Friday, December 23, 2011

Days 116 and 117 Blind River to Thessalon to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Day 116 in Blind River, well, time to layer up, coldest day yet.

This channel was right outside my motel room door, nice sight to wake up to!

The accomodations have seen better days, but at least there was heat and hot water.

I ran into Hank, Marilyn and Wendy outside of the restaurant across the highway where our breakfast was.
Tis the season

We didn't have very good success with internet at the motel, so Marilyn had to go to the restaurant to Skype with her husband on her Ipad

Downtown Blind River

The view of this dam is directly behind our motel

Andrew getting that the roof is closing in feeling at the motel

This would definately be on my list of places to go back to in the summer time.

Day 117 started in Blind River, back at the community center. Pat and Kyle breif the medal bearers  for their experience. It was nice of our endurance athlete Tyrone to drop in,  someone the medal bearers really can relate to.
Was supposed to be a pic of the motorhome with Lake Huron behind it, but it ended up being more about the motorhome.

A little frosty, but with the sun shining it was another gorgeous day on the relay.

We were a little ahead of schedule, that gave the medal bearers and their family a chance to get some good pictures.

We had two police escorts today in Blind River, one was the O.P.P. , and for today we had a police vehicle from the Mississuga First Nation..

One the way into the Mississauga first nations community center.
The torch relay rolled through here on January 2nd, 2010. I was not there on that day, I ended up being sent up to Timmins, Ontario, one of the cities the Rick Hansen relay will not be going through.

We had a ceremony at the community center, which included a fitness center. With a half an hour to kill, Kenn, one of our medal bearer escorts took advantage of a little work-out time. (so did I!)

Next stop on Day 116

Iron Bridge is part of the municipality of Huron Shores

Here Kimberley passes the medal to Tia. Here is Kimberley's story:

Contributing to the protection and sustainability of the environment – Conservation, clean water and clean air.

Since childhood, my parents have instilled in me the importance of respecting the Environment and I have passed this on to my children. I

don't play a major role but I try to pick up litter when I see it and I believe in the importance of Reducing, Reusing and Recycling, and I pass

this message on when I can. I have also switched to non-toxic "green cleaners" and try to get others to follow. When my family goes camping

our Motto is "What we take in the bush, we take out of the bush" and we always pick up any litter we find left behind by other campers.

Another small way I try to make a difference is by raising Autism Awareness through facebook and in conversations with people I meet. My son

was diagnosed with Autism so I understand more than ever the need for an inclusive society.

I'm excited to be a part of Rick Hansen's journey towards a cure for Spinal Cord Injury, and a more accessible and inclusive world.
The downtown of Iron Bridge, for what it is.

End of day is 27 K, hey that ryhmes

First medal bearer of Thessalon, was Henry Dukes. He was one of the shuttle bus drivers on the Olympic Torch Relay, and the uncle of one of our pilots, Ross. Great to see him again!

These end of day celebrations in these small town community centers are the best.

The people of Thessalon (population 1300) opened their arms and hearts to us tonight, providing snacks and drinks for the crowd and the relay team. 
The ladies of Thessalon had that difference maker spirit and volunteered to host the event. It didn't take Jamie and Marilyn long to find out if you went back in the kitchen, you may get a little treat. That hot chocolate the were serving back there sure had a peppermint schnapps smell to it, if you ask me!

Day 117, another cold one , our start of day is in Thessalon, but we are staying in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, about 1 1/2 hours away.

Back to the Thessalon arena, where it seems Pat and Kyle are hosting the meeting behind closed doors.

Great being back in an arena again, after all the years I have spent in various ones. I talked to an older guy who told me he has been coaching, or playing for almost 60 years, said he even played minor hockey in Sault Ste. Marie with Tony and Phil Esposito, two of my childhood idols.

Another relay first, for start of day there was a layer of snow on the ground, a little tricky for our bicycle escorts
A little icy, careful, or we might end up in Lake Huron

Many supporters walking with the medal bearers today, as I can see in the rear camera.

Kenn is taking it all in

Ladies and Gentlemen, ,your medal bearers of Bruce Mines, Ontario ( pop. around 600)

A quick few words in the cold about the relay, the medal bearers and to thank the residents for their support.

Yes, a relay first, medal bearer snow angels.
we had to pull over to switch police as we entered into a new jurisdiction, looks like a relay take down!

Echo Bay, Ontario

Home to three medal bearers, and our lunch stop.

We had a special police escort this afternoon, as we were going to the Garden River First Nations reserve.

I did not know this, and not many do, Echo Bay is home of the big loonie
Acknowledgement from the Garden River first nations.

We had a lot of support going into Garden River, four fire trucks joined in our convoy, it was quite a site going down the highway.

The people of Garden River gave a traditional blessing for our relay , our crew, the medal bearers and the medal itself.

New jurisdiction, new police, this time the Sault Ste Marie police.
Had our first McDonalds sponsor stop in quite awhile, unfortunately, I just missed Ronald McDonald! Steph, your not really going to eat all the cake yourself are you?

End of day was at the John Rhodes Community Center in Sault Ste. Marie

Seems there was a light dusting of snow on the building today.

I had to go get fuel for the motorhome, and by the time I got back, most of the end of day festivities were over. The community took the time to lay our sheets of plywood on the arena ice.

Three nights in Sault Ste. Marie, really nice to stop moving, even if it is just for three days.

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