Our exit from Detroit was uneventful. Straight up I-94 towards Port Huron and our ultimate entrance into Canada. We decided to actually STOP in Port Huron for a few days, unlike our last time thru (From Canada to USA last summer, we just waved as we passed thru). And, we are QUITE GLAD we did!!
To begin with, PH has a nice little Township Park for RVs. This is about a mile from the waterfront and from downtown Port Huron. The price for full hookups there was reasonable, and they parked us under a nice tree for shade…which was helpful as the temps climbed into the 90’s with high humidity. Port Huron itself was quite delightful. They have several very reasonable diners for breakfast, TWO Dairy Queens, a Home Depot, Walmart, Lowes, Joann Fabrics and a really good hardware store. All within an easy bike ride from the RV Park.
The first day in PH, we rode our bikes down to the waterfront, and from there along the Waterfront “Bridge-to-Bay” trail. Port Huron has some nice, tree-lined streets, old homes (mostly well cared for), a working Lighthouse/museum (Fort Gratoit) and an ACTIVE waterfront. Most of the activity on the US side is pleasure craft. The Canadian side, The city of Sarnia, is quite industrial, so freighters and barges over there.
Every now and then a VERY LARGE Lake Freighter passes through…these are going to/from Lake Huron to the North and Lake Erie to the south via the St. Clair River and Lake, which passes by Detroit. There is a waterfront park, and the Port Huron Pilots Association announces every ship that goes by … stats, probably cargo, owner, age, etc. Really interesting.
There is also a nice bike trail that one can take from just outside of PH to a nearby town of Avoca – about 15 miles each way; 30 miles round trip. This is on an previous Railroad Bed, and is partly paved and partly gravel VERY nice We had the idea to get up early to avoid the heat of the day and ride to Avoca where there is a little diner for brekkie.
When we got to Avoca there was a sign on the Diner: Closed for a Family Matter. Sorry for the inconvenience. Meaning we had to ride 15 miles back to another place which we knew was open…
While we were in PH, Liz decided to get out her sewing machine. When we were in Shipshewana, several people at the Bluebird Rally saw her Box-Wine Coozie…something she had made a few years back. They liked it; so much so that several wanted to BUY IT. I won’t say there was almost a fight over the one we had, but….
Anyway, Liz decided she was going to sit down and create a pattern so that she can “mass produce” these. I think she thinks she can supplement our (no) income (They ARE quite nice!). I think she MIGHT be able to make somewhat less than minimum wage once she gets ramped up.
Either way, we would be happy just to give them to people at rallies, who are generous with us in so many ways.
Liz DID get a pattern made, and DID make two of them as proof of concept. It now takes her about 15 minutes to make one (see my comment about minimum wage, above). So in essence, the bus is now not only our home, but a mobile textile laboratory and Coozie factory!
The timing of Our exit from PH to Canada was in a state of flux for a couple days. Partly because we wanted the G7 Twitter Shitstorm to die down, but also as we awaited a decision from friends Steve and Tanis Aidelbaum, whose hospitality at cottage we enjoyed last summer. This time, we hoped to grab dinner and/or a beer in Trono (not misspelled…this is how it is pronounced!).
But the Aidelbaums, alerted to our potential encroachment, had made plans to be in New Orleans; they ASSURED us coincidentally when we proposed to pass thru. This is the FIRST TIME (that we know of) a friend has learned of our proximity and immediately made plans to be in another country…
As I was examining our schedule, I realized we could adjust a bit so as to pass nearby BEFORE the dates they had disclosed for NO. A note to all our other friends…don’t tell us your EXACT dates of escape, because we can possibly adapt!
Steve, thinking quickly on his feet, said he wasn’t sure as he had to finish a couple of projects before NO . Which could have been true! He asked if we could be tentative. I told him we do WORLD-CLASS Tentative! Anyway, we continued to communicate, and eventually Steve said he could “make Tuesday work” if we could.
We could. And did. We decamped Port Huron and went over the bridge into Canada; taking full advantage of TOTUS’ (Tweeter-of-the-United-States) short attention span and momentary focus southward instead of the evil north of the 49th. Eh.
We must look THOROUGHLY undangerous!
We were well prepared for border issues, given the tone of relations between our country’s leaders, but we should have known better. Consistent with our experience over the past couple of years, and despite the Twitter Tantrums ongoing, the border crossing was COMPLETELY uneventful. As before, I created lists of liquor (half-bottle of this and 1/3 bottle of that) and refrigerator contents (tomato, 3 partial wedges of cheese, 12 slices of pepperoni, etc.). They only wanted to know if we carry weapons or firearms (we don’t).
Being Canadians, they even apologized for asking about that! “Sorry, it’s the world we live in, unfortunately.” Yes, it is. “Enjoy your time in Canada. “ Yes, we will!
We decided to stop for the night between the border crossing and dinner with Les Aidelbaums (working on my “Canadien, eh!”). Ordinarily, this would have been at a Walmart (there are plenty, and in the universally welcoming Canadian way, ALL encourage RV parking), but Liz was fighting a cold and it was STINKING HOT, so we decided to splurge on an electrical hookup so we could use the A/C. Ordinarily, Liz (Secy of the Treasury) would have vetoed this TOTALLY HEDONISTIC expenditure, but in this case, she wanted a good night’s sleep AND she realized the exchange rate works in our favor — $45 Canadian is about $0.37 US.
Unfortunately, the exchange rate doesn’t help us much with diesel…at $1.38/l in Canada, it is still considerably more expensive up Nord. So we filled all 232 gallons in Port Huron, hoping there would not be a newly-levied tariff…
Now firmly ON THE HOOK for a close encounter of the Harris kind, Steve said that he was worried about our weight in his driveway. I said Liz was VERY insulted unless he was referring to the bus. ?
No problem; we never did and never do assume that we are parking in anyone’s driveway…we do NOT want “the Look.” There is a Walmart just a few minutes from where they live, which had always been our intention as a stopping point.
So, the plan was that we would “check in” to our accommodations and wait to be swept up by Les Aidelbaum, who were authorized to take us to any form of debauchery they chose. Actually, the Walmart was quite convenient, as we needed to restock the empty larder—empty in preparation for the in retrospect non-issue Border Crossing.