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Back in St Louis again, where the temperature is 99°F (37°C) and a short walk to Walgreens, the local drug store, nearly gave me heat stroke. We arrived late last night, after a long drive down through Wisconsin and Iowa, starting at Green Bay and avoiding the usual Illinois Interstate 55 route. This substituted rolling Iowa and Missouri countryside for the usual flatlands and made for a much more interesting drive.

It is nice to be home in some ways, but the oppressive heat is dispiriting. Much nicer it was on Ontario Highway 11, crossing into the Arctic Watershed near the town of Geraldton on our way to pick up groceries at Extra Foods, most likely the largest and best furnished grocery store for hundreds of square miles in any direction. With a charming ice cream vendor adjacent to enjoy afterwards

Much more pleasant, too, it would be, to be still be sitting by the lake next to Geraldton, one of the countless pristine and unspoilt bodies of water that fill Ontario. It is not hard to believe that Ontario contains one third of the world's freshwater after seeing so many of these plus Lake Superior and Lake Nipigon.Geraldton lake

Lake Nipigon – very much larger (the 6th Great Lake) and quite choppy on a windy day.

Now I only have the photographs and the memories, and they will do very nicely. A holiday is much more than simply a trip in itself – it embraces both the preparation and the recollection. I spent much of the time away contemplating moving to these Northern regions, and it may happen someday. First, though, I need to experience a true Northern winter to balance out the gentler summer.

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