Canada · 44 Days · 26 Moments · June 2017

1 August 2017

Drumheller is really neat. The landscape is amazing and they found lots of dinosaurs here.

30 July 2017

Spent a couple of days in Edmonton with good friends.

25 July 2017

Found a nice camp site near Lloydminster which is in Saskatchewan and Alberta. There was a nice beach and we had a good swim.
I have done hundreds of paintings of the mountains and forest (some okay, most not) because I am moved by God's creation. I never thought that the prairies would move me to tears like the mountains. The vastness, the contrasts, the trees that are a millimetre high on the horizon, the brilliance of the canola fields and the blueness of the flax fields all add up to that same feeling of awe. We left Saskatoon and Gordon Howe rv park today. I wanted to see the Duokhabors sod huts but it was closed but I got the best hame made sausage ever. I am ruined for sausage! We drove 16 kms on a dirt road to see the twisted trees. The ride there was as cool as the trees. The roads are so straight and there is nothing but fields of wheat.

23 July 2017

The Gordon Howe rv park. Canadian eh? It is an RV park in the city of Saskatoon and is surrounded by baseball and football fields. Saskatoon is full of beautiful mature elm trees. It is also kind of scary as there is a lot of crime and drugs and a lot of it is with the Aboriginals. We went to a little Baptist church this morning and had a lovely fellowship lunch after the service. It was great to be with Christians. Spent the afternoon walking and resting by the waterfront- the South Saskatchewan River. A very hot day. Next day we went to the Deifenbaker museum. He really was a great Canadian, a man for the people. We also went out to a beaver restoration area where the prairie has been preserved in its natural state. I did a trail called the open sky and experienced walking the prairies. What a feeling.

22 July 2017

The drive today was really nice. We passed by beautiful canola fields. We were surprised to see so many lakes and marshes along the way. The roads are straight and you can see so far. It got exciting as we passed beside a system that had tornadoes in it. I was glad that it was always on the far horizon. The sky was so black and Claude saw the funnels starting to form. Manitou Lake is saltier the the Dead Sea. It was a very funny sensation to be in water and not sink. I couldn't do the breast stroke because my pelvis wouldn't stay low enough. There are beautiful abandoned Orthodox Ukrainian churches all over.

20 July 2017

Riding Mountain National Park Always so happy to find a beach. This one has nice deep water. Cold and refreshing. Saw a nice little garden that was started here years ago. There is a cabin for the artist in residence that was making me drool. The artist gets to stay there for a few weeks and paint scenes of the area. The park took the cooler we left on the campsite even though it was clean and empty. When I went yo get it the ranger explained that the bears recognize the shape and colour and will come sniffles around the campsite which they are trying to avoid. They call it a " bare" proof campsite. Kind of neat because back in the day they would be moved or destroyed.
S

19 July 2017

Riding Mountain National Park is on a big lake and near a town like Banff. The campsite is similar to Ontario but the trees are much bigger thankfully there are less bugs. However, there are bears! A big one ambled by when we were setting up and then I saw it on my way to the bathroom at 6 a.m. the next morning. I was glad I saw it when I was almost there and was able to stand near the door in while I watched it. A big cinnamon coloured black bear with a black snout. It was snuffing around in the bush, and pounced in the earth setting up a cloud of dust then chewed in the earth. Maybe it was ants. Then it ambled off. We took a guided tour to see some naturalized bison. They are from a herd that was rescued when the millions of buffalo were down to only 2000. Our guide was an Assinabe native and told us a lot about his ancient culture.

17 July 2017

Lower Fort Garry was interesting. It was an outpost for the Hudson's Bay Company on the Red River linking the fur trapping to Churchill on the Hudson Bay. Funny how our country was founded on fashion. Better than war. The Forks in Winnipeg were interesting too. Lots of history.

16 July 2017

The prairies are amazing. It is hard to describe how you just feel different, like coming out of a cocoon. I've always thought that the corn fields of Quebec are big. Compared to the fields here they are tiny. There is no end to them. And we aren't even in the grasslands yet. There are areas of bush here and there that break the line of vision. We are at an RV place called Great Woods. It makes me laugh after having come through the endless forest. We are seeing Manitoba maple, trembling aspen and a few spruce. There are some pretty white birds that look like big swallows. The people in Manitoba are really nice. We were looking for the washroom at the RV site and were offered a ride on the back of a golf cart by an older couple. That led to an invite at their place for a glass of wine. Gas is more than cheap!
We swam in Lake Winnipeg! We have flown over it so many times in amazement. We were at Grand Beach near Grand Marais. It is one of ten of the largest fresh water beaches in North America and the sand is fine and white. It must have been about 5 kilometres long and there were thousands of people on it. It is located in a provincial park. The water was clear, shallow and cold. Perfect for us. The shad flies are huge and hung out on Claude's back to get out of the wind. Yummy hamburgers, fries and ice cream at the beach hut and back for a camp fire. Tomorrow we will tour the historic sites around here. btw my great plaid pant are the Ontario Parks tartan.

15 July 2017

Packed up and headed to the sun in Dryden. We stayed in a trailer park because the sites at the provincial Park were all mushy from the rain. Claude got the water tank in the trailer ready to go. Izo and I figured out how to use face time which was a laugh. We watched our recordings of our favourite tv shows which was weird. Dryden is a mill town and a lake had been enlarged be a river damn affecting the Native community. We got in some beach time at Aran Provincial Park. The trailer park is right o the T can so was pretty noisy. These humongous black birds came to see us as we were leaving. Time to leave Ontario!

14 July 2017

Fushimi Provincial Park is a small camp site 13 kilometres off the highway by a lovely lake. Apparently a Japanese man had the land put aside as a nature place. It was really quiet, not many song birds, no chipmunks but bugs like you wouldn't believe. I put my hand up to take a picture and there was an instant cloud of mosquitoes around my hand. Bug spray, coils, citronella and a fly swatter were the tools of the night. They came into the camper by the dozens. We're not sure how! The weather forecast was for rain so we left the next morning. Maybe would have anyway. Too bad, as it is a nice place. There were lots of people fishing there.
The trip out of Esker Lake Provincial Park was a whole new landscape. Back into the black spruce but they were small and scrubby looking. There is a lot of logging there so it may all be second growth. On the way to Matheson we were on a dirt road but it was being redone with a new technology that made it almost like asphalt. We talked with the stop sign lady whose face was full of jewelled piercings. Oh Canada! I forgot to mention a lady I spoke with on the beach. She had such a strong Canadian accent I thought she was putting it on. She was parent of a group of six teachers who were running a week long camp for children with anxiety. Oh Canada! A momma bear and 2 cubs crossed the road in front of us and we would have hit one if we hadn't slowed down. I saw the momma coming from the side of the road and thought it was a dog. Then we saw the cubs. A 60 second encounter that is burned onto my brain. Oh Canada! Okay, I'll stop saying that. Hearst Ontario is more French than Montreal.

12 July 2017

We spent the day driving in the rain and found a cheap motel with a kitchen unit in Thunder Bay. I went to the Terry Fox statue for a brief look in the pouring rain. Claude stayed in the car.

10 July 2017

Got in some beach and sketching time today at this beautiful provincial park, Esker Lake. It is filled with birch trees. It is really neat how they grow in bunches of three.
We got to only Esker Lake Provincial Park at 7 p.m, 450kms, as we had to stock up in Val Dor. It took 45 minutes to find a sight - it's a huge campground. We figured out that you can't back up this trailer so some neighbours helped us get it into place so we could reach the plug. The trailer seemed difficult to set up. I hope it gets easier as we go along.

9 July 2017

It took along time to pack up this morning but we had to sort out our stuff. We brought way too much! At first it seemed that there wasn't much storage in the trailer but it just needed a bit of rearranging. It was a cold night and the electrical outlet is only for those big mammoth rigs so no heater. We resorted to the old tried and true, body warmth. I love driving through LaVerendre Park. It feels like you are going through a green tunnel of black spruce with the odd majestic eastern white pine poking through. As you travel farther west you start to see more birch and larch.

8 July 2017

We arrived at the campsite at 5. Seems slow for 300 Kms. It' an RV place, so not really our style but the idea was to be somewhere to test out the pop up. The black flies ate us up. The sky was still bright at 9:30 and there is a beautiful full moon on the rise. Going to sleep well tonight. It's nice and cosy in our little trailer.
We were able to stop at our favourite picnic spot in Labelle. Since the last time we were there, a new highway has been built! You can't really see the Rivière Rouge anymore as the embankment is overgrown. The WW 2 anti aircraft gun is still there. There are so many fir trees on the drive.
And we're off! Maureen and family to Orford and us to...... Getting the hitch on was a defi but we were missing a step. Got it now.
Getting ready to live on the road for 2 months is a lot of work. We're all set to pack up, but there is a thunder storm. Hopefully we'll get this far today.

7 July 2017

Packing up!

24 June 2017

Provinces, eco zones, forests and native peoples across this great land.

18 June 2017

We are all set to go. After a family reunion in Morin Heights, we will set off across this great country on July 8.