On September 1, 2016 the weary but satiated traveling band of coureur des bois made its triumphant return to Ottawa, the official starting (June 26, 2016) and ending point of the 2016 MMM. During this magnificent odyssey the now bedraggled band traveled through 5 Canadian Provinces, 2 day trips to 2 US States, clocked over 11,500 km (7000 miles) by road and another 1500 km by ferry.
In addition to the sites seen and places visited we also, during this time, celebrated DD’s 64th and BBB’s 66th birthdays and BBB and LLL’s 43rd and CC and DD’s 44th wedding anniversaries. I can now happily report as well that all participants have returned unscathed and no vegetarians were harmed by their more voracious carnivorian travelling companions in their insatiable quest to secure meaty products at dinner times.
The pre MMM tour of Ontario which began on May 21, 2016 included an additional 1500+ km of on the road revelry, for a total of over 13000 km.
Downtown and Downtime in Ottawa
After the rigours of the trip we limped back to our base camp, the Rideau Carlton Raceway/ Casino and set up for a few days of well deserved R & R. The Labour Day weekend was upon us, so being off the roads and laying low was just the ticket. Now just so you don’t get the impression that we completely vegged out, we didn’t, although our touring schedule was severely limited.
To give CC a break from driving on September 2, 2016 we rode the OC Bus into downtown and went on a guided tour of the Royal Canadian Mint. Quite an impressive set up with hundreds of thousands of gold and silver lying about but the stingy proprietors of the place didn’t even bother to give out free samples. I mean really, even at Costco you get lots of free samples so maybe we should put Costco in charge of the place! Note to self: send this suggestion to Justin.
giant Arachnid guardian the National Art centre
On Sunday September 4, 2016 the plan was to take our bikes into one of the nearby parks and enjoy a bit of a ride as the bikes had been languishing unused for far too long. Much to our delight and surprise we were soon to discover that the City of Ottawa closes down 4 of the major city Parkways to automobiles every Sunday morning and opens them for bikers, walkers, inline skaters etc. all summer until Labour Day. We had by chance parked right near the beginning of the Colonel By Parkway and rode the 16 km (return) route almost into Parliament Hill and back. It was glorious sunny Sunday morning and a definite recommended ride.
In total we spent 6 nights at the Casino at the outside edge of the parking lot and as were quite alone out there it was almost possible to imagine being out in the woods camping except for the ever present planes taking off and landing at the Ottawa Airport. LLL took the down time to wash and wax the PP completely ignoring the forecast for more rain in the near future but at least it would make him happy for a few days. LLL was also happy in that once again he was the only one of the group to make a bit of cash in the Casino. CC’s brother Jim also popped down to the casino on September 5, 2016 for a visit and buffet dinner with us at the Casino.
The Show Must Go On
Even though the MMM has officially been put to bed there are still a few more adventures and miles to go as we make our way back to Kingston where LLL and BBB will post bail for their “toad” Dakota and hightail it for the border before the Canadian dollar rises in value and reduces the 25 percent Canadian discount they have been quite enjoying.
After leaving Ottawa on September 7, 2016 we will be setting up camp at a real campsite (Pine Valley Resort and campsite) northeast of Pettawawa for a few days and catch up on some much needed laundry chores etc. before making our way back to see the Coach and Aud One in Kingston around the 10th of September.
I don’t expect I will be Blogging quite so proliferously over the next month and a half but will try to provide the occasional update and I also hope to publish a post tentatively called “MMM Outtakes” that will chronicle some humourous (from my perspective anyway) anecdotes from the trip that just didn’t make the cut the first time around.