Monday, April 14, 2014

The long journey ends

Ottawa, ON – Home at last! It’s hard to believe our long, long trip has brought us full circle after all these weeks, back to our lovely home. And to top it off, despite forecasted rain for today, we didn’t encounter one drop until we were in the house, having trundled all the stuff out of the RV in the dry. Only then did the clouds open to gently wash the dust off our well-traveled vehicles.

We got another early start today, but a bit of confusion about getting on to the interstate (even with the GPS) took us through some of the Rochester neighbourhoods that weren’t on the intended route. All my fault for thinking we were heading east when in fact the opposite was true. But the houses and streets were charming, and our good spirits about heading home, when we finally got turned around, made light of the error. And we only lost about 20 minutes.

On the I-90, eastbound at last, we made good time toward Syracuse and then northward on the I-81. There were quite a few vineyards along the highway in the region called the Finger Lakes – just a few miles due south of the Niagara peninsula where Canadian grapevines flourish every year. We also passed many more large farms.

Once we made the turn from east to north, we caught glimpses of snow in small patches in the bush. There were also lots of wetlands, full of migrating birds. Many of them were Canada geese, but we also saw plenty of ducks and, once, a graceful blue heron.

We had all our paperwork organized and ready for the border crossing, and in no time we had crossed the US bridge and were driving up to the kiosk to re-enter our home and native land. We were not the only snowbirds returning home with trailers and motorhomes, but when our turn came, the border agent asked only a few quick questions and we were on our way to the 401, with signs reminding us that the speed limit was in kilometers per hour, not miles.

From the bridge, we’d seen the St Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands region floating with great chunks of ice, and there was more white stuff in the bush that we didn’t want to admit was there. It must have diminished considerably today, because it was a balmy 24 degrees Celsius and there was quite a wind blowing.

When we got past Brockville and turned toward Ottawa on Highway 416, we began to see the evidence of flooding we’d read about in news articles on the internet. Creeks and streams we passed were rushing torrents, and the water went well beyond the normal banks, soaking the ground among the trees and in farmers’ fields. Some fields looked more like lakes than meadows. And enjoying the wetlands were literally thousands of Canada geese!

Finally we pulled into our neigh-bourhood and onto our street. All those miles, across states, rivers, mountains, deserts, mesas, and valleys, and all the terrific adventures we’d had and sights we’d seen were now memories. We hope you enjoyed sharing the adventure with us. It’s been wonderful, and it’s also wonderful to be home once again.

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