We arrived in Winnipeg on June 17, a day earlier than we had planned. Travellers' RV Park is quite nice but nearly empty. We had a long, wide site which was perfect. On the 18th we went into the city and went to the Railroad Museum, inside the Via Rail terminal. Interestingly enough, the station was designed by the same architects who designed Grand Central Station in New York. Not quite as large but the ceiling itself was beautiful. The Countess of Dufferin is located there - she is the first steam engine in Canada. She was built in 1872 at a cost of $9,850.
Both the Assiniboine and Red Rivers converge at The Forks downtown. They are both very high right now. We ate perogies, sausage and cabbage rolls at The Forks Market for lunch. Portage and Main - it is a popular joke that it is the coldest, windiest intersection in Canada. Not proven but sure sounds good! Father's Day brought greetings from both boys and a three hour job for Larry of wiping down and chamois drying the coach. What a job! (For the ladies reading this Journal, Maureen helped after about an hour as she was wondering what was taking so long).
Our neighbours at this RV Park were an interesting bunch. Passenger side we had a couple from Switzerland. Driver's side and one behind were two families from Estevan. They knew a number of people who Larry knew. There was a couple full-timing from Winnipeg who will be spending the winter dry camping in Quartzsite. There was another couple who were flood victims who had managed to save some of their furniture. Then there was a big rig with four Asian men and one woman. They had a heck of a time getting into and out of their site.
On the 20th we left for Lake Wabigoon (love the name!). We stayed at the Wabigoon Lake RV Resort. It is only 17 sites and was started as kind of a hobby by the owners, who also own a jewelery store in Dryden. It was overcast but not raining so we took a drink and walked down the big hill to the dock on the lake. Saw a pair of loons with about six babies. There were lots of birds. The train track is right across the lake from the dock and only three of them went through in the night.
On the 21st we went to Happy Land RV in Thunder Bay. It's about 25 km north of Thunder Bay. Along the way we had seen an RV and a van with logos for the Marathon of Health on it. When we arrived at the campground Maureen looked it up on the internet and found that it is a family of 8 from Quebec who are running across Canada (they started in Vancouver), down the East Coast and across and back up to Vancouver. The same trip we're doing! Maureen found them on Facebook and began chatting with whomever was on line. One of the daughters (there are four daughters, two sons and the parents) whose name is Dayna stopped by the RV to tell us about their run. Check it out www.marathonofhealth.com! They've had a very interesting life. The children range in age from 17-26 and have been mostly home-schooled their whole lives. They've also done a lot of travelling - including 3 1/2 years in South America.
It had started to rain by the time we left on the 22nd. We stopped at Husky for gas and it was absolutely pelting. Fortunately they pump the gas for you ($1.27 per litre). The trip from Thunder Bay was along the north shore of Lake Superior, which was hard to see because of the clouds. There are lots of huge granite rock outcroppings, some of which were quite pink. Along the way we saw a deer and a bear. It rained most of the day, quite heavy at times. We ended up in Wawa for the night. It was very muddy and didn't stop raining until late evening then it rained more in the night.
Another word about our Trans Canada Highway. It turned into Highway 17 at the Ontario border. The quality of the road is much improved. It seems to get rough around towns but the rest of it, while two lane mostly, was very smooth. However, if it weren't for snow plow pullouts, there would be almost no where for us to pull over. They of course aren't marked so you get good at seeing them coming. There are occasional stops which are marked with a picnic table symbol. Unfortunately, we don't know whether we can get in and out of one until we're almost on top of it so we haven't stopped at any of those yet.
Our previous plan was to break the trip from Wawa to Ottawa into two days but we decided to go further and have an extra day in Ottawa. So on the 23rd we went from Wawa to North Bay. Along the way, we continued to pass many lakes and rivers, including a trio of lakes called Dad, Mom and Baby! We had thought we would stop in Sudbury but due to an under-achieving cashier at the Petro-Can we ended up driving to North Bay and getting fuel there instead ($1.24). We parked in an empty parking lot next to the truck stop just south of North Bay. We asked permission to park there from the maintenance man who was on site. He said it was ok for us but he really didn't want trucks parked there. In the night Larry noticed a tanker truck parked to our left. When Maureen raised the blind in the morning, you can see from the photo that something went horribly wrong. A bystander said it was most likely dry cement he was carrying. The tow truck had arrived by the time we left.
They're calling for thunder showers in Ottawa...