What a gorgeous drive to Lake Superior! This trek was supposed to take just over four hours, but I think that we were in awe so many times as we rounded another turn or crested another hill, that it took much longer. Or it could be that we haven’t quite worked up the stamina yet for days of driving!
We will definitely have to come back to this area of northern Ontario! It is an absolutely gorgeous coastal drive with huge hills and cliffs. We were passing through scattered rain squalls at times, which led to beautiful misty hilltops. The car certainly had to work climbing some of the hills. Just a warm up for the west coast! The big city to pass through was Sault Sainte Marie, so we were reminiscing about a fun wedding we attended there for friends a long time ago. And as a past nuclear-junky, Blind River had a sort of importance for C. But aside from some of the smaller towns, it starts to get a little bit more remote.
During the drive, we came to a realization. There’s nothing like being in areas with zero cell coverage to realize how much we are dependent on the ease of technology. Answers as to what the weather will be like for the next few days and where is the next RV repair centre (LOL – sort of) remain spottily elusive. So when time ticks down to respond to an Airbnb guest, it can make you start watching those little highway signs like a hawk for hints of ‘Free WiFi’. In 50 days, I wonder, will we breathe a sigh of relief when we get out of cellular range, or keep craving the pockets of WiFi like addicts? Needless to say, the GPS in this new-ish, fan-dangled SUV is definitely coming in handy.
Speaking of those highway signs, the first impression of these smaller, less-produced signs that dot the roadside every once in a while is an ‘aww… isn’t that cute!’ with a measure of 6/10 on the hokey scale. Signs of Agawa Crafts literally every 5 km for 80 km, or of Sunset Motel with ‘Ample Parking’ and ‘Jacuzzi Room!’. A certain sister in marketing would draft up a much-improved advertising strategy in 12 easy steps. But a strange thing happens at hour four. After a while, these modest signs become your friends as you drive along the undisturbed rolling hills, helping to mark the exciting things coming up, and ticking the clicks down as you get closer and closer to the next town. Eventually, G and I say in unison “Oooooh… Canadian Tire”, something that never elicited that response from us ever before.
Now back to the beauty of this corner of the province. At Lake Superior Provincial Park, G booked us a site at Agawa Bay campground right on the beach. This was literally our backyard:
Neighbours told us that the night previous, the windy stormy weather had driven the folks on this site to an inner site half way through the night. But we were lucky with gorgeous still waters and soft breezes (although a chilly night!).
My first thought when looking at these rocks is the contrast. There is much more contrast in the colour of the little stones on the shores of Lake Superior than in my beloved Muskoka Canadian Shield rocks – deeper reds and brighter whites, rich black-greens and light pink, veined with green. There’s even one we dubbed cookies and cream, after one of our favourite ice creams.
Ethan’s rock “golf ball”.
Our first campfire of the trip! We’re colder than we look. 🙂
And this is the peaceful night that surrounded our tent trailer. G doing his photography mastery stuff…
And everything is all peaceful, and the kids are asleep… until around 3:30 AM when BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!!! The liquid propane alarm starts going off. Now in our sleepy daze, we had no idea what was going on, which alarm was going, or what to do. We confirmed that the trailer manual was useless (as is normal for trailer manuals, apparently). We had just used the propane from the trailer for the first time that night (to cook the best spaghetti ever – this may have had to do with being cold and tired around a fire). And we had forgotten to turn off the propane tank itself. So we turned off the tank and opened every window to use the frigid night air to air out the non-existent smell of propane, just to be sure. It went off eventually (and the kids miraculously stayed asleep the entire time). At a later time, we were reassured that it was because the trailer battery was almost dead and the alarm went off to indicate it was running out of power. So now we know that our car is in fact not charging our trailer battery…. interesting fact. We’ll add that as item # 200 on things we’re learning about this trailer.
Until the next WiFi spot…
P.S. – Did anyone else use clicks for kilometers? An old adage from my dad.