Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Day 22 and 23, Niagara Falls to Hamilton to Winnipeg, Manitoba

Day 23, already back in Hamilton, Niagara Falls has now been slotted into the memory books.
Our first meeting point of day 22 was in the town of Ancaster, which has since amalgamated with Hamilton. There is some rich history here, dating back to the late 1700's!

Our meeting was in the Hammill house, which dates back to the 1830's. Apparently it also had a holding cell for the police of the day. How did I end up in there?

The Ancaster town hall, built in 1871

The Tisdale house, which is the oldest in Ancaster, dates back to 1806

the group shot, nice location change from the typical beside the shuttle bus shot.
Amanda, one of our bike torch bearer escorts is sneaking in on my right side. That means it is time to drop off another torch bearer. (every 200 meters, baby!)

second meeting point of the day, and end of day celebration was at the Hamilton Waterfront Trust Center.(a beautiful setting on Lake Ontario)  This was the same place as our test event in May.

ready to go, including Anthony, in the wheel chair. Anthony and I remembered each other after discovering I was his driver on the 25th anniversary Rick Hansen tour as well.

but to get to end of day, we had to head back uptown Hamilton to drop off the torch bearers that make a relay possible. Our segment started in downtown Hamilton.

While we waited to drop off a torchbearer, I was right beside this shady, but not in a good way, alley.

random downtown Hamilton shot
and while we waited for the convoy and torchbearer to come through, I got one last pic of the  water surrounding our end of day celebration.

The same night. No rest for the lucky 19 who had to make their way to Pearson Airport outside of Toronto, as the flame was about to make its way to Winnipeg.

Kind of surreal, it was late, and it seemed to take longer than usual to get going. (It took almost an hour to even load the domestic Air Canada flight)

but we made our way to Winnipeg. Got back to the hotel at 2 A.M., and was up at 6 a.m. for meetings (sleep deprivation, I do not recommend it for everyone)

Although it was raining in Winnipeg, we still had to spiff up the rental cars we would use for the relay.

Heading back downtown Winnipeg (Population well over 600.000)

Our first stop of the day, (my role changed, I was now the media driver in front of the torchbearer), was at the C.F.B. (Canadian Forces Base) in Winnipeg. In the hallway of our meeting point, I spied a letter from Harry Truman.
Our meeting point, check this link to learn more about Mr. Franks

rented vehicles for the relay in Winnipeg, with the temporary Pan-Am relay logos

Our first torch bearers, and soldiers, are ready to carry the Pan-Am flame.

The support from the troops.

A tribute to the soldiers and the flame

Our next torchbearer meeting point was downtown at the city hall. As I made a bathroom break spot, I spied this plaque on the wall of city hall. (Imagine these 6 being part of history)

City hall, Winnipeg.

The police bicycle unit arrives to escort the relay.

Lots of heritage buildings surround city hall.
Winnipeg was one of the cities hosting matches for the 2015 Fifa woman's world cup of soccer.

a quick photo op at Saint Boniface University.

With the key-note speaker being none other than the premier of Manitoba, Greg Selinger 

My job today was to drive the pace vehicle, which was a rent a car from Avis. (the media people layed down in the back and opened the hatch to get their shots. In my side mirror, I could see the torchbearer marching on. This was a moment. The man was blind, and had a seeing eye dog with him. The fascinating thing was that the relay wanted him to walk down the middle of the road, but the dog was trained to know that was not safe, and kept trying to pull him back to the sidewalk.

A curious view of Winnipeg, looking towards the "Forks"

I remember this building from the Rick Hansen relay, except it wasn't finished yet. This is the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. (it is on Asper way, named after Izzy Asper)

The end of day celebration was a bit of a disappointment, but it is a long way from Toronto, and it was a work day, and the weather did not co-operate. I hope the people that did attend had a memorable time.

Lunch was at the Forks market. I was lurking above. 

Our last stop was at the Winnipeg Pan-Am pool. Winnipeg has hosted the Pan-Am games twice, the last time being in 1999.
Okay, so pictures got shuffled. (I take them on a digital camera as well as my android phone. This shot is at the Winnipeg airport, proving once again, how flat the area is, just sayin.....

At the airport, it was time to say good-bye to a fellow relaytarion? Ross , centered, who was responsible for the first quarter of the relay, was moving on to his regular job with Parks Canada. Wendy, Ross, and myself have been together for three relays. All the best.

All looked good, but for starters the plane was just pulling up as we were supposed to depart.

Once we got up there, well, flat, flat, flat

random shot before we left to go to Winnipeg awesome turkey Rueben sandwhich!

farewell Winnipeg, out of order I know.

my favourite. As we headed back to Toronto (round-trip less than 24 hours), they warned of turbulence. Well, we lost more than an hour. When we got close to Toronto, there was thunder and lightning warnings, and we could not land. So, as seen on the airplane map on board, we just did loops around close to Peterborough, with a lot of other planes, until it was safe. The crazy thing was you could see the lightning so well out the plane windows, and the turbulence was awful. We landed, and the airport closed down again shortly after, another relay miracle. (awwwww, who needs sleep anyways)

No comments:

Post a Comment