Part 5: Across Canada Adventure with Warren Darbyson

Welcome to the 5th and final edition of our cross-Canada Blog

July 4 – Day 27

Before leaving Moncton, we made a special stop at the Treitz Haus where we learned about Brad Trite’s (marketing director for Northern Lite) 10th great grandfather who played a big part in establishing Moncton, and who’s house is still standing from the 1700s.

We carried on our trip and visited the Patrick Owens Covered Bridge near Waasis before exploring the riverfront in Fredericton. From there we visited the Hartland Covered Bridge (the longest covered bridge in the world at 391m. It was built between 1898 and 1901). Our final stop of interest as we left New Brunswick was Grand Falls & Gorge. This is a great stop as the falls and gorge are right in the middle of town. We then ventured into Quebec and stayed at the Quebec City KOA Holiday campground. This is another very large park with multiple bathrooms and showers.

July 5 – Day 28

Today we drove to Cobourg, ON. We didn’t make a lot of stops, but a few highlights include Hall’s Apple Market where we bought an excellent quiche, great apple cider, and a few jars of homemade pickles. We also discovered the OnRoute stops along the highway. These are excellent facilities. We wish they were every few hundred kilometres across Canada. They include a gas/diesel station, a modern, clean building with Wi-Fi, bathrooms, and a variety of fast food stores like Tim Hortons, Burger King, Starbucks, etc. all in one building.  We arrived at the town of Cobourg to stay at the Victoria Park Campground. This is a city-owned park that we probably wouldn’t stay at again, but it was on a spectacular beach on Lake Ontario. The beach easily rivals some we have enjoyed in Mexico. There were also some really cool abandoned “mansions” on the main road into town.

July 6 – Day 29

We left Cobourg behind and made our way to Oshawa where we visited a friend of Rhonda’s before heading to Stratford to see Camp Out RV – a NL dealer in that community. We visited with the staff at the dealership and had a great lunch in town with the sales manager. This is a very nice little community, well-known for the Stratford Festival where some pretty big plays come to the local theatre.

We spent the afternoon driving from Stratford to a campground just outside of Sudbury. It is probably one we won’t visit again as the sites were very cramped and the park/facilities were not great. However, we chatted with a lovely family beside us who were also travelling across Canada from BC, and it did offer a safe place to spend the night.

July 7 – Day 30

Today we drove from Sudbury to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park where we stayed in the Whitesand Lake Campground. We didn’t get to see the falls, but we did enjoy a great campfire and an early night to bed. This is a nice forest campground with only a few amenities, but lots of trees and privacy.

July 8 – Day 31

Today we made the long drive from Rainbow Falls to Kenora. There are a lot of beautiful views of Lake Superior along the way…but it is a long drive! We recommend stopping at the Terry Fox Memorial and Lookout near Thunder Bay. This is an amazing tribute to Terry Fox and also offers a fantastic view of Lake Superior. There is a nice building, bathrooms, a monument, etc. We arrived in Kenora with time to visit several very quaint boutiques along 2nd Avenue. We spent the evening on the MS Kenora Dinner Cruise. This was a fantastic way to spend the evening with a delicious meal, an excellent tour of many islands in Lake of the Woods, and very friendly, sociable staff. We highly recommend taking this tour if you find yourself in Kenora. It goes out three times a day through the summer and offers lunch and dinner cruises.

July 9 – Day 31

We left Kenora early and headed for Steinbach RV and Trailer Sales, another NL dealer, in Steinbach, Manitoba where Warren did a bit of staff training. This was a quick drive from Kenora, and we left behind the hills and trees for flatter, more open land. After the visit, we continued to Creekside Gardens & RV Park in Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan. This is a small campground near Hwy 1 with surprisingly beautiful flower gardens.

July 10 – Day 32

Today we drove from Qu’Appelle to Medicine Hat where we enjoyed a great visit and dinner with family before heading to spend the night in Eldorado RVs parking lot in Lethbridge, AB. We did visit Eldorado at the start of the trip, but we headed back there so Warren could do some training of new staff.

July 11 – Day 33

After doing some morning training, we finally headed home to Blind Bay! A long day of driving, but with some of the most beautiful views of the entire trip and ones that are familiar to us as we went through Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Field, Golden, Revelstoke, Sicamous, and Salmon Arm before pulling into our driveway in Blind Bay. If you have not yet done the drive from Canmore, AB to Sicamous, BC, you have to add it to your must-see list. Nothing that we saw in Canada can compare with the views of the Rocky Mountains and many valleys. It is truly breathtaking.

Final Thoughts!

For those of you who are interested, here are a few stats/lessons learned about our trip overall:

  • Full-service sites often put the services in odd spots, so ensure you have extensions for sewer, water, and electric.
  • Not all sites are level, so bring along leveling blocks of some kind.
  • If you are in a spot to use a public shower, laundry, or sewer dump, use them in case they aren’t available at your next stop.
  • The solar panels are amazing, so we never had to worry about having power hookups. In fact, some of our nicest sites were tenting sites with no hookups. This allowed us to stay right on the beach in many areas.
  • We used about two bottles of propane in total. This was to run the fridge and oven mostly. We didn’t use the hot water tank that much. If you have an empty tank, start looking for fill stations everywhere because they are not common in Nova Scotia or Cape Breton. There are a lot of trade-in stations, but we didn’t want to give up our nice, new tanks.
  • Also, ensure that all windows are latched closed, bathroom door is latched, vents are closed, everything on the counter is stowed away and in its spot, fridge door is closed completely, steps are in the up position, door is deadbolted, and grab handle is across the door.
  • The trip ended up being 16,454.8 kms of driving.
  • We spent $ 5,761 on diesel, which was actually less than expected given current prices, this works out to a cost of $0.35 per km.