The empty spring fields of Manitoba and Saskatchewan are proving to be less-than entertaining so this one’s coming to you from the road. We’re four days out of Peterborough, Ontario and just about to cross the Alberta border.
Traveling long distances by car is something that you acclimatize to quickly, we’ve found. Who sits where is already well-established. The Town & Country has a “two, two, two” seat arrangement. Sam and Lara, our drivers, take turns in the two front seats. Ciaran and Dian are settled nicely in the middle. They are the car’s providers of snacks and drinks, having a cardboard box full of each under their seats. We removed one of the seats in the rear to make room for all of our gear and Robbie is tucked very cozily in the (little) remaining space back there.
Perhaps not unexpectedly for people that know us, we set off incredibly behind schedule on the first day and underestimated the time it would take to cover the 700km from Peterborough to Sault Ste. Marie. As a result, we arrived there at around 1:30am and checked into the first 24hr motel we saw.
Day two saw us start to get into the swing of things with a slightly earlier departure time of 10am, still leaving time for everyone to shower and have a leisurely breakfast in the morning. Within half an hour the first shrieks of European excitement were erupting in the car. We’d driven past a moose. Half an hour later, we saw the first bear; a young black bear, loping along the tree line that disappeared almost as soon as we’d seen it. Adrenaline levels definitely spiked.
We don’t have an adequate way of describing our reaction to Sam having to brake to avoid a second black bear as it crossed the highway in front of us but we lost it. Completely. The fact that situations like that even exist is so foreign to us, the idea that we’d ever experience one ourselves – well, we’ve not got our heads around that yet. (more…)
Every Wednesday on Ditch Your Car we’ll be bringing you just another reason to spend more time on two wheels. Be it a photo, a statistic or an inspirational video, we want to keep reminding you about why riding is great!
Here’s proof that less cars really do make us happier — or at least get us more friends.
That’s because the more cars on a street the less likely you will be to converse with your neighbors.
Donald Appleyard drew that conculsion in his 1981 book, Livable Streets, which was based on studies he conducted in the late 1960s in San Francisco. Appleyard, a former University of California, Berkeley professor who passed away in 1982, found that people tended to connect more with their neighbors, socialize and feel a sense of ownership and pride about their neighborhoods on streets with lighter traffic.
A person on a light traffic street had an average of three friends, while a person on a heavy traffic street had an average of 0.9 friends. The Streetfilms video shows how heavy traffic streets seems to impede the flow of people from one side of the street to the other, limiting their access to friends and socializing opportunities.
“The fact that the amount of traffic on the street on which you live can impact the number of friends you have in the world is an enormous significance,” says Mark Gorton, executive director of Open Plans in the video.
Image: Payton Chung