The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Nine


  Day 5 – Home Again, Home Again, Jiggedy-Jig

After meeting with, not one, but two fellow bloggers, blowing the exhaust system off the car, getting seriously GPS lost –twice – and attending a disappointing knife show, it might seem that the adventure was pretty much over.  We just intended to head for Detroit, and do a bit of shopping before slipping back over the line, to quiet Canuckville.





Fortunately for my publishing stats, fate still had a couple of (hopefully) interesting things in the wings. As we motored north on I-77, we suddenly passed a State Prison.  We came up over a rise, and there it was, right beside the road on our left.  I assume that the place with the concrete buildings, double twelve-foot high chain-link fences with razor wire on top and a ten-foot kill zone between them, was a prison, not a chicken hatchery.

We drove near one years ago, near Lapeer, MI.  For miles there were signs beside the highway, warning, “Caution Prison!  Do not pick up hitchhikers!”  This place – not so much.  While not near any urban area, I was surprised that it was so near a major highway.  Don’t they put prisons in places like Alcatraz, miles from anywhere?  I guess guards don’t like living in the middle of nowhere, delivery trucks don’t like driving there, and prisoners have the right to quick medical transportation.

As we came north, we reached a secondary road branching off the Interstate, which would angle northwest to Toledo, saving us several miles of driving, and a couple of dollars of road toll.  Northwest Ohio should be flatter and straighter than the Southeast corner, but my ass was still sore from being bitten by ‘Ohio 23’, so we drove on up north, to the Lake Erie shore, passing close to Kent State University, where CSNY sang of Four Dead In Ohio.

Cleveland Rocks!  Cleveland Rocks!  Even if we didn’t see Drew Carey, or the Rock and Roll Museum.  We did see the section of Ohio that Chrissie Hynde lamented had been paved over, by a government that had no pride – from Seneca to Cuyahoga Falls.

After rolling through the concrete jungle of Cuyahoga Falls, and Cleveland, we climbed on I-80, the Ohio Turnpike.  We grabbed a ticket, and headed for the toll booths at Toledo.  For the entire length that we drove, the east- and west-bound traffic were separated by concrete, K-rail, Jersey Barriers.  Not all of Ontario’s high-speed highways are completely supplied, to prevent crossover accidents.  Our local ring-road bypass, The Conestoga Expressway, still has open areas, despite 6 deaths in the last five years.

Every mile, the ends of two K-rails were offset, to allow police and emergency vehicles to U-turn, and for cops to hide, while watching for speeders. The right lane was crowded with trucks, including a number of triple-trailer transport-trains.  I was keeping up with traffic at the legal 65 MPH limit, in the middle lane.  A half-mile ahead, I saw the nose of a cruiser sticking out from one of the gaps.  In my mirror, I also saw a couple of bumble-bee cars, zipping in and out of the left lane, and rapidly overtaking me.

Just like the old cliché, they passed me like I was standing still.  Then, the guy in the lead spotted the cop, and piled on the binders.  The guy racing him didn’t see anything, and almost piled into the back of him.  Suddenly driving very slowly, they cut in front of me, and all the way over to the right lane, ending up ahead of, and behind, an overloaded half-ton, but I saw the cop pull out.

Cop Car



I told the wife that he was chasing the speeders.  “Who?  Where?”  “Those guys.” – pointing.  “But he’s waving at you??”  “Me?  What did I do?”  I looked out my window, and sure enough, he indicated for me to fall back.  He could hit the lights and siren, and force his way in, but it might set off a dangerous chase, and one or both could get away.  I eased back.  He eased in, right beside them, and turned on the lights.  They both looked chagrined and resigned as they pulled over.

I had hoped to gas up once we reached Detroit, but pulled off I-75 at Gibraltar, 25 miles short.  Just as I reached the bottom of the ramp, a dash chime sounded, and the ‘Fill Me’ light came on.  Already overfed, and eating less because of old age, we skipped the steak and baked potato at The Outback, and supper was a ‘Blooming Onion’ and a small loaf of pumpernickel bread from their takeout, taken back to the motel.

The next morning, we purchased another 25 pounds of Michigan beet sugar, the wife could not find any suitable tops which fit her, we topped up the gas tank again at the Meijer’s store, and had brunch once again at a Denny’s, before heading for the Ambassador Bridge.

Ambassador Bridge 2





Ambassador Bridge




Construction on the second bridge has not yet begun, and won’t be complete before we hope to travel here again, but is sorely needed.  Two-lane, bumper-to-bumper backup from the Customs booths started at the middle of the bridge.  When I finally reached the bottom, I was facing South, (check your maps) into the bright sunshine.

I thought, “When I get to pull into the shadow at the booth, I need to remember to take off my sunglasses.” – and then that thought flew south with the Canada geese.  I handed out our Passports, and the female officer, who was wearing purple rubber gloves, imperiously reminded me.

The new Windsor bypass is almost complete, and quickly whisked us five miles out, to the end of Highway 401….where we encountered a roundabout??!  Way to go, Ontario!  Tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of vehicles a day, at least half of them trucks, headed for the US, across the most heavily-traveled US/Canada border crossing….  and it all comes down to a roundabout??

I need to rest my brain.  We’ll be home soon.  😀


13 thoughts on “The Fellowship Of The Blog – Episode Nine

  1. Dan Antion says:

    I love it when the police get the right guy, I was waiting to hear that you got a ticket for following too close 🙂


    • Archon's Den says:

      Could happen I suppose. I’m a mildly aggressive driver, and push the speed limits a bit, but don’t like getting in too close to any drivers except the ones doing 30, in a 50 zone. 🙄

      Liked by 1 person

      • Dan Antion says:

        I was once following a van that was following s truck. All of us at safe distances. A guy flew past me and weaved between me and the van and then the van and the truck. I got a ticket for following too close and so did the van.


      • Archon's Den says:

        That would be tough for a cop to prove in court. You didn’t hit anyone, nor have time to react to someone else’s intrusion in a safe margin. I’d have been tempted to fight it in court, but cops know that people can’t spare time from work, so, many of us just eat it. 😦


  2. I hate roundabouts. We have a double one here (Figure 8). I avoid it whenever I can.

    (Damn, if I would have used that other route when you came to visit, I could have taken you through that Figure 8, just for the fun of it.)


    • Archon's Den says:

      Personally, I don’t mind them, except for the 87% of local drivers who still haven’t figured them out after almost 10 years. We have dozens of them in the area, including a new, long, narrow plaza with 2 on the road outside, and 2 more inside the plaza parking lot.

      I’ve been using the map program to familiarize myself with your area, including ‘driving’ around using Street-View. I drove past your house again. I’d have sworn in court that it was white-ish, and was surprised that it’s actually purple. The nosy, fat kid next door waved.

      Map programs don’t clearly show roundabouts. Where is your figure-8 located, so that I can prepare for the worst. When you come up to German-town, you can prepare for the wurst – with sauerkraut and German mustard. 😉


      • Ya know, I had a feeling someone was peeking in my windows! Stop that, or at least give me some warning so I can dress for the occasion.

        Our figure 8 is on Harlem Road at Cleveland Drive. No reason for you to go anywhere near it unless you use me as a tour guide, and I’m feeling frisky that day.

        I can’t eat sauerkraut because of my UC, and that’s too bad because I used to love it, nor can I eat sausage of any kind. But we’ll figure something out, foodwise. Cordelia can eat anything.


  3. Paul says:

    Cool Journey Archon. I love rotaries (aka roudabouts). I grew up with one in Dartmounth Nova Scotia – the MicMac Rotary which has since grown into a monster There are a few interesting ones around Boston as well – like going to Gloucester.

    Fun post Archon.


    • Archon's Den says:

      Rotaries, roundabouts, traffic circles – it’s interesting what people call them, and where.
      I must research that Micmac circle. I was just looking at a couple near Cordelia’s Mom’s place. My Blog-Buddy in Stephenville claims to be half M’iq M’aq.
      You could teach me to keep a driver’s logbook. Then I’d know how many miles/kms I drove on this trip. I still have a few scattered thoughts in an epilog for this series, coming in about a week. 🙄


      • Paul says:

        If you can find an honest driver’s log, you’d have a rare commodity. Ha! the log book actually is focussed on time rather than distance. The only allowance made for distance is recording your odometer readings start and finish. All 24 hours have to be accounted for each day in one of four categories – driving, on duty not driving, off duty and sleeper berth. Every change of duty status has to have a place name beside it. There are rules around how many hours you can work/drive in a 24 hour period. And then how many you can work in a week. They don’t pay much attention to mileages unless they are auditing..


  4. aFrankAngle says:

    You had quite the journey wondering across my state. … and hooray for the police realizing that you weren’t the cause.


  5. benzeknees says:

    We have lots of round-abouts here in Edmonton & they are quite popular in Alberta in general! They are apparently intended to keep traffic moving, but they life – when they allow pedestrians to cross at one of the many entrances or exits! No pedestrians – lots of shoulder checking & you’re very quickly at your exit & on your way again!


    • Archon's Den says:

      Inside towns and cities, I can agree with; at the heaviest volume point on Ontario’s biggest highway??! It seemed to have been designed for automobiles, and was too small for trucks. Semis have enough problems negotiating it, but double trailers have been okayed and are becoming more common. 😦


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