Category Archives: Ontario

Towards Alberta, more prairies, then the badlands Day 8

After foraging for Saskatoon berries to add to my morning porridge, we packed everything up again, and started our travels towards Alberta at 8:47 a.m. – destination Dinosaur Provincial Park, mileage 2510 kilometres. 

Before driving off to Alberta, we stopped at the Tourist Information in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan.Welcome to Moose Jaw signn

The World’s Tallest Moose at the tourism office in Moose Jaw.

Moose Jaw Moose with Matt
World’s Tallest Moose

While in the tourist information centre, Matt met a couple who were carrying their pet parrot in a cat carrier case, they wanted to know the temperature for the day. They were concerned it would be too hot for the parrot. We thought this a bit odd since they were travelling in a trailer which most likely had a working air conditioner. The excitement for the morning.

Driving towards Alberta, the landscape of the prairies started to change. Instead of the beautiful canola, large white deposits were seen covering the ground – Potash.

Potash along side of highway
Potash covering the ground.

As we got closer to Dinosaur Provincial Park, the landscape changed drastically. We had entered what is known as “the badlands“. You can read more about the Canadian Badlands on National Geographic. We reached Dinosaur Provincial Park at 3 p.m. on July 8th, kilometres driven 3403. We had an electrical site, site #75 with an unbelievable view, but not one tree for us. We were pretty exhausted after our day of sightseeing, driving, setting up the tent, cooking dinner, but we naturally found the energy for a walk before bedtime.

Our campsite #75
Our campsite, #75, Matt tried to attach our two umbrellas to the roof of the SUV for some shade. By mid-afternoon the shade from the tree across the road, had a

Waking up in Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site is like stepping back in time. Our alarm clock in the morning were the sounds of howling coyotes. The morning was spent walking as many of the trails possible before the heat really set in.

I don’t even know how to describe the landscape, it was just so different from anything I seen in Canada, having travelled much of the east coast, Ontario, and Manitoba. As we puttered around our campsite, and walked the trails we were warned to be on the look out for rattlesnakes, black window spiders, sinkholes, and oh scorpions! Sadly the only wildlife we did see were plenty of birds, and one deer.

Landscape Dinosaur PP
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Can you spot me?
One of the trails in Dinosaur PP
One of the many trails, where in certain spots there are wooden bridges to walk on.
Matt in Dinosaur Provincial Park
Matt hiked this trail early evening, it was a long trail to reach the top, and I decided to stay at camp knowing it would have been too long of a hike for myself. He sent me a text when he reached the top so I could snap this photo.
Another view of the landscape
Another view of the landscape. We had hiked down to the river, but we were unable to go for a swim in it, due to cow patties, apparently there were cows grazing upstream polluting the water. We were very, very tempted though considering the heat.
A cottonwood tree
The Cottonwood tree quickly became a favourite of mine with such distinctive bark.
Dinosaur bones
Dinosaur bones in the museum.
Doe in Dinosaur PP
One stunning doe!
A picture of a magpie
Our first Magpie. They were all over our site, and others, they seemed to enjoy picking out the dead insects in the grill of vehicles.
Magpie in flight.
Magpie in flight.
The Badlands Alberta
The Badlands.

On the day we were to leave for Calgary, Matt drove up to the camp office to purchase some ice for our cooler, only to have some old guy say to him “you know there is a shovel on your roof?” Matt’s reply “Again!”

Onward to Manitoba Day 5

Our destination for day five was West Hawk Lake Campground in Whiteshell Provincial Park, Manitoba. The fascinating thing about West Hawk Lake is it was created from a meteor impact. This was of course, a lake, my husband definitely had to go for swim in!

After leaving Quetico Provincial Park we continued on highway 11, where we saw our first brown bear crossing the road just outside of Fort Frances, plus a moose sauntering across, and then a bald eagle.

For lunch we decided to stop at Nestor Falls, and what a treat that was! Pelicans everywhere in the water!Pelicans Nestor Falls Nestor FallsBack on the road again, we reached our destination in no time at all. The campground was not what we were accustomed too, everywhere we looked there were large trucks, RV’s, and little to no trees. Thankfully at the very back of the campground there was a small forest for us to set up the tent. We were amazed that there was a deer. West Hawk Lake campground Deer at West Hawk Lake
Tomorrow Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Shovel, Days 3 and 4

The destination for day 3 of our trip was Quetico Provincial Park in Northwestern Ontario. It is quite a long drive from Agawa Bay Campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park but the breathtaking views are worth every minute.

We drove for about sixteen kilometres before we pulled over and made a stop at Sand River Falls. Sand River Falls is called Pinguisibi in Ojibway, where Pingui means fine white sand, and sibi means river.Sand River Sand River Falls

I also met this guy in the parking lot:Bailey Biker Dawg
After passing through Thunder Bay, Ontario we entered Central Time Zone, and gained an hour. Just after Thunder Bay, and before Quetico Provincial Park are the signs for the Arctic and Atlantic Watershed. Note the added comment in the first sign. After sending this picture to our young man, he quickly asked if I was a member of the “Flat Earth Society?”Artic Watershed streams flow north Atlantic Watershed streams flow southOnce we arrived at Quetico Provincial Park, we booked a site at Dawson Trail Campground (site #16) which backed onto French Lake.Quetico Provincial Park Campsite #16 Dawson Trail Quetico Sunset Quetico Provincial Park, Ontario Canada

I mistakenly said Quetico Provincial Park is in the Lake of the Woods area, it is not.

The next day I was hit with one massive migraine. Matt (the husband) gave me my medicine for the migraine and I promptly went to sleep. During my sleep, there was a torrential downpour, so bad that Matt was digging trenches around our tent, which thankfully had the extra protection of a tarp. After the storm, and feeling much better, we decided to go on a drive in search of ice, and other supplies we had forgotten for the trip.

Exciting the park we weren’t sure whether to go right or left on Highway 11. As it turned out we should have gone left, but we turned right, travelling for about 40 km at 100 km/h when Matt realized the shovel was on our roof, and not secured. He immediately pulled the car off the highway. Getting out of the car, neither of us could believe that the shovel had not moved an inch, boy were we relieved! Goodness knows what could have happened if the shovel had flown off.The shovelI’m sure a few of you are wondering why we would even bring a shovel on our trip? Well in Ontario, there are numerous parks referred to as non-operating, you may camp there, but you have to realize there are no facilities, thus you dig a hole for your business, then bury it. We also considered camping on Crown Land if we were unable to make our destination.

We stayed two nights in Quetico to give Matt a rest from driving before heading off to Manitoba.