June 25, Winkler and Triple E

Thursday morning we shoot out of Ontario onto the flatlands of Manitoba, stopping smack dab in the middle of Canada

Center of Canadaand then we head south to Winkler, Manitoba where our van was made at Triple E Manufacturing. We got a factory tour from Dean (he is their video star) so of course we were very happy

Triple E

Here is the all time best camping tip of all from a lady we met while we were touring the factory, too bad we found out about it at week 5.95 out of 6:

The only campground app to get is Allstays. Buy it for 12 bucks and put it on your phone or iPad. Wherever you are you can bring up a map that shows all of the closest campgrounds with all the info you need. Stressed out about where to stay next? ONLY EVERY OTHER DAY.

Boy would we be good at RV’ing if we knew all this shit before we left.

Stayed tight to the US border and spent the night at the Killarney Agricultural Society Campground in Killarny, Manitoba. Maybe should have stuck around for the fair but we could smell the barn and even Winston was running out of gas

Killarny, Manitoba

June 24, Kenora and Willows Campground

As we drive out of Thunder Bay we find a friendly Mercedes dealership  where we stop, hoping to get a burned out headlight bulb replaced. Not only can they do it, they claim it shouldn’t take too long. Please wait and they will tell us when.

Being the savvy travelers we are we fire up the stove and start the bacon cookin’. A knock comes on the door. We need the van now please and no you cannot continue making breakfast while we change out the lightbulb.

If you are ever in Thunder Bay and need a car or service go to Lakehead Motors (as if). I wrote a gushing review.

We drive like hell to the Lake of the Woods and through my campground picking expertise (surpassed only be my stock picking expertise) we end up at Willows the only place NOT ON A LAKE. They do, however, have a very nice website.

Are there bugs in Northern Ontario?

Willows Campground, Kenora

The last time we were somewhere you needed a screen like this one at the next campsite the sandflies were of biblical proportions.

June 23, Sleeping Giant Provincial Park; a bloody disaster

A big day driving along the shores of Lake Superior. We passed the Wawa Goose , looked fine to me so no money for them for restoration. A quick detour for Chinese food at Wok With Chow in Marathon, ON then on to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. We set up, started cooking dinner and then … Winston the dog started acting strange. We studied the situation; he had red welts all around his belly and the inside flanks of his back legs. World’s fastest tear out and flying down the highway calling Vet offices as we barreled into Thunder Bay.

The telephone diagnosis from the vet we managed to talk to? Black flies. Give him half a Benadryl (who knew) and call me NEVER.

The security guard at Chippewa Park campground in Thunder Bay let us in (no way in hell were we going back to Sleeping Giant) and we stopped for the night

Thunder Bay Campground

June 22, Pancake Bay

And so we start our drive along the shores of Lake Superior. Backwards to Sudbury then north and west past the “Soo”. We stop at an RV place where we pick up some extra leveling blocks, a missing part for the door and THE 2015 GOODSAM NORTH AMERICAN CAMPGROUND DIRECTORY. Told myself I would mail a replacement directory to the nice lady at the campground in the Outer Banks because I inadvertently left with theirs, that said in big black letters do not remove. At the end of the day? Pancake Bay and just before that a highway store where you could buy chunks of smoked lake trout (Nancy made me keep it in an outside storage area). What do we know about Pancake Bay? it is a lovely provincial park with a nice beach where it can rain a bit

The rain at Pancake BayToday’s camping tip: angle the awning so the water runs off … No shit

June 21, Killarney provincial park

We caught our boat ride back to the dock and made our way back to the Unity. It appears that I had forgotten to lock the van after I showed it to Jane’s husband Eric on Saturday as it was open, fortunately the kind people in Port Carling had left it untouched.

From there it was off to Killarney Provincial Park where, after a brief look around, we decided to push further in to the town of Killarney where we found a nice cabin for the night at Killarney Mountain Lodge. We found some time before dinner to sit out on the water.

Killarny, ON

 

June 20, a private island in the Muskokas

We spent the morning hanging around. Not sure what the dog was looking for off the dock.

Winston at the lakeThen it was into town for some groceries. Some local boating enthusiasts were out on a ‘club’ run. We caught up to them as they were going through the locks between lakes

Port Carling Poker Run click for the video

When they started up the engines it sounded like a showroom full of Harleys

June 19, the Muskokas

Where are you spending your weekend? We are spending ours on a private island in the Muskokas. Got to Port Carling in the early afternoon. Coming in from the North the traffic isn’t as bad as from Toronto, duh. Parked the van in a nice shady spot and made our way to the dock to wait for our hosts; Nancy’s sister Jane and her friend Miranda along with their dogs.

We loaded up the boat and headed off to the island

Boat Trip

unloaded and hiked up to the main cabin

stairs to cabin

for our two night stay.

June 18, Fitzroy Provincial Park

The google machine took us out of Quebec City and along the north side of the St. Lawrence River as we headed  to our way point at Fitzroy Provincial Park on the east side of Ottawa.

Today’s campground tip? Use the family/handicap shower if there is one. Why? In the campgrounds where the men’s and women’s have push button time release water delivery systems the family/handicap showers that we have seen have no restrictions.

I set up under the awning and BBQ’d in the rain, not quite bad enough to see on a picture but good enough to knock down the mosquitos.

An Evening out at Fitzroy Provinical Park

June 17, Quebec City

It is good bye to New Brunswick as we head towards Quebec City. Hit Quebec and … the light that says the beast needs diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) additive comes on (knew that because of the fiasco just south of Kansas). We do a U turn just past a Ford dealership in Quebec. Nancy pulls in and the games began.I go in to find that no one speaks English. Fortunately I am bilingual (what a joke that is) and was able to effect a transaction.  While I was adding fluid Winston jumped out of the window (obviously trying to separate) and was recaptured from somewhere deep in the bowels of the service department.

The rest of the drive into Quebec City and the Chateau Frontenac was uneventful. Best deal in Quebec City? Valet parking your motor home. We toured the Citadel and walked around the old walls

Doug and Winston at the Citadel

before leaving the dog in the room

Winston in the Chateau Frontenacwhile we went out to Le Continental Restaurant for a nice dinner.

June 16, riding the Tidal Bore

Most unique and stupidest thing you can do in Nova Scotia? Ride the tidal bore. What is that you say? At low tide you climb into a zodiac with The Shubie Adventure Tour Company and head to where the Shubenacadie River meets the Bay of Fundy and wait for the tide to roll in. When you see the wall of water coming at you that is the very cool part. And then?

Your zodiac driver smashes through standing waves that are created by the tide and you get soaked by dirty silty river water. Fortunately we only signed up for the half day tour.

Then it was back in the van and off to Mactaquac Provincial Park in New Brunswick where the plan was to use the washing machines. WRONG. They were broken and blah, blah, blah.

Parked the van, had a Barbie,slapped a few mozzies then bedded down for the night.