|Date:||Sunday, July 30, 2006|
|Destination:||Beverly Hills, Michigan|
|Distance:||475 miles by highway|
We have stretched our one-week vacation to the limit. Now we have a long day of driving home. The weather is perfect: no rain and not too hot. The boat, trailer, and truck are ready.
We get on the road early and find an open gas station south of Eaganville to top off the Suburban's 44-gallon tank. Ahead is a long stretch of two-lane highway without much on it before we reach another population center. About an hour and a half south of Pembroke we turn this time onto Hwy-7, and ride it for several hours into Peterborough, where it joins a super-highway into Toronto. Late Sunday morning traffic is running at full speed, and we transit that huge metropolis without delay.
By late afternoon we are approaching Sarnia. Ahead there is a distinct line of dark clouds--a thunderstorm is approaching. We've been hauling the boat uncovered, as is our preference, but it looks like heavy rain is ahead. We pull onto the shoulder and quickly break out our heavy canvas boat cover. The wind begins to gust and blow, and, just as we finish the last tie-down, very heavy rain begins to fall. We have the boat covered just in time! The rain is a deluge.
The heavy rain slows traffic to about 25-MPH. The storm front blows through in about 15 minutes, and we break back into clearer and cooler weather. About five kilometers from the border, traffic on the super-highway comes to a dead stop. We wonder if this is a delay due to an accident, or is it a back-up due to traffic at the border? For the next two hours it is slowly revealed to us that this amazing traffic jam is due to the border crossing. The next 2.5-miles takes us 120 minutes to traverse. We have crossed here many times before without any kind of delay, and we are quite amazed at this tie-up.
When we finally reach the United States and its border inspection facility, we are given only the most brief interrogation before we are released. To its credit, the Customs and Immigration facility is running with every lane open, all 14 of them. It appears that the amount of traffic is so great that it exceeds the capacity of the facility, even though it is huge.
Finally back in the United States and on the home stretch, we rumble down the highway the last 70 miles to our home. It has been another long boating trip, and another new adventure. We are back safely, a bit tired, but with a good story to tell.
This concludes the nine-day narrative! I hope you have enjoyed it.
Copyright © 2006 by James W. Hebert. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited!
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Author: James W. Hebert
This article first appeared August, 2006.