We stopped in Portage-la-Prairie for a break and found a flock of pelicans.
We visited the Canadian Mint.
We stopped at the longitudinal centre of Canada.
We saw another house on the back of a truck on the TransCanada highway. Must be a prairie thing.
Then we crossed from the forests of Manitoba to rocky Northwestern Ontario.
We stopped at a quiet rest stop to celebrate kid No 2’s birthday with cake and a picnic dinner.
We got to our campsite late. Nothing like setting up your tent in Northern Ontario in the dark because turning on the car lights attracts swarms of bugs. Those bugs were vicious. Hitchcock and his birds have nothing on these bugs.
It was just in time for a campfire. No fire bans here. And we spotted a few shooting stars from the Perseid meteor shower before bed.
It’s hard to make good time when you are driving behind a line painting truck.
But that’s the middle of the story.
We woke up at Sandbar Lake Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario. It was beautiful and the bugs and frogs had mostly disappeared.
We packed up our tent and went down to the beach where we hunted for seashells. There was a flock of American Black ducks in the middle of the lake.
Then we set off for Manitoba. After a while, the treeline switched from Boreal forest to Manitoba woodlands. When we passed the 7-11, we knew we were close. But then, we got stuck behind a line-painting truck on the single-lane highway.
We crossed the provincial border and stopped by Fort Whyte Alive! in Winnipeg to see their herd of bison. They also had an outdoor prairie dog coterie. And though not part of the official display, we also found a family of Canada geese.
Outside of Winnipeg, a fawn ran out in front of our car, but luckily we missed it and it missed us. Phew!
And we chased the sunset in under a big prairie sky.
The black flies of Northern Ontario will eat you through your jeans.
But that’s the end of day 3, let’s start this story at the beginning.
We woke up at Pancake Bay Provincial Park, which is spectacular!
Then swimming in Lake Superior. It was cold, but Pacific Ocean cold, not glacier stream cold. My kids had never been to a real beach before and they loved it.
Then we set off for the Canadian Shield.
We made our last major stop at Wawa, or as their signage says, “Wawa Wow!”
We had a long way to drive and we needed to make good time. But as soon as we hit the muskeg we hit a torrential downpour, then fog, then a beaver crossing the road. There were some delays.
We eventually got past Thunder Bay, then on to Ignace and the Sandbar Lake Provincial Park.
This park was pretty and very quiet. We set up the tent about 10 m from the lake in the drizzle.
The thing about camping by wetlands in the Boreal forest after a rainstorm is that the rain is followed by a plague of frogs. There were two types, the regular brown kind, and spring peeper tree frogs. They were everywhere.
There was one casualty, but I’ve refrained from posting photos until the next of kin are notified.
Also there were black flies. They bit right through my jeans. Ouch. Many parts of me are still sore.
Two reasons to keep the tent zipped up tight. The sunset was great though. And we fell asleep to the sounds of a pair of loons singing to each other.