25/6/17 - 5/7/17
Think you know lots about CANADA? Then take our post-Canada Day Quiz at the bottom of this blog!
We arrived in Ottawa just in time for Kathy to rendezvous with her sisters at the Hilton Lac Leamy in Gatineau in prep for the Medal Ceremony at Rideau Hall on June 23. Larry scooted back to Wesley Clover Park about 30 minutes away for some 'alone time' with his golf clubs.
Larry toured the Canadian War Museum (golf game got rained out), then did laundry while Heather, Sheila, Sue and Barb shuttled to Rideau Hall to witness Kathy accepting, on behalf of her Dad, a Meritorious Service Medal by GG David Johnston. A Fantastic, Memorable Experience had by all including, one suspects, her Dad Bruce and Mom Helen! We can't post the pro pic of Kathy with the medal and GG on this blog because of copyright, so if you want to see it, send us an e-mail and we'll send it along.
After dodging raindrops which seemed to schmuck the Yellow Trailer endlessly, Larry picked up Kath and Sheila from the Hilton in time for a Cora's breakfast and an airport run. After Sheila took off for Kelowna, we toured the RCMP's Musical Ride stables and patted a few of the 32 black RCMP horses. Larry’s equine allergies prevented further snuggling.
We headed south to Merrickville then to Kingston and a very tidy KOA and another BIG thunderstorm. While in Kingston we ate pizza at Wooden Heads, toured John A’s house, RMC, Fort Henry, Queen's Univ and downtown. Kingston's an impressive town with a funky core and plenty of history including Gord Downie's THE HIP! Larry drank some Bobcaygeon beer in his honour. Later, we drove to Harrowsmith but no magazine in site.
The Merrickville Lions' Campground was our next stop just in time to see a canoe brigade (one of The Four Winds), paddle into one of the 1832 Rideau locks. This and 3 other brigades were paddling to Ottawa from the east, west, south and north in time for July 1 Celebrations. We watched the lockmasters crank the crabs (1830s tech) to open and close the lock gates. We toured the largest of 4 Blockhouses built by Colonel By’s engineers, Scottish stone masons and Irish labourers, to protect the canal system. Merrickville’s boasts quaint industrial ruins including a saw mill, grist mill and foundry (dating back to 1790), stone houses, shops and country lanes. Merrickville could have been Canada’s capital but the decision to more strategically locate the nation's Capital further away from the USA at the confluence of the Ottawa and Rideau Rivers sealed the deal.
LOTS of rain! The Yellow Trailer floats! Gore-Tex works!
On June 30 we headed to Fitzroy Harbour PP on the almost flooding, Ottawa and Carp Rivers. On July 1 we were up early to head to Ottawa but the rain was torrential. The radio was reporting 3-5 hour security waits to get onto the Hill, more rain and lightning. So we changed plans and drove to Renfrew to see if any Celebrations were happening; none there so onto Perth. Rain affected plans in both towns so we ate muffins and drank coffee in a quaint stonehouse coffee shop beside the Tay Canal in Perth.
Our last day in Ottawa was spent watching the Ottawa CHAMPS play baseball against the New Jersey JACKALS in the RCGT stadium, a 10,000 seat stadium originally built to house Ottawa’s former AAA team. Kath got cheeky with CHAMP; how come MASCOTS always have big heads? We got rained on in the top of the 8th; so did The Champs, who were defeated 2-1. Both teams played almost error-free ball and the hot dogs and Coke hit the homeruns. Since we missed The Hill's fireworks on the 1st, we were serenaded to sleep by some locals (probably Fitzroy Harbour Andersons), blasting off some not too shabby crackers just across the Carp River from the campground. Pronounce CARP through your nose (Ottawa Valley-like).
Sunshine led us south on #416 to old highway #2 which skirts the St. Lawrence River south of the long-weekend-crazy #401. Pulled onto the Long Sault Parkway at Ingleside and soon found our campsite in McLaren Campground. When the St. Lawrence Seaway was constructed in the mid 50s and early 1960s, farmland was flooded and communities (there since the 1780s), were re-located (or not) to higher ground, resulting in a series of 5 islands all connected by the Parkway and most having a campground park. Very pretty and manicured but still soggy. On a good day, Larry might be able to chuck a stone and hit 'The Donald' on the south shore; that’s how close the USA is. No wonder the Upper Canadians, Indigenous people and Brits were so fearful of an 1812 invasion.
July 4 and it's our Bryan’s 35th Birthday! Went to Upper Canada Village about a ten minute drive west to see, feel, hear and taste a little bit of U.E.L. in U.C. in 1860. Many of the stone houses, the grist mill, sawmill, etc., are period pieces and were moved here as part of the Seaway flood plan. Great day and learned lots so here's our Post-Canada Day Quiz. If you score, 6/6, Larry says he’ll award prizes. But don’t count on it; he’s a briber.
1. What do the letters U.E.L. stand for (really)?
a) United Empire Lover
b) Union of Environmental Lobbyists
c) United Empire Loyalist
d) Uppity Edwardian Loser
2. What is a Tinsmith’s forge called?
a) Tinner’s Stove
b) Tinker’s Shack
c) Smitty’s Oven
d) Tim Horton's
4. Why didn’t 1860 bakers make bread for home consumption?
a) They made bread only for commercial sale.
b) Bakers made pastry not bread.
c) Bakers made bricks not bread.
d) Yeast rose after 1880.
5. What is a bolter?
a) A dressmaker who unravels bolts of cloth.
b) A settler deemed to be mentally unstable.
c) A tool used to cut bolts.
d) A big flour sieve.
6. Why did coffins have windows?
a) To identify the dead person before burial.
b) To ensure that no body fluids were leaking from the corpse.
c) To let ‘God’ in.
d) To ensure that the corpse was face-up.
Send your answers to us and the names of winners will be posted in the next blog. P.S. Find the secret word in the Answer Bank (teachers call these distractors), for SPECIAL recognition! NO GOOGLING ANSWERS!
Today we're in Cornwall to get the car’s oil changed and a new headlight bulb installed. Already covered over 11,000 km since we left Vic on May 1. Lots of wandering about with more to come! La Belle Province demain!