It sometimes boggles my mind, how easy it actually is to cross an entire continent.
Yesterday I woke up at 6am in the Beaver Valley, on the shores of Georgian Bay in Ontario where a beautiful crisp spring day greeted me. I set off to Toronto, now knowing what condistions the roasd were in on the high country between Lake Huron and Lake Ontario. In between thos Great Lakes is the Niagara Escarpment and the oak Ridges Moraine, two incredible heights of land that received a lat winter beating this week from a cold front that scoured the whole area.
All was well with me though, on a good drive along Highway 26 which hugs to Bay from Thornbury to Collingwood and on to Wasaga Beach and Stayner. From there the road turns south becoming Airport Road and takes a bee line across the rolling countryside, up and down the esacarpment, and over the 700 foot high folds of glacial till that are now covered with farmland, pine forest and maple woods. For two hours, the bright sun, spring bird song and beautiful southern Onatrio countryside fill my senses.
Once through Caledon, the country changes radically. The land flattens out and all around are the sprawling McMansion suburbs that litter the edge of Toronto. Along Airport Road, whole sections of farmland have been converted to a monoculture of boring, treeless housing. Nothing is human scale. A small sidewalk is hardly ever used and the four lanes of road feeds commuters to the city and large transport trucks to the distribution centres, warehouses and factories of Malton and the other northwestern suburbs. A large Sikh community lives near the airport, and so the few commercial plazas in the area are devoted to saris, curries and Bollywood video rentals. Here and there, old Victorian famhouses stand surrounded by all of this development, a last echo of the previous wave of immigrants that lived there.
I dropped my rental car, boarded a plane for Vancouver and instantly fell asleep. I woke up over Kelowna just in time for our descent into Vancouver. The coast was grey and cold and pouring rain. Grabbed my bag, jumped on teh Canada Line, stopped long enough at Granville and Georgia Streets for a La Brasserie Chicken Sandwich and then caught the Express bus to Horseshoe Bay. The 330pm ferry delivered me back to Bowen Island.
It is odd standing on the deck of a ferry crossing a small channel in the Pacific Ocean having woken up a mere 12 hours earlier some 4300 kms away. This is a journey that until the last century would have taken years of my life. Instead, I walk off the ferry, shaking a little of the remaining Ontario rain from my suitcase, home before my kids arrive back from school.