Seattle to Saratoga Springs Raid to Rendezvous – Day 10

Pretty leisurely day today as we sleep in till 7:30am!  Pack up up the wet tent…thanks to early spritz and then Willa and I go to find breakfast and gas while the others pack up their gear.

We end up about 20 minutes away for our first fill up in Canada at a Petro Canada stop which has a Tim Hortons.  A note for those who haven’t experienced the Tim Horton phenomenon in Canada, they are everywhere!  You can’t go to a gas station, mall…anywhere and not find a Tim Hortons…the Canadian Dunkin Donuts.  I can’t believe how cheap gas is here, 1.04 a gallon?  No, this is metric, that’s per liter…about 4 in a gallon, it’s whoa…about $4.60 Canadian a gallon.  Okay, not such a deal.

So, while I gas up, Willa goes for coffee and then we go to pick up some food/supplies at the Walmart next door…exactly the same as they are in the US, but many more people in it who are curiously thinner.

We called in the location to the others who came also for gas and coffee and then back for our daytime visit to the Falls.


The group decision was to skip the boat ride to the Falls but do the underground tour which takes you down an elevator to tunnels dug along and behind the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to a couple of viewing areas.  My favorite part was the outdoor area where you could stand in close proximity to the Falls, marveling at their size, power and splendor…and enjoy a refreshing mist while doing so.  We stayed there a while in amazement before returning to the street level.

We then planned to drive east along the river, but got turned around and because of the time, decided to head for Toronto and visit Axel’s and Uschi’s friends, the Dykes, George and Marijke.


Travel tip for today…don’t go anywhere near Toronto during or near rush hour.  They have emulated Los Angeles when it comes to vehicular movement which seems to be minimal at best.  It was the most difficult, miserable part of our trip…I found myself wishing that I was back in South Dakota getting blown about by 50 mph winds on a grooved highway again.  I couldn’t understand where all these cars were coming from or where they might be going.  It reminded me of a biking trip in Holland years ago when I was pedaling into a headwind going North, tried to avoid it by turning South only to find that no matter where I turned, there was a headwind.  I ended up getting off the bike and walked it instead.  That’s how I felt about this traffic madness.

So it was, that no matter where we turned, the traffic was worse, unbelievably bad.  It’s like everyone in the Province of Ontario had gotten a alert to get into their cars and confuse us.

Travel note #2…the people here seem to be lovely…until they get into their cars and then a transformation akin to becoming werewolves occurs.  Mirrors are decorative, brakes optional, accelerators at max are mandatory.  The three of us were constantly separated, got back together and then forced apart by “we’re bigger than you drivers.”  It was exhausting and sometimes frightening.  Axel, who is always a calm voice of reason, said he was ready to go “bumper cars” with these folks…not a fair fight in a 2CV.

When we finally arrived at Chez Dyke we took a collective sigh of relief and for the first time in this relatively short drive, could finally relax.

Before heading out to dinner, we checked in with our hotel…just for courtesy…to let them know we’d be checking in late.  They, in turn, just for courtesy, let us know they didn’t have our reservations in their computer.  Oh Joy!  Oh Rapture!  The Dykes offered up some space on their floor for us to camp out on and with that problem solved, went out then to dinner.

When we got “home” we took George’s 2 Mehari’s out and he drove us all around Toronto to see the sites.  What a kick!  After a whirlwind tour, it was back to the house where most everyone went to sleep, but Willa and I went and helped George retrieve his gorgeous Citroën DS from a swanky Grey Goose party where it was on display.  That led to returning the car to its lair with many other gorgeous Citroëns… somebody please buy his American spec Mehari before my minimal resistance expires!

Then back home to talk cars and beer before finally calling it a night.

Tomorrow repairs, touring and prepping for return into US.


[Read the story about the complete trip here.]


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