Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Day 111 Parry Sound to Sudbury, Ontario

Day 111, same venue, different job this week. I am back driving the pace motorhome, back in the show. We formed up our little convoy here, and met up with our police escorts.

The start of the relay day was officially at the this elementary school in Parry Sound.

The young students are always the most enthusiastic about the Relay and Rick's story. The medal bearers are tucked way down in the front left corner.

Kyle is their host today

Outside we countdown to the start at 9:30
This stop at Parry Sound High School was an unscheduled stop. They heard we were close by and wanted us to come to their school.

Heading north on highway 69 through the town of Nobel.

As the convoy moved north, we heard from one of our pilot vehicles that a truck had broken down on the highway. We arrived 15 minutes later and stopped to see if we could offer any assistance.(we have a lot of tools on the motorhome)  Another truck had shown up by this time and was trying to boost the broken down vehicle. As I was looking under the hood with Mike, our security manager, two of our police escorts came up to the truck and said to the driver " excuse me sir, we have a report that this vehicle has been stolen, will you step out of the vehicle please". At that point I walked back to the motohome. Turns out it was stolen, the driver was high on drugs, he had recently crashed the vehicle, there was also drugs in the vehicle. Not being very bright, the last thing he did was steal gas from a gas station, unfortunately for him it was a diesel engine, they don't mix, and that killed the engine. This pic is a far away shot of the police hand-cuffing the man. We lost our rear police escort when they took the guy to the local jail.

Highway 69 through Nobel. In 2010 they opened a stretch of the 400 highway that bypassed the town completely. The rusult is businesses are closing down and there is not much of a future for the town.

On our way to Alban for our lunch stop and celebration. Alban is a small community of about 600 people as is part of French River

Once in a while we use and EMT (extraordinary mode of transportation). This time it was a mining drilling machine that carried the medal for a segment of the relay.
Danielle from marketing and communications was back with us from head office in Richmond.

I tried a shot from the side mirror. Three people carried the medal down the main steet of Alban, followed by a about 50 supporters.

Tina, also from marcomms

A display of the machines capabilities in the parking lot of the community center.

Inside was quite a surprise. There was probably close to  300 people in the hall. They had put on a lunch for the entire community, and I bet almost all of them showed up.

Claude, one of  the community leaders and a medal bearer addresses the crowd.

A little tribute to the man in motion

Our ops route manager, and relay command today, Eric, speaks to the people of his hometown. I suspect this is part of the reason why we had such a great turnout in Alban.

People are always interested to hear our endurance athlete Ty's story.

We were treated to some good old rock and roll. The band included Eric's dad, on the right and his uncle. These guys rocked!

Many thanks to the community and the volunteers for another wonderful event (and lunch!)
Outside, Hank has taken over "little bird" this week.

Alban is a very rural community. This is outside of the community hall.

testing out the zoom on my camera, this is a shot of Tina way across the parking lot.

As we got into Sudbury, the O.P.P. (Ontario Provincial Police), on the right, stood down as our escort, and the local Sudbury police took over.

We had another school stop, this time at the Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School in Sudbury. I see they are doing very well on their food bank drive.
Scholars from the past.

Hey look, Billy Pilon  made the cut! He is on our relay team in events as a presenter, and actually did the presentation at the school today.

The relay school program is certainly working.

On the bus, Mark here is rarin to go for his segment.

CTV (one of our sponsors) was here today to capture the action
A quick stop at the R.L. Beattie public school

Overlooking Sudbury, and in the distance, some of the mining buildings. Sudbury is a big nickel mining center.

 The rear cam view of the medal bearers walking together across the bridge of  nations.

The bridge of nations has flags from countries around the world.

Outside the Sudbury city hall, home of the day 111 end of day celebration
Very open foyer, perfect for our event.

A local candy maker created this 25th anniversary block of fudge.

a proud group. Steve, at the front on the right, was the final medal bearer of the day. Here is his story :

Steve Daniel is a Sudbury, Ontario resident and a former member of the 3rd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment. Steve was injured during a

training exercise to become a free-fall parachute instructor, fracturing his T-11 vertebrae and paralyzing him from the waist down.

Through the CF Soldier On program, Steve was introduced to adaptive sports and began participating in wheelchair basketball, sledge hockey

and rowing.

Steve won gold at the 2008 Canadian Indoor Rowing Championships and was a member of the Canadian National Adaptive Rowing Team,

placing 11th in the world in rowing (men's single sculls ASM1x) at the 2008 Beijing Summer Paralympic Games.

Steve is currently attending medical school at the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. He is also a member of the Sudbury Rolling Thunder

wheelchair basketball group and the Sudbury Wheelchair Curling Team.

Kim here was outside braving the elements, entertaining the people outside.  He was a remarkable Buddy Holly tribute artist, a real talent!

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