Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Home (for now)

We exited Ontario from the Kenora area, and cruised most of the way across Manitoba, skirting the southern edge of Winnipeg.  It's mostly farmland, but with help of Google maps, we found some bush to hide out in for the night.  Turns out most of the bush was actually Spruce Woods Provincial Park, so we just scrunched up against the boundary on the side of the back road.

There are established campgrounds in other portions of the park, but we much prefer the peace and quiet of more deserted areas, and this spot filled the bill just fine.

While still in Manitoba, we tracked down a laundromat and car wash side by side in suburban Virden.  Since we needed both, we got the proverbial two birds at once!

The next night, passing into Saskatchewan, we found a late night spot just across the highway from Crooked Lake Provincial Park.

Next we met up with Ernie & Deb, who were visiting relatives in beautiful, downtown Sheho, Sk., and got a tour of the town, as well as some of the places they used to hang out some 40+ years ago!


Next stop was at Kipabiskau Regional Park, where I lucked into meeting some cousins with a cabin there.  Then I got involved in some beer consumption, that also involved grown men trying to hit small white balls across grassy fields!  Later on, there was good food, and good stories around a fire.

After a quick visit with more relatives in Tisdale, we continued our cross-country Trek. Unfortunately, we just cruised right through Saskatoon :-(  We know too many people there and it could take a couple weeks to visit everyone, so it was just easier not to stop at all?

Carrying on west, dusk was upon us when we found this quiet spot between a game preserve and some pasture land.

Somehow, Hailey managed to lose her collar and bell while chasing the snakes and grasshoppers, and then I managed to lose her for a while.  She never goes anywhere, and always knows where 'home' is parked, but that doesn't prevent me from the usual panic, till I trip on her hiding in a bush watching a vole!  The local 'girls' were quite interested in what was going on!

While searching for a college classmate's place out in the countryside, I got surrounded by members of the  local combine club.  There was one on the road in front of me ...

And, another one blocking my exit to the rear!
Luckily, we managed to escape, tho Hailey was too busy napping to be worried.

Dang it all - then we had to detour south a bit to meet up with some old high school friends who were also on the road in camping mode.  This led us down to Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park, on the South Saskatchewan river.

The park also provided some more confusing signage for my collection.  ALL vehicles require a permit, but NO vehicles are allowed?   Hmmm?
Saskatchewan is even going high-tech on the highway, with a few of these well-signed photo radar sites.  I wonder how long before some redneck drives over it with a tractor or 4X4?

We were on the road for about 7 weeks total.  One of my concerns about being gone so long was the lack of mowing on my home grasslands, otherwise known as lawn.  Well, it turns out that it wasn't too bad at all!  Sometimes the good neighbours come over with the big mower, but no sign of that happening this time.  Nice to see the 5th wheel again, though it looks a bit lonely after being parked for well over a year now.  Hopefully, the border will open for southern travel this winter ...

Total mileage for the trip was 14,099km, or about 8,762miles.  The big GMC is closing on 500k now, but still purring along like new.  Pretty sure it's all 'broken in' now, with many miles ahead of us.

Hailey was happy to share the home recliner with me - till we come up with another travel plan!  Till then, don't expect a lot of blogging!

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Lake Superior - Westboound

It was the end of August as we continued our westward journey along the north shore of Lake Superior. Hailey was out in the endless sandbox whenever she got the chance.  There are a lot of nice beach areas along the way to test the waters.

One might think that the park below was closed - like the sign says.  But no, it is simply another misleading sign on an open gate to an open park!

 Without thinking, I waved at this OPP officer running radar on the highway as I pulled out of my overnight camp spot along the Michipicoten river, and took this picture - with my handheld DEVICE!  Good thing he didn't arrest me ;-)

Couldn't resist stopping along the shore of Superior near Rossport for another quick dip, and to enjoy the scenery.

But for the night we needed a bit more seclusion, so we ended up in this huge flat area along the railroad tracks.  Right across the track was the lake shore and of course we had that all to ourselves.  The trains came by at all hours, but it was not that disruptive, and Hailey had a large hunting area to keep her happy.  We ended up spending two nights there - and enjoyed the aerial flying displays from some local falcons and eagles.

There is a pretty cool bridge in Nipigon, so we had to get airborne for a better look.

Headed for Manitoba and Saskatchewan next!

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Lake Superior - the North Shore

Better start off this post with a few pics from the past.  Back when we were on the Northumberland Strait. This is the same spot, previously blogged about, but from a different perspective!

We woke up in the morning to the sound of some strange sea gulls.  Well, it turns out that it was actually a herd, pod, group, pack, of sea mammals!  Locals called them seals, and said it was an unusual occurrence.  I think they could be sea lions, but who knows?  They were just offshore, lounging on some submerged sandbars.  Didn't want to get too close and scare them ...

Just north of Sault Ste Marie, we came across this beautiful beach on the eastern end of Lake Superior
Later, we found an overnight camp spot along the Michipicoten river, just outside of Wawa, On.
Departing in the morning, an OPP officer was running radar at the entrance.  Luckily, I was not arrested for using a hand-held device to take his photograph!   I guess he knew that his Dodge Charger was no match for the big GMC!

At White Lake Provincial Park, the park was clearly closed, right?  
No, of course not!  If the sign is at 90* from you, on an open gate, you can clearly disregard it, right?  Misleading signs drive me crazy, if you haven't already noticed!
Just outside of Rossport, we stopped at a nice roadside pulloff, and managed a quick swim in the waters of Superior.  (Taking advantage of every opportunity, as any swim could be the last one of the year!)
Though not signed for 'no camping', it might have been implied, or covered by some obscure rules, and was right beside the highway, so it was decided not to spend the night there :-(

 Instead, we found this way more obscure spot, right beside the CPR rail line, but also right on the lakeshore - and managed yet another dip in the lake.  It was so nice - if you don't mind mile-long trains rumbling by in the night - that we spent a second night here!  The price was right.

There is a way-cool bridge at Nipigon, so we just had to take a closer look! 

Surprisingly, the blog is almost up to date!  Stay tuned ...