And woke up again at 11:30am. Oops. We had a pretty serious day of driving ahead of us! We packed up the cottage as quickly as we could and got back on the road.
Our big stop for the day was Sudbury -- you didn't think we'd skip the Big Nickel, did ya?! There she was in all her glory. It looked like you normally had to pay to park at the Big Nickel, because it's actually part of Dynamic Earth, which is itself affiliated with Science North. But I guess we arrived late enough that nobody was operating the parking booth, so we scored it for free! My, my! Witness the power of sleeping in!
Just past Blind River there was some lovely light on the Mississagi River. I forced Sandra to pull over to grab a picture. She's quite a saint to deal with me and my sudden and erratic screams of "PULL OVER!". Wait a sec. Her nickname is Sandra-Sue. And she's a saint. She's... Sue Saint. I haven't worked out how "Marie" fits into this, but toss me some skin on that one! I've had some killer puns so far on this trip, so I'm going to start recording them. The more rip-roaring they are, the more Sandra shakes her head in disgust. That's when I know I've got a hot one on my hands. Let's see if I have an audience on the Internet! Somebody's gotta hear these beauties!
Here's a great example. On the east side of "the Soo" (Sault Ste. Marie) is the Batchewana First Nations. "Betcha wanna go there", I said to Sandra. Waiting... annnd... nothing. I'm unleashing a torrent of liquid comedy gold in the car and it's going to waste! Somebody, help!
Just prior to arriving in the Soo we took a short pit stop in the drop-dead-sexily-named Bruce Mines to pick up some ice cream. The sun was going down and the sunset was looking great, so the timing worked out perfectly! Sandra went with her hard ice cream pocket pick: bubble gum. In case you needed any more evidence that she was a being from another dimension. I opted for some kind of chocolate peanut butter concoction. You know, like a regular human person. Anyway, we caught the sunset and got into the Soo just in time forrr...
A party! Sandra's coworker Marni is originally from the Soo, and she just so happened to be visiting at the same time we were in town. So we met up at her sister's place where there was a huge party being thrown in celebration of a recent marriage! What great fortune!
Fun fact: after passing North Bay, we were officially as far north as I'd ever been in Ontario! We drove through Sturgeon Falls and stopped at a Canadian Tire to look into getting our new tires re-torqued. No luck. But I noticed a ton of people in the store speaking French. Strangely, by the time we arrived in Sault Ste. Marie the French was gone again. I asked around, and it turns out that French in Northern Ontario is very localized. Sault Ste. Marie actually has a huge Italian population, believe it or not, so you're probably more likely to hear Italian spoken there than French! Weird. Oh, and Sault means "falls" (as in "waterfall") in French, so Sault Ste. Marie means St. Mary's Falls. There used to be actual falls, but they've long been replaced by the locks which now connect lakes Superior and Huron.