Sunday, July 31, 2011

Heading Up North

After a weekend with my oldest and closest friends in Quebec cottage country, it’s time for the second leg of my Terry Fox journey.
Sadly, this involves 25 hours on a Greyhound bus, from Montreal to Thunder Bay, something I’m not entirely convinced is a great idea at this point. 
‘At this point’, in this case, refers to sitting on the bus preparing to depart Montreal for Ottawa. 
Along with making a field recording at the Mile 3339 marker, I really wanted to spend some time on the stretch of highway that saw the end of the Marathon. This stretch of road is quite familiar to me, since I grew up in Espanola, Ontario (west of Sudbury) and all of my relatives lived in Thunder Bay.
The stretch from Sudbury to Thunder Bay makes me think of my childhood, and the many times I was in a car on that road. I also remember it being kind of exciting to be on the section that was re-named the Terry Fox Courage Highway. In about 20 hours we’ll see if it still holds the same excitement.
The possible fly in the ointment here is that the marker may not be there anymore. I read an article from the Thunder Bay paper about how construction on the highway is threatening to displace the simple, dignified marker at the end of Terry’s run.
Yes, the big monument just East of T-Bay is there, but the marker is something special. It’s right at the spot where Terry had to stop, and it’s been maintained not by a township or municipality, but by people who remember Terry and were moved by him.
I’m also glad I’ll get to ride the highway once more before it’s doubled, and the actual road Terry ran on is left unrecognizable.

On the lame side of things, it would appear I left my camera in Montreal, so the blog is going to be lacking in photos for a bit.

Also on the lame side, the meathead security at Ottawa Central Station is beyond lame. As they're searching people getting on the bus you can actually watch these lame rent-a-cops abusing the tiny little bit of authority at every chance.

And I mean tiny, their security station is a fold card table.