Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 4 & 5, Sault Ste. Marie to Sudbury to Huntsville

Day 4 of the Pan-Am games  torch relay, and it is time to leave the Soo (Sault Ste. Marie) One last look across the St. Mary's river to the town of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. (You can see the iconic Cloverland Electric Cooperative’s historic hydroelectric plant, which has been in operation for over 100 years and is a quarter mile in length.)

Beside me was the one of our sponsors, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming commission, (OLG)  and their event trailer.
Heading east towards Sudbury.

Our first torch bearer meeting point of the day was by the Thessalon river, in quaint Thessalon, Ontario, population about 1280. It is also situated on the shores of Lake Huron.  

This town surprised us all with it's support of the relay. There were signs up everywhere, and even a deal on some watermelon.

We had a school stop at one of the local elementary schools in Thessalon.
The kids were impressed with our presentation about the Pan-Am games. There was even a surprise visit from the games mascot, "Pachi"

The main school building, so much history.

We are only 4 days in and we are already starting to see support on the street, like these ladies from the local hospital auxillary.

I can see in my side mirror the main convoy, with police escorts, catching up to my shuttle.

There was even a little display of vintage cars. Was it a coincidence the two orange vehicles matched the color of relay fleet?
Heading towards our next meeting point, cruising alongside the Blind River.

Towards the  small town of Massey, part of the township of Sables-Spanish River.

Our torch bearer meeting was at the Massey museum, and this fire wagon was one of the many things we were given a tour of.

They even had a small Pan-Am games display.
Outside, the community had music, a barbeque, and even some impromptu Zoomba class.

Just three special ladies today to represent Massey today.
Afterwards, my partner and torch bearer host, Hayley and I went for some lunch. We had an awesome city view!

I had deja-vu, and it wasn't until I went inside the men's room and saw the décor that I realized I had been here before. I confirmed it with another relay peep, we were here on the  25th anniversary Rick Hansen relay. Random choice?

If your ever there I recommend their spinach salad.
Our day was not done once we reached Sudbury. Part of our job this time is to refurbish the torches (Some of them will be used more than once. This includes cleaning the soot from the flame off, replacing the butane cylinders, and re-assembling and packing the torches for the next days use.

The relay is definitely a team effort.
Next morning it was time to leave Sudbury, population 160,000. In the distance from our hotel your can see the smoke from the nickel mine. (Part of the Sudbury Integrated Nickel operations). Farewell "Big Nickel"

Heading down Highway 17 closing in on the town of North Bay, on Lake Nipissing. (population 53,400)

Love checking out the downtowns of our country

What is it about relays (and parades, which the relay kind of is) that bring out the bag-pipers?
North Bay did it right. They tied in the Pan-Am relay celebration with their Armed Forces Day, even the Snowbirds but on a display. There were thousands on hand, but the relay waits for no-one and we had to keep moving.

Students were bussed in from all over the area.

One last drive through North Bay
A quick pit stop for lunch at this very colorful restaurant called "Wacky Wings"

Lots of corny signs in here, I am not afraid to admit I like them!
Back down the road for the last meeting of the day and our home away from home for one night, Huntsville, population 18,500

What a beautiful little city, an apparently quite a summer tourist destination as well.

Our meeting was at the Huntsville City Hall building.

The excited torch bearers actually had a professional photographer take the group shot, including the town's mayor.

I can see why people would come here. (In the summer!)

The torch even rode on a little tourist train today.

Everyone is trying to take a picture.

There it is! That's a wrap on day 5, tomorrow, we are off to Peterborough

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