Wednesday 9 October 2019


Sadly our trip has essentially come to an end and even sadder has sunk to this...
Northern Ontario is very pretty this time of year, especially in the sunshine (it figures - it's our last day) and early in the morning (not early enough). The reflections in the many lakes along the highway are gorgeous. The wind was starting to pick up by now so I was a little late on this. Worth the effort anyway.
A fond farewell indeed. Once you pass North Bay heading south on Highway 11 the scenery just folds into the rocks and the road, more and more trucks appear and the traffic builds - all in preparation for the insanity that is the waiting Toronto.
It has been a wonderful trip and I will most certainly chronicle it in yet another book. Thanks for tagging along - I hope you all enjoyed the ride.

Tuesday 8 October 2019


At 14 degrees and sunny it was finally a gorgeous day! The Devils Rock Trail south of Cobalt is a very rough three and a half kilometres over huge rocks, roots, mud and fallen leaves and trees - very slippery but somehow we made it unscathed.
They do warn you with a sign when you are approaching the cliffs of Devils Rock.
The cliffs are one of those spots that you see and wonder how they let people go there - no fences or barriers of any kind. Nothing at all between you and disaster. Gavin and Adam, remember Delicate Arch in Utah? Very pretty sight though. The lighting was not great late in the morning but very nice indeed.
Cobalt is an old silver mining town. Not much mining happening these days but there is certainly plenty of evidence of years gone by. We spent some time in the museum then wandered around the town in the afternoon.

Monday 7 October 2019


We've been on the go for 34 days now and I'm pretty sure we've had rain for 30 of them. As terrible as that sounds - it's not. We have seen and done everything we wanted to and had a great time. We are now in New Liskeard and it is supposed to be a sunny day tomorrow. If that prophecy comes true we will stay here tomorrow as well. It is very close to Cobalt, an old silver mining town, once again brought to the limelight by Jonny Harris on his Still Standing show a couple of years ago. When all is said and done it was a very pretty drive today - even in the rain.

Sunday 6 October 2019


You may recall I have mentioned on occasion it felt like we passed through a time warp into another dimension. In the town of Moonbeam, ON...well you be the judge.
The road into Cochrane was beautiful - again some sun would have helped.
Cochrane is sort of the gateway to Canada's north. Polar bears are a big deal here - there are none here. Never have been but they supposedly COULD live here - as long as they only chose winter.
There is a polar bear habitat here but if you want to actually see them or take photos of them it is far less than ideal. Two levels of chain link fencing make photography impossible. I can think of several alternative suggestions that maintain protection for the bears - but they didn't ask me.

Saturday 5 October 2019


Another driving day - we are definitely on our way home. We are taking the northern route to get there. Hwy 17 through Sault Ste Marie is the route we took out. Hwy 11 runs north of the lake through Hearst and Cochrane. At the point where the highway splits (at Nipigon) is this wonderful Jesuit Mission established in 1852.
North of Nipigon the highway winds through a spectacular canyon resplendent with fall colour. Just imagine how beautiful this would have been in the sunshine. Unfortunately the heavy overcast and rain has returned. I'm afraid this will go down as one of our worst weather trips ever.
We will continue to make the best of things as we head further east tomorrow.

Friday 4 October 2019


We woke up this morning to clear blue skies and SUN! It was only three degrees but after three weeks of rain and snow we were ecstatic. So much so that we stayed an extra day in Thunder Bay. The Mills Block Forest looked interesting for a hike so we headed there. The trail passes through some serious wetlands which looked pretty nice in the morning sunshine.
It didn't take long until I was up to my knee in the swamp. Those logs they placed over the water that flooded the path are damned slippery. Look ma - a soaker.
There was a loop trail branching off the main path. It meandered through the woods. Just because today was nice and sunny that did not undo the damage inflicted by three weeks of rain and snow. Nothing like wet leaves on a boggy mess of mud covered with huge rocks and numerous roots.
By noon it was seven degrees so we decided to have a picnic in the park. I'm sure our sons have mixed emotions and memories of road trip lunches. None of this McDonald's stuff - a dry as sand sandwich and a stolen apple from breakfast makes for a perfect mid-day repast. One of many beautiful city parks has a fountain originally found in England in 1790. Hard not to enjoy this after the weather we've been having.
Adjacent to the park was a building I found quite captivating. It is the Law School of Lakehead University. The kids coming out of there are going to save the world. We can hope can't we?
A quick visit to Centennial Park concluded our day. Hope this weather carries over to tomorrow. We're on the road again.

Thursday 3 October 2019


It was another miserable driving day. Rained all day - actually it snowed more than it rained. But that doesn't stand in our way. We left Kenora as fast as we could (not the best town in northern Ontario) and found a delightful coffee house in Vermillion Bay. It would rival anything in downtown Toronto for atmosphere and awesome coffee.
Luckily I enjoy driving in the snow. The roads were in good shape but we are obviously back in Ontario. Lots of trucks (when there was any traffic). Take a lesson from Saskatchewan - use the trains.
By the time we got to Thunder Bay the snow and rain had let up a little and the sun actually came out. At least we are somewhere nice (Hampton Inn) after two dodgy nights in a Super 8 and a Days Inn (both original vintages). Happy to relax again!

Wednesday 2 October 2019


It was a driving day today - just as well because it was cloudy and rainy again. It's interesting to see how the provinces differ. There's far more trees in Manitoba than Saskatchewan.
We are now back in Ontario, Kenora to be precise. I found the welcome sign with nothing to say far better than the offering of "Open for Business" presented by our imbecile Premier. Neither hold a candle to the previous "Yours to Discover".
Just before we crossed the border we attempted a hike at the ranch we stayed at a few weeks ago. It was too wet then so we wanted to give it a try now. Unfortunately, shortly after this photo was taken the trail and everything around it was totally submerged. That's what 3 weeks of straight rain will do.

Tuesday 1 October 2019


With more than a little sadness we left Saskatchewan and entered Manitoba just before noon. Not that there is anything wrong with Manitoba it's just that we had a wonderful time in Saskatchewan. Weather has not been kind to us nor have freaky problems with the "new" SUV - but Manitoba awaits.
I've seen my name on streets and houses in my travels but never a whole municipality. Cool!
On our journey today we took a 50 kilometre detour to see the longest suspension bridge in Canada located in Souris, MB. Why? Because it was there and we were not too far away I suppose. Gavin and Adam will tell you we would never pass up such a thing. It was billed as a swinging bridge. It didn't swing so much as bounce - and yes, I did make it bounce as much as I could.
We are in Brandon, MB because we wanted to see the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum. Well worth a visit if you're ever in the area. Their hangar display is pretty amazing.
We're hoping for a decent day somewhere along our path to home. Today was snow, rain and about 5 degrees. Sounds bad but I prefer that to the 36 I hear southern Ontario is experiencing.