That sounds impressive, a road going all the way across Canada, stitching together British Columbia with Newfoundland, and along the way including all the southern provinces, BC, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec) plus all the Maritimes (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland but not Labrador). That's 4860 miles of highway. But I have to tell you it's not what I thought it would be.
Most of the highway is a winding, two-lane country-type road. Occasionally there are sections with three lanes, and around some of the larger cities, it's even 4 lane divided. But the majority is 2 lanes, and it is winding, not limited access; there are lots of traffic lights as you go through the towns. And the speed limit is like something out of the US in the 1970's. I'm sure I'm not the only one who remembers when speed limits were reduced to 55 MPH back then. Beginning in Manitoba, that's about what it is – 90 km/h, which is just about 57 miles per hour. The fines for speeding are steep, starting at $95 and increasing with your speed. For someone who has a place they want to be to start a major trip, it's really hard to keep my speed down. But I remember getting a ticket in Canada 4 years ago (Banff National Park) and I'm determined not to get another one! The best thing though, is that there are not very many trucks! I'm not sure how goods get transported in Canada, but the roads are almost blissfully free of those behemoths.
Alberta was OK, some interesting topography, although not a lot. Saskatchewan was flat and straight. It was so flat that the lakes and ponds were at the same level as the ground around it. They looked more like a puddle on the road (although a very LARGE puddle!). It was so uninteresting that I didn't even take photos. Nor did I take photos in Manitoba, which had a little more rolling hills. It wasn't till I was in Ontario that I thought I might like to do this blog post, and realized that I didn't have any photos to go with it.
On Wednesday, I started taking some photos out the windshield as I was driving (or stopped at a constructions site). They certainly show the winding country nature of the road.
Some of the characteristics that I saw of the different provinces were in the nature of both road signs and stuff growing along the road. Saskatchewan had the lakes that I mentioned above, and there were lots and lots of reed-type things growing up in patches. It made me wonder if it might be wild rice. Manitoba was notable for the fields of sunflowers. They seemed shorter than the ones that grow in my garden, but all their heads were pointed toward the sun. In Manitoba, it was the signs for moose that intrigued me – lots and lots of signs for moose. I didn't see one, but saw a lot of signs. Once I got to Ontario, the signs were warning me of both moose and bear. One large sign just outside Sudbury said very boldly, "Please don't feed the bears." I didn't see any, but wouldn't have fed them anyway. Another thing I noticed in Ontario is the cattails -- the ponds and lakes are full of them, acres and acres of them. I've never seen anything quite like it.
One thing that I have really liked about this highway is the rest areas. They are designated by a picnic table sign, and, aside from the dirty outhouses in some of them, they are very nice. Most have some shade, they all have picnic tables, and often they are in very scenic areas. I've had some delightful lunches, and even an afternoon nap or two, at some of these spots.
|A great roadside rest|
I'm almost to Ottowa – will probably get to Montreal tomorrow, if the construction is not quite so prevalent. Today I had to wait as much as 20 minutes for my lane to move across a one-lane section of road. The most frustrating was after waiting a good while to move and finally being on my way, the sign holder stopped traffic one car in front of me, so we had to wait again. Oh well, it is that season!