Monday, December 19, 2011

Day 114 Sudbury to Espanola, Ontario

Day 114. Wet and cold in Sudbury, not quite as cold as expected. We arrived a little early for our official 9:53 a.m. start.

Rick Hansen gave everyone on the team an autographed hat that he had received from various organizations during his orginal tour 25 years ago. Today, Don brought out his Espanola hat, very fitting for our destination today. 

Our endurance athlete Tyrone getting psyched for the start of day 114

This car was a little impatient and slipped in between the pace motorhome and my police escort.

A school stop at Sacred Heart Secondary Catholic school (french)

Fantastic support.
When we do these impromtu stops we use the motorhome as our sound system. Today Russ tells  the students a little bit about the relay, Rick's story and his vision. The medal bearer and endurance athlete are introduced. Normally we are there for less than 10 minutes.

Another side mirror shot of a medal bearer exchange.

3 school stops  in less than one hour

The franco-Ontarian flag. This one was at one of the french school's we visited in Sudbury. Sudbury has a large bilingual population. Over 16 percent list french as their first language.

Unusual architecture for a gymasium
There's that water tower again.

From the inside of the motorhome, the snowflakes are a nice touch, left over from the St. Thomas xmas parade.

On the way out of Sudbury, we made a special stop at a place called Dynamic Earth
An innovative mining and geology centre that lets you explore the planet beneath your feet and its precious cargo of minerals. Dynamic Earth, home of the Big Nickel, is a “blast” for everyone on the third planet from the sun. (I stole that from the website) Left to right, Russ, Scott, Anne (visiting us for a week), Marilyn, and Ken.

Then Mike and Danielle jumped in.

Don doing his best to hold up the big nickel, , in reference to the nickel mining in the area.

Some of the rock outside of the exhibit. This is in the Sudbury Basin, which was hit by a giant meteor over 1 billion years ago.

The relay bonus. We were all allowed to go on the mine tour at Dynamic Earth

We took an elevator down 7 stories while our tour guide talked and showed us video clips about the history of the mine
Everyone looking snazzy in our uniforms and hardhats.

Our host showing Tyrone one of the drill bits used in the mine

I didn't get a good shot of this , but in the background is a mock-up of a rescue tube, similar to the one used to get the miners out in the 2010 Chilean mine disaster. We did have a medal bearer at the mine today. Jared took the medal underground, another relay first.

One of the many horizontal mine shafts

I had to give Tyrone a hard time, his wheelchair was not good for this underground terrain, so he had to use the one the tour company supplied. Old school, Ty!

After the tour down in the mine, we viewed the displays above the ground.
The sign says the ore sample weighs 4,105 kilograms, and contains nickel, copper, cobalt, and small amounts of silver, gold, and platinum, and other minerals

Impressive display of the different kinds of rock in the world

Lunch was in the display area near the lunch counter

Outside, the view of the Inco superstack, the second tallest stack in the world. At a height of 1250 ft., it went right up into the clouds.

My turn in front of the big nickel, I just need something to compare it to.

The mine tour was one of the highlights of the relay for sure. Next stop on the day was in beautiful downtown Lively, very small and not very.

Another school stop. This time at the Walden public school in Lively. All the kids had Canadian flags, very reminiscent of the Olympic Torch relay.

Time to hand off the police escort duties from the Ontarion Provincial Police to the Espanola Police Dept.
We were a bit ahead of schedule so we hung out at this truck stop in Espanola. Espanola has about 5500 people and is about 70 kilometres west of Sudbury.

Taking over the streets of Espanola

Our end of day location was at the Espanola Regional Recreation Complex, and it was also our dinner location.

The towns people put on a delicious spaghetti dinner for us. It was a lot of fun, our relay crew split up and sat at different tables. It was interesting to listen to the local people tell their stories and how proud they were of their community. They were also keen on hearing more about the relay and our lives on the road. I sat with two medal bearers and their wives. Here is Rock's story:
I am a retired teacher. I taught at A.B.Ellis where Rick stopped during his tour. I won the Espanola Community Builder Award a few years back,

primarily for 26 years directing the local Terry Fox Run and achieving top 5 ranking amongst Ontario schools. I am the local Lions Club

President, deliver Meals on Wheels, run the local chapter of CTC's JumpStart program. I am a member of the Espanola Let's Go . . . Committee,

organized to promote community-wide events that emphasize physical activity. This committee was formed after we successfully lobbied our

town to become chartered as an Active Community. I was asked to be spokesperson for that process. I am also actively involved in playing

hockey, refereeing high school basketball, playing squash and coaching junior squash. My most recent decision has me now working on my

SCUBA certification. I received a letter from our mayor encouraging me to apply to represent our town and I would be delighted to be able to

do so. Respectfully submitted, Rock /////////

Day 114 in the books, Ken, Marilyn, Anne, and Mike. Now the long drive back to Sudbury to our hotel.

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