Couchcation Part 2: The Moose
Couchcation: I was so proud of making up a new word but my husband found it in the Urban Dictionary!
On to Thunder Bay, Ontario, where we stopped to see the monument erected in honor of Terry Fox who, in 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. The spread of his cancer forced him to give up the run after 143 days and 3,339 mi.
Continuing on our way, we stopped at a tourist store and I sat in a chair made of moose antlers (foreshadowing!) – I still wear that t-shirt! We also saw several truckloads of giant logs.
After seeing my first wild moose on the side of the road (more foreshadowing!), we stopped for an early dinner in a small restaurant in a motel where we met a couple from Winnepeg (the Milnes, distant relatives of Winnie the Pooh!). Since they came from Winnepeg and we were heading there, it was informative and interesting to hear about their home city. They affably invited us to their room after dinner for some drinks. Since it was pretty early, we had planned to ride on for a few hours to a motel so I told Marty that he was welcome to enjoy their libations (vodka! His drink of choice.) and I would drive sober when we were ready to leave.
Here’s some info you need to know: Of the approximately 4000 miles driven during this trip, I drove only once, for about 100 miles and that occurred when we left the Milnes. The other important bit of info is that Canadian drivers “coast along” at 90mph.
So, off we went, looking to stop at our first motel. Little did we know we first had to pass through a desolate, dark provincial park. “Cruising” the Alfa at 90 mph, with Marty enjoying his buzz in the passenger seat, I was stopped by a cop for speeding. “We really like our tourists,” she said, “please slow down!”
Thanking her for merely issuing a warning, I took off, slowing to 60 mph. About an hour later (no motel in sight), I spotted a moose up ahead in the middle of the road. Some statistics: at 60 mph, you are covering 88 ft/sec. It takes a car about 300 feet to come to a stop at that speed. The moose was 305 feet away!
Marty, still enjoying his buzz, held on as I pressed my foot all the way down, avoiding a swerve, and came to a safe stop. He remembers looking up at the moose which would have demolished us and the car had I hit it.
The next day, in a local store, I bought the mug below.
I also phoned my sister and told her about the near-accident. “Oh my God,” said she, “I would have had to get rid of my entire moose collection if something had happened to you.” (My sister’s nickname was Moose, which I will explain in my next blog….. Stay tuned.)