Ontario

August 5, 2014, Trip: Across Canada
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After Isle Royale National Park, we crossed back into Canada and made our way to Thunder Bay, Ontario.  We visited with our friends, Dennis & Susan (he was Doug’s boss back in 1993 when he worked up there) and then spent the rest of the evening with our friends, Nadine & Mike and slept in Tigger in their driveway.  Nadine baked fresh cinnamon buns for breakfast and off we went eastward.

We drove to nearby Sleeping Giant Provincial Park and did some separate hiking here.  Doug wanted to hike the 22km long difficult hike up the “Giant” so Fran said “go for it” and she did three short hikes totaling 8km and took care of some things in our “home”.  We spent the night outside the Nipigon, Ontario tourist information office.  Fran walked to Timmy’s after dinner and got treats! J

We continued eastward stopping near Terrace Bay to see the Aug…… Falls.  Slot canyon was pretty impressive, falls were somewhat hidden. We drove on to Pukaskwa National Park (our 22nd Canadian park) on the north east side of Lake Superior and did a good 18 km hike to a suspension bridge over some falls; was quite spectacular.  We used bug spray today so mozzies were not too bad heading out but I think we sweated it off as they became irritating for the last part of the almost five hours.  Afterwards, we enjoyed a Corona with our feet in water at Hattie’s Cove; was freezing, but folks, Doug did it too!

That night we camped just off the highway down a dirt road in the high grass/weeds.  Nice not having to get out of the RV to set up anything!

Tuesday we continued along the TransCanada and passed through White River – the home of Winnie the Pooh – then on to Wawa – the home of the Big Canada Goose.  We took a side road to the Magpie River High Falls which were quite pretty.  It took us a total of four full days to round Lake Superior; quite an immense body of water with its own weather system.   We learned it could take the water from the other four great lakes combined!  On this side of the lake there were many pretty beaches (Old Woman Bay, Katherine’s Cove) with nice sand which were very inviting until you stuck you toe in – brrrrr.  We made at stop in Lake Superior Provincial Park at Agawa Bay to see the pictographs which were right on the cliff sides at the water’s edge down a cool slot canyon like path.  Many were pretty faded but still visible.

We crossed the border at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario into Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan where we stopped and went to the Soo Locks Park to view the locks in action.  We were lucky and there was a cargo ship in a lock and we watched the water levels dropped to allow the ship to go from Lake Superior into Lake Huron.

Wednesday we drove the eastern Michigan coast route along Lake Huron and stopped at a few roadside rest areas to view the Lake.  Much of the view is usually hidden by trees though.  We ran a few errands in Flint MI and crashed for the night in a big box mall parking lot.

After driving across the border back into Canada, our first stop was London, Ontario to see our friends, Joanne & Jim, (Joanne was Doug’s admin assistant back when we lived in Fredericton) and they extended their hospitality for dinner and an evening of cards, beer & wine.  We had a fun time.

Then it was off to see our son’s family in Mississauga – a suburb of Toronto.  The grandbabies are now over thirteen months and so adorable.  It took a few days for them to get used to us again L but it was a joy to see them.  Arya is walking up a storm and is real go getter, into everything and wants everything.  Cyrus is crawling a mile a minute and walking around the furniture and it content to study things and ponder life and how things are put together.  Josh and Alyx have cloned themselves with these two.  By the fifth day they were letting Fran pick them up and Arya knew who Grammie was when asked.

Doug did a few repairs to Tigger while we were parked on the street in front of Josh’s house and we celebrated the babies first birthday six weeks late.  Arya was not impressed when she touched the cake but Cyrus enjoyed putting his hands in the icing and feeling it before tasting it.  It was hilarious to watch them.  On the 15th we celebrated Doug’s bday by taking everyone to Red Lobster; why you ask?  When Josh was just a bit older than these two babies, we brought him to Red Lobster for Fran’s birthday; he SCREAMED so much through the entire meal such that Doug had to take him while Fran ate and vice versa so we thought it was payback time.  The babies were fine until about half way through but never got as bad as Josh did fortunately for Alyx and Josh, however the waitress did get a big tip cause she had a big mess to clean up.  She was very understanding and helpful when asked though.

As hard as it was to leave them, we continued our journey after ten days with Josh and his family.

Check out latest baby pics under the PICS tab above in the gallery titled:  August ’14 visit.

We stopped briefly in Pickering to see our former home there then made our way to Newcastle, east of Oshawa, to visit Lillian Jacques, the mother of a high school friend of ours.  It was a pleasant visit and she seem to really appreciate our thinking of her and stopping by.  Lillian is 86 and still going strong; she was pickling and canning when we arrived.

We decided not to drive the 401 east as we’d driven it so many times when we lived in Ontario that we took the slower, more scenic Highway 2 route; lots of little towns/cities but a much more pleasant drive.  We overnighted in Trenton before hitting Kingston on Tuesday where Fran’s youngest sister lives.  Cynthia and Serge had just moved back to Canada after a three year tour at the NATO base in Naples, Italy so there house was not set up yet and they were still living in a hotel.  We parked Tigger in the driveway and spent the day with them at the house where using our dishes and cooking utensils, we had a lovely bbq dinner and caught up.   Next day their stuff arrived and we helped them unpack their belongings from Italy, exhausting! J

We left Kingston on Friday morning and stopped at the St. Lawrence National Park aka 1000 Islands National Park.  This park, as the name suggests, is mostly islands and you need a boat.  We headed to Mallorytown Landing to the Visitor’s Centre which was rather disappointing; we had read of some good scenic roads to drive but it turned out that the roads were “authorized personnel roads” only.  We did however walk across the 1000 Islands Bridge which is in the park.

Next stop was at Fran’s cousin’s place in Carleton Place, west of Ottawa.  Pierrette and her daughters, Genvieve and Gabrielle live in a lovely 1910 home that they are renovating.  Gabby’s boyfriend joined us for dinner and it was nice to catch up.

Sunday we visited with an elementary school friend of Fran’s that she has kept in touch with all these years and who read at our wedding way back in 1981.  Cathy and Mike invited us for a nice bbq dinner where we also caught up with their two children, whom we had not seen in years.

Monday we took the bus into downtown Ottawa, took a walk around Parliament Hill and then met our godson/nephew, Alex, for a quick bit on his lunch hour.  What a nice kid he is and we wish him the best for his last year at Ottawa U.  He is doing an internship with an MP and wants to get into the diplomatic service.

That evening we visited Fran’s aunt and one of her cousins in Nepean.  Aunt Noreen treated us with homemade apple crisp and we caught up with her and Elaine.

Our final visit was with Fran’s Uncle Pete and Aunt Georgette who live near Embrun, Ontario in a retirement village.  Always a pleasure to see them.

Boy is this a big province!  We got to Ontario on August 2nd and left on the 26th.  Mind you we did spend 10 days with Joshua but still……

Bonjour Quebec:  here we come!

 

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