Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Driving for a Bargain

The Tank drove Dad and I for an hour and a half North on old Hwy #6 to Mount Forest to upgrade software. It was a good deal and a beautiful drive. Snow was strikingly present just an hour away. I was corrected that it was just a 'skiff'; that it did not constitute 'snow'. Looked like snow to me.

A red snow fence, long shadows at noon, and a sprinkling of white over furrowed fields seemed particularly Canadian.

Update: Dad found an interesting history of the area. It was surveyed into 50-acre lots in 1841-42 and was available to adult male subjects of the Queen who could clear the land. The township's clerk, George Cushing, highlights the difficulty: “Imagine a settler from the ‘Old Land’ without any knowledge of clearing land, unskilled in the use of the axe, no keen lance-toothed saws to be had, like we have at present, commencing to clear a fifty or a hundred acre lot of this dense and mighty forest. Many stories of hardships endured in the old log shanties without proper doors and wolves howling in the forest; no flour in the house for six weeks, and potatoes the only bill of fare; the carrying on the back of sacks of flour all the way from Fergus; men shouldering their heavy grain cradles and walking thirty miles and more to Guelph, in a day for the harvest.”

And I can add the snowmobile crossing sign to my "Only in Canada" collection. The series of these signs along the highway shows the popularity of risking life and limb to speed across hard, frozen tundra on a noisy machine with poor suspension against an icy wind that bites the cheeks and burns the eyes. Brrrrr. Bring on the hot chocolate . . . and the heating pad.

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