brown color. Many large two-story chicken houses and many dairies. Orchards, vineyards, and pumpkins. Many roadside stands.

Welland Canal

We drove over the Welland Canal on a lift bridge. This 26 mile long canal links Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. It has 7 lift locks and 1 guard lock that brings ocean and lake ships up 325 ft from one lake to another. It allows the ships to avoid Niagara Falls! The Canal is a vital link in the St. Lawrence Seaway passage from the Atlantic Ocean to midwestern Canada and the US. There are several lift bridges over it. As I was looking up some information and history on the Canal there is an article about a time that the bridge hit a ship causing it to burn.

Quaint Motel

Found a quaint motel along Highway 20, America's Best Value Inn. Clean with all the necessary amenities. (No! we did not get the heart shaped jacuzzi.) Drove on into the "strip" which is the commercial part of this area and had supper at the Swiss Chalet. It is a Applebee, wannabee! Delicious ribs and rotissorie chicken with multigrain rolls. An apple tart dessert that melted in your mouth. And warm lemon water finger bowls!

As we looked out the window by our table, we saw Gale's Gas advertised as Full Service. It was 4 pumps in a line with a small, room for one person building with lots of windows at the end. There was one lane on each side of the pumps. A gentlemen was kept busy filling cars with gas. Sometimes all 4 pumps were being used at the same time! and the price was the same as the other stations in the area.

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