Monday, June 25, 2012
We got an early start today and headed to the Lapeer courthouse. We were fortunate to get my great grandmother’s birth certificate and death certificates for both my 2G grandmother and my 3G grandmother. It did not take long for the lady to look up the information and make me certified copies then we went to eat. For my grandchildren it is their great, great, great, great, great grandmother's death certificate.
We made a quick stop at the grocery store for some supplies and a fill-up with gas on the US side before heading to Canada. Gas is $3.54 a US gallon and about $4.10 a gallon using the conversion chart from liters to gallons.
The trip over the bridge was a slow, long trip. The Canadian custom did not have many gates open so it too over one hour. We listened on our CB radio to the truckers and others talking about the lengthy delay and that helped pass the time. I was averaging 14 miles per gallon before arriving at the bridge and when I was over the bridge at the Canadian custom gate I had 4.9 miles per gallon. It certainly wasn't the distance that made the difference but the idle time waiting in line.
We arrived at Rudy and Sharon’s two hours later than we had estimated. We parked in their driveway alongside their big Cameo 5th wheel trailer.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
After breakfast we went to the Oil Museum of Canada near the town of Oil Springs not far from Sharon and Rudy’s home. This site is North America’s first Commercial Oil Well. I was impressed with the “gum beds” outside. The “gum beds” were sticky, black, crusty patches of oil that were on the surface. The oily “gum” from the area was first used to make asphalt which was used to seal the hulls of ships. Many interesting artifacts are housed in the museum. The “gum beds” were so bad that the road the eight barrel wagons used to haul oil over were covered with planks. And that road is still called plank road.
There is a working “jerker lines” system in operation at the museum. Wooden rods which move back and forth are used to relay power from the pump house to the seven oil wells on museum property; this system was developed here and is used around the world. It is still being used on over 500 oil wells in the area. We learned there were over 3,000 three-pole derricks in this area when the oil was first found here. The area was a marsh with large trees and lots of mosquitoes in 1800’s.
The blacksmith acted as the dentist in those days because the tool that pulled the nails out of the horseshoes was also used to pull teeth.
While walking the grounds there was a young bird hiding in the bush. I got pictures of him and he let me come within 2 feet of him. I did not want to get closer for fear he would hurt himself. At first sight, I could see feathers coming out of the birds head and wondered what this type of bird. After seeing his wide mouth I realized he was a youngster. I kept getting closer and closer. He would lower his head like he was bowing to me or maybe when he lowered his head he could not see me so he thought I could not see him. Then he would raise his head and sing to me. This went on for some time. I thought I might be dive bombed by his parents but we never did see any bird parents around.
We spent several hours looking at the numerous exhibits inside the museum, watching the video, walking the grounds, and taking the driving tour. Then we traveled to Sarnia to meet with Judi and Arthur at the Swiss Chalet for dinner. Afterwards we played cards at Judi and Arthur’s home.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Sharon and I bought supplies for the Boy Scout Campout. Cashed a check and got Canadian money at her bank. While we were in the grocery store, I was surprised to see sardines and mackerel in round cans just about the size of a can of soup not the flat cans like we buy in the US.
I prepared my salad for the potluck meal and washed clothes. Sharon and Rudy prepared their trailer for the camp out. We leave tomorrow morning and probably won’t have any WIFI, internet, Skype, or phones until we return on Monday.
Stay tuned for more travels and Happy Trails and Hugs to all,
Vicki and Lowell