20190628_Day Two Pelee Point to Toronto

20190628_Day Two
Pelee Point to Toronto

I awoke at the crack of dawn. I went back to sleep. I posted. We got cleaned up and headed into town for lunch.

We went to Tim Horton’s. We got donuts. I got a BELT. Bacon, Egg, Lettuce, Tomato on a bagel. I got a donut decorated for Canada Day. Charbonneau got a box of donut holes. He solved the mystery of what happens to the center of all those delicious donuts.
They were pretty good.

We went to our first national park. Pelee Point NP is the southernmost point on continental Canada. It was sunny. We walked sur la plage. (on the beach). It was pretty warm and humid and hazy and sunny. So we felt right at home. We got back in the car and headed to Rondeau. Rondeau is a provincial park. It was just as exciting to visit as Pelee Point, but closer to Toronto.

The warm and humid and hazy and sunny part of Ontario we drove through is a place were tomatoes and marijuana are grown. Their green houses are for tomatoes and cannabis. Last night I was worried it was an “invasion of the body snatchers”/Terminator/Matrix human pod people situation. There are a LOT of green houses. Today there were strawberries. We bought some from a roadside stand. They were excellent, but smaller and seedier than the ones from Costco in the USA. We kept a keen eye out for a roadside cannabis stand… They don’t exist yet.

We then headed towards Toronto. Suddenly, all of Canada realized it was a three day weekend and got in their cars to drive to Toronto. Our three and a half hour drive turned into a four and a half

hour drive. Then there was an accident. Then there was construction. Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment and Merryweather landed. They taxi’ed. They cleared customs. They got their own ride to the hotel.

The whole STL Bruce clan reunited an hour later. The valet informed me that all the truck spots were full. I was given a map of Toronto and had to self park around the corner. I did an awesome job parking.

We got sorted out and headed to Chinatown for dinner. I had selected another amazing place with great reviews and appearances on CNN travel/food shows. We used lyft. They sent a Toyota Corolla for the four of us. We don’t hardly fit in a Toyota Corolla even if one of us is driving. We got to the restaurant. It was vegetarian. Charbonneau picked a new restaurant based on his extensive research that it was next door to the place we had originally picked. It was not Vegan Vietnamese. It was Carnivore Korean. We cooked part of it at the table ourselves. Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment picked some kitchen prepared food that was excellent. We passed everything around.

Since we were in Chinatown, I suggested a dessert place nearby. We decided to conduct a team building exercise on navigation. We eventually found the right place. I noted that I had walked by a spot on my to-do list. I went and hit Thirsty and Miserable while the gang got dessert. It was maybe the darkest bar I have ever been in. This includes the Hub, when closed, after all the lights are turned out. The beer was perfect. The bartenders are perfect. The gang went to Cosmic Treats. Charbonneau got a cashew-based chocolate gelato. It was pretty good.

Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment ordered a Lyft XL for the ride back to the hotel. She is smarter than me. Doesn’t mind showing it.

20190628 Day One – St. Louis to Pelee Point NP

I left St. Louis in the early morning hours on Thursday. Merryweather added some of his own supplies to the truck, then bid us farewell. Merryweather is on a different journey this year. He will be missed. His excitement at not joining the land expedition this year was palpable.
 
This season I am ably assisted by Charbonneau. A scout of some regard who has been to the great white north several times. He has a tremendous passion for the north. He has visited many times via canoe. He also has studied the culture and peoples extensively. Charbonneau loaded his gear, the water rations, and some sundry supplies before settling in to sleep for 4 hours.
 
We had a funny incident early in the trip. Charbonneau was soundly asleep. I was listening to a radio play from Audible. Towards the end of the radio play, the damsel in distress gave a blood curdling scream. Charbonneau leapt awake. i almost wrecked I was laughing so hard.
 
We stopped in Indianapolis to traded with the natives. I traded a cooler for some stitching work, I have a extravagantly big down blanket made of two much less extravagantly sized ones. Grandma Bruce also provided us with melons fresh from the fields. It was much better than the McDonalds we got at the last gas stop.
 
From Indianapolis, we headed north. I-69 north of Muncie, Indiana is probably one of my least favorite roads. I-24 from Fort Wayne to Toledo is even worse. I got caught in a speed trap in Defiance, Ohio about 25 years ago. I am still pissed off about it.
 
At my urging, Charbonneau had selected a restaurant in Detroit for dinner. I actually said, “Anthony Bourdain a restaurant in Detroit on Google”. What I meant was find a restaurant that has been covered on one of Anthony Bourdain’s shows. Charbonneau laughed at me in a charitable way. He picked a spot. I plugged it into my GPS.
 
I lived in Detroit back in the 90’s for about five minutes. It was not a nice place. Until recently, it wasn’t great and got steadily worse. I rented a room in a house behind the house where Edsel Ford was born. Right in Detroit. When the neighborhood was built in the early 1900’s it was fancy, tree-lined boulevards, fancy roofs. Some of the first homes in America with electricity. In the 90s, it was a proto-hipster, barely hanging on. The woman I rented the room from was an artist. Some of the neighbors were bachelor uncles sharing a household.
After the last recession, #thanksobama, one of the homes was available for $100. All the plumbing and siding had been stolen. Another burned down. Now a days, there is a sign that says Boston Edison Historic District. The neighborhood is still hanging on, but in need of a fresh coat of paint.
 
The restaurant Charbonneau picked out was in an decrepit industrial areas. It was awesome. Cutter’s Bar and Grill was a treat. The crowds was loud in a fun way. Our bartender was really nice. We tried a local beer. Charbonneau had a stuffed hamburger. I had Steak bites. The Detroit Tigers were probably not when on TV. Marvin Gaye was playing on the jukebox. If you like Motown and R&B, the jukebox at Cutter’s is a can’t miss. I am pretty curious to rewatch Bourdain in Detroit and get the scoop on the place.
 
Detroit downtown is pretty awesome. There is a bunch of nice things. There is light rail. There is shopping and amenities and culture. There is a giant sculpture of two characters in Mickey Mouse pants with funny heads that I didn’t stop to find out more about. According to Google is called “Waiting” by an artist named Kaws. Charbonneau remarked that he could drive around and take pictures of street art all day. He is correct. Detroit seems to be in that sweet spot where creative people can afford to live and create things.
 
We crossed into Windsor, Canada via the tunnel. Charbonneau was pretty entertained to be driving underneath the Detroit River into a new country. The tunnel was less leaky than 25 years ago. The Canadian Border Protection agent was unimpressed by my french “Je Parle Francais petit cochon”. I am pretty sure cochon doesn’t mean puppy judging solely by his reaction.
I just looked it up.
Je parle français comme un(e) cochon(ne)
I speak French like a pig.
When I left out the “comme”, I said “I speak French. Little Pig.”
He was extremely polite and professional. He asked a lot of questions about firearms. The truck has Missouri plates. He even asked follow up questions. We left all the firearms and bear spray at home. We were carrying less than $10,000 in financial instruments. We didn’t have any agricultural products. He waved us in.
Charbonneau remarked that Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment might have enjoyed that interaction. I thought he was correct. Apparently, Ryan Reynolds works border security between films.
 
I have grave concerns about the language skills of the whole party on this trip. We most certainly will be visiting places where we don’t speak the language.
 
Our phones wouldn’t switch over to the Canadian network. I didn’t have ANY navigation aids. We stopped at a McDonalds for a fresh pastry and a liter of soda. About the same time I got the maps downloaded for the next destination, the network switched over.
 
So we drove for another hour towards Pelee Point National Park. We stopped about 5 miles from there and got a hotel. It is fish fly season near Pelee Point. It wasn’t as bad as Dubuque on a bad day, but bad. There area we drove through seems to be mile after mile of green houses.
We are meeting Mrs. Jon Bruce Entertainment and Merryweather in Toronto on Day Two.

20180612_Day One_Jacob and Jon trip

Reposted from FB (last year)
Day One – We departed St. Charles county late. Merryweather and I were hoping to receive additional supplies. This was not to be. We broke camp after a nice lunch with Jamie Watkins Bruce. We headed west at good speed. Our goal this season is to push further West. We suspect there maybe a western ocean or perhaps a trade route to the silk road.
The new wagon has been carefully outfitted for the hardships of the journey. I look forward to testing it out later. Tonight we are lodging near native Omahans in Oakley, Kansas. I suspected that my choice of the Annie Oakley Inn may convince Merryweather to take over hotel choices, permanently.
We had out first meal on the road at a Korean restaurant in Salina. It was excellent. I am on the Seoul Train. We added a case of Diet Coke and iced down the fresh vegetables before getting back on the trail.
We pushed on to Oakley under the cover of darkness. According to the internet, Oakley was the inspiration for the hit TV show Jericho and home to the Fick Fossil and History Museum.

Day One – We departed St. Charles county late. Merryweather and I were hoping to receive additional supplies. This was not to be. We broke camp after a nice lunch with Jamie Watkins Bruce. We headed west at good speed. Our goal this season is to push further West. We suspect there maybe a western ocean or perhaps a trade route to the silk road.
The new wagon has been carefully outfitted for the hardships of the journey. I look forward to testing it out later. Tonight we are lodging near native Omahans in Oakley, Kansas. I suspected that my choice of the Annie Oakley Inn may convince Merryweather to take over hotel choices, permanently.
We had out first meal on the road at a Korean restaurant in Salina. It was excellent. I am on the Seoul Train. We added a case of Diet Coke and iced down the fresh vegetables before getting back on the trail.
We pushed on to Oakley under the cover of darkness. According to the internet, Oakley was the inspiration for the hit TV show Jericho and home to the Fick Fossil and History Museum.

Sacagwea – (contemporaneous)
Bruce men left this morning for the 2018 Oregon Trail Adventure. I am looking forward to Jon Bruce’s daily blog and the new adventures they will have with their new Truck adventure vehicle. Jon has tricked it out to be a glamping experience. Have fun and make lots of cool memories! @ O’Fallon, Missouri35145337_10215005293433468_4914160795350204416_o

20180613_Jacob and Jon Road Trip

Reposted from Facebook Last year.
Day Two – We awoke with all of our kidneys. Headed west. Merryweather took a turn at the wheel. He drove about 15 minutes and was exhausted. It was fine.
It had been a windy wet morning. We hit Colorado Springs around noon.. Pikes Peak loomed large. I added it to our itinerary.
Pike’s Peak is under reconstruction. The summit house is just a gift shop. We had to ride a shuttle the final three miles.
They are getting ready for the Hill Climb in a couple of weeks. There are branded straw bales along the road at important spots. Tempting, but the Road America rental RV in front of me didn’t bother yielding. Merryweather and I were totally out of gas at 13000 feet. Not any better at 14115 feet. I couldn’t stop yawning. It was snowing and windy. It may have been an hallucinations from lack of oxygen.
We headed towards Canon City. Had an excellent dinner at The Owl. Double double Egg with everything and a local microbrew, Coors Light.
Merryweather was disconcerted to find out that there was a stockade in town. He made a strong case to push on towards Black Canyon of the Gunnison Range. We are camped for the night at Rincon something or the other right on the Arkansas River along US 50. The first time setting up the truck was eventful. I offered Merryweather the pop up tent several times. Also, we are joined on our journey by an elusive hairy man ape. I wanted to call him “Calvin”. We will see if the name sticks.
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