A Trip to the Middle of Nowhere

I’m sad that Sunday is almost at it’s end. It feels like my weekend just started. Oh wait – it did just start. Why you ask? I was up in Northern Ontario from Thursday afternoon until Saturday night. For work of course.
Our client called us on Thursday morning to see if we could be on-site on Friday. After a rather frantic Thursday morning (buying plane tickets, reserving rooms, renting cars etc.) I flew out on Toronto for Thunder Bay at 2:30. I grabbed my rental car and drove 1.5 hours to my first motel in Nipigon.
The motel was relatively nice, in that it had a bed and a bathroom. It also had paper thin walls so I could hear the neighbours TV – even though it wasn’t overly loud. Since myself and the gentleman next door were the only two renting rooms at the motel I asked the motel owner if I could move a couple of doors down. He graciously allowed me to move from my single room to a double bed room several doors down.
The next morning I woke up and got on the road quite early. I had a 5.5 hour drive to get to our client site and I needed to be there by noon. The drive basically consisted of driving east for 4 hours and then north for 1.5 hours. The east part wasn’t too bad – the roads were clear and the driving was easy. The north part kind of sucked. Apparently it snowed the night before and the roads were still kind of messy. I took it slow but I still made it to the site 15 minutes before noon. One of the highlights of the drive (other than the beautiful scenery) was the “no gas station for 97 kilometers” sign when I turned onto the north highway.
I spent the night in the only motel in town, which was actually in a “mall”. I use the term “mall” very loosely, but it was a mall. The mall had the motel, a liquor store (LCBO), variety store, library, community swimming pool, a restaurant, a bar and I believe there may some government administation offices (though I’m not sure). It was an interesting atmosphere since everyone seemed to know everyone else. It was a nice enough motel – the room was super warm but I had a good sleep and that was the most important thing.
Saturday morning I got up – hit the road and got back to Thunder Bay in about 5.5 hours. The road conditions had approved greatly since the day before so I made good time. I arrived in Thunder Bay around 1 pm and had a little bit of time to check out the town. I stopped at the Terry Fox Memorial just outside of town which was very nice.
For those of you who do not know Terry Fox, he is a Canadian icon. He was diagnosed with cancer in his teens and lost a leg to cancer. In 1980 he decided to start his “Marathon of Hope” while his cancer was in remission. The Marathon of Hope was a cross-country run to increase cancer awareness and raise money for cancer research. He started his run in St John’s, Newfoundland and made it through five provinces and 5,373 kilometers before his cancer returned and he had to quit the marathon. His plans were to continue when he got better but sadly he passed away in 1981 from pneumonia. Every year the “Terry Fox Run” events take place all over Canada to raise money for cancer research and to continue the legacy started by Terry Fox.
Back to my story. I jumped on my plane back to Toronto at 4:55 pm – the flight took around 1.5 hours and I was home by 8:30. It was good to be home, but sadly I had missed most of the weekend by then. If it was possible I would have taken a day off this week but alas things are really busy right now and there is no way I can do that.
Oh well. Hopefully I will have some time off around Christmas (other than Christmas Day and Boxing Day) but I’m not really counting on it.

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