Thunder Bay, Ontario – A young brave on Trans Canada Highway

The Trans Canada Highway guides us westwards. Until the 1960s there was no continuously paved east-west-connection in Canada. Cars travelling among the provinces partially went through the USA. Just in 1965 the last piece of asphalt was finished to connect the already existing roads. Since these days the TCH goes from St. Johns in Newfoundland to Victoria on Vancouver Island. In some areas you find more than one parallel road named TCH. The shortest route through the ten Canadian provinces is nearly 7,400 km long and includes three ferry sections.

83 km in front of Thunder Bay a part of the TCH is named Terry Fox Courage Highway. Terry Fox was a remarkable young man. He was only 22 years old when he died. Terry was wearing prostheses since he lost a leg at the age of 18 due to cancer. In April 1980 he started in St. Johns the Marathon of Hope on the TCH. He planned daily stages of 42 km until Vancouver Island. He did not only want to demonstrate courage to face life but to raise funds for cancer research. In the beginning his run remained unnoticed. During time, media took attention of him and people celebrated him on the roads. He collected donations of all together 24 million Dollars. After 5,373 km in 143 days he had to give up. Not too much later he passed away. A movie was made about his life and some memorials were erected to his honour, on of them in Thunder Bay. Nowadays in most schools and in many towns Terry-Fox-Runs are held yearly for the benefit of the cancer fund.

A Canadian law prohibits carrying along opened containers with alcoholic liquids or consumption of alcohol in public areas, as pedestrian as well as in a car’s passenger space. As European you might think this law is useless since few people were intending to sit behind the steering wheel with an open beer can in your hand. After our experience with the Harley drivers we watch another strange behaviour. A car arrives at a designated pick-nick area where we sat down for the night. The couple gets out of the car, takes two beer tins from the trunk, has a quick one in just a few seconds, and dispose of the cans with a well-directed throw into the forest – despite the existing garbage containers. Granted, the traffic density isn’t as high as it is in Europe and a certain amount of alcohol when driving is tolerated as well. Anyway, the law might make more sense than perceptible at a first glance.

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