The North Shore in summer, in sunshine . . . [Image submitted]

The North Shore in summer, in sunshine . . . [Image submitted]

Highway 17 was bare.  I travelled under heavy cloud cover.

Now I could see the lake, Lake Superior.  It was open.  In some bays I saw waves battering the shores.  In the more narrow channels, ice still connected the islands.

I sped westward: Marathon, Terrace Bay, Schreiber, Rossport, Pays Plat, Nipigon . . . Not a single snowflake.  Almost no traffic.  Quelle disappointment.  About the lack of adventure, I mean.

In daylight I could spot the broken guard posts on numerous curves, with their cautionary red flags – evidence of the winter’s tragedies on our roads.

Travelling north on Hwy. 11, still very little traffic.  At Orient Bay hill, I took a reverse shot of Lake Nipigon, now visible where the hills squeeze it down. 


Compare to same view in Chapter 1 . . .

Compare to same view in Chapter 1 . . .


At home I backed into my driveway . . . so that I could drive straight out.  I’d never be able to back out.  When I was in Manitouwadge, Olga told me about her adventures.  A neighbour, Marilyn, had broken a path to her doorway, then called in her husband, Ron, who had a blade on his pickup.  Within five minutes he was stuck in our driveway, and had to call a friend to pull him out. 

Our yard on Sunday, April 21st . . .

Our yard on Sunday, April 21st . . .

I had picked up a dozen donuts from Timmy’s to thank Ron and Marilyn.  Greenstone has nice people too.

On Monday I had to, just had to, go to Thunder Bay again.  Highway clear, not a snowflake willing to sacrifice itself on my windshield.

On Tuesday, today, I started back.  Blizzard warning again on the North Shore.  Several people, including Olga, told me to stay overnight again.  Nature was going to dump twenty centimetres on Greenstone.  I didn’t believe it. 

Besides.  It’s alright to be sick of snow, but you can’t let it intimidate you.  Especially in springtime.

So I brushed off the five centimetres that had accumulated overnight on my little red car, and zoomed off.  Sunlight struggled with the clouds.

The police had blocked eastbound traffic just past Nipigon.  Fortunately, I was northbound.  I gassed up at Lake Helen Reserve, and asked about the holdup.

A collision, said a customer.  Two transports.  Met on a curve between Terrace Bay and Marathon . . . 

But the weather’s fine, I said.  What . . .?

Then I remembered.  The blizzard must have struck the North Shore. Already.

But I had clear sailing up Hwy. 11.  Almost no traffic.  Not a single snowflake challenged me.  Just a radio report that the highway east of Longlac was closed.  Our home is not far from Longlac.

Will tune to Thunder Bay channels tonight.

See if the accident was worth mentioning.

P.S. on Wednesday: No fatalities reported.  Just a line in a CBC report.

Traffic holdup near Terrace Bay on April 23rd.  [CBC image]

Traffic holdup near Terrace Bay on April 23rd. [CBC image]


About EJ Lavoie

Writer and independent publisher with website www.WhiskyJackPublishing.ca
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