Monday, September 2, 2013

Summary of Our Trip

42 days / 6174 miles / 9937 kilometres

average fuel economy 11.5 mpg /  22.05 liters per 100 km

image_map-overview-russell-to-hat

image_map-actual-home-overview

Campgrounds:

  • North Bay / Dreany Haven (1)
  • Moonbeam (1)
  • Nipigon / Birchwood RV Park (1)
  • Kenora / Ancinabe (2)
  • Brandon / Turtle Crossing (1)
  • Moose Jaw / Prairie Oasis (2)
  • Medicine Hat / Gas City (7) *
  • Patricia / Dinosaur Provincial Park (3) **
  • Calgary / Calgary West (4)
  • Banff / Tunnel Mountain II (3) **
  • Medicine Hat / Gas City (3) *
  • Maple Creek / Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park Sask (4) *
  • Brandon / Turtle Crossing (2)
  • Steinbach / Kal Tire (1)
  • Kenora – Rushing River PP (1) **
  • Nipigon / Birchwood Rv Park (1)
  • Pancake Bay PP (3) **
  • North Bay / Samuel de Champlain (1)
  • HOME

(Stars beside our favourites.)

We had a WONDERFUL Time! For each of us it was our best vacation ever (although the cattle drive is a close tie for me). We saw so many wondrous things and met so many lovely people. Time flew by, yet everything seems to have happened so long ago. Spending all of that time in such close confines was not a problem – we enjoyed each others company and still had stuff to talk about during the drive times.

Before we left I had spent time making playlists on my computer for playback in the truck. We only used it a few times, usually because I wanted to hear a specific song. XM radio was our go-to music, and the 70s station played so much music that we both loved and brought back memories.

The dogs were great. They never complained about getting into the truck and rode quietly no matter how long the day. They seemed to enjoy exploring new places, and were happy to be at home in the camper. I think though that they are glad to be home.

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we aren’t there yet, I guess I have time for a nap

 

Microsoft Streets and Trips was great. Having a map that shows rest stops, gas stations with diesel, campgrounds, etc. made the trip much easier. I didn’t feel like we were “flying blind”. Plus, with the GPS add on (thanks again Don), it told us where we were and how to navigate the cities. Very handy. And it gave me something to do on the endless roads.

Ontario has the nicest, and best equipped rest stops. They are often by a lake or river (if there is one in the area). Picnic tables and outhouses are not unusual.

The highway is just 2 lanes through most of Ontario. Some areas have frequent passing lanes, but it is mostly head on traffic. Luckily the traffic is not heavy until we hit the Ottawa valley. The highway through Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta is 4 lane divided, and for the most part in good shape. Again, not much traffic.

Three days into our trip the grey tank started leaking. We had a minor fit, wondering what were were going to do and where we’d get it fixed. Well, we didn’t fix it, instead we learned to do without. We kept a washing bowl in the kitchen and bathroom sinks, dumping the contents into the black tank. We weren’t anywhere long enough (or if we were we weren’t doing any cooking) for this to be a problem. If we had full hook-ups we’d keep the valve open to use the shower. It worked very well and was really no problem.

Biggest lesson learnt – plan for shorter driving days. The long days where we get tired are the days that mishaps are most likely to happen, not to mention they just aren’t fun! Also, staying at some places for more than one night would give us a chance to recharge and tour the area without the trailer. In other words, the trip has to be longer!

 

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I wonder when we’ll go again – I hope it’s soon.

 

 

“The greatest adventure is what lies ahead. Today and tomorrow are yet to be said. The chances, the changes are all yours to make. The mold of your life is in your hands to break.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit