The second instalment for the Ontario section of our road trip. We did the great lakes fairly quickly skipping over them in just 4 days so we could meet up with a friend as all is explained below. There is one more section for Ontario still to come in the next post but it deserves a full post of it’s own.
… So our first walmart carping experience was not a good one. As we had turned up quite late just as they were closing we didn’t go in and ask and it was dark so we didn’t see the signs all around the carpark. We just rolled into a carpark and jumped in the back and went to sleep. The entire night there were people out working, cleaning the carpark with big machines and things, we didn’t get much sleep. When the sun was up and we were looking out we realised they had been re painting parts of the car park…. and there were signs everywhere saying no overnight parking. Needless to say we just jumped in the front and gapped it.
All not fresh but ready for our big day to head north, our destination being the Bruce Peninsular. The day was yet again another beautiful blue skied day with a temperature above 30. She was roasting, It is a good things that Harrison has good air conditioning! We spent most of the day driving up to the top of the Burce Peninsular to the national park. This is a perfect place to experience the great lakes! We Lake Ontario is huge which we had experienced earlier in the week but the great lakes are even bigger!!! One one side there is Ontario and on the other side America. They are basically a fresh water ocean.
As it was now late afternoon by the time we arrived we tried to find a place to sleep, we drove around looking for places to park up and camp but Ontario is a hard place for free camping, almost all of the land is owned and there are signs everywhere saying no overnight parking. We eventually just decided it was best to check into a camping ground. We found the Harmony Acres camp ground, On the Tobermory side of the Bruce Peninsular National Park. It was perfect, nice little spots tucked into the trees so we didn’t get to warm in the evening and morning sun. We settled into our spot, spoke with the staff and got some good idea’s of what to do for our day the next day.
So after a beautiful sleep we were up and ready for an action packed day. With the recommendations we decided we were to head into the National Park and hike part of the bruce trail. This goes most of the way up the upper Bruce Peninsular on the Georgian bay side. We hiked the trail from cypress lake to halfway log dump. Here we turned back and taking our local advice hiked the shoreline back to cypress lake. For most of the the shoreline was great, requiring a bit of wading through water, claiming and rock hopping but there was one part that was just a little too much for us. The cliffs went right to the waters edge and we had to swim around, the water was freezing cold!! though the day was hot and beautiful being in the water for longer than a minute really took our breath away. Not only that we were trying to swim while holding the camera and clothes all above the water. Not the easiest thing to do. We decided to just climb back up to the trail and then come back down to the shore after the high cliffs. We went all the way back to the Grotto which is the most popular place in the park. It was a good days trip!!
We went down to look around in Tobermory after our hike to get a few things for dinner and some beer. We arrived 5 minutes after the liquor store closed so we went to the Tobermory brewery who bottled beer for sale straight from the tap. It was delicious!! Exactly what we needed after a good day in the sunshine!
The next day we were on a mission, we finally had things confirmed with Sean (our friend from BC) who’s dad lives in Winnipeg and they have a cottage on a lake out near Kenora. He had the fantastic idea to meet us on our travels for a weekend and head out to the lake so we worked out when would be a good time for him to come and us to make it there. This also meant we had a lot of ground to cover to get there. We had four days to get from the Bruce Peninsular to Winnipeg. Basically covering half of Ontario, all of the Great lakes region.
We took the morning ferry from Tobermory across to Manitoulin Island. This was a 2 hour crossing over not the biggest of the great lakes. We drove that afternoon to get to Sault Ste Marie. A little city right on the boarder from Ontario to the States. It is also on the connection between Lake Huron and Lake Superior, the greatest of the great lakes! It is basically an ocean!! We found a Walmart, making sure to ask this time and with about 13 other RV’s we camped there all nice and safe and cosy for the evening!
The next day we were on the road again, this day was our biggest day, covering around 700km. We drove the Lake Superior shoreline. It is huge, the largest lake in the world in size and the 3rd deepest. It holds 10% of the worlds fresh water. There were lots of great places to stop along the way, little towns like Wawa and also some look out points. The drive itself it also stunning with trees, coastal views and hills to weave around and over it was a very beautiful drive.
Not long after Wawa was the little town of White River. We had a quick stop there too as it is the original home of Winnie the Pooh. A classic part of so many childhoods, including ours so we had to go and see how the story started!!
We made our way all the way into Thunder Bay. Here we arrived right on dinner time and decided to was a much better idea to go out to eat than try find somewhere to cook up what little food we had left. We went to a Korean restaurant. It was great, just like being in Asia with it’s interesting decor and the young son serving us because the father could not speak english. The food was great too, I had a Bibbam Bap. A great hot and sizzling Korean dish! We then made our way out to another Walmart to camp up for the evening. Walmart are a great place to safely stop on the road when you are not sure about where you can go.
The next day was heading away from the great lakes and west. We made our way out to the town of Kenora. Here we found ourselves another good Walmart to camp over at. We arrived in the afternoon so we took some time to look around the beautiful little town situated on the edge of the lake of the woods. We went out to see the big statue of Husky the Musky. As the afternoon was beautiful and sunny we spend some time in the small park area near there, having our dinner on the picnic tables and just enjoying the lovely afternoon. As the evening moved along we went back to pull up in the carpark for another overnight.
The next day was the last day of our epic cross provence journey and we only had to make it to Winnipeg, just the Ontario side of Winnipeg even. We spent the morning it the town of Kenora, looking around and doing some things which we needed to do. We then made the short two and a half hour drive out to our destination of meeting with Sean!! We arrived in our meeting point a few hours before we needed to be there but as it was right next to a Tim Hortons we decided it was good time to use our vouchers and have a nice late lunch there while we waited. It was a good idea too, the day was very hot and there was no breeze. Finally the hour rolled around and up pulled Sean!! It was so awesome, after about three and a half years since we had last seen one another, not much had changed.
Sean was a housemate of ours for a year in Queenstown, NZ. We had a great little house close by some friends also and it was just good times, as were the future good times to be had!
From our meeting point we went out to Sean’s dad, Denis’s house. A beautiful house out in the countryside. We had a great little catch up before a delicious dinner of some top quality rib eye steaks. Yummy!!!