Monday, December 26, 2011

Days 121 and 122 Wawa to the Terry Fox Monument in Thunder Bay, Ont. (then home for the holidays!)

Day 122, cold morning in Marathon, back driving the pace motorhome. "what's that Andrew?, can't quite hear you!"

Ohh! Got it! Loud and clear

We drove the convoy into town, about 4km, and formed up outside the Marathon Recreation Complex. Marathon in on the north shore of Lake Ontario, population about 3800.

One more school stop before Christmas, at Marathon High, a french immersion school

Spur of the moment group shot in the school hallway, while the presentation was going on. Left to right, Marilyn, Barn, Jane, Wendy, Natalie, Mike, Kenn, Justan, myself, and Tyrone

Once again the medal bearers for the community are front and center during the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary presentation.

After the medal bearers ran their segments in downtown Marathon, the medal was transferred to Tyrone who had his own endurance segment, approx. 3 km. No one knew, especially Ty, the segment was up a hill, and a very steep one at that. When Tyrone started with us over a month ago, at if he had to challenge the hill today, he probably would not have made it. He has come an extraodinarily long way, and even when he was close to quitting and with the support of our team, he made it to the top. This pic is when he finished, and we are all proud of him.  

Starting to head west

A community stop in Terrace Bay, it was about minus 13 and windy, and we were about 15 minutes late getting there. A few of the students that were there had to go back to school because of the cold, and some of the other people had to go inside the stores to keep warm.

In the end we kept our celebration shorter than we originally planned.
A brief cruise through the town of Schreiber, Ontario, located on the northernmost point of Lake Superior, population about 900

When we are in medal bearer mode (when a medal bearer is actually walking or running with the Rick Hansen 25th anniversary medal), the pace motorhome is a party on wheels, blaring out music out on the streets from the bank of speakers around the outside of the vehicle. Now, we have a limited supply of Christmas tunes, one of them is "We need a little Christmas", done by the cast of Glee. Well, when you hear it 20 times a day, it does a little something to your mind, as Justan (our 2 hour advance, and Ontario regional co-ordinator) is demonstrating to us! Click on this link to hear what I am talking about!

This was a great spot to have our presentation and to honor the medal bearers. Students were bussed in for the occasion.

Heading along Lake Superior on our way to Nipigon, Ontario

So much like B.C.

We stopped just outside of Nipigon to go into endurance mode. (Tyrone carrying the medal). Great view of the Nipigon river valley.

Our last school stop before Christmas, the George O'Neill public school in Nipigon, also our last medal bearers as well. Which reminds me, just southeast of Wawa was the halfway point of our travel across Canada.

Gourmet lunch feast today, stopped in a gas station parking lot and ordered Subway sandwiches for the team, and the police escorts.

Hard to tell the feeding frenzy that is going on inside the motorhome!

Our last event before a two week break over the holidays was to go to the Terry Fox Monument just outside to Thunder Bay, Ontario. This was strictly for the relay staff.  For the second time today, our endurance athlete Tyrone face a very steep hill, to get to the top of the monument. This time, in honor of Rick Hansen and Terry Fox, he chose to wheel his wheelchair himself to the base of the monument.
There was snow on the road, but he was determined, and had the support of several of our team members. I was in front in the motorhome, here is a side mirror shot.

Go Ty! you can do it!

Cresting over the top, more of our crew were already up top to cheer him on!

The proud team photo! (quite a few were missing, but I am sure were there in spirit)
back row left to right: me, Don, Eric, Justan, Jordan, Andrew, Scott, Jane, Barn, Steph, and Hank
middle row: Pat, Dawn, Billy, Natalie, Wendy, Kyle, Marilyn and Kayla
front row: Mike, Jamie, Jake, Tyrone, Kenn, and Russ (thanks to Tina for taking the picture)
Looking out from the monument

It was Tyrone's last day on the relay, and here he is passing the medal to Justan our Ontario regional co-ordinator

A shot with the ladies
and one with the bike escorts that were always out there with him, Marilyn and Kenn

from that moving moment, to moving in traffic in Thunder Bay. We all had to take the vehicles to the local Honda dealership, where they will be stored for the next 2 weeks 

Dinner at the hotel, a farewell and good luck to Tyrone, he was like another son to me and a lot of other people on the relay. (brother to the younger relay staff)

2 week break, let's just burn off a little steam, all in good fun. My roomate tonight was Russ, and some pranksters((names withheld, (for now)), decided to give him a little company for his last night.

It was very funny, I did not take any pics, but trust me, when he was a sport and climbed into bed with his new companion, the laughter carried down the hall. Don and I managed to wrestle St. Nick back down to the hotel lobby. (yes, we had permission)
6 am at the Thunder Bay airport. Billy, Marilyn, Jane, Dawn, Natalie, Pat,Russ, and myself were all on the early flight to Toronto.

A little dark, a little snowy, a little cold.

Yah, I don't think sweeping one side of the plane wing off with your arm is the way to go. By the time we flew out an hour late, (generator problems), the had to de-ice the plane twice, it was minus 14 this morning.

At the Toronto airport, only Billy, Jane and myself were left, the other were either going to Toronto, or Montreal, or a different flight to Vancouver. Jane is going to Charlottetown, Billy to Sudbury, then to Detroit

Toronto from the plane window.
Somewhere over the prairies

The puddle jumper from Vancouver to Penticton. Back to Summerland for 2 weeks!

A little time to reflect on sunnier days, like in Cape Spear, Newfoundland

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