Only one contact was made today, that was with Dave VE3EGC, in Echo Bay. I reached him on the VE3SJI repeater on St. Joseph's Island. I actually called in to see him and Jackie his XYL, and was treated to great coffee and fresh home made muffins. For those of you who do not know Dave, he's the regular net controller on the 40m Trans-Provincial Net on Monday and Tuesday, between 10 and 11 am, on 7.100.
After that visit the day went to hell. I continued down Hwy 17 and went through Sault Ste Marie and eventually reached Batchawana Bay where the traffic was at a complete stop, and had been for about 12 hours at that point. Apparently a very large road culvert had collapsed and a huge sinkhole had opened up and completely closed the highway in both directions between Wawa and Batchawana Bay. The local police did not expect the highway to open again for at least 24 and perhaps 48 hours.
What to do? Well, after about another hour of waiting to hear something the large trucks started to be turned around to head back to Sault Ste Marie to a large truck stop. However.......as I was standing on the side of the highway wondering if I should just turn around and go home, and truck pulled up alongside me and the driver asked where I was going, so I told him. He said "follow me, I know a detour"......and we were off!!
What followed was a 5.5 hour, 490 km mystery tour of the Northern Ontario bush. I followed the truck back down the highway to Thessalon, and the followed him north on Highway 129 to Chapleau. Highway 129 may officially be called a highway, but the term "Goat track" actually comes to mind. Once we reached Chapleau we turned west on Highway 101 and eventually reached Wawa via the back way. Along the way several of Ontario's largest inhabitants were seen (we actually saw 6 of them along the way).....lucky for me the truck was leading the way as I didn't want to hit one if it came onto the highway.
|A family of Moose crossing the highway.|
|The detour route we took.|