Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Epic Cross Country Journey, Part 1
Here we are! We are alive, and well, and finally in a place that allows more than a quick facebook update before losing internet signal again. I'm standing next to the bathroom sink, in a grungy motel room, the last one in town. Next to the bathroom sink seems to be the ONLY place in the room where the internet signal works, so here I stand.
And here I type fast, thus the whole precarious thing falls apart!
So...what have we been up to so far? Let me share!
Day One: We left the house darn near RIGHT on schedule, and I was impressed to say the least. The house was clean, the bags were packed, the trailer loaded, and I didn't forget a single thing on my list.
Our first pit stop came a mere 15 minutes into the journey, when we discovered that the trailer needed to be reshuffled, as the weight distribution was causing it to fishtail all over the road behind the truck, making smooth relaxing driving a near impossibility. We shuffled on the side of the road near Dundalk, and carried on.
I have to admit, there was a point about 45 minutes into the journey when I thought "what the the sam hell have we got ourselves into here?" Griffin wanted to go home (already) and Corben was chucking every toy that I gave him onto the floor below him, and hollering to beat the band. But then they both fell asleep, and I realized that they were probably just exhausted from the excitement of the morning, and we carried on. (Still slightly nervous about what we had gotten ourselves into...)
We made it to Tobermory and the ferry dock without further incident, and had a delightful little ferry crossing. Griffin spent all his time in the arcade (go figure) and Corben and I walked the lower decks where all the dogs were, him pointing out every single one to me like he'd never seen a dog before. (It was kind of adorable.)
We pulled into an amazing little gem of a park on Manitoulin Island after we finally arrived on the Island, called IcouldtellyoubutI'dhavetokillyou Camp. It was the most stunning little gem of a place that we've ever seen, and we'll most certainly be back.
Day One: Home to Lake Kagawong, Manitoulin Island. 250km by land, and a few more by sea.
Day 2: Off early, in the rain. Today saw us drive some amazing country - off the island, up through Sault Ste Marie, to Pancake Bay, a Provincial Park about an hour north of the Soo. Again, amazing. With campsites located about 50 feet from Lake Superior, it was a stunning place to spend the night.
Day Two: Manitoulin Island to Pancake Bay, 443 kms, every single one spectacular
Day 3: With Thunderstorms in the forecast, we were off early again. Hell, there has been thunderstorms in the forecast just about every single day since we left, and for the most part they start just about the time that we hop into the car.
We had a bit of a terrifying moment this morning, when we pulled out of Pancake Bay and headed west, and realized we were a mighty long way from the next town. And, a mighty long way from our first cup of coffee. (As a sidebar: if you're ever road tripping across the country, NOT traveling with a coffee maker is an excellent motivation to get up and get moving in the morning!) Luckily, we found Joe's Gas In The Middle Of Nowhere (it wasn't REALLY called that, but it should have been.) It's sign boasted Gas, Groceries and Good Coffee. Two outta three ain't bad.
First stop of the day - WAWA! And of course the Wawa goose! Next stop was the Wawa General Store, which if you ever get a chance, GO! We are currently hauling across the country some of the best summer sausage I've ever had in my life (and it's not likely going to make it into Saskatchewan.) And, for the pickle fan in your life they have a big barrel of pickles at the front door. Pickles?? Out of a barrel?? Hells yes.
We ended the day yesterday in another Provincial Park called Neys, just east of Terrace Bay. It was rugged and beautiful, complete with a bear sighting earlier in the day by other campers, and it's own herd of Woodland Caribou. (We saw neither.) Another dip in Lake Superior to finish off the day.
Day 3: Pancake Bay to Neys, 460kms
Day 4: Somewhere in between day three and day four, in the middle of the night, it started to rain. And thunder and lightening. And more rain. We woke up to a wet tent (inside and out) and a small boy with a very wet sleeping bag (unrelated to the rain...) We decided to spend the day driving in said rain, and driving some more, in order to maybe have a day off in Winnipeg tomorrow. So drive we did. The rain ended before noon, only to start again when we were hanging out at the Terry Fox Memorial (which fricking made me cry...damn thing.) After six freaking hundred kilometers we finally arrived in Dryden. (Another sidebar - in case you dont know, we're driving a pickup truck, pulling a fairly decent cargo trailer, and while some might scoff at six hundred kilometers in a day because them and their Civic can do that in an afternoon while napping, for us trailer pulling folk, it's a long slow haul!)
We had called a few hotels on our way into town, everything was booked. We stopped at a few motels, everything was booked. We finally found a room in a kind of grungy motel, ordered greasy Chinese food, and here we are.
It would appear, after all this, that my photos might just be too much for my precarious internet. Or, I might have moved from the 16 square inches that my computer gets signal. Either way, I'm going to try once more to upload, and if that doesn't work, y'all are going to have to imagine the cutest kids you know (mine!) standing in some of the most beautiful wilderness you've ever seen, and call it a day.
Because it's about time I did too!