Sunday, May 31, 2015

Pan-Am Torch Relay Days 1 & 2 Toronto to Thunder Bay to Wawa

Deja Vu! Here we go again. (After the 2010 Olympic Torch Relay across Canada in 2009/2010, and the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay in 2011/2012) This was the first group of torch bearers in Thunder Bay. (the relay actually started in Toronto on Saturday, but we had the two days of travel to be ready for day two)

Usually there is a slow start to the relay as far as fan support, so I was pleasantly surprised to see the signs coming out so soon.

Omg, a torch from the 2010 Olympic torch relay, on display at the Thunder Bay City Hall

Not a bad crowd for a Sunday morning on a brand new relay.

This torch bearer, Kathryn, reminded me that I was her driver when she was a medal bearer on the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay. She ran in Kakabeka Falls.

The core convoy, plus or minus a couple of vehicles.

The cauldron is lit in downtown Thunder Bay, the medal bearer in the shot is a local Olympic Cyclist, Curt Harnett
As we left Thunder Bay, we had to stop at the iconic Terry Fox memorial.
Along the way , Lake Superior is everywhere
Well, a picture says a gazillion words. Yes, I know it's hard to believe, but our second medal bearer spot was at the birthplace of the world's most famous bear, Winnie the Pooh! Of course you knew it was in White River, Ontario.
If your interested, zoom in on the plaque

White River random pond shot

We were a little early, so to kill time we hit the playground. (here is my relay partner and torchbearer host, Hayley, checking out the swings)
There is a Winnie the Pooh museum in White River, I think this carving is not the best representation of a children's favourite.

The whole Great Lakes thing just blows the mind of a boy from what I thought was a big lake, Okanagan!

White River, with a population of one thousand, had a small, but fun event. They had a barbecue, live music and the spirit that will take the flame to Toronto.

Where would my day end up? In Wawa of course! (lucky enough for my third visit to the area)

ever vigilant. wow, what a difference from the last two times I came through here. Green, instead of white, go figure!

Saturday, May 30, 2015

On the way to Thunder Bay

Here we go again, what have I gotten myself into! Waiting at Vancouver airport for my red-eye flight to.................

Toronto, in preparation for the 2015 Pan-Am games torch relay

I took advantage of the one night off to catch a Toronto Blue Jays baseball game. Tonight they beat the Chicago White Sox.

Back at the Relay office, the flame has arrived from the Pan-Am games eternal flame headquarters in Mexico City. There are nine lanterns to make sure the flame never goes out.
Apropos, the banana box says it all.

Night time outside of my hotel room, a night shot of the CN tower.

A rainbow over Center Island across from our office.

random sailing ship close to hotel
This was very cool, this ship arrived and saddled up to the Redpath Sugar refinery, unloading raw sugar. It took 5 days, and the ship rose at least 5 metres by the time it was done.

This big crane was scooping all day long.

When I got to the office, I was given this Pan-Am games vehicle to run some errands for the relay. (which is funny, the guy from Vancouver sent all over Toronto to find things. I even had to go to Pearson airport to pick up a relay member) Bless my G.P. Ess

Did get to see some interesting neighbourhoods though. (Names, not sure, it's all a blur)

My door pass to get in and out of the office, the likeness is uncanny.

Omg, I had to pick-up some supplies at Acklands-Grainger in Scarborough. I get out of the car and immediately smell cookies! I look across the street and this is what I see!

It was one big ass cookie factory. Link to Peek Freans

Later that week I got an upgrade to this creamsicle looking pick-up
A beautiful day for travel, today we are heading on a two-day 1500 KM jaunt from Toronto to Thunder Bay. (the sun was shining off the building, and you could actually feel the heat from where I took this picture)

two of my partners in crime, Wendy and Marilyn. (both of whom I worked with on the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay)

Two of the lanterns get the shotgun seat in the transport captain's truck. (even the seatbelt was on!)

Heading out of town on the Gardiner Expressway
Our first night was in Sault Ste Marie. Here is a sunset looking across the Saint Mary's river to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan

The hotel in Sault Ste Marie. (first one of many home away from homes)

part of the crew at lunch in Terrace Bay, Ontario. (future friends to be sure)
On the road again! Lake Superior is everywhere.

Chasing down a relay vehicle

Death and injury, aww what the heck

The next day was driving to Thunder Bay. Along the way, 80 KM southeast of Wawa, we saw the Agawa Bay Pictographs, so we had to make a pit stop. (this was part of the trail to the pictographs)

This was a nice break from a long drive.

Some people worked hard to make this accessible, I bet it was not so easy for the first nations that painted them.

This rock was perched between two bluffs, amazing!

Beautiful looking out on Lake Superior.

Even more beautiful seeing these pictographs

This is where you see them. There is actually a life preserver here in case you fall in the water.

Wendy did not make the trip down, and expressed her disdain.
My ride for the next 41 days

Holiday road!

Thunder Bay is near, but to stop at the actual spot where Terry Fox ended his Marathon of Hope was a very moving experience. wow