Toronto’s Pride festival is the largest one in North America and it was the day of the Pride Parade, but we were having to leave. We wanted to make it back to the US for the 4th of July and to Madison for the 15th so couldn’t afford any more time. It was frustrating, and Oren also would have loved to stay, but being transients on a timetable couldn’t. A journey like ours is full of these kind of compromises every day. When we tell people we’re going to spend 6 months going round North America they think it’s a huge amount of time, and it kinda is. The problem is the size of the US and the number of amazing things to do combine to make that simply impossible.
Oren is a man who likes to plan. Before our trip to Toronto, he had come up with a walking tour of places he thought we should see based on our request. It was strange to do as I have a much more of a see what happens and enjoy the ride approach to travel. Having seen that planning, his light hearted military precision approach to ensuring we made the train back to Woodstock didn’t surprise me.
We arrived at the station more than hour before the train was scheduled to depart and while Oren and C were willing to queue up to ensure they got good seats I was happier to sit in the departure lounge and read on my Kindle. I’ve managed to read a lot less than I was hoping and it was good to get through a few chapters of Stardust.
Even having not stood in line I had no problems getting a seat in the carriage. Passengers were split based on where they were going and apparently not that many people were going to Woodstock as it was not at all busy. C + Oren spent the ride talking and while I wasn’t in the mood to write I got pictures organised using the trains wifi service.
On getting to Woodstock we made it back to Oren’s where we packed and he prepared us yet another meal. Oren loves to cook and it’s easy to tell. Even the simple lunch he threw together was not only filling but flavoursome. After eating we said our goodbyes and were back on the road. It had been a great break, but after 4 nights I was itching to ride again and move on.
We had 50 miles ahead of us and, with the promise of a belated Canada Day fireworks display at the end, we didn’t take too many breaks. The longest stop being to go to a small shop where I picked up a Tootsie Roll, an incredibly sugary snack which probably spiked my blood sugar briefly, but wasn’t at all filling.
Our host for the evening would be Mary Margaret. I had messaged her son Brian, who was on Couchsurfing, and while he was out of town his mum had been more than willing to let us stay. We got to Mary Margaret’s house and she welcomed us in and showed us to her pool which was great to splash around in. After a splash and clean up, her daughter, Laura, came home and we drove over to a local school for a fireworks display.
We arrived at the school and it seemed like all the residents of the local area, lovingly known as Strathvegas, had been enticed by the offer of a free hot-dog, drink and of course fireworks. We found a good place to put our chairs and then sat round enjoying the beautiful weather. As the display was a belated celebration for Canada Day the fireworks were kicked off with a singing off O Canada. We were far from the stage so it took a while to realise it was being sung.
For the 15 minutes after O Canada finished, an array of fireworks flew in to the sky. Apparently it was a big improvement over displays from previous years and I was happy to snap away while they flew in to the sky. I understand there’s an art form in the way the fireworks are let off, but one day I’d like to see the same amount of fireworks compressed down in to a 3-4 minute show. It would quite probably be mayhem and leave me blinded by the light but it’d be interesting.