Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On the way to Soo

The morning we started for Sault Ste Marie turned out to be an eventful one. Mili had barely slept the night before. Part because she was packing and part because finally this moving thing was getting into her nerves. That wasn't the case with me. I slept uninterrupted. However, in the morning as I started to move stuff from apartment to the car – 1996 Toyota corolla - my composure started to wane off. The car filled up much quicker than I had expected with ‘absolutely necessary stuff’. Frustrated and angry I cursed just about everything around and unduly blamed Mili for packing more than the essentials. At the end we had the car packed to the point where the only spaces that were left were the places for our buttocks to rest. Zakeem - sitting in his car seat- surrounded by things that practically allowed little room for him to even move his little feet, howled in total objection. Our heart broke but there was very little we could do. A great portion of the stuff we were carrying was his. We left behind his little mattress that we carried to Toronto from USA tying it on the car roof. It gave us immense pain as the plastic covers torn apart in heavy wind flapped against the windows like giant birds. But the toys were coming in this trip, for obvious reason. The cloths, pillows, comforters, kitchen think you have nothing, wait until you move.

As I drove on freeway 400 toward Sudbury Mili tried to rest. Soon she started to complain about a mild headache. Zakeem's intermittent howling wasn't helping either. A dose of painkiller didn't do any magic. She continued to feel worse. Nothing seemed going right. I was depressed, dejected, tortured with wavering thoughts. Perhaps I should have just accepted the low paid full time position. We could have just stayed in Toronto. All these could be avoided.

We stopped near Parry Sound, a town located near Georgian Bay (30 thousand islands) for a break about three hours into our trip. Hot drinks were purchased. The coffee helped my doomed spirit but the tea did nothing to alleviate Mili's headache. We continued after a short while. Zakeem loved the freedom out of his car cage. Putting him back caused another depressing burst.

Sudbury - the town where world's largest Nickel mines are located in addition to copper and a slew of other oars - was about one and half hour away from Port Perry. The spacious freeway 400 ended near Parry Sound and we were directed into two lane highway 69. The winding road went through beautiful natural enclaves, often passing through sections that were built through rocky hills. The panoramic view that the drive offered was breathtaking. However, we were barely in the mode to enjoy that. The only thing that went through my mind was to get to Sudbury, stop somewhere, have lunch, get our blood moving. Hopefully all the dismay would go away. Mili had been very quiet for the last hour. I wasn't sure if she was sleeping or just decided to keep mute. My attempts to break a conversation went in vein. She was definitely mad at me.

As we approached Sudbury we left 69 and jumped into highway 17 (Trans-Canada highway), world's longest national highway with a length of 7821 km (4860 mile). It went across Canada starting from St. Johns in Newfoundland and ending in Victoria, British Columbia. Due to some mix up with the exits I ended up going past Sudbury and stopped in a Tim Horton in Lively - a small town near Sudbury. It was a neat town with several food stores and a few gas stations. The vast farmland around the town offered a really nice and pleasing environment. I ordered some lunch and started to indulge the idea that the hard phase of our journey was about to be over when Mili announced she was feeling really sick and quickly disappeared inside the ladies room not to be returned in next half an hour. She had thrown up several times and felt so weak that she could hardly stay on her feet. I knew we couldn't continue. Unfortunately it was a Sunday. I was supposed to get to work next morning. The first thing came to my mind was informing Carlo. I had only his office number. I called up the number, got his voice mail and quickly explained the situation. I promised to show up in the afternoon next day instead of morning. I hoped he would be okay with it.

Next I stepped out to look for a motel or something of that kind. I didn't have to look too far. There was a large motel right next door - Motor inn. This was an old looking establishment located on a small hill backed into open fields - owned by a Korean family who were very friendly. We rented a room there for the night. It was a clean, specious room. Mili wasted no time and went to bed directly. She slept deeply for hours. Zakeem and I went to the balcony to enjoy the view that the vast fields presented. Slowly the day rolled into evening and darkness surrounded the little town. Not having much to do as Mili slept we went to bed early as well. If things looked good we could start very early. Sault Ste Marie was only about three hundred kilometers away. With some luck I could actually get to work next morning - a little late possibly.

Next morning, we started at five. Mili was feeling better as her headache was gone. Zakeem was still asleep but we carried him into the car and with a little patting helped him going back to sleep. We left the dusty looking motel behind us for a amazingly beautiful trip that meandered through small towns, lakes, fields and woods, offering just about everything that a road trip possibly can.

During our stay in Sault Ste Marie for the next fifteen months we had gone through this path several times and almost every time stayed in that motel.

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