The 2011 Trip
Part 175 – Dryden to Thunder Bay, Ontario

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

We were up at 6AM to an overcast morning. We expected sunshine with the nice red sky by night sailors delight last evening. The local radio station CKDR claimed the sun would shine this afternoon. The radio station also stated a severe tornado in Missouri and believe it or not a scenic bus tour of the fire destruction at Slave Lake, Alberta.

One old motorhome came in shortly after we arrived here at Wal-Mart, and spent the night with us. Nice to have company. There were a half dozen large diesel trucks parked off to one side. One had a refrigeration unit running but it was not that noisy. Actually I could just hear it and had to get Joan to tell me what it was. Hearing aids come in handy at times like that.

We departed Wal-Mart Dryden at 7:27AM and pulled into the Extra Foods Gas Bar across the street. We took on board 54.523 litres of diesel at $1.269 per litre for at total of $69.19.

We had a miserable drive but little traffic until towards the end of the run. It rained, it was mist and more mist. One nearly wore the windshield wipers out just resetting them. CKDR may have had sunshine but we saw none.

We were on highway 17 East until just before Thunder Bay. We pulled into the Shell station at Upsala, Ontario, at 11AM. We took on board 46.938 litres of diesel at $1.499 per litre for a total of $70.36. The motorhome with two couples in it that camped with us at Wal-Mart pulled in while we were there. We came out of the Shell Station and stopped at a wide spot in the road a few miles from the station. The old motorhome went past while we were stopped.

We kept on trucking and the GPS took us right into the Thunder Bay Wal-Mart parking lot. The sign was more or less gone from the store. They were renovating. Thunder Bay is as old as it can get. Nearly the whole town was shut down for the Victoria Day Holiday and a Monday at that.

We arrived at Wal-Mart Thunder Bay at 12:45PM. I phoned Dermot via On Star before I turned the truck off. He said he would be down at 3PM. I blocked up the truck and put up the HF antenna and Joan went walking around but found nothing open.

The mileage from Dryden to Thunder Bay was 346 kilometres.

I heard Dave, VE3EGC, on 7055 kilohertz and had a great chat with him around 12:30PM. We learned we were another hour out again so actually arrived at Thunder Bay at 11:45AM.

Dermot arrived before 3PM. This is the first time we have seen each other since we visited him while passing through Thunder Bay in 2003. It was sure good to see him in person again. He was Radio Officer in GYPSUM PRINCE having taken over from Paul in 1970. I was relief Radio Officer with the fleet at the time and would fill in for him when he went on leave. We have been close friends since and actually kept a daily sked on the marine bands back then when we both were at sea.

Dermot took us over to his apartment for a great visit there. He was rather worried that the Keg would not be open. That is how crazy Thunder Bay gets. But the Keg was open and he took us there for another lovely dinner. We owe the boy big time. Here is hoping he makes it to Halifax soon so we can repay him. That is twice he has wined and dined us at the Keg. It is not cheap.

After the lovely dinner we came to the trailer to find four more motorhomes and trailers settling in to spend the night with us. There were nine in the end. Dermot visited all evening and when he went home our day ended.

Another great day was history.

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