Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Canadian Road Trip, Part 1

We left our home and friends at the RV park in Parson, south of Golden BC, on October 17 after a long day of final preparations for the long 6 months of winter our rig would face without us. Even though we got up at 6:30 am before sunrise, we ended up leaving at 3 pm!

Those who RV know that any schedule built around RVing rarely goes without a hitch! Well, it was no exception for us, once again. We took an hour to drain and flush our tanks, much longer than we thought. We winterized our rig (once we figured out the proper configuration of valves in our utility bay). The inside was cleaned and armed for battle against potential invaders in search of warmth (aka as pesky mice). Hopefully we don't have surprises in the spring! The tarp to cover our rig was deployed and installed, although we broke the exterior part of our kitchen skylight in the process. Not a big deal, we'll buy one and install it in next spring. Rob and Jilles "duct taped" the skylight with layers of plastic sheets. That, combined with the tarp, should hold up nicely for the winter and prevent water infiltration.

We cannot thank enough Gary & Jilles for their help to finish prepping our fifth wheel for the winter! RVers really do stick together and help one another. It is an *amazing* community!

Our first stop was in Lethbridge, in Alberta. We got there in the dark, but we didn't care much about tourism at that point. We were both tired from the already long day, so we grabbed some fast food, got our bags up to the room and crashed fast. We slept not so well after all. After a quick shower, we ate breakfast (which was included) and hit the road by 10:30 am.

We drove to Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Our hotel was okay, although not very great. We got fooled by the appearances of the place, the people and the surroundings. We ended up "judging a book by its cover": shame on us. But at that time, we had already shortened our stay from 2 to 1 night. Exploring Saskatchewan might have to wait for another time!

We don't have the rig with us, but we are always looking for opportunities to stop somewhere for the night, for example, this view point called Deer Lake (where thousands of birds and ducks gather).  We already miss our home and our friends back in BC...


After that, our next stop was Portage La Prairie, in Manitoba. It was another long day on the road and we didn't feel like cooking much, so we ended up going to the hotel's restaurant for a beer and pub food.  We settled in for the night, preparing mentally for our crossing into Ontario the next day!

Note: we are cooking most of our meals to save on restaurants and to eat better. We booked hotels that have fridge/freezer, as well as microwave in the room. We brought our portable 1-burner cooktop, a pot and a frying pan. 

The next day, we set off for Kenora, Ontario. I couldn't find a chain hotel, so I took a chance on a well-rated motel just outside of town. We loved it! It was decorated in nice earth tones. But the highlight was the heated floor in the bathroom. You don't see that very often!

Top: Raleigh Falls (Ignace, ON)... A nice rest stop for lunch by the TCH
Bottom: Back in Eastern time zone, Ontario!

After a nice restful night at the motel, we set off for Thunder Bay. We were getting hungry for lunch, when we decided to stop at a picnic area on the highway. This one was called Raleigh Falls, a nice little stop with a waterfall in the background.

So we were back in Ontario and in the Eastern time zone. It is the home stretch at this point, but we still have many miles left to drive.

Well, that's it for Part 1 of our drive across Canada. What a great country this is, and it is worth exploring. We cannot wait to do more of that next year!

Stay tuned for Part 2.  :-)