08 October 2013

Cross Canada and Back, Part 65, The End!


Saskatchewan to home

Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia

Go to Part one of this trip here

27th of September 2011

Early in the morning we leave Rose and Allan's place. We had a great time, thank you to both of you!
Great Road all the way to Jasper.

Our goal today is to drive to Jasper, Alberta for us. A drive of approximately 800 km. It is a beautiful day on the prairies.

The sun is shining. There is some dust in the air from all the harvesting going on. The driving is easy, Highway 16, the Yellowhead is all freeway.

We do not have headwind, so we make good time. We have driven this road quite a few times, so we relax and and put on some country music.

We arrive at our destination Jasper National Park of Canada. Jasper is a great place to camp right up in the mountains at over 1000 meters or 3400 feet above sea level. We stay in the Whistlers Campground.

Mountain landscape, Jasper National Park of Canada
Jasper National Park of Canada

Person taking a picture close to a bull elk
Some crazy people have to go close.
Around this time in the mountains it is "Rutting Season". We are warned to stay way clear of the Elks, especially the  the bull Elks.

We decide to celebrate the end of our "Cross Canada Trip" and treat ourselves and go downtown Jasper for a prime rib dinner and a bottle of wine. So good!

Later we also shop just a few supplies.

Next day we continued through the mountains on the Yellowhead Highway west and soon enter our home province of British Columbia.

A little rain, a little sunshine, a little fog, we got everything.

Temperatures varied between - 2 and - 10 degrees Celsius. We stopped at the Mt. Robson Cafe and Store in Mount Robson Provincial Park. We refilled our travel mugs with coffee and had a little sweet.

The scenery here was spectacular, cool and crisp. We were a little surprised, even though we traveled
Mount Robson, British Columbia
early, we did not see any animals. I guess it was too cold to graze.

Five hours later we arrived in the city of Kamloops. We filled up Diesel in our truck and drove on toward Merritt in the Nicola Valley.

We always love this stretch of the road. Merritt is pretty in summer and in winter.

The Nicola Valley looks very gentle with all the rolling hills. We made good time over the Coquihalla Hwy all the way to Hope.

As soon as we come into the Fraser Valley around Chilliwack, Anders starts to smell the ocean, and smiles from ear to ear.

We reached Fort Langley at about 5pm. Good drive.

We camped at the Fort Langley Campground. This was convenient. We unhooked, and the next day we drove just with the truck into Vancouver.

City of Vancouver. Traffic and city scape
Vancouver, British Columbia Canada

View out the windo overlooking park and ocean.
Back in Victoria, British Columbia Canada.

Cruise ship coming in to dock.
Cruise ship coming in to dock in Victoria
We got together with Jenny and Josh at a Japanese Restaurant.

It was so nice to see them after such a long time. We finally got some family hugs.

On Friday the 30th of September 2011, day 138 of our trip, we took the ferry to Victoria and home.

It was wonderful to see Lisa, Mark, Sarah and Ryan again. More hugs, that was great.

Linda and Mathew were at that time in Africa.

Our Canada Cross Country trip was more then we expected, it was an experience of a lifetime. We certainly would do it again.

Concentrating on areas we missed, or ran out of time. Every corner of our beautiful country has its own special beauty.

We came back from this trip appreciating where we live and all the place we had enjoyed while travelling from coast to coast to coast.

Canada, yours to discover!

More pictures from this part of the trip in our on line photo album.








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Cross Canada and Back, Part 64


Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan

Sept 20th to 26th, 2011

At Rose and Al's Place.

We had our 5th Wheel set up on the hill overlooking Jackfish Lake right next to their house. This is a very beautiful part of Saskatchewan. Around this time of the year thousands of migrating birds congregate on this lake.
House by the lake
Rose and Al's new house on Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan.

Truck and fifth wheel set up by the lake.
We are camped right by the house. Fantastic view.

From Pelicans to Snow Geese and everything in between. One morning Al called and said to come and have a look on one of his harvested fields.

When we got there, thousands of birds were eating some of the left over wheat kernels on the ground and sprouting seeds.

We visited Anders' mom Ruth. She lives in North Battleford. She likes the convenience of this prairie town.

Ruth recently had a hip operation, but is doing extremely well. Anders took her to Saskatoon for a check-up with her surgeon. She is in great shapes!

North Battleford, as the name suggests, has quite a history. In North Battleford we also visited the Allen Sapp Gallery.

Allen Sapp is a native artist who paints from his child hood memory.  His images are very interesting. The gallery is well worth a visit.

Combine harvesting in the field
One of four combines going

Anders walking away from combine
Anders just had to go for a ride


While the harvesting is going on, Rose is fully busy cooking and taking the food to the crew on the fields. The men work often very long hours on the combines and hauling trucks.

Some of Al's fields are quite a bit more north. One evening we went along with Rose to take the food into the fields. Very interesting.

Anders could not resist, he took a ride with one of the man in one of these monster machines called combines.

Harvesting has changed since Anders had his ranch. These machine are guided by GPS, the cabs are air-conditioned, but still, it is a hard and dusty job. While Anders did his farmer thing , I photographed the Bison herd two fields over.

Buffalo grazing
Buffalo grazing in a nearby field
Naturally, around the kitchen table we discussed farming , the increases of the property prices, and if it would be a good idea to own farmland.
Well, now in hind-site ( 2013 ) it looks like we missed the boat. So we will be content to just visit from time to time.

We will not have to worry if it hails, rain, or no rain, or bugs have damaged the crops like all farmers have to do. Canada is very lucky to have such wonderful prairie farmers growing food for all of us.

Sunset over the lake
Saskatchewan Sunset
For more pictures from this part of the trip, check out our photo album.









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Cross Canada and Back, Part 63


Kenora, Ontario to Manitoba and Saskatchewan

18th and 19th of September 2011, days 126 and 127


Kenora was windy and rainy over night. We had taken in the slides, and were swaying all night long
Info center building on the lake in Kenora, Ontario
Tourist info center in Kenora, Ontario

Liz in the art exhibit with large window to the lake
Liz taking in the art exhibit upstairs in the tourist center.
We were staying at Anicinabe RV Park right on Lake of the Woods.

It was Sunday morning and we drove downtown to explore the town. Well except McDonalds and Timmy's it looked very deserted. Some lonely native people walked the streets.

Tons of hotels and motels show that in summer it would be very busy. It is a cute town, even though it was originally called "Rat Portage".

This name probably described in the pioneer days the portaging through all these islands.

We find the brand new City of Kenora tourist information building. Wow, the building is beautiful.

It is designed by a local architect with huge wood beams and glass features. It reminded me of "The Rooms" the art gallery in ST.Johns, Newfoundland. Upstairs nice local art was on exhibit.

The rain really closed in. It looked grey in grey. It was time to leave town. We went back to the RV park, packed up and drove west into Manitoba.

Highway on the prairie
Driving West toward Saskatchewan

Farm fields with round strawbales
A good harvest in most places.

lake shore of Oak Lake
Oak Lake Campground.
We passed Falcon Lake around noon where we stayed on our way east in early summer. We drove through Winnipeg and all the way to Oak Lake Campground past Brandon, Manitoba.

We were on a mission to drive west and home as fast as possible. Sorry Manitoba! We will have to come back and really visit here.

It looks like there would be so much to explore and discover in Manitoba's arts and culture and recreation places.

I think we were just traveled out. Our brains could not intake more information.

Monday morning Anders woke up with a nasty cold. Soon we were on the road again and in no time we were in Saskatchewan on highway 1 toward Regina.

From Regina we took Hwy 11 toward Saskatoon where we merged in to the number 16 Yellow head hwy.

The weather improved the more west we came. Our drive was very pleasant, rolling gentle hills on Hwy 1 and then along the Saskatchewan River toward Saskatoon.

We arrived in the middle of the afternoon at Anders' sister Rose and Allan' place on Jack Fish Lake just past North Battleford, Saskatchewan.

We stayed with Rose and Al for about 5 days.

For more pictures of this part of the trip, check out our on line photo album.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

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07 October 2013

Cross Canada and Back, Part 62


Neys Provincial Park to Kenora, Ontario

Sept 17th 2011, day 125, Saturday

Our truck and fifth wheel trailer at a rest stop
Time to change drivers

This was a eleven hour driving day. We drove all the way from Neys Provincial Park on Lake Superior to Kenora, in eastern part of Ontario close to the Manitoba border.

Again we started very early.Beautiful sunshine and cold weather. Terrace Bay has a smelly pulp mill, but sits pretty on the hill overlooking the bay.

Rainbow Falls and Rossport are gorgeous. Anders and I switched drivers about every 1 1/2 hours, but Anders took the longer hours.

Liz driving the truck.
Liz's turn to drive.

road along the lake at Fort Frances
Fort Frances Area
We by-passed Thunderbay and headed for Hwy #11 toward Fort Frances, all the way along the US / Canada border.

Lucky that Anders took Diesel in Thunderbay. There was not a gas station, village, or supplies for the next 250 km +/_ until Fort Frances.

This Hwy # 11 was great, not too many up and downs, no pot holes, and basically no traffic.

We were surprised that there were Bell Towers along this stretch of highway, yet along Hwy. 17 we often had no reception?!?

Along this stretch of the highway it is called " Mom's Highway". But I think there are mostly dads travelling here. Maybe it should be re named?

It looks like fishing and hunting country. There are a few native villages. The area is remote with no street numbers. The odd driveway and homes are marked as : "Sue and Craig Bell" or " GrandPa Joe".

Fort Frances is a dusty border lumber town in the Rainy River District. It has a very interesting
Anders driving the truck, looking at the lake side
Anders love this area.
history:

From Fort Frances we took Hwy 71 north through the Lake of the Woods area toward Kenora. The Lake of the Woods area is amazing. It has over 14,000 islands.

In other words it is a paradise for water sports, fishing and hunting. Nestor Falls and Sioux Narrows are resort towns along here. We stop at Sioux Narrows and talk to the visitor information agent.

They have a lot going on: Spring BBQ and Oktoberfest celebrations and in Nestor Falls, residents enjoy the Annual Pig Roast on August Long Weekend. They also have a very popular Winter Carnival.

Each summer, this cottage town hosts an Arts Festival which draws local artisans as well as exhibitors from far and wide to display fine art, woodwork, pottery and more.

When we arrived in Kenora, we had just over 30,000km showing on our Cross Canada Trip mater.

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Cross Canada and Back, Part 61


Manitoulin Island to Neys Provincial Park

Sept 16th 2011 , Friday, day 124


Anders woke me up at 6 am. We just made coffee, packed breakfast and lunch, broke camp. At 7 am
7 am, sun is just about to come up.
we were rolling over the Little Narrows bridge direction Espanola. Not a cloud in the sky, minus 3 degrees Celsius, a beautiful crisp autumn morning.

The mist and fog was steaming off the ponds as we drove Birch Island and Whitefish Falls.
After Espanola we were heading west toward Sault St.Marie.

The drive along the North Channel, Lake Huron, between the mainland and Manitoulin Island was spectacular that morning.

View out the window of a small lake along the roadway
Wonderful drive and beautiful landscape.
We drove up steep hills and down again, in and out of fog and sunshine. From time to time we could see distant views of the lake.

Then all of a sudden we were right down by pristine beaches, like in Culter and Blind River. In Serpent River it is minus 2 degrees Celcius.

We drove through Sault Ste. Marie, then north along gorgeous Batchawana Bay, Pancake Bay, Montreal River. This is a great drive that should not be missed.
Camped right next to the beach. Just wonderful.

Liz for a walk on the beach. Feeling much better now!

Anders and Liz  on the beach at Neys Provincial Park
We stopped from time to time to admire the lonely and raw country side.

We continued through Lake Superior Provincial Park, Wawa, and Marathon to Neys Provincial Park.

We liked this park a lot when we drove east in early summer, so we decided to came back here, right on Lake Superior.

I was a little woozy from the long drive and all the up and downs through the rock cuts of Highway 17.

I was soon feeling better. Amazing what a bit of food and some wine can do.

After supper, and we went for a nice walk on the beach in a golden sunset.

This park is very special and if you travel this route you just have to visit here.

We were camped right next to the beach and it is just so wild and wonderful. Ontario at its best.

For more pictures from this part of the trip, check out our on line picture album.




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Cross Canada and Back, Part 60


Manitoulin Island, Ontario

Thursday 15 September 2011, day 123


We went for a long drive around Manitoulin island. Small villages, small farms, some cottages and a lot of bush land and grass. Manitoulin Island is the largest lake Island in the world.

We drove from Sheguiandah to M'Chigeeng. We dropped into some arts and crafts stores. In one they had all kinds of original native art and handicrafts.

They also had a small museum in the back mostly with porcupine quill baskets and cedar baskets. I
Anders in front of door.
Anders going shopping
just bought some trinkets like all tourists.

Quill baskets with native birds and animals they had behind a glass enclosure were exquisite. I loved one with a Blue Heron on a small box with relief tail feathers. But it was way  over $350.00, so we drove on.

Yesterday we looked at some humorous native paintings at the Ten Mile Point Gallery. We loved one of the paintings, but decided that we do not have the space to display more paintings.

Today we continued our journey through Kagawong to Goore Bay.

This area of the island seams to have more agriculture going. Some of the field are looked after and dairy cows or cattle are grazing.

Anders driving truck in late afternoon
Getting late in the day. Happy Hour anyone?
We drove back over Honora and Aundeck Omnikaning to Little Current. There we shopped for some food and Anders washed the truck.

I visited Manitoulin Island in 1968 and looked at a very colourful Pow Wow. The dancers were incredible. Anders and I were too late in the season this time to see any special presentations.

Just looking at the 2013 calendar, all the Pow Wows were from June to the 1st of September. Too bad. A good reason to go back.

This was our last evening on this island.  We made supper and prepared sandwiches for the road next day.

The next day we started driving west towards home.

Here are some shortcuts to all the blogs from our Cross Canada Trip. Just hover over the number to see where it will take you

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