Crossing The Country Part 2
Jamie has been across Canada a few different ways. Planes, train, and automobile. I had never traveled further than the prairies by car. I couldn’t believe the size of Lake Superior. The views in Ontario were amazing, even though the lakes still had ice on them.
May 6th, 2019: Thunder Bay, ON to Wawa, ON - 5.5 hrs & 480 kms
There wasn’t wifi for much of the trip so checking for gas stations with my phone, or texting with family didn’t happen while we were on the road. Jamie decided on the driving distances for the trip before we left Vancouver Island. By Day 6 we were both happy to have an early stop for the night.
We finished the day’s drive around 2 pm and settled into the quiet of The Best Northern Motel and Restaurant. I had a ‘hunter’s stew,’ and Jamie tried a breaded pork chop with shredded cabbage and a Polish beer. His dessert was meringue, whipped cream, berries, and drizzled chocolate in a huge glass. I ordered the apple crisp. The dessert had a cookie dough topping like shortbread, sliced and toasted almonds on top, and the apples were baked into the base with cranberries. We thoroughly enjoyed every bite.
May 7th, 2019: Wawa, ON to North Bay, ON - 7.5 hrs & 656 kms
We left by 7:30 am. We didn’t have anything to eat for breakfast. The motel’s restaurant wouldn’t open for another half hour, and there was nothing else open. We planned to stop somewhere on route for groceries.
There were lots of hills to drive up and then down. A large commercial truck passed us twice on a double solid, and the second time (after we passed the truck going uphill after a stop for construction) the driver almost hit an oncoming car. I found this very upsetting. It was a long distance from Wawa to the next town.
We got gas and groceries in Sault Ste Marie. We passed horse and buggies belonging to the Amish. There were a lot of impatient drivers illegally passing other vehicles on the route. Bikers and minivans and big semis all doing the same. There would be passing lanes in less than a kilometre, but these drivers would pass with oncoming traffic on a double solid. I don’t like my life put at risk for impatient drivers. We weren’t going slow.
I wished for some consistency, to have the same room every night. I loved the homey feeling in our motel room in Wawa and the modern feel of our hotel room in North Bay. We were both tired when we checked in around 4:30 pm.
There had been a lot of construction delays. A road closure had sidetracked us, and we couldn’t find a gas station to pull the truck and trailer into. I hadn’t used a bathroom since Sault Ste Marie (6 hrs probably). We walked along the waterfront after dinner and reminded ourselves there were only three more days of driving.
May 8th, 2019: North Bay, ON to Montreal, PQ - 7.5 hrs & 632 kms
We left by 8:15 am. I slept in later than Jamie. He showered and was waiting for me to wake up. I was in a daze and felt rushed, but Jamie was calm. We had a quick continental breakfast. It was sunny and warm when we left North Bay. The blue skies continued over us right into Ottawa. There was a lot of traffic, but we kept moving through the Capital. Montreal was crazy.
The signage on the freeway to get through the construction was awesome, and for the most part, everyone drove sanely. We had to drive through a long tunnel underneath the Saint Lawrence River. Surrounded by big trucks and small cars that darted in and out of the lanes, I don’t know how Jamie stayed so calm maneuvering in that traffic.
We arrived at the hotel between 5 and 5:30 pm.
May 9th, 2019: Montreal, PQ to Fredericton, NB - 7 hrs & 734 kms
We were a day from arriving in our new home town and exhausted from the cycle of travel, hotel, eat, sleep, drive, gas up. We were looking forward to setting up camp again.
We left Ste Helene de Bagot just after 7 am. There was a lot of traffic going through Quebec City around 9 am. It was 6C. Another beautiful day. There was a lot less traffic as we approached New Brunswick.
The rolling hills and farmland was such a treat to see after the multi-laned highways we’d been on for two days. The roads were smoother in New Brunswick too.
May 10th, 2019: Fredericton, NB to Pictou, NS - 4 hrs & 379 kms
We left the hotel in Fredericton before 10 am. We were relieved we didn’t have to stay in more hotels. The campground in Pictou would be more economical for five days, and we’d be sleeping in our own bed again, and cooking our own meals. Then we would be moving into our house!
We got gas just across the Nova Scotia border around 12:30 pm. It rained for probably the first hour. We didn’t want to leave too early because it was only a half-day of driving. We arrived in Pictou around 2:30 pm.
We ate pepperoni sticks that were bought on Vancouver Island and finished them in Nova Scotia. Coast to coast pepperoni. We had brought the Coffee House from our driveway in Sooke, and now we were going to be parking it in our driveway in Pictou.
We were welcomed in like rockstars at the Harbour Light Campground. They wouldn’t let us pay until we got settled in.
We established a rule to deal with circumstances we couldn’t change. If we were spending more than planned we asked ourselves, will this matter in five years? Having time to recover was a better perspective to take than worrying about one small detail. We had made it! From the west coast to the east coast, we had made it home.