So we were ready for the road trip to begin… I stayed in Sudbury an extra week and a half so that my Mom could get time off work and join me. She arrived in Sudbury in the morning on Saturday, August 20th. We did a few things around town, including shipping 3 more boxes by Greyhound, and picking up Eddie, my cat, and visiting some good friends of mine, Bob and Debbie and their family. We had a little visit, congratulated Sarah and Brian, said our good byes, and then hit the road!
We left Sudbury and drove to Sault Ste Marie, where we stopped to visit Tammy and Jamie and Portia – what a sweet baby!! It was a nice, but short, visit and then we hit the road again, bound for Marathon, to stay with Julie and Greg. We needed gas in Wawa, where the price was the highest of the whole trip – 1.16!! This was by far the highest price I had ever seen, although in September, prices climbed higher… We got stopped by a very cute OPP officer at a check stop – there was some sort of fishing/drinking derby going on in Wawa. It was dark by this time, and we were a bit nervous about the moose, but Mom just prayed every time she saw a sign, and we didn’t see a single one! We made it to Julie and Greg’s a little before midnight, and that was the end of the first day!
The second day was quite a bit easier – we slept in a little, had a great visit with Julie and Greg and left Marathon at about 1 pm. We stopped to see Pebble Beach near their place – it’s amazing, with the huge waves coming in from the open water of Lake Superior. Quite a nice spot. Then, we hit the road. Stopped for coffee in Nipigon (we had gotten A&W in Marathon) and the next stop was the Terry Fox statue/rest stop just east of Thunder Bay. After a stop for gas in Thunder Bay, we hit the road again – there are so many fancy curvy roads in this part of the Trans-Canada! The sections with the big arrows are the best – especially when there are parts of the guard rail missing! We even saw a container (crumpled) from where a semi had gone off the road, and a car that had flipped over!! There was an ambulance and police car and fire truck en route, and the driver seemed okay (standing beside the upside down vehicle). We arrived in Dryden at about 9 pm, found a Husky restaurant for food, and a hotel for sleep.
The third day started out with a major cat confrontation. Poor Eddie – he knew exactly what was going to happen when we started loading stuff in the car – and he put up quite a claw fight NOT to go into “the box” again! We got him in (my back has scratch-scars to show that I don’t give up easily) and he meowed and complained for awhile. He really had been quite content in “the box” the first 2 days… Stopped in Kenora for breakfast (A&W again). Smooth sailing to Winnipeg. We stopped at the eastern edge of town to call Scott and get directions to the Manitoba Museum (and for more A & W). We had no trouble finding it and a parking spot in the shade so Eddie would be okay. We also got to use all 4 custom sun reflectors I had made for my car! The museum was neat, and Scott graciously spent 2 hours showing us around. We especially liked the boat!! After the museum, we made our way to the Brown’s – Philip and Cyndi. They are such nice people, and we visited, got to know them, had dinner and they also offered/expected us to stay with them. So we did – Eddie really needed to get out of the car and be free, and it was much better than a hotel! We also managed to visit with Paul that day. He’s such a great guy and we could have talked for hours, but it was getting late so we had to say good bye. Went back to the Brown’s and called it a night.
The fourth day was by far the longest. We left Winnipeg at about 7:30 am, with Eddie loose in the car today. There was no way he was going to get into that box again, so Mom drove the first shift and I watched him. He was a bit overwhelmed (have you ever seen a cat panting like a dog?) but in an hour or so he had gotten used to it and was napping on my lap. We had breakfast in Brandon (another Husky restaurant), and the rest of the day is just a blur of road, trucks, gas stations (we gassed up 3 times!), fields, Saskatchewan, and rain storms. We had to stop at one point because the rain was so bad, we couldn’t see. As we sat on the side of the road, it changed to hail, and I was praying there’d be no funnel clouds. Pretty wild. We drove and drove, traded spots, stretched our legs and drove some more. We chose to take the Trans-Canada the whole way and turned off a little west of Brooks to by-pass Calgary. It was dark by the time we left Brooks, and it is tricky to see the road when it’s raining at night. Finally, at about 1:30 am, we pulled into the driveway, home at last!
A few statistics, for those who are interested:
First day: 700 km, approx. 70 L of gas, about 9 hours total time (about 7.5 hours driving time) from Sudbury to Marathon
Second day: 630 km, approx. 40 L of gas, about 7 hours driving from Marathon to Dryden
Third day: 350 km, approx. 40 L of gas, about 4 hours of driving from Dryden to Winnipeg
Fourth day: 1580 km, approx. 110 L of gas, about 18 hours total, 16 hours driving from Winnipeg, Manitoba to the farm near Leduc, Alberta
Farthest licence plates seen: Nevada (car spotted in northern ON), Newfoundland (2 cars near Winnipeg), Nova Scotia (west of Winnipeg) and California (near Medicine Hat)
Neat places: Pancake Bay, Dad Lake, Baldhead River, Mijinemungshing, Joyce Lake
Total number of moose and deer seen: zero! 🙂