Tuesday, April 3, 2012

BIG OIL, Desolation and Boy Scouts!

almost giving the stuff away...
LET'S talk about Big Oil to start.

When  a dollar forty one looks like a bargain, you know something is rotten in Denmark!

My first career was as a machinist at Great Canadian Oil Sands, now known as Suncor.

As the first viable tar sands extraction process, I know it was hard work.  Tremendous R&D went into finding methods, building machinery capable of withstanding digging 60' of overburden and then tarsands, especially at -50 below zero temperatures.

Jerry can by the road fill-up!

Of course, that's all history and every mother and his dog is in there now.   After working 15 years of my life in Fort Mac, I will go on record to say... there are more barrels of oil in the ground, under the sea, suspended in tarsand, or in the middle east, than Carter has little liver pills.

I would bet that we haven't even begun to tap the Earth's petroleum reserves that were formed over hundreds of millions of years.

Kinda like the Okanagan, except no people
YOU can argue all you want with me about us running out of oil, but I still maintain after all these years have past, that is all a conspiracy worthy of a Jesse Ventura investigation!

OIL is BIG Business, in fact it is the BIGGEST BUSINESS OF THEM ALL!

It's controlled by a mere handful of individuals/companies that are making unbelievable profits off all of us.

Pleasant huh?
WARS are fought over the controversial stuff, people forced from their homes and countries, and when they call it Black Gold... they ain't kidding.

We hear the terms $150 per barrel, $1.50 per liter (that's $6.75/gallon) and if you think this is unrealistic, you are wrong.

Driving through northern Ontario, they are there now.  Okay, maybe only the mid 1.40's... but summer hasn't begun.

For 60 km, couldn't pass him on the straights...
ALL this talk about "boycotting Imperial Oil or Petro Can or Royal Dutch Shell" to hurt them in their pocket book is absolutely ludicrous.

Are you kidding me?

These companies laugh at us peons that think that way.  You and your three buddies are going to bring Esso to it's knees?  Give your heads a shake people.  It just ain't gonna happen.

While he held me up in the corners!
I'M taking route 11 today, on my way to the coast.  Not the west coast, the east coast as the first part of our move.  Yes, yes... I know Alberta is home to the rich and famous, and every day thousands of pilgrims arrive to pay penance to the gods of labor and big money.

So what else is new?

In 1981, I was headed east while they were all headed west.  I like going against the grain.

Gee, civilization, in the boonies.
SOME things never change.  I've said all along we may not end up retiring where we lived or made our living.  I'm retiring to PEI and taking Brn and Anna along with me.

Why, you may ask... go ahead.  I'll write you a book (and I will)

It was 37 years ago I first traveled this route where there are reportedly more moose than people, and I believe that even today.

No... I don't get it either...

Nipigon... 1500.  Hearst... 6000, that's people not moose.  I don't have moose statistics, you go look it up.

The place is desolation plus!  That stretch between Long Lac and Hearst is 200 kilometers of absolutely nothing but muskeg!!!

I blew through Long Lac so quick, I missed the entire town.  It was raining and cloudy and miserable cold.

Old roads, old everything.
WASN'T long before I was forced to pull over and use my emergency fuel, which I bought in the US for $3.45 a gallon, just to make it into Hearst.  Once there I replaced it with the most expensive fuel I have ever bought in North America!  A full tank and Jerry can replenishment cost me, are you ready for this... $125.25!!!

Route 66 again!

Like the Boy Scouts used to say... be prepared.

Metro Kirkland Lake.

Once headed towards Kapuskasing, the road became a little more than simply transfer trucks.  I was still reluctant to drive faster than 101 or so... can't afford to get a speeding ticket in Ontario, may as well just sell a bike to pay for it!

Couldn't cover near 1200 kilometers today, losing yet another hour (my body thinks it's 6 am when it's really showing 8 on the clock.)  I settled for making it into Quebec and pulling off the highway after having done 819 km.

AT least I found a motel in Rouyn Noranda, almost out of town, that not only has a decent WI FI connection for a change, but equally important, a whopping big whirlpool tub that I am going to prune myself in tonight!

Tomorrow is yet another day on the road, and hopefully I can find a decent bypass to Montreal.

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