The leaves were turning as I drove west from Nova Scotia toward Maine. I had to spend three extra days in Sydney in order to get a couple of wheel bearing replaced on my Evolution. It only has 20K miles on it, but there are a lot of mysteries about its past life before I became its owner.
The folks at the dealership were just great and if you own a Mitsubishi and ever find yourself in Nova Scotia I would highly recommend them. They have a most excellent tech. You cannot imagine how nice it is to be able to feel confident in the person that works on your car – the car that you have done most of the work on yourself.
That got me on the road by ten in the morning and off I went heading west across Canada.
Loonies and Two-nies
The US is lucky to have Canada as our northern neighbor. The people are great. The country is varied and can be enchanting. But it is another country and there are differences. Here are a few that I experienced.
Time. Past Maine heading east you are in the Atlantic time zone. Add an hour to your watch. When you get to Newfoundland add another half hour. Newfoundland is closer to Ireland than it is to Toronto.
Headlights are on – all the time you are driving. DLR’s, as they are known, mean that in Canada you have headlights on. My Evo doesn’t have DLR’s so I kept reminding myself to turn my lights on. I’m not sure how I feel about DLR lights, but it doesn’t matter. I blended.
Radar detectors are illegal. Mine happens to be built into my car (Escort SRX) so I had to completely disconnect power from the unit. I checked with the RCMP ahead of time and they seemed satisfied if I disabled it that way.
Kilometers and Liters. Whew, talk about having to do conversions! Kilometers is marked on the speedometer of my instrument panel, but it is very difficult to see and be precise so I relied upon my GPS (Garmin nuvi) to keep track of my speed and help me not to become a target for the RCMP. Trying to calculate fuel mileage was also taken over by a function built into the GPS. I changed over to metric when I crossed the border into Canada and then returned to familiar units upon my return.
French and English. Signage is in both languages, especially in New Brunswick. Not quite so much in Nova Scotia. On the ride out to the ferry to Newfoundland I found a lot of people that were more comfortable conversing in French than English. All announcements were done in both languages. Maybe I should have paid a little more attention in high school.
91 octane gasoline. Well, this is not unique to Canada, but it means a lot to how the Evo produces power. Most of the states east of the Mississippi River have 93 octane rated fuel available, but on my trip out I found that once I got to Maine availability dropped to 91 as the top fuel available. The Evo would get a bit of knock when I really pushed it, but nothing critically bad.
Loonies and Toonies. I am not sure of the spelling on the last one. The Canadian dollar is a coin and has a loon on one side so it has become known as the “Loony”. Years ago Canada was known for its two dollar bills, but has since switched to a two dollar coin which is known as a two-ny (toony). If you are not careful – as you spend money and get change – you can end up with a pocket full of coins and feeling like your pants are going to be pulled off with all the weight.
The trip was everything I had hoped it would be and much more. I now have another set of good friends and probably a place to go next September.
There is more for me to write. So stay tuned.