Where? Why T-Bay my man. I wuz there last night, this morning and caught the 3:30pm bird to T-dot. Now sitting on my mom and dads couch watching the Simpsons and digesting some pizza, while pecking away at this new laptop. Got grease and cheese all over the keyboard. Doh! So for those of who don’t know, I kicked off my slide show tour last night in the radical city of Thunder Bay.
T-BAY was an early European settlement from the late 1600s, leading the charge was the French fur trading outpost on the frosty banks of the Kaministiquia River. Thunder Bay is also know to some as Lakehead, because of its location at the head of Lake Superior, the worlds largest fresh water lake. T-Bay has a popultion of about 100,000 friendly folks and was formerly the twin cities of Fort William and Port Arthur who merged in the 1970’s. It’s also where Terry Fox was forced to end his run across Canada, just a few miles south of the city limit and it’s home to one of the largest Finish populations in the country, not to mention the Persian.
Yes, Persians are a group of people from the country of Persia, which by the way is the former name of Iran. Changed in 1935. But in Thunder Bay, the Persian is something very different indeed. A Persian is an oval-shaped, cinnamon-bun-like pastry with a sweet, pink icing made of either raspberries or strawberries. It originated in and remains particular to the city of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and can’t be found anywhere else in the universe!
The Persian is a variation of the Pershing a doughnut made from a yeast dough that is coiled with cinnamon and usually finished with a plain sugar glaze rather than pink icing. Pershings are widely available at doughnut shops elsewhere in North America. But not the persian…
Traditional lore is that the Persian was named after U.S. general John ‘Blackjack’ Pershing but the exact date of its inception and circumstances of its creation are no longer known, giving rise to competing claims and myths among people in the region. Its recipe remains a general secret with long-running debates on whether the icing contains raspberries or strawberries. Persians are often used as fundraising items to be sold at schools, churches, shopping malls, and other social events. Wikipedia rules. Oh and if they are day olds, you can slice them in half, and fry them on the grill and then slap the two halfs back together with the icing in the middle. Mmmm.
As far as the slide show went, I’d say two thumbs up. The ACC section is iike a big family, they all treated me with unrivaled hospitality and I saw nearly everything there is to see in T-Bay is less than 24 hours. It was a whirlwind. After the show, we all sat back, relaxed and kicked it with a few cold beers. Around 11:30pm, Nick Buda and his wife turned in for the night, and Frank Pianka (my trusty chaperone) agreed “we better get some sleep if we’re going ice climbing in the morning”. “WHAT?” I said nearly falling off the couch “You guys were serious about that?”
Of course me being me, I thought it was just one of those silly things climbers talk about at night when drinking, lofty plans to get up early and run a lap on some monster classic. Er..at least that’s the way I usually do it. Frank hit the lights and said “see you at sun-up”!
By 7:30 am it was 3 degrees and shimmering. Frank and Wes were my guides for the day and hooked me up with all my needs. I owe them a huge thanks. I thought I gave up ice climbing like three years ago, but they kept telling me that it was only ten minutes away, and how good of a guest Barry Blanchard was, he climbed heaps. I can’t disapoint. I dawned the retro patagonia jacket and jumped in the truck.
The truck that doesn’t quit and starts early, literally.
The approach was steep, but still a joke compared to the rockies, and Frank brought his San Fransisco special, just for me.
Guy Lacelle, take notes buddy! This is how it’s done.
Thanks again to the many people that made this trip a success. All you guys and gals ROCK!