Saturday August 2, 2014

Back at Home

We've been guilty of not updating the blog and closing off this trip info., we've been home for almost a month now. We've been busy, the bathroom reno is complete and we brought our new arrival home yesterday. Murdoch, our new Golden Retriever has settled in to the house and is being trained by Suzette, only one "accident" this morning! Stay tuned for some pictures!

Thursday July 10, 2014

In Wawa Ontario

Yesterday we spent the day in Marathon at Penn lake park, it was a good stop. We are spending single nights at each stop on the way back as we don't want to be part of the Sunday cottage "rush" on the 400 highway back to the city on Sunday, this way we arrive back home on Saturday. It was cool this morning in Marathon, only 4C, we burned up some propane overnight.

We have a good wifi connection here and we got some more pictures of the puppies, they were taken to the Royal Retirement home in Guelph yesterday to entertain the folks:

This is one of the two males:

Tuesday July 8, 2014

Pictures of the new Puppies!

One characteristic of this year's trip has been the almost unrelenting rain, there doesn't seem to be a day were we haven't seen some rain. Suzette asked the owner of the KOA here how they were doing this season, she indicated that numbers are down compared to last year, at this time last year they were turning people away, this year they are busy but there are sites available.

As a result we will spend a day less in Marathon and get back home early this coming weekend.

It does give us some time to post a number of photos sent to us by our breeder and a lady from the University of Guelph who is helping her with the litter. We don't know which male will be ours yet (the other folks getting a male have first choice) but we are sure that the new guy will be a great animal. The pictures are in no specific order. Enjoy!!

Monday July 7, 2014

In Thunder Bay

We returned the grand kids (spoiled!!) and left Vermilion Bay on Saturday, we spent Saturday and Sunday In Davy Lake RV park in Ignace. It's the first time we stopped at this park in the city, it's a good short stay campground. We tried to get a reservation at Sandbar Lake provincial park but their connection to the provincial park's central server was down so we couldn't reserve a site suitable for our RV. This year we are giving up on provincial parks, private parks provide a better experience for us.

Today we are back in the KOA in Thunder Bay at a better pull-through site:

We have our own patio and the other RV's face away from us:

We couldn't resist posting another couple of shots of the grand kids!

Wednesday July 2, 2014

Water time!

We got some sun for part of the day today so the grand kids wanted to try out the beach, yesterday they tried out the playground. A few pictures:

The first two shots are of our grand kids when we were back at their place:

Yesterday the grand kids had to try out the playground in the rain. They have neat one-piece rain suits that give great protection:

This park is very well equipped. We haven't seen inner tubes this large, they look like they come off transport trucks:

The water was a bit cool, but kids are tough!

Tuesday July 1, 2014

Grand-kids Fix - Part2

We have returned to Ontario after spending a day in Winnipeg. Riding Mountain was unusually wet this year (as is all the rest of Manitoba and northern Ontario). We spent a few days with our daughter and son-in-law and now we are in Chrystal Lake camp ground just west of Vermilion Bay with the grand kids, we will be here for four nights before heading farther east.

We have been lucky with the weather, we heard that the Trans Canada highway was closed today just west of Vermilion Bay due to flooding over the road. The highway north from Vermilion Bay was open but the water was close to the highway.

We are looking forward to the time with the grand kids here, the camp ground has some great facilities for children and if the weather improves, the beach will be inviting!

Friday June 20, 2014

Yup - there are Bears here!

Today we took a run to look at the bison, and check for other wildlife in the park. We weren't disappointed! We saw a skittish deer (no time to take a picture and 3 bears on the way to the bison compound:

This guy is eating the dandelions, there are berry bushes in the area but it's a bit early for the berries yet. The two pictures are taken with different cameras, looks like the smart phone picture isn't as bright as the Nikon. What you can't see is the hundreds of bugs around him.

There were two "clutches" of Bison, the males seemed to be mostly separate from the females with calves. The clouds in the distance are a thunderstorm approaching:

There were no bison around the exhibit area but they had left a few "calling cards":

The road to the bison area is mostly gravel (and mud with all the rain we have been having), the heavy rain on the way back washed a lot of the mud off the truck. Even got to exercise the four wheel drive although it really wasn't needed, it's the first time in 6 months or so that it's been used. When the water dries there will be a lot more mud showing!

Wednesday June 18, 2014

"Don't feed the bears" - but maybe the ground squirrels!

When we arrived here yesterday we were warned that there are a number of bears in the campground area and to be vigilant. So far we haven't seen any but we are on the look out for them.

Ground squirrels are another matter. We think that the local variety are Richardson's ground squirrels, we have seen them in the campground on past visits and our girls have fed them.

Wikipedia says that these are pests, in Saskatchewan and in the other prairie provinces they eat grain. We didn't have anything to offer this little guy other than some stale bread (we guess that is a grain with some "extras"). The squirrel ate the bread and topped it off with some clover growing in the area:

Maybe it's time to get some peanuts for him!

Tuesday June 17, 2014

Grand Kids "fix" part 1

We are in Riding Mountain National Park after visiting our kids and grand kids near Ear Falls Ontario. Before we got to Ear falls we stopped at the KOA in Thunder Bay and Sandbar Lake provincial park. Thunder Bay was a re-provisioning stop (where we got some great garlic cheese curds made by a local cheese house). Sandbar Lake was a bit of a "wash out", two days in the trailer because of rain.

We really enjoyed the visit to the Ear Falls area to visit our daughter, son in law and the grand kids. Rachelle and Kate have grown up a lot since we saw them last year:

This time of year is very active for wild life, these are a couple of shots of a mother duck who came up to the house for some bread crumbs:

Here in Riding Mountain we watched the beginning of a cottage being constructed last spring, it's complete this spring and looks great!

The lake is a little rough today, hopefully it will settle as our visit continues:

Sunday June 8, 2014

Exploring Marathon

In all the years we have been up in this area we haven't completely explored the town of Marathon, we just stayed on Lake Superior or rushed through the area. Since we got here early yesterday and are somewhat relaxed we decided to look around the town.

Marathon is (was) a lumber town and now has some gold mines around the area that help the economy. The mill went through a number of owners (James River is a company that comes to mind from the past) with it's last owner being Marathon Pulp before the mill shut down a few years ago. The owner of M & M Meat shops who we have gotten to know over the years indicated that the paper machines were removed and exported, now Priestly demolition is doing the final work to take the mill down.

The mill closing had an effect here, there a number of "mill houses" that are boarded up and the town shows the loss of the mill jobs.

A few pictures were taken of the area:

This is the mill site:

Looking out into the harbour from the shore line:

Unfortunately, as with many older facilities, there is pollution left to clean up (in this case PCB's and mercury):

The shore of Superior is beautiful though! This is a shot of pebble beach in town, it runs for about 3 km. on the shoreline:

Another view:

And another:

Lots of "driftwood" on shore!

Since Superior is an "inland sea" it modifies the climate of the area, this morning it took a while for the sun to burn off the fog created by the cold lake water. Even at noon some fog remained on the shoreline of the cove:

Tomorrow it's off to Thunder Bay!

On the road again!

Saturday June 7, 2014

After being home for just over 2 months we are back on the road! our neighbour Suzanne jokingly asked why we still have the house if we use it less than half the year. The rationale is that it's a great neighbourhood and one day we will have to "hang up the keys" and enjoy the place on a full time basis.

We left on Thursday morning and had some great driving experiences coming north. The 400 is getting better each year and once we got west of Sudbury the road was virtually empty.

This year we avoided the Ontario provincial parks that we normally stay at (Chutes in Massey and Rabbit Blanket campground in Lake Superior provincial park). Last year it was tough getting our larger RV into sites and the RV walls were scratched in Rabbit Blanket.

The first night we stayed at Serpent River RV park west of Massey just past the turn off to Elliott Lake on the Trans Canada highway. We stayed there last summer, they have pull through sites, 30 amp service with water. A couple of pictures:

The RV park is a former KOA with a few camping cabins that look out onto the Serpent River, the river probably goes out into Georgian Bay or the water route joining Georgian Bay to the Sault.

On Friday night we tried the Wawa RV resort, located just north of the exit to Wawa off the Trans Canada. It's another former KOA and the Magpie River (which eventually empties into Lake Superior) goes past the campground. It has a few pull through campsites with 30 amp electricity and water, there are also a lot of campsites in the trees throughout the park. All in all, a good place to stop on the way north. We forgot, however, to take pictures!

Today we are in Penn Lake park in the town of Marathon, we stopped here last year as well. We scored a 50 amp pull through site with full services at $40 per night as shown in the picture below. The other sites are 30 amp, with the exception of the other 50 amp pull through which is reserved for handicapped folks:

While we don't need the 50 amp service as it's not dual A/C weather as of yet by any means up here, it's nice to have the reserve power.

We are also getting lazy! We had an automatic Shaw TV dish installed on the RV roof and it has worked very well at the campsites in spite of being partially in the trees. The auto dish combined with the use of wifi and internet tethering on the Galaxy smart phone has meant that the satellite internet tripod has remained in the basement of the trailer since we left home.The other good thing is that there is dramatically improved cell service up here, we have been able to connect to the net at each campsite either by local wifi or by the phone when the wifi at the campsite has been down. This is an experimaent, if it works well the sat internet system will be ditched. the new stuff saves about a half hour of set up and take down time at each place we stop.

We are looking forward to seeing our kids and grand kids in Ear Falls and we are planning to take the grand kids camping in early July!