Archive for August, 2010

Bikers are Always Hanging Out at Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons is Canada’s version of Dunkin Donuts, or McDonalds…they are everywhere.  Every time I see at Tim Hortons, there are ALWAYS people on motorcycles in the parking lot.  Unsure why.  NOT bothered by it…just an observation.

A few years ago when I was a traveling nomad, someone told me that when I entered Canada, and went to a Tim Hortons, I needed to order: a medium steeped tea, 2 sugars and 1 milk.  It is tasty, but NOT delightful on a hot summer day.

FYI – for those who don’t know… Tim Hortons is a Canadian coffee shop known for its coffee and doughnuts. It was founded in 1964 in Ontario by Canadian hockey player Tim Horton.  There are more Tim Hortons in Canada than McDonalds.

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GIANT Goldfish Crackers

In my previous life of working at Corporate America, I would keep a steady supply of GIANT Goldfish crackers at my desk.  At first people would laugh at me eating these giant crackers, but I soon had converts of everyone who tried them.  They are flat and crispier than the baby goldfish.  They have just the right amount of salt to cracker ratio!  VERY tasty.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find them for the last several years.  Until…we ventured into Ontario and saw them in the grocery store!  We bought the remaining two boxes.  I have written Pepperidge Farms asking where I can find them here in the states.  I just assumed they had stopped making them.

NOTE: sorry for the blurry photo, but it’s to show scale…that’s a penny next to the cracker.

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White River, Ontario – Home of Winnie the Pooh

We stopped in White River because it is “the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh”, and wanted to find out more about that [see below]. 

The Pooh Festival was taking place the following weekend, featuring singer-songwriter Fred Eaglesmith, who just happens to be one of my favs. We weren’t going to be around, so would be missing it.  That said, I was surprised that the ticket cost to see him was $25!  Which is simply outrageous in this very small, very poor community.

Also, the town features an original Canadian Pacific Railroad Caboose, but it is now closed due to homeless people sleeping in it and trashing it.

Story behind Winnie the Pooh, per White River‘s website: 

In White River, there was a little black bear cub that became an orphan when a hunter killed her mother. She was found by a trapper.  The trapper sold the bear cub to soldier Harry Colebourn who was on a train stopover.  The soldier once lived in Winnipeg, Manitoba and decided to name the little cub “Winnipeg” [Winnie] after his hometown. 

The soldier eventually ended up in England.  Soon he was being shipped to France, so he made arrangements to keep Winnie in the London Zoo until he returned. Winnie soon became a favorite attraction. People would knock on her door and she would open it and come out. She would allow children to ride on her back and she would eat from their hands. The attendants who cared for her stated that Winnie was completely trustworthy. Other bears were not allowed to have such a close relationship with the visiting public.  When Colebourn saw how popular she was, he decided he would not take her back to Canada as he had planned. She was officially donated to the Zoo on December 1, 1918.

Winnie captured the hearts of many visitors to the Zoo, among them A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne.  It was Christopher who added “Pooh” to Winnie’s name. He got the name from his pet swan named Pooh. Christopher was given a bear on his birthday which he called “Winnie-the-Pooh”.

A.A. Milne started to write stories about a love-able bear in his children’s books based on that bear in the Zoo. In his first edition in 1926, he mentioned that these stories were about this bear and his son and his son’s stuffed animals.

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Scenic High Water Falls Near Wawa, Ontario

Scenic High Water Falls on the Magpie River.

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Poutine is a French Canadian’s dream carb meal!  It’s french fries topped with cheese curds and brown gravy.  LOVE it!

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Review: John Hiatt at Bend’s Athletic Club

Long time fan of John Hiatt. Couldn’t believe that he was coming to Bend AND playing for only $16!

The venue is all lawn seating, and we scored great seats right in front of the sound booth. John started off strong with Drive South and then followed up with Smashing Guitars! Excellent!

The show was a greatest hits collection showcasing the repertoire of  his very long songwriting career.

I had a blast!

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Help Wanted at the Downtown Farmers Market

Hood River Packer Orchards – the cookie and empanada booth – has a Help Wanted sign. They said they need someone to work their booth and help set up/break down at the Drake Park farmers market.

If you’re looking for work, get on down there!

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Agawa Rock Indian Pictographs – Near Agawa Bay, Ontario

Agawa Rock is the site of ancient rock paintings on the cliff face rising 30m above Lake Superior.  The rock is decorated with 35 pictographs, many are centuries old.

When viewing the paintings, visitors are reminded to be very cautious – the rocks can be slippery.  The paintings can only be viewed when the lake is calm.

The rocks do look very steep and slippery.  I was wimpy and didn’t go all the way out for viewing.  Ralph did.  There are ropes shackled down in case you fall into the lake and need to get out.  There was also a life ring buoy and life hook in order to throw to someone or scoop them out!

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Busker Fest – Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Once we crossed the border into Canada, we stopped at the Visitor Center, and the young woman working there really sold us on attending the Busker Festival.  I was expecting a crowd/traffic jam, and being unable to find a place to park.  I was amazed that two blocks from where the fest was supposed to be taking place, there was zero sign of people.  Luckily, we found a place to park and headed over. 

Well, there were maybe 100 people at the fest.  They seemed to be enjoying themselves, but we were glad that we didn’t book a hotel and spend the night, just to go to the festival [which is what the people in front of us did].

Per Busking or busk – to entertain by dancing, singing, or reciting on the street or in a public place.

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Crossing the Border into Canada

We decided to do the Circle Tour around the northern shore of Lake Superior…which means we needed to enter Ontario, Canada.

The last time I crossed the border into Canada, the Border Police got to know my belongings intimately.  This time it was decided to have Ralph do all the talking…and we breezed right thru!  Well, besides the hour long wait on the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge.  Travel Hint: Best NOT to try to enter Canada at 4 pm on a Friday.

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