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Enjoying the Last Little Bit of Canada

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Our last day in Canada, Thursday, August 27, was spent in the area of Leamington, Ontario. Among the features of the southern tip of Canada are Point Pelee National Park, the Heinz ketchup factory, beautiful farms with fields of corn, potatoes, and tomatoes, a huge greenhouse and floral industry, the shores of Lake Erie, and some of the most beautifully landscaped homes in all of Canada. We are traveling with Bill and Laura Fejfar and today Bill is doing the driving duties.

Our day started with rain so we had raincoats and umbrellas while exploring Point Pelee NP. This tip of land which extends into Lake Erie is a major bird migration route, a kind of natural funnel that birds use as a jumping off place to cross the lake. Since the migration wasn't under way yet, the bird activity was quite subdued. We did see a group of marsh wrens hunting for food among the water lilies along the marsh boardwalk. One found a nice morsel and the others followed it everywhere, just like gulls! They disappeared into the cattails so we didn't find out how that one turned out. As we left the boardwalk area we saw a small group of turkey hens crossing the road and moving off into the woods. Later in the day we would enjoy a large flock of goldfinches high in the trees.

At the visitors center we picked up the free shuttle to the tip of the point. Exhibits at the trail head detailed the nature of the bird migration. As many as 250 species of birds in a single year and about 350 species documented over time at this location. An avid birder may see as many as 100 species in a single day during the peak of the migration. Walking out to the tip we strayed from the large easy trail to get to the eastern coast where the waves were breaking large on the shore. With an incoming tide interesting things were washing up on shore. We saw several large very dead fish and watched a large driftwood log drift up onto the sand at the point. Louise managed to get her shoes wet in the wash from a large wave. We watched a group of small shore birds racing to and fro in the surf searching for food. This is my third visit to Point Pelee and as the park advertises, the tip is constantly changing. This visit we could walk out on the sand spit to where the waters from the eastern side lapped over the sand to the water on the western side of the tip. Our last visit we were only able to stand on the rocks and watch the waves, there was no sand spit at the surface to walk on.

By this time it was lunch time. We looked for a restaurant in Leamington but ended up at Wendy's when we didn't find any more interesting. Wendy's was located across the street from the Heinz plant and we enjoyed watching the truck loads of tomatoes arriving at the plant. After lunch we drove east along the coast road to see some of the beautiful homes. Then we returned to our campground at Lakeside RV and Motel in Wheatley, ON. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing Rummy Cube before having dinner.

Friday morning we were able to pack in the utilities and hook up the car in dry weather. As we arrived in Windsor the rain began. We crossed into the US on the Ambassador Bridge, driving from south to north into the US from Canada. A few questions at customs with rain dripping in the window. Then the agents came on board briefly to "check the refrigerator" before releasing us to continue on. We paid our toll and followed the signs directing us to I-75 South. As we drove on, the rain became more intense until we could hardly see more than a few hundred feet ahead. The Fejfars were trailing behind us some distance and we didn't see them until we reached the turn-off for a fuel stop. After Bill got his fuel we ate lunch at the IHOP then said our good byes. We had linked up with them July 26 for a month long caravan. After hugs and kisses, we reluctantly parted, heading for our RV's. We'd continue to talk as we traveled the last few miles south. Bill and Laura turned west on US 20, we continued south to US 24 which took us southwest to Fort Wayne and then I-69 on to Indianapolis. That entire drive was punctuated with periods of heavy rain and near continuous light to moderate rain. The roads were generally good and the driving wasn't stressful, the only stress is in my mind as I think about the wash job that I will have to do on the motor home and toad.

We fueled at the Flying J in Indianapolis, getting just enough of the $2.759 diesel to get us to Missouri where the prices are $2.479. This was my first fuel since we filled our tank at Champlain, NY and then entered Quebec to continue the Canada trip. We spent the night at Terre Haute before finishing our drive to Foristell, MO. The really interesting thing for me was that we had driven just over 600 miles in the last two days. So here, in the center of the country, near St. Louis, MO we were just six hundred miles from Canada.

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