Escaped Doodles

Sept. 26, 2022 - slow Fast Trip

A "slow Fast Trip". It was a Fast Trip, to Thunder Bay, Ontario and back, 'cuz we traveled most every day. Slow 'cuz we travel max 200-250 mi/day. For most that's an easy day, but about as much as we like to do. We'd planned a trip to South Dakota to renew Hugh's drivers license and register our "new to us" Subaru. Denise's brother Jim is getting cancer treatment in Thunder Bay so we decided to extend the trip to Canada for a visit. Thus, this "slow Fast Trip".

The Canada trip started in Arizona on Sept 7, just after Labor Day. We stopped at Holbrook AZ, Albuquerque NM, Raton Pass CO, Brush CO, Stapleton City NE, Platte SD, Aberdeen SD, Waphaton MN, Big Falls MN, Quentica Prov Park ON getting to Kakabeka Falls Prov Park outside Thunder Bay on Sept 18. Visited until Sept 22 when we drove out heading back towards Rapid City SD. We hit Wabegoon Lake ON, Falcon Lake Prov Park ON, Spruce Woods Prov Park ON, Burlington ND, Watford City ND and on to Juniper CG in the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Park Sept 27. Once in the T. Roosevelt NP we slowed down with the "slow Fast Trip" completed.

The weather was hot but good when we started, just starting to cool for fall. But still with the monsoons, wetter than we're used to. After Raton Pass we were in public campgrounds. An extra day in Platte SD at Snake Creek CG. Weather is good here.

By Aberdeen SD the weather was turning cooler and wetter. There we stayed at Wiley CG which has an interesting amusement park. We didn't spend any time in that park but it looked like a lot of fun with kids. I don't think our "kids" qualify though. Denise found, what we think is a salamander, in the bathroom. Cool.

But leaving Aberdeen disaster struck. Hugh, turning a tight corner into the fuel stop, barely ran the passenger trailer tires off the pavement. Just off the pavement was a puddle hiding a 1' plus deep hole. A jarring mistake.

The front trailer tire instantly went flat. Once we stopped and started to put on the spare we found more damage. In the first photo below you can see the front tire is not aligned with the rear one, the axle is bent. We called roadside assistance through our Foremost insurance. They could not find anyone to tow out trailer, but did connect us with a roadside repair group. They were able to take off the front tire, chain up the axle in front so we could pull the trailer a short distance. They directed us to Safety Service Inc., a truck repair shop. They guessed two weeks to order a new axle but though they could straighten ours. Wow, didn't know that was possible. But they had the right equipment and really knew how to use it. Magic. It was a frantic time so no pictures of the straightening, sorry. While they worked on it we went for lunch and bought a new wheel for the spare. End result, 3-4 hours plus a couple of hundred dollars, we were back on the road. Thank you.

Approaching International Falls and Canada we stopped at the city park in Big Falls MN. The falls weren't that big but we caught this pretty large fish. Don't know our fish so can't say what kind it is, maybe a muskie?

Crossing into Canada (or from Canada to the US) is always an experience. This time, crossing from International Falls to Fort Frances the food of the day was eggs. You can't bring any poultry products into Canada. You'll have to take those 6 eggs back to the US before entering Canada. No we don't have a disposal bin to discard them into. You can drive them back (and again wait through the growing line) or walk them over the bridge. Hugh volunteered for the dangerous 1/4 mile trek. He took our plague infested eggs to US customs but they wanted nothing to do with them. They said take them to the Canadian toll booth just up the road. He did. The toll attendant took them but gave a look like this had never happened before. Go figure. On the return trek Hugh saw another traveler making the same journey with 4 cartons of eggs. Somebody is having eggs for dinner.

It's now very wet. Has been for a few days. First day in Canada we stayed at the wet and cold Quentica Provincial Park. Denise was shocked, psychologically not physically, by the lake the electrical post was planted in. Not sure whether is is dangerous or not, but it sure looks to be.

Then to Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park where we stayed for our visit to Thunder Bay. Nice falls at Kakabeka. The signs say it was a major route during the fur trade with a portage around these falls.

And a pic of brother Jim who brought us here.

We decided to go though Canada on the return trip. First stop was Wabegoon Lake, which we've termed "Lake Woe-Be-Gone".

Then west in Canada. Up to Kenora and skirting Winnipeg. It is certainly fall here as seen from these pics from Spruce Woods Provincial Park. Around Spruce Woods the weather improved, at least for a time. It sure feels like fall though.

After Spruce Woods we decided our desire to travel west through Canada wasn't worth the cost of fuel. So from Spruce Woods we went due south crossing into the US between Cartwright and Hansboro. It is not a major crossing. We only lost some fruit this time. They didn't do a thorough search which was OK with us.

The last two nights were at Old Settlers Park and Watford City Tourist Park. Both OK for overnight. Old Settlers was hard to get to because of construction, but we found it.

Finally to the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt Grasslands National Park. Back to our leisurely travel mode. We'll report what we find next time.

Safe Travels.