(minor update at bottom, 9/30/15)
The day began overcast but dry, but before we were all packed up it started to rain. Nothing hard and it was easy to work around. I have a video of rain on the lake because it seemed nice. The myriad expanding circles actually added to the tranquility. It was very quiet.
Once we started it began to rain rather more earnestly. No big deal since we were safe in our truck. The truck had gone almost 4,500 miles since we had the oil changed in Klamath Falls. These were not hard miles but everyone I’ve talked to about diesel engines says that good maintenance is the key to long engine life. I suppose that aphorism has rather broader application. So we stopped in Casselman, ON initially to get coffee, but with an oil change on our minds. While driving around looking for a quaint coffee shop, we came across a car wash, actually a dual purpose wash – cars & pets. Recall that in Billings we had a hard time finding a self-serve car wash, and here we stumbled upon one just like that. Today we only cleaned the truck.
I knew Canadians called their one dollar coin a loonie because it has a loon engraved on one side. What I only learned on this trip is that there is a two dollar coin, and only today learned that some folks call it the toonie. Makes sense.
We arrange with Canadian Tire to have the oil and filter changed at around 2:00pm. We left for lunch and had our very first poutine meal. If you are unfamiliar with poutine it is a bed of French fries and curds, and then lots of different stuff. Cathie had a vegetarian poutine and I had pulled pork. We were thinking about Brittany since she had told us she liked it and it was popular in Michigan.
We took the truck back to the Canadian Tire at 1:30 and set out on a walk with the dogs. As we travelled through the local neighborhood I had my phone out searching for unsecured wi-fi. Eventually we found one that we think was coming from the fire department. We stood around looking as casual as we could while we took care of business. I should mention that it had stopped raining before we reached Casselman. This allowed us to eat our Poutine outdoors and start the walk with the dogs. However, while we were hanging out at the local fire station it began to sprinkle. I told Cathie I was heading back to check on the truck (~1km walk). I had not gone far when it began to rain harder. I led Cap under a tree and that seemed fine for a few minutes. Then it really started to come down. I dragged Cap under someone’s porch that had a “Beware of dog” sign in the window. We stood there watching it come down. Soon it was overflowing some of the curbs. Cathie eventually showed up and we waited for it to quit. In New Mexico rains rarely last longer than several minutes. I suggested that storms here might be different and that I should just run back and she wait there. So off I went, jogging as best I can these days. I think there has been a mathematical study about whether running in a downpour keeps you drier or not. In this case it did not. I could not have been much wetter if I had taken a shower with my clothes on. I arrived back at Canadian Tire and was told that the driver’s window had been left partly open. Just what I needed to hear. While waiting for the work to be finished I went into the men’s room and rung out my shirt. It had one of those hot air hand driers so I proceeded to try and dry my shirt. On about the 7th cycle a man started to walk in and was startled to see this shirtless person. He started to back out but I told him I was done. He said: “You sure got wet.” Canadians, got to love ‘em. By this time the rain had slacked off and Cathie arrived with wet dogs. She was pretty wet herself. Soon the truck was ready and we were soggily off.
My plan was to get to Montreal to see McGill University where my father earned his PhD in physical chemistry. We didn’t make it because of weather and traffic. The rains were quite incredible and so was the traffic. I will admit that I only saw two accidents, so perhaps Canadian drivers are good, careful, or both. Perhaps just lucky today.
We needed a place to stay so we headed for a KOA a little south of Montreal. I missed one turn but Cathie found an alternate route. Without Google maps it is pretty challenging. How did we do it in the old days? We decided to get a little cabin if we could since setting up in the dark and rain was not pleasant to contemplate. We were successful and the dogs are under the covered front porch. It shouldn’t be cold tonight, so I expect to find all three alive tomorrow morning. As I write this post I hear the not-too-severe pitter-patter of rain on the cabin roof. I hope all is quiet by morning.
I’ll add a picture of the cabin in the morning.
OK, here is the promised picture. It rained all night and is raining lightly right now. Weather report says it should stop raining by late afternoon, which is too late for us to wait for. Not sure if we’ll go back into Montreal this morning or not. Perhaps the McGill stop will have to wait for our return to New Mexico.