I departed Buffalo, NY the morning of June 19 around 9:15 AM to go UE in Ontario with, Av, RW, NB, and Boffo.
I made my way to the Rainbow Bridge border crossing at about 10:00 AM. Border crossing was simple as last time, but the CBSA officer this time wanted to know why I had a Oregon State drivers license, which I explained I am an out of state college student, which he accepted and waived me on.
I called Av on my cell phone as I got near the city of St. Catherines to notify I am on my way to Toronto. He is well known to sleep to noon, so I woke him up, but he didn't mind the notification I guess.
After the call, I looked at my dashboard and realized I needed to get gas somewhere, so I got off the QEW in St Catherines and I found a Petro-Canada station and filled up. When I was done I saw an CIBC ATM or as they are called in Canada, a ABM. I drove across the street to the ABM to withdrawl cash, but it seems the last moron took the last of $20 CAD bills that were stocked in the machine.
I got back on the QEW and continued to drive to Oakville to pick up Boffo. However, I made a stop at the Tim Hortons store at the headquarters (Store #1 apparently) because I wanted some coffee an a bagel. As I get off the QEW, I see there's a branch of my bank in the USA, HSBC which so happens to have a ABM I could use and also not get charged a withdrawl fee. So I go to the ABM and withdrawl $40.00 CAD.
I then hop over to the Tim Hortons, get my coffee and bagel and then while eating my bagel I gave Boffo a call to tell him where I was and will be picking him up shortly.
I get back on the QEW and drive until the Ford Rd exit, which is the closest exit to Boffo's house. I've managed to find his house without a printout of Google Map directions. As soon as I pulled up, Boffo walked out to my car.
We then drove to Av's loft in downtown TO, with Boffo pointing out Hearn, the Malt Plant, and other visible UE sites.
We get to Av's loft and park my car in the usual spot on the sidewalk. We get inside and Av just got up I guess I think just logged onto UER to get caught up with things. Roadwolf sent Av a PM suggesting we go to the Grain Elevator in Port McNicoll, which Av had to dig in the LDB for it then remembered this place because he went there 2 or 3 years ago, so it was worth a trip up there. We decide to meet up with RW and NB at where they live in Aurora, which is just off the 400 highway.
We all hop in my car and I was surprised to see Av hop in the front seat of my van for some odd reason. Av directs me to get back on the Gardner and to get on the infamous Don Valley Parkway, which fortuanly wasn't a parking lot at the moment. It them occured to us we all haven't had lunch so we got off the DVP before we get on the 400 to have lunch at a Wendy's.
While we were eating lunch, I lauged at the French that was written on the box my chicken strips came in, which then turned into a conversation about French in Canada.
I mentioned the one fact I know is that in Quebec that Wendy's actually doesn't have to change the name of the place to something easily read in french because in Canada, the apostrophe in the Wendy's name is actually a maple leaf, making a logo than a name.
Then Av for the first time realized the maple leaf apostrophe in the logo.
We then get back to my car and got on the 400 highway until we got to the exit for Aurora. We then found out where RW's van was parked, which RW and NB were also eating Wendy's for lunch. RW hands Av a 2-way radio and we get back on the 400.
About an hour later we get to the exit for the road that leads to Port McNicoll. Once we got into the town, we sort of had a problem figuring out where the road to the Grain Elevator is, but once Av figured out what region we were in, we found it quickly.
We get into the parking lot for the ATV area, and decided to park some what in the trees. We get our gear and started to walk up to the grain elevator. Along the way, we stop at the backhoe thats been parked there for quite some time as I soon found out from the smashed items on the construction vehicle as well as the fact the hydroylic line was drained.
We then get back to walking and past a girl starting a campfire and a rather older guy in his underwear cutting down wood for the fire. Av said Hi to both of them for some odd reason.
We get up to the Grain Elevator and then Av had to check if the entrance he used last time was there. Nope, it was covered in, so we kept walking around the building for another. We found several other filled in entrances, but we found one entrance that was open by some "resourceful locals" as Av said.
We enter the bottom level and of course its pitch black and colder than the outside. It quite weird in this bottom area, where at one point, there was tracks for cars that carried the grains from the bins to the train or ships. We follow Av to check if the obvious way to the top level is open, the stairs, but the door for that was locked, so we went over to where Av said he had to use to get to the top floor, a ladder inside a open-bottom grain silo.
Its a good 9 story climb up the ladder to the top, but Av climbed up there first to show us it was safe to climb up. When he got up to the top, Boffo decided to give it a shot, but changed his mind after climbing the ladder 10 feet. So the 4 of us stayed at the bottom while Av was up on the top floor, radioing us that "its great up here" and so forth.
About 15 minutes later he climbs down the ladder and we wander around some more looking for anything interesting then we decidied to leave.
We decided to go find somewhere to eat.
To see the rest of this story, look at the "Mr. Skelly Goes to Toronto: Part Deux" story in the Midland Grain Elevator entry in the LDB (when its ready)