An Emergency Trip to Welland
On July 13th 2004, sometime before lunch I received a phone call which I have never gotten before at work. One of the well known freelancing engineers in the radio broadcasting industry called me up asking if we still had our old McCurdy consoles from when we rebuilt the studios a year ago. Unfortunately they were all destroyed during demolition. He asked if we had any spare old 25 Volt McCurdy power supplies. We did... He then asked if we could lend one to CHOW FM in Welland, they had a board which was in serious trouble, and they didn't have a replacement power supply. We accepted, so the plan was for them to send out a courier to pick it up.
I boxed the power supply up and got it ready for shipping. However I forgot to put it out to reception. So at 5:20 when the courier came, he didn't know where the package was, and it never went out. I checked my emails from home just by chance and saw a note from the receptionist asking if i had a package to go out because the courier was there. Unfortunately it wa already 6:00 and no one would of been at reception anymore.
Thinking through the possiable scenarios I chose to drive from Aurora down to the station to pick up the package. I knew nothing of the station that needed it... and I had no contact information other then a contact name at the radio station. I got to the radio station and looked through one of the industry papers which publishes contact information for almost every radio and TV station. With luck I found it... "Spirit 91.7 FM" I found the phone number and called the station to make sure someone was still there (some stations run automation during the night).
A DJ (I think Dan) was there and he said he would be there for a couple hours. I grabbed the package and the contact info and headed out along the QEW doing about 130 all the way to Hwy 406 in St. Catherines. Hwy 406 is a strange highway. I find it very funny that a 400 series highway which G1 drivers are not allowed to drive on, turns into a 2 lane road with a max speed of 80, stoplights and railway crossings. I think it is wrong that a normal 2 lane road is designated as a 400 series highway. anyhow... we drove through downtown Welland... and found the radio station quite easily. The DJ was still there, apparently we made good time... because he was surprized I was already there. HE gave me a nickle tour, I asked to get into the Engineering Room and stuff but he didnt have keys...
It was a short tour being that the radio station consisted of only 2 studios. I took a few outside pictures and then looked on my laptop in the car to find a nearby point of interest. I drove up towards a CP Railyard nearby but it seemed uninteresting... However I noticed that the regional roads in Welland County seem to be very lacking in their maintnance. it seems that the average country road consists on a one lane gravel trail. Driving around the train yard trying to find another way in I found the bridge across the Welland River to the Welland Airport. Uhm, ok this bridge really sucks... a patchy ashphalt job paved over a wooden bridge with iron supports. After slowly navigating my van across this creaky bridge (it said max weight 15 tonnes... yeah sure...) And I ventured towards the airport. Upon getting into the airport I met a guy and 2 kids who were in the parking lot. Due to the flashing lights on my vehicle, when I approached them they asked if I was security... I said no i was just driving around. apparently they were going to wait there until the morning for the airport superintennant or something.. I was like "ok, sure" gee this guy wanted to wait around till morning... uhm, it was only like 10 PM at night... and he had 2 kids. I didnt worry about it and I continued on and across the creaky bridge and back into Welland.
Noticing that the town was very run-down, I drove through the back streets and eventually found a tim hortons to have a coffee... the guy serving us was kind of interesting... when he was pouring the ice caps he added choclate milk to both ice caps even though i only wanted one with choclate milk. He realized he made a mistake, and then he said out loud "gee, I am the smartest person in the world"... I was honoured that the smartest person in the world was serving us ice caps in a Tim Hortons in Welland. I thought that was great. I then found the tunnel under the canal. I drove through it to the other side, and I wanted to actually see the canal. I drove down a nearby sideroad which had a gate at the end saying "No Tresspassing - Keep this gate closed and locked at all times !!!" I walked up to the gate and easily pulled it open. I was going to go in and explore but Chicky did not want me to go in there... so I didn't. Instead i drove back through the tunnel and honked my horn all the way through the tunnel... wohoo !!! I then got back on the 406 and headed home. It was a fun trip... and I am sure I made the people at Spirit 91.7 FM very happy. anyhow, that is it for now...