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Canada

Marathon to Thunder Bay - Terry Fox Scenic Memorial


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After sleeping well in Marathon we left our kind host (who provided electricity and water for free) we continued to West and found a beautiful stopover for lunch right on the shore of Lake Superior. It was windy and fresh but the sunshine warmed up the sand what was a great spot for Echo as well.

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Right before arriving to our next evening stop we noticed a sign of "Terry Fox Scenic Lookout". We quickly pulled over and we were grateful to find this place by coincidence.

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Who was Terry Fox? A Canadian athlete who first lost his leg due to cancer, then decided to continue running and raising money for cancer research. He started his fundraising run from St John's in 1980 and completed a marathon every day until June, when he reached Thunder Bay. Then the spread of his cancer forced him to end his "Marathon of Hope" after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres. Although he lost his life he left an ever lasting legacy and since then over cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. Until today more than C$800 million has been raised in his name.

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I was speechless at his memorial site and these moments were also unforgettable memories like our recent visit at Jack Kerouac's grave.

My accomplishment for the day with such honorable role models was to back in into my tightest parking spot. A passerby even applauded and showed a thumbs up, yelling "good job!" after watching how I manouvered the trailer between the stairs and a tree.

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At night - serving proof of the name of "Thunder Bay" there was a storm, rain and thunders. In the morning the rain stopped so our leaving procedure was quick and easy. Another host who accepted no money for the electricity.

Posted by divatmotoros 02:23 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Wawa and the Agawa Rock Pictographs


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It was raining heavily at night and we had a very poor sleep. I was a bit tense to do the whole attaching-leaving process in rain as we needed to dump the tanks (black and grey) and I also wanted to check the air pressure of 8 wheels. But by the time we finished everything inside the trailer the rain stopped so the roughly 1 hour outside process was much easier.

After leaving the KOA Camp with all the facilities we went to a nearby Walmart to fill up with food for the next three days without electricity. We left Sault St Marie about 11:30 and we had about 210 kms for today. One stop was planned at the Agawa Rock Pictographs which is west of the Agawa River along the east bank of Lake Superior. They were created between 150 and 400 years ago, most of the paintings date back to the 17th or 18th centuries. The rockface is 15 storeys high, composed of white crystalline granite. From the parking there is a slippery and steep, rocky path which is almost a small creek (i.e. water is flowing between the rocks).

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After our slow but steady descent we arrived to the shore which is also rocky and offers a very beautiful view of Lake Superior.

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The last 50-100 meters is already on the edge of the water and the cliffs with a rope to help you stay on the course. We did not risk falling into the lake with the smallest kid attached to me so we have seen the first few drawings. It was still worth the short walk and it is highly recommended to visit this sacred site.

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Afterwards we continued to Wawa and stopped at a wild blueberry farm for the night. About 3,5 kms from our overnight parking there was a great waterfall called the Scenic High Fall. There were some informative boards about how wood was first stored on iced lakes and then at spring how it was transported on the river to Sault St Marie in the early 1900. A nice little side-tour for us before dinner.

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Posted by divatmotoros 06:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Sault Ste Marie

sunny 24 °C
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We spent one relaxing day at a KOA campsite in Sault Ste. Marie which was very much needed after long driving days. The town is between Lake Superior, Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, its river St Marys River is connecting Lake Superior and Lake Huron. It is also a border city to the USA.

In the morning I went for a run with Echo, then we tested the pool woth the kids. After our last night stop at a golf club they were very much interested in minigolf so we played at the campsite before lunch. It was also good to talk to my wife's mother using the wifi of the camp. After lunch we went to see a lock which is still working for recreational boats, big commercial ships use the newer lock called Soo Lock (which is in the USA).

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After seeing the lock we walked to the riverbank. The walking path ended and some balancing was needed on the last 15 meters which the kids
enjoyed a lot.

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In the evening I used the well equipped campsite for an RV Wash which took about 40 minutes to complete.
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And less than 4 hours larer it started to rain, so the old magic works.

Posted by divatmotoros 03:18 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

From the Horseshoe lake to Sault Ste. Marie


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After a nice stop at the Horseshoe lake (where we had a chance to rent a double kayak and I took the kids for a nice round with it) we had a lazy morning. After a short run with Echo and a nice breakfast we packed everything and left around 11:00 as we planned only 196 kms for the day. First we were heading NW to Sudbury. We stopped for lunch at a fuel station and then arrived around 16:00 to our overnight stop, the Timberwolf Golf Club.

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After parking and detaching the trailer we did a 12 minutes drive to the Big Nickel, which is next to a nice museum, the Dynamic Earth.

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After the attraction we stopped to fill the car and at a playground to let the kids run and climb a bit. Tomorrow will be a lomger day of 330 kms so we plan to leave early, stop for lunch somewhere on the road (I roasted some chicken in the evening) and then press on to arrive to the KOA of Sault Ste. Marie.

Posted by divatmotoros 04:00 Archived in Canada Comments (0)

Niagara Falls


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We left Buffalo in the morning to head to the Niagara falls. It was an easy 40 minutes drive and we arrived to the US side of the great attraction. The parking lot in front of the visitor centre was full and we drove past it when about 500 meters further we noticed a huge empty lot on the corner of 1st Street and Niagara Street with 3-4 cars parking on it. There were about a hundred empty parking spaces there so we pulled over and stopped. There was a small wooden building with a huge "Pay here" sign but it was closed and noone was around. So we saved 20 dollars, had a nice pasta for lunch in our trailer and prepared for our afternoon walk to the falls.

We crossed Niagara State Park and walked across the bridges to Green Island and Goat Island. There we first checked Bridal Veil Falls and American Falls, then walked further to the main attraction of the Horseshoe Falls. The US side is the higher part of the falls so the views are less scenic than from the Canadian side, you can't really feel the vertical size of it. The amount of water running trough and the noise of it is still mindblowing.

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On our way back to the car we grabbed a well deserved icecream on the hot day. After leaving the parking lot we entered the Rainbow International Bridge, our gateway to Canada and the next big leg of our trip. Previously we completed the ArriveCan registration and after abour 30 minutes in a slow moving line of cars we stopped at the building for buses and RVs. Echo was fiercly barking to the officer who was quite reserved and not smiley at all. She went back to the building with our passports and asked us to wait. After about 5 minutes she came back, handed over the passports and said goodbye opening the gate. They did not inspect the trailer nor the car, it was a very quick and easy procedure.

We had a further 40 minutes of driving to our stop on the Canadian side, we went to a winery called Atlantis Niagara. The owners name was Kocsis so we thought there is a Hungarian connection and we were right. His parents left Hungary in 1956 as many other Hungarians and he was already raised in Canada. We went through a nice tasting of icewines and special fruit "wines" or rather ciders from pear, plum, peach and apple. They were not sparkling and some of them were mixed with crushed ice making them a long dring between a coctail and a "fröccs" (international readers: fröccs is wine with mineral water, very popular in the summertime in Hungary).

It worked after the long day and we both smiled wide with my wife after the tasting. Then we parked our trailer at the lakeside spot the owner led us to and it was amazing. When at elementary school I learned about the Great Lakes I was really impressed with their sheer size. Lake Superior, the biggest of the five is almost as big as our home country, Hungary! Now we stopped at the smallest of the five, Lake Ontario and I was staring into the sunset happily. What a fantastic place to be and it was great to park our trailer right at the waterfront.

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The next morning we went back to Niagara Falls, now checking the other side, which is even more breathtaking. First we stopped by the Skylon Tower to have a high-side view. The kids enjoyed a lot the elevator ride and the view from the 775 feet (or 236 meters) height. One side of the tower had extremely strong wind, it was almost knocking us down and I was holding tight the kids, Akos, the one year old being strapped onto me.

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Then we got back to ground level and walked past Falls View Casino Resort and had a heavily overpriced hot dog and pretzel to survive until dinner. Should have spent it in the Casino but neither the kids nor I are bearable when we are hungry. And it happens every 2 hours so we better prepare or pay the price, no mercy.

Then we admired the Horseshoe Falls again, now in a full frontal view from the Canadian side. It was really jaw-dropping for all of us, even the kids were speachless for a few seconds, which is a big thing knowing them!

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When we were full with the view we walked back towards the car. The evening shower was completed in the next 15 minutes as there was another storm and pouring rain. Without any cover or raincoats we were literally wet from toe to heads. Anyway, when on the road without water and sewer connection we need to save on using the bathroom so one evening shower was ticked off the list.

Posted by divatmotoros 04:07 Archived in Canada Tagged falls niagara Comments (0)

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