And So It Begins (the MMM)

MODD and the Oggorfian sisters have returned from a successful interplanetary jaunt to the hinterland of Thunder Bay and we now prepare Eagle 1 for its second exploratory mission to the far reaches of Canada, this time heading east to the Canadian Maritime Provinces and Newfoundland/Labrador.

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the MODD

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Ben, Bea and MODD

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one of DDs childhood homes

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DDs cousin Sandra’s resting place

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DDs grandpa’s gravestone

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Bea, Ben, Lynn, Jeneen, MODD, Cathy and DD

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Cathy (spelled correctly) and husband Joe

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view of the Sleeping Giant

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at the airport

Despite the sketchy weather we enjoyed our month at Nicolston Dam and our super hosts Frank and Charmon Nicolston. A Big 5 stars from our perspective. The month here gave us the time to visit many of the Oggorfian Clan and recharge the engines so to speak. A fabulous send off dinner at Jim and Anna’s concluded our visit although we will be back in a few weeks for quick visit.

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CC, Bob, Lynn, Anna, Jim and MODD

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female oriole on nest at Nicolston Dam

The Captain is happy to report that despite his new “convict” look, the Coach escaped serious injury from a fall caused by a sneaky garden hose tripping him up as he attempted to escape the confines of the garage to rush through a few chores that most certainly could have been left for another day.

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the “convict” Coach

So in a logic defying moment the Captain and DD set out in a westerly direction to Sarnia for their trip east.

Sarnia

Well we certainly didn’t return to Sarnia so soon in hopes that we would re-experience the not so wonderful weather of our previous stay here in March and lo and behold there was sun and blue sky. And to top it off in splendid fashion Busty Barb the Believer and Lonesome Larry were once again permitted unfettered entry to the Great White North. Coincidentally the arrival of BBB and LL found the Loonie taking another tumble for which they are sincerely grateful. They luvs being in Canada! To show their appreciation we immediately headed to Boston Pizza and Timmies to spend some of those inflated greenbacks.

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Walmart mates

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no BP in the USA

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LL and CC shopping for new bike helmets

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After a couple of nights at Walmart we discovered the spacious and much more scenic waterfront Casino parking lot and set up shop there for a couple more days. The Casino located in the shadow of the Blue Water Bridge on the shores of the now unpolluted St. Clair River provided miles of pathways and parks for hiking and biking in as well as several of the now ubiquitous chip wagons to offset all that healthy exercise undertaken.  The new location while it had its positives also proved detrimental as both DD and CC along with BBB failed miserably to lessen the profits of the OLG. Only LL managed to beat lady luck this trip.

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the Blue Water Bridge

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flags over the bridge

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Lighthouse on US side of river

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looks like there may be a shark by the rocks

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from the Chip Wagon

After several days of acclimation to the northern air,  BBB and LL declared themselves fit to begin the trek east. This year’s odyssey has been formally ordained as the Maritime Madness Marathon (MMM). Next stop the tomato capital of Canada.

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along the road to Leamington

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DD getting into the swing of things

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CC tries to get LL and BB to take a dip

Leamington and Point Pelee National Park

This may come as a bit of a shock but we did not overnight at Walmart in Leamington. Instead thanks to BBB’s Italian connections we were permitted to camp in the ROMA Club parking lot.

As an aside and on a completely unrelated subject the Captain is taking a moment to digress and relate to you a sports related historical event from Leamington’s past that for the most part has been lost (and probably for good reason) from the history books. In the early 1960s the Captain (known as Gee at the time) and his fellow teammates from the Newmarket Squirt Allstars made the arduous journey from Newmarket to Leamington for an epic battle to earn the crown of Ontario baseball champions. The visitors despite their fatigue prevailed and were immediately run out of town by a less than friendly crowd. Upon returning to the “Market” the returning heroes were paraded through town on the fire engine.

Sadly it seems that Leamington never fully recovered from this disastrous loss and the more recent loss of the Heinz Ketchup plant.

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From Leamington we took a day trip to the Point Pelee National Park. This park is internationally renowned for its migrating bird and butterfly populations. Birders come here from all over the world to many species that travel through.  Birding is obviously a skill that takes time to acquire as we mostly saw red winged black birds and barn swallows with the occasional oriole and cardinal providing a bit of colour. It is also the most southern point in Canada and is on the same latitude as northern California.

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CC claiming he has captured a picture of the rare Indigo Bunting

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there’s a BBB bird in the tree

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follow the footprints and find the prize

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or maybe not

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DD at the southern most point of Canada

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DDs art deco of the week

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another bird in the tree

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Barn Swallow

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the colourful “male” cardinal

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red winged black bird

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one of DD’s distant relatives

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the marsh boardwalk

The major excitement (read ISSUE here) of our visit to the park came when we stopped for a picnic lunch. Patrolling the picnic area was a cute little racoon that decided to visit out table to enquire about available scraps. As the little scavenger sauntered over to our table DD went into meltdown mode and began a series of hysterical screeching while prancing about on the table top.  The racoon was not easily dissuaded however and hung about for several minutes until chased away a park ranger brandishing a toy Star Wars like light sabre as her weapon of choice.

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guess who is coming to dinner

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Sand Hill Park

We stopped overnight at this RV Park on our way to our destination of Niagara Falls. While it is nicely located on the shores of Lake Erie it is difficult to recommend to overnighters. The web site failed to make it clear that its prices were based on a per person rate as opposed to most parks that put out a site rate. And with no off season rate (despite the park being virtually empty) we paid a princely sum of $64. This is the highest fee we have seen in our travels all and this didn’t include the extra loonie required to use the shower. Further there was no Wi-Fi or laundry available. Sorry Sand Hill Park but its 2 thumbs down from all of us.

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the Canadian Navy aground in Port Burwell??

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the girls rest while

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the boys work of course

So now it’s on to Niagara Falls and this will be another first for BBB and LL. As I write this we have already been to Niagara Falls (no I’m not confused) but it will take a day or two to sort through the several hundred pictures DD took before doing another post.

By stubbs99

2 comments on “And So It Begins (the MMM)

  1. Once again those interlopers, LL and BB, sneak off to a secret meeting and trip with our friends, CC and DD, while we languish all by ourselves in the far southern hinterlands of New England. We will attempt to crash this party in August or September should this quartet venture into the Northeast Territories of Maine!

  2. I hate to admit it but for once I understand DD’s coon meltdown. Next time in the beautiful PR ask to see Patti’s scars from an attack by a coon family while on our morning walk. Nasty creatures

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