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Toyman01 MegaDork
7/23/15 8:11 p.m.

There has been some interest in the Canada trip I just completed and rather than muddying up the Alaskan Camper thread more, I'm going to post it here.

The trip.

This was the original plan. Home, to the Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. From there to Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. From there to Washington, IL, to visit friends. Then to Nashville, TN, to visit family. A stop at a campground in the mountains and then home. Needless to say, no plan survives contact with the enemy.

This thread is going to progress as I sort through the 500+ pictures my wife and I took. (The bane of digital pictures.) There will be lots of pictures and hopefully, few words.

To start, we scrapped the Ford Museum. I determined that it really need more than two days to enjoy the experience, and we had a hard deadline to meet. Being rushed to get through it would have ruined it, so that will be a future vacation.

That decision made, we could take our time headed north and enjoy the drive. Day one was a fairly easy drive to Stony Fork Campground in the Jefferson National Forest in West Virginia. If you like easy camping, this is the place. Huge sites, so you aren't parked on top of the next guy, power and water available at most of the sites. Easy, and a good, cheap way to travel.

It's a really pretty area and there is even a mountain stream running through the campground. Naturally the kids made a beeline to it.

The setup.

Hanging out.

None of us had ever been to West Virginia, so scratch one state off the list, though I will probably be back to explore some.

The next AM, we hit the road again. I had a long day driving planned with a hotel stop at the end of it. We made it to somewhere around Saginaw and the turn signals on the truck died, so we found a hotel and called it a night at about 9:30. Not many pictures today, the interstate is kind of boring.

Chock up another state.

And another.

A few other shots. I'm a sucker for running water. I've been known to stop and stare at it a while.

Gratuitous truck shot. This thing was a beast. I love this truck.

WV capitol building, as shot by my wife, from the interstate, at 70MPH.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/23/15 8:26 p.m.

For the interested, the shots that are dated were shot with a Nikon P500. Most of the rest were shot with a Nikon AW120, with a few from my cellphone thrown in for good measure.

edwardh80 Reader
7/23/15 8:40 p.m.

Awesome! Keep 'em coming! Love a good road trip! My little family and I just moved from Hamilton ON to Florida, and we drove almost the reverse route down to SC. I loved it!

HiTempguy UberDork
7/23/15 10:59 p.m.

People actually GO to Thunderbay for a REASON?

You're crazy man

SnowMongoose Dork
7/23/15 11:18 p.m.

I just want to know how far Thunder Bay is from the Thunderdome.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/24/15 6:44 a.m.

In reply to HiTempguy:

Thunder Bay wasn't too bad. It looks like they have done a lot of work on their waterfront to make it a nice place to be. The rest of it does have a bit of a industrial feel to it.

Mad_Ratel HalfDork
7/24/15 7:04 a.m.

I love your truck. That body style is my real favorite.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/24/15 5:31 p.m.

Day three started with a nasty breakfast at the hotel and pulling the dash apart to find out why the turn signals quit.

It turned out to be the plug that goes into the back of the turn signal switch. A couple of zip ties took care of it for the duration of the trip.

We hit the road by 8:30 and headed north. The northern part of Michigan is practically empty. Nothing but trees and hills for hours. I loved it. I need to spend a couple of weeks wandering around up there too.

A few shots at a overlook/rest area.

Next we hit the Mackinac bridge. I got one shot. Yes the water really is that color. It is unbelievable.

A quick stop to convert some US dollars to Canadian dollars on the US side of Sault Ste Marie and we jumped into Canada. I'm not sure why, but I didn't take any picture in Sault Ste Marie. Call it a brain fart. From what we saw, it's a cruddy little town on both sides of the border but don't take my word for it, we weren't there long enough to do much looking around.

My second original plan was to stop at White Lake Provincial Park and camp there. I should have stayed with that plan. Instead we stopped at a campground in Batchawana Bay. It was OK. They stuck us in a transient spot that backed up to the campground beach, so we got to watch and listen to all the screaming kids and jet skis until dark. Unfortunately dark didn't happen until almost 10pm. They had a few regular camping spots that were pretty nice, but the park was packed so we took what we could get.

There was one family staying in the cabin next to us, that spent 4 hours loading up to leave the next day. That poor man must have brought every toy they owned. 2 jet skis, go carts, bikes, float toys, you name it, he had it. Including 12, 6 gallon fuel jugs, strapped to the jet ski trailer. I'm glad I wasn't following him anywhere.

We packed up early and moved on then found a quiet place to stop and fix breakfast.

Day four is next.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/24/15 7:00 p.m.

The quiet place we found to stop for breakfast was a overlook on Lake Superior. Much of the lake was shrouded in fog, but what we could see was crystal clear. These were shot from the top of a 40-50 foot cliff.

Breakfast done, we moved on around the lake. I always slow down on the bridges, traffic allowing, to see what they cross. One of them crossed this. Yep, we had to stop.

And, now with more video! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ZGfh3gkB4Y

As we made our way around the lake we kept seeing signs for High Falls, and being a water fall junkie, I had to go find them.

More gratuitous truck shots.

They were worth the trip.

Video of that one as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fO_uG9dKL8k

As a FYI, all the video was shot with the Nikon AW120. I love that camera.

Our next stop was in White River. Lunch was at a A&W. I thought they made root beer, but apparently it's a thing up north. We had been smelling coolant for the last 100 miles so I looped the heater hoses to bypass the heater core. Problem solved.

This was sitting across from the A&W. Talk about a work boat.

The next stop for the day was Marathon. It's a small fishing, industrial town. Not much to see in town itself, but we rode down to the boat landing to see how cold the water was. We learned a few things. Superior is COLD!. The seagulls are huge and the fog is impressive. (The coldest water temperature my dad had recorded in the lake was 39.4, the warmest was 54.)

The fog almost moves like it's alive. It spills over the islands and valleys and is amazingly dense. Cool to watch.

You will notice that Canadians are just as stupid as Americans when it comes to tearing up stuff. Oh, and Canada needs to ban spray paint and permanent markers, Canadians will add graffiti to any surface, rocks, roads, bridges, bathrooms, guard rails, trees, pretty much you name it, they mark it up. I found it particularly annoying.

There's that damn truck again.

This was set in the rock just in case you needed to tie up your ship. That's a size 11 shoe.

Water fall junkie time again. This is Aguasabon Falls near Terrace Bay. It is impressive. There was only one viewing area, I shot a bunch of pictures, but they are all pretty much the same.

I did get video though. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbAkC5lT93k

Next to the last stop for the day was a park right on the shore of the lake. We are used to sand on the beaches, most of the beaches up here are rock. Canada does a much better job with parks and public areas than the States do. The countryside is literally littered with them. The ones we stopped at were pretty nice.

The day's final destination was Rossport, where we met up with my parents and the Canadian couple they travel with. Two boats are safe than one on Superior. The lake can get very nasty, very quickly, and at 40 degrees, you don't want to be in the water long.

Rossport is tiny, but it's a beautiful place. Of all the stops, it was probably one of my favorite as far as the people.

Dinner that night was at a small restaurant.

Split pea soup, fresh lake trout, and steamed vegetables. Very tasty. If you ever travel the north shore of Superior, stop in here. It's good food and a perfect setting.

More to come.

nokincy Reader
7/24/15 9:32 p.m.

Man you passed right through where I'm living. Looks like an awesome trip!

Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/25/15 8:01 a.m.

Nice! I've wanted to visit Canada for some time now. All the pics I see of Da UP, eh and the area around the Great Lakes are beautiful but that's during the summer. Snow for 6 months of the year, no thank you!

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/25/15 8:09 a.m.

In reply to Curmudgeon:

The dock guy at Rossport said the lake ice in front of his house didn't melt until the end of May. I love cold weather, but that's carrying it too far. The other problem is the bugs. The mosquitoes and biting flies are unbelievably voracious.

It's a great place to visit, cool and beautiful, but bring your bug spray and remember which direction is south.

JohnInKansas Dork
7/25/15 8:21 a.m.

I like where this is going.

7/25/15 11:20 a.m.

Looks like you drove right past my hood in London Ontario. Nice trip.

Woody MegaDork
7/25/15 5:15 p.m.

I'm disappointed to hear about the Canadian graffiti. I remember going to Canada when I was about eight years old and being super impressed at the absolute lack of litter and, I guess, the absence of graffiti. A trip to Montreal a few years ago showed that this was no longer the case, or at least it wasn't in that part of the very large country.

Giant Purple Snorklewacker
Giant Purple Snorklewacker MegaDork
7/25/15 6:25 p.m.

You and JohnInKansas are really upping the ante on travel reports around here. Where do you think you are, ADVRider?

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/28/15 4:32 p.m.

For some reason I like to take pictures of flowers and since the entire country of Canada seemed to be in bloom I took quite a few. Have some flower pictures.

Not a flower, but close. I've never seen anything like it.

That's enough of that, moving on.

Trans_Maro PowerDork
7/28/15 4:51 p.m.


You've never seen lichen?

Come to B.C. Every rock is covered in it.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/28/15 5:23 p.m.

Sunday dawned like this and it showed no sign of burning off, so moving on in the boat was out. Cold water makes for some serious fog and even with radar, my parents play it safe and stay put when the weather goes south.

I studied this pretty hard. It's been sitting on this trailer for over 5 years. I spent a few minutes wondering how much it would cost to tow it home before I came to my senses.

We made the best of it and since the truck was there we piled everyone in and went to see the sights. Rainbow Falls Provincial Park is fairly close to Rossport to that's where we headed first.

I must admit, this is the first time I have ever seen a set of waterfalls start at a lake. I've seen a bunch fall into a lake but never one fall directly out of one. In the top right you can just see the float rope that keeps the canoeists from paddling off the edge.

Rainbow Falls is a series of cascades that fall quite a way from a lake to a river. Unfortunately there was no way to photograph the whole thing at once.

We did manage to get some exercise.

Quite a bit of exercise.

And in this case, what goes down, must come back up.


The next stop was Schreiber Beach which was very cool. Beaches are supposed to be sand. This one was stone, and not big slabs of rock, but many small rocks ranging from softball size to pea size. The truly interesting part is they were almost perfectly sorted.

Close to the water is pea gravel, then the gradually get larger and then back down to pea gravel and sand by the trees.

They almost look like they have been in a rock tumbler. Sorry Canada, I stole a few rocks, I really didn't thing you would miss them. I did pick up a little trash as payment.

From there it was back to the boat to wait out the fog.

More to come.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/28/15 5:24 p.m.

In reply to Trans_Maro:

We get lichen, but it's all gray and dull. I've never seen anything with that bright of a color.

7/28/15 5:57 p.m.

I don't see any of y'all swimming in that there water. What are ya a bunch of southern wussies?

Disclaimer: I grew up in the Caribbean. I don't go in the water north of Florida unless its a hot tub.

Toyman01 MegaDork
7/28/15 6:01 p.m.
NOHOME wrote: I don't see any of y'all swimming in that there water. What are ya a bunch of southern wussies? Disclaimer: I grew up in the Caribbean. I don't go in the water north of Florida unless its a hot tub.

The warmest temperature I saw was 54 degrees. The coldest my father saw was 39. That water is damn cold.

NGTD UltraDork
7/28/15 6:39 p.m.

You're welcome to the rocks. We've got lots.

Toyman01 MegaDork
8/4/15 8:10 p.m.

Back to this.

Monday dawned and was fairly clear so it was time to move on. We spent a little time filling water and fuel tanks, and pumping the black water tanks. If you ever need a marina on the north shore of Superior, Rossport is a great place to stop. Great people.

The day's trip was from Rossport to Red Rock. My Mother, her traveling friend, and I were going to take the truck around and make a grocery stop, the rest of the family was taking the boat. The boat trip ended up being foggy and pretty cold so I didn't miss much.

There's a 43' boat back there somewhere.

There it is. Sorry, auto focus and fog don't mix well.

And, that's two of the three pictures my wife took on the trip from Rossport to Red Rock.

I was a little more prolific.

Waterfalls must be photographed. Every time.

And video of course. https://youtu.be/HT3fDOlWC04

I'm pretty sure this is only a water fall after a rain. It had been raining off and on all morning. Still cool.

Lots of rock up here.

Lots of fog and low clouds too. Beautiful scenery.

We stopped in Nipigon long enough to talk to the marina. Even though they had 200' of empty dock, they wouldn't take us because of the current? Unfortunately that set the tone for the day.

Next stop Red Rock. The plan was to stay the night at the marina, fill the pantry, visit the Red Rock Inn for dinner and move on the next day. Red Rock spent a bundle building a beautiful marina and interpretive center to attract the boating tourist crowd. Unfortunately the normal marina manager was on vacation, and the person filling in didn't know what transient meant. She thought transient meant for emergency use only so, no room here either even though there was at least 400' of empty dock.

My mom is about 4'11" and at 75 she is still the reason they say dynamite comes in small packages. She was NOT happy with the marina staff for screwing up her plans. There were several emails sent out to the town council and economic development manager. More on that later.

We did stop by the grocery store. That was an experience in itself. This town was hit hard when the local mill closed. The grocery reminded me of the grocery we went to in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Variety isn't a necessity, so they don't carry it. The entire store would have fit in the pharmacy at the local Publix. Damn, we are spoiled. We stocked up and went down to the marina and I bought the ladies lunch. I had a Cow Patty, it was tasty.

I shot one picture in the cafe.

Yep, that's a receptacle in the middle of the wall about 18' up. ???

My wife's third and last picture of the day. That's the truck behind the tree at the Red Rock dock.

We loaded groceries, abandoned the truck in the corner of their parking lot for a week, and went to find a place to stay the night.

We ended up in a small cove on the Nipigon River between Red Rock and Nipigon.

That's Red Rock at the base of the far cliff.

Way off in the distance, under the tower is Nipigon.

Hanging out near by: The P500 has a 36X optical zoom and it was maxed out for that shot, so he's farther off than he looks.

I don't know how many of you have heard a Loon call, but there was a pair hanging out around the boats all evening. I swear, their call sounded like they could echo off the Michigan coast. Really beautiful. Not my video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPkCnMso5rE

My pictures.

The only other sound heard was the water lapping against the hull and the occasional train. The was the second best night of vacation. Stay tuned for the best.

With the lens all the way out. Canadian Tire must be Canada's version of Walmart. I bet half the cars on every train I saw were theirs.

That's it for Monday, moving on.

RedGT HalfDork
6/27/16 9:52 a.m.

Wait, so this writeup just...stopped? Booooooo!

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