Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Flashback Road Trip Part 9: This is The End

September 22, 2011
Travel Itinerary: Sault St. Marie to South Baymouth
Depart 4:40am
On this last day I witness the most beautiful sunrise.  For the first time in two days the sky is empty of rain, only bits of translucent gold, yellow and pink amalgamate the atmosphere into strips that decorate the front of my windshield like plated jewelery.  

In Espanola (http://www.town.espanola.on.ca/ ) the red rock and carbonate merge with limestone slates, folding into one another like a handshake.  Population 5,500. I wonder who lives here?
I get a coffee at Macker’s; I have 125 km until South Baymouth (http://www.manitoulin-island.com/south_baymouth/).  I will make my ferry reservation at when the office opens for the 11:10am sailing.  

With my windows open, I wait for the construction traffic to pass as I hear the seagulls pitch familiar coos as they dance in turbid clusters in the sky. I have unfeigned attachments to this moment, because I know the brilliance of my arrival will foreshadow another reality.   

I am grateful for this journey, and I am exhausted.   

I am blinded by the sun as beams of warm radiating liquid gold crackle the cool interior of my car.  I am slowed into this emphatic land, enveloped by my pits as I build a new casing for these next few hundred steps.  The scene is layered with a past as its pavement is scarred with furry bits and quills. 

Whitefish River (http://www.whitefishriver.ca/), the glass water supports multiple pouches of rock islands sprouting pines and birches, standing angular and stoic across a landscape still waking up to the morning. I am sipping on fall breezes with wet-earth exhales.

10:45am. Waiting to board the Chi-Cheemaun (Big Canoe) to Tobermory. (http://www.chicheemaun.com/). 
I have the door propped open. 
I recline my seat with a coffee in hand from a little gift shop across the way. 
I watch the passengers file in line. 
I fold up my maps. 
I relax.

My car will need a serious clean. (I dropped an apple core somewhere in Manitoba and the smell looms every time I open the door.)  
11: 30am. Ferry Ride.  The sky is infinite.  Baby blue and white clouds of all shapes and shades of white, absent of any other colour.  Home.  Evolving scenes as organic terrain meshes our landscape  with unbridled nostalgia. Proud to be Canadian.

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