Monday, September 08, 2014


Before leaving Sault Ste Marie, Michigan we had to do a little sightseeing in the area. Another river, the Saint Mary, with locks.  Here lake freighters transit between Lake Superior and Lake Huron on the river and through the locks.  Really big ships up to a 1000 feet in length built just wide enough to squeeze through. Many, as we learned in the visitors center are "self loading bulk carriers", carrying mostly ore of some type.

We knew going in that Canada could be expensive with the extra taxes one must pay for living there.  We do get a slight break because the exchange rate is favorable to the US dollar, but when researching camping options in some of Ontario's provincial parks, I about choked.  Try $50 a night.  Some parks even charge by the hour for day use.  I don't know, but it just seemed kinda outrageous to me.  But we were bound and determined to see some of the parks.

First up was Killarney Provincial Park, apparently Ontario's most popular park.  We opted to stay in a private campground in the town of Killarney for half the price.  As the only campers in the campground we got the pick of campsites and picked the one with a great view of Georgian  Bay, on Lake Huron.



A side note about Ontarians.  After entering Canada, we stopped in the town of Sudbury for fuel.  Traffic was pretty heavy in the city and gas stations were difficult to get into with a truck and trailer.  While attempting to enter several stations, we were repeatedly cut off with idiots cutting in front of us.  We finally gave up and drove on down the highway.  Out in the countryside, we found a place to fill up and I tried to have a conversation with the attendant pumping the gas.  This proved to be futile as he either had no interest in talking to a customer or he was just another idiot. When we inquired at the Provincial Park about day passes, the gal behind the counter acted like she could care less when I was asking questions about where to hike.  Not helpful at all.  Was it me or is Ontario full of uncaring people, which was what we were beginning to think.

Anyway, we decided to go for a hike in the park along the Cranberry Bog Trail, a 2 1/2 mile loop through some beautiful scenery.  But the hikers in the photo below ignored our greeting of "Good Morning".

As luck would have it, we missed a turn on the trail and although not lost, at least not yet, we were beginning to realize that something was amiss.  As we were deciding to go forward or to turn around, along came Andrew and Debbie.  You can surmise because I wrote their names here that they were more talkative and friendly than others we had met so far.  I thought at first that the probably weren't from Ontario, but perhaps another Province of Canada where nice people lived.  But no, they were from Ontario.  They set us on the correct path and accompanied us along the way.  After arriving back at the trail head, we were invited to their camp for coffee, which we accepted with some trepidation. We weren't sure if they had lulled us into a false sense friendliness, but as it turns out, Andrew and Debbie were really nice people.  In fact not wanted to let them get away from us, we invited them to join us in the evening for happy hour.  With our faith somewhat restored, we decided to continue our trip into Ontario.

After a couple of days, we hit the road again and headed to Algonquin Provincial Park, the largest park in Ontario.  This time we paid the freight and stayed in one of the many provincial campgrounds in the park.  With too many lakes to count, canoeing is big here, with paddling about on short forays or the longer overnight trips requiring portages between rivers and lakes.  We opted to stay dry and hit the trail for a nice hike.  There is also a nice bike trail on an old logging railway route which I took advantage of.  Here are some photos of some of the views from the bike and trail.

Our faith in the friendliness of the local population was further buoyed when camping neighbor Bob invited us to join him and his group for happy hour.  Bob along with his wife, Jane, his sister Linda and her husband Joe welcomed us into their camp for refreshments and conversation.  Bob offered us the use of his canoe, but Cathie declined after learning that Bob managed to fall out of it on his morning paddle.  According to Bob, you know you're a real Canadian if you can have sex in a canoe without turning it over.

With our opinion about Ontarians changed we headed towards Quebec City, with a short stop along the way for  a resupply and Internet in Ogdensburg,  Upstate New York.

1 comment:

Dibb Family said...

LOL, I was quite ready to say 'screw 'um,' I'm not going to Ontario, till I got to the end...