Saturday, July 2, 2016


Eventually we had to move on from Port Dover, and I had ambitions to drive the Trans Canada Highway from Sudbury to Ottawa. After some humming and hawing (and figuring how far out of the way that would be) we decided that going to North Bay would seriously reduce the mileage and still let us drive some of the Trans Canada.

A couple of stops in Walmarts to help balance the camping budget got us thinking again, and in Renfrew we decided to just drive directly to Ottawa and the heck with side trips!

We still drove a little of the Trans Canada but apart from saying we drove on it there wasn't much to it.

What was nice was driving thru Algonquin Provincial Park with it's many lakes and huge forests. Pity there aren't any pull offs that will take an RV, we'd have loved to have stopped and took pictures. Worse was the visitor center that required you to buy a day use permit to park! Hardly likely to attract new visitors that way I would have thought?
We stopped outside of the park and took pictures, so there!

The hot news item in the Reed family has been Bob and Cathy's dog Calvin, who escaped from Jim and Cathy's backyard the day before we got to Rdgeway.

. Everyone was worried that the local coyotes would get him. Bob and Cathy went out into the local woods looking for him all the time we were there but there was no signs of him. Unfortunately he is a shy dog and would run away rather than come to a stranger. When Bob and Cathy returned to Simcoe, about 60 miles away, Jim and Cathy would look for him. Heather, Bob and Cathy's daughter, was driving backwards and forwards every time there was a sighting of a small stray dog. 

They found a Facebook page for lost pets in the area and a report came in that somebody had found him. Alas when they got there it turned out to be another small dog that had been missing for a while. 

Finally, after 2 weeks, when everybody was about to give up on him he wandered back into Jim and Cathy's yard via a hole under the fence! The exciting saga of Calvin ended with a trip to the vet followed by one to the groomer and the removal of in excess of 80 ticks!

A clipped and dipped Calvin.

Our trip to Ottawa paled in comparison!

Barbara's OTHER cousin (there are lots of them) lives in Ottawa. Alan and Mary have traveled extensively and we found kindred souls immediately. Mary is originally from Jamaica and I love to hear her speaking with her melodious island accent.

Alan and Mary Barbara's cousins from Ottawa.

Alan and I share an engineering background but in vastly different fields. He has recently retired after a career in mining and geology. I find his stories about surveying for gold and minerals out in the wilds of Canada just fascinating. Plus he likes aircraft! It wasn't long before we ditched the girls and spent a day at the Canadian Air and Space Museum.

Alan with the Lancaster Bomber

We spent several days visiting some of the local attractions. Ottawa is the capital of Canada and has a House of Parliament on the Ottawa River very similar to the British one on the Thames in London. There was lots of construction and renovation going on in the city as 2017 will be the 250th anniversary of the foundation of Canada.

Canadian Houses or Parliament

Cumberland Open Air Museum relocated Chapel

We also got to ride the local tour bus, visit an open air museum with a nice collection of buildings gathered from the local area. See the Canadian War Museum and Rideau Hall which is the official residence of the Governor General of Canada, complete with guards wearing the red jackets and bear skin hats normally associated with Buckingham Palace and Queen Elizabeth in UK. We Tried a couple of craft brew pubs (of course)! 

The guard at Rideau Hall

Several dinners and lunches out in the company of Alan and Mary were every enjoyable too. My personal favorite was Chateau Montebello, an all log built hotel/resort across the river in Quebec, which combined old world atmosphere with excellent French cuisine.

Chateau Montebello

Very like the Lodge in Yellowstone National Park

And all good things come to an end.

The view from Lagos where we had dinner with Alan and Mary

We had one final dinner out with Alan and Mary at Lagos on a pretty lake in Ottawa then hit the road for Montreal. We had a campground in mind but then found Casino Montreal on the Isle Notre Dame, where the Canadian Grand Prix is held. Best yet it would be FREE! A phone call revealed we would be welcome to overnight in the parking lot close to the casino.

Very grand Montreal Casino on Isle Notre Dame.

Well we followed the signs for the parking then we ended up stuck because the entrance to the marked parking had a height limit of 2 meters and we were 3.8! A lot of traffic blocking and backing up of an RV on a tight twisty approach road was had. We then found that there was a sign for parking for vehicles over 2 meters but it was only on the opposite side of a small roundabout from the entrance to the general parking!

Finally parked for the night

We got in and found we were next to the race track and the old Olympic rowing basin, Very cool. We had dinner in the casino and got lost trying to get out to a walkway around the top of it. We knew we'd gone wrong when we entered a dinning room to the sound of an alarm, to be told that this was employee dining only and we had to go back!

From right to left. Grass behind the parking lot, Grand Prix circuit, Olympic rowing basin!

Things started to go further wrong when next morning I asked one of the security guys patrolling the parking lot how we could get onto the race track. He told us, then also told us we couldn't stay another night as Friday they didn't allow RV's in that lot. We'd have to go to lot P-10 just down the road 

Well P-10 turned out to be in a real seedy looking area down by the docks and it was also full to overflowing with cars for some local event. We could have gone to the original place we'd selected but being hot and aggravated we decided to drive to 100 miles to Burlington Vermont back in the good old USA.

And that's where we are. For Now!

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