St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Monday, August 16, 2010

Onward to Canada

Canada Bound

We leave on a car trip to the west coast though Canada day this Sunday. Our passports are ready, the oil is changed and the car loaded with camping equipment. We have spent the last few months carefully planning travel to a foreign country.

I got DVDs for all the old “Red Green” TV episodes and am listening to them until I get the language down. I am also brushing up my metric measures where everything is in multiples of 10: you buy gasoline, booze, and milk by the liter; your dollars are “loonies” right now worth about the same as a US dollar; distances are in kilometers; and speed limits are kph, in Manitoba they call it killed pheasants per hour. I am having a tough time finding a metric watch and a metric compass—may have wait until I get there to buy them.

I have been practicing on the hilly backroads around home driving on the wrong side of the road and signaling the opposite way on turns, how they do it in those countries who worship the Queen of England.

We don’t have relatives or other old friends in Canada along the way to stay with, so have our tent and plan to camp out in Province parks to keep costs under control. It seems a lot to pay $60 for one night in a motel just to sleep with my own wife.

We meet a lot of Canadians camping in the south during the winter. For socialists, they seem like pretty nice folks.

I checked and our auto insurance is good in Canada. “Just be sure and follow the local driving rules that are often different than in the US,” said my agent.

I asked our health insurance company if we would be covered in Canada and was told “No, in Canada health care is free, so our insurance won’t cover you. Good luck in getting care where medical treatment is a right rather than a privilege.” Worried, I called the hospital in Winnipeg and asked a nurse and sure enough, it is free up there. So, while I was talking to her, I scheduled a few small preventative procedures for August 16th; a heart transplant, full body liposuction, and a new knee.