Ford F-100 Across CanadaPart 5: Moosomin to Kenora
Small town pace provides time to get in some driver’s ed, meet the local wildlife, and analyze an onslaught of road signs.
After cranking up some classic country music and heading out across Canada, from Osoyoos to Calgary and on to Moosomin, we pause for a moment to reflect on our journey and the unstoppable 1968 Ford F-100 that is taking us on this epic adventure. Now, it’s time to wrap it up in Moosomin and think about making our way to Kenora.
Moosomin is a pretty small town, and its streets are not too busy, so I steer over to a side street to give Don some driving lessons. He’s got a license but doesn’t know how to drive stick. I’d given him a talk about how a clutch works, and now it’s time to get him some drive-time behind the wheel. He does well and gets it up into third without too much jerking or grinding, which is great. I’m pretty happy that I didn’t traumatize the guy by being over protective about the old Ford truck’s transmission and clutch. It’s great that the granny transmission in this truck has a first gear that you can get rolling in without touching the gas. Attention dads: Here are some good steps to follow for teaching your kids how to drive manual. Trying to get someone to understand how the whole thing works in one sitting is no small feat.
- Explain what the pedals do. Gas = RPMs and clutch = moving two plates together and apart. Use your hands to show them. They might not get it but eventually they will internalize this part.
- Avoid yelling through at least the first three stalls. It won’t help anyone.
- Help the driver move the stick and tell him or her to focus on the pedals.
- Have the driver go in and out of first a few times, and make sure your student knows how to stop with two feet on the floor. No point in having an accident.
- Talk the driver through the changes: “OK, now clutch, stick to third, clutch out slow, and give it some gas.”
- Try not to hit the windshield when things get a bit jerky.
Finish the whole thing with “good, now go learn better on your friends’ cars, then you can drive this when you aren’t trying to use the fan to pull you forward.”
Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign…
There’s not much to say about the ride into Kenora, but we did immediately notice two peculiarities: 1. There are a lot of deer in these parts. 2. There are a helluva lot of signs, too. And I mean a lot, like about 400% more signs denoting deer, speed limits, bumps, road conditions, light levels, road pressure, concrete temperature, and pretty much everything else you can think of that will fit on a road sign. Ontario, I want my tax dollars back! Get into Ontario and out come the signs — and it’s almost dangerous. The reflection from my high beams off all the signs is blinding. C’mon, Ontario, take it easy on the signs. Everyone knows that they’re blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind. However, once we get a moment to pull over to enjoy the sunset, nothing else really seems to matter except the amazing view.