Pictures From October 2018 - It's All About Having Fun!!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Saturday 9-14 Site Seeing


Our day started out overcast and windy, occasionally it sprinkled. By the afternoon the clouds went away and the sun came out. We woke up to 62 degrees and by the time we called it a day it was in the 70s. 

Larry drove about 190 miles, mostly on interstates but some on two lanes through small towns. We stopped at the Newton Street Art Barn. A few years back we had stopped at an art barn in Washington state, it was huge with multiple stories of art by local artist. It had paintings, metal sculptures, ceramics and many other displays so Larry thought it would be fun to stop at Newton Street Art Barn. When we got there we had to drive down a narrow driveway to a grass field. It wasn't RV friendly because of tree limbs coming over the drive. The people running the art barn were very friendly. The gentleman that owns the place talked to us a bit. He was excited we were from the states. He had a friend that lives in Fort Worth. One of the workers took us over to the barn. She told us they had items from over 200 artists on display. We were a little disappointed, it was very small, only a small part of the barn was used and it was more arts and crafts. They did have some cool stuff and the prices were very reasonable. It didn't take us long to walk through the barn. 


Some of the art on display in the art barn

Newton Street Art Barn

Our second stop was in Midland to walk through their downtown to see their murals. We drove through the downtown until we got to the marina where there was a big parking area. We parked the Minnie and then had lunch. After lunch we walked through the downtown. At the marina there was a nice statue dedicated to Trumpeter Swans. The downtown was very nice and had a lot of shops and cafes. We saw beautiful murals on the buildings on the history of the town. The murals were originally painted in the mid 90's and restored around 2004-2007. The murals had a lot of color. One building had murals about the actual department store that was in the building in 1895. We had a great walk around Midland Downtown.

Trumpeter Swan memorial

A cute mural

A mural about the Canadian Guider taking care of a hurt dog

A mural about the railroad

One of the murals about The Playfair Preston Company
Another mural about The Playfair Preston Company


A beautiful mural at the harbor

The last stop was at Albion Hills Conservation Area, it was 75 miles from Midland. It is part of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. It has electric and non-electric campsites, hike and mountain bike trails, a pool and splash pad and picnic areas. It is very nice with a lot of trees. We decided we would stay a couple of nights on a non-electric site.      

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Friday 9-13 Cold Rainy Day


Before I went to bed last night I setup our Wave 3 heater, it works via propane so we use it when we don't have power but want heat. I had trouble getting it started so Larry got out of bed and started it, he had no problems. I guess I wasn't waiting long enough to allow the propane to get into the heater.

It was suppose to rain at noon so we made sure to head out early for a hike. The park has four hiking trails but a couple of them are closed. One was closed because they are working on the boardwalk. We hiked the Gut Lake Trail which was 2.5 km and took us about an hour and a half. It was beautiful hike through trees and along the shore of Gut Lake. We hiked on granite stones and pine needles through the trees. The trail was marked great with yellow arrows on the rocks and yellow plastic circles with arrow on the trees. We saw wetlands, rock walls and nice views of the lake. We met a couple of couples hiking the trail. The last one had a very friendly dog. The trail was very challenging because it took us up and down and over rocks. At parts it reminded us of the hiking trails we hiked in Texas State Parks such as Inks Lake, Perenales Falls and McKinney Falls. We had a super hike.


Granite rocks we hiked

Wetlands
Standing by a rock wall
 
When we got back it was time for lunch. We decided we would barbecue the rest of the sausage patties and sausage links before it rained. While we were eating lunch Larry checked the weather and it said the rain was on its way, it should be here in about 30 minutes. We headed over to the bathhouses to take showers. The showers were separate from the bathrooms, they were pretty good except the floors were very cold. To turn on the water instead of pushing a button it had a sensor that turned the water on. The shower head was a little too close to the wall but it had a nice spray. We made it back to the Minnie just in time, when we got inside the rain came. Off and on it rained hard and stayed around for the rest of the day and evening. We spent the rest of the day reading and keeping warm. I baked some M&M Goblin Cookies. They were cute, the sprinkles were in the shape of bats, ghosts and pumpkins for Halloween. We had a great day.



Goblin cookies
 

  

Friday, September 13, 2019

Thursday 9-12 Hiking and Driving

Ready to go on a hike

We had a gorgeous day of sunshine with highs in the 60's. It was a little chilly due to the wind.

We left Bruce Mines Campground about 8:15. We drove mainly two lane highways on roads that were pretty good. The average speed limit was 90 Kl/Hr, which is about 55 mph. The highest speed limit we saw was 100 Kl/Hr (60 mph) on divided highways. We stopped in Blind River where there was a beautiful memorial that was dedicated to the memory of the area loggers. It was very well maintained, the artist put a lot of detail into her work and built it to last a long time. The next stop was a Tim Horton's, we bought a couple of apple fritters and 10 pumpkin spice Timbits (donut holes). Then we were back on the road. 


Standing in front of the Northern Ontario Logging Memorial

A cute little box for our 10 Timbits

The next stop was Chutes Provincial Park. It was a little difficult to find considering the sign was very small. Since we only wanted to hike the trail we bought a four hour pass for $7.50 Canadian. It's a beautiful park with a campground. We parked at the trailhead. The name of the trail was Twin Bridges. You can hike the whole trail or part of it. We decided to do the whole trail. The trail is a moderate trail that goes through trees and along the banks of the Aux Sables River. We started out by going to an observation deck to see a set of falls. Then we climbed up a staircase that gets you to the campground and the trailhead. We hiked for an hour and a half, about 3 miles. We walked over the bridges and saw the rapids and falls. We saw a lot of great views. We were the only ones on the trail. The trails were very well taken care of. We had a great relaxing hike.


First set of falls

The rapids making another set of falls

Larry crossing one of the twin bridges

Another set of falls made by the rapids

The staircase to the trailhead

 We needed some Canadian money so we stopped by Walmart. The last time we were in Canada we would buy something at Walmart and pay with our debit card, we could then get cash back just like at home. This time however the payment machine would only use the card as a credit card and did not offer us the option of getting cash. We ended up going to a credit union, our card worked fine in their ATM. While we were in town we decided to get fuel. It took 91 litres to fill the Minnie which was $114 ($86.43 US), $3.60 per gallon. 


Look at how much it cost for gas in Canada

The final stop was at Grundy Lake Provincial Park. We paid for one night and then went to our site. We got a site without power, it was $42.66 Canadian per night. Provincial parks in Ontario are very expensive, we have never paid this much anywhere for camping with no utilities. They want about $50 per night for a site with electric. We set up the Minnie and looked at the weather report. It's suppose to rain tomorrow so we decided we would stay another night. Before walking to the office we barbecued a couple of sausage patties for dinner. After dinner we walked to the office and paid for another night. The walk round trip was a mile and a half. We had a long day but fun.         


Thursday, September 12, 2019

Wednesday 9-11 Quirky Sites

Awesome Day

The rain went away but the clouds stayed and we hit the road.

The first thing we did was drive to the International Bridge in Sault Ste Marie. We payed our toll, the lady at the booth said it was $6.50. The bridge took us over the St. Marys River that connects the twin cites of Sault Ste. Marie in the United States and Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario Canada. Before entering into Canada we had to stop and show our passports and answer a couple of questions, it was very quick and the gentleman was very friendly. We parked the Minnie in the Visitor Center so we could walk around Sault Ste. Marie. The first thing we did was walk around the Sault Ste. Marie Lock on Canada side. It is very small because it only lets small personal vessels go through. We actually came through this lock last year when we did a boat tour of the locks. It was very cool because we walked across the actual lock via a very narrow metal walkway. On the other side there was a very nice park where you can hike a couple of trails, fish and walk dogs. One of the trails was closed due to flooding. That was too bad because it took you to the rapids and waterfalls. We walked the other trail which was a mile long. It was a gravel trail that went through the wetlands via a boardwalk and along the St. Marys River. As you walk there were signs that told you the history of the ecosystem. We saw the International Bridge, some of the rapids, a lot of ducks and the locks on both sides of the border. We walked by the building that controls the lock and other old buildings with photographs in the windows explaining the history of the locks. There was a visitor center and restrooms. We watched a few workers chain sawing a hugh tree, when we left they were still at it. After walking around the lock we walked around downtown. They have a gorgeous boardwalk that goes along the St. Marys River canal. Larry wanted to see the monument of Dr. Roberta Bondar, who was Canada's first female astronaut to go up in a space shuttle. Canada had an entire block and city park dedicated to her. As we continued our walk we saw a few more statues. After walking about a mile we turned around and headed back. Canada has Tim Horton's Donuts which we love, had to stop and get a couple of donuts. Next we went to the visitor center and picked up some information. Then we went to the Minnie and had lunch. For dessert we each had a Tim Horton's donut, we saved one for later.


Entering into Canada

The Sault Ste. Marie Lock in Canada

The old post office and administrative building

Boardwalk that goes over the wetlands

Wetlands
Docking your sailboat at the Sault Ste. Marie Lock

Shuttle flower holder

Dr. Roberta Bondar

Larry paying for our donuts at Tim Horton's 
Next we made a few stops to see some quirky things. First stop was at Holy Cow Dairy, the dairy has some statues of cows that advertise the company. It also has a cute ice cream parlor with a lot of different kinds of ice cream. We decided to try bear claws and moose tracks. The bear claws is a chocolate ice cream with nuts. The moose tracks is a vanilla ice cream with peanut butter crunchy balls. We shared them both and they were very good. The next stop was the World's Biggest Baseball. It was constructed in 2008 and is 2000 times the size of a baseball and made out of steel. The third stop was the home of the Canadian Loon Dollar. It was a monument in memory of Robert Ralph Carmichael, who designed the Loon Dollar. The sites were neat to see.


Standing with one of the cows at Holy Cow Dairy and Ice Cream Parlor

Holy Cow Dairies Sign

Holy Cow Dairies ice cream

Larry standing with the World's Largest Baseball

Standing in front of the Loon Dollar monument

We arrived at Bruce Mines Campground at 2:30. It is a small city park that has camping with power for $25.00 Canadian, it works on the honor system. It has restrooms with showers. The restrooms are old but they're clean. Larry barbecued pork ribs for dinner. For our dessert we had the cinnamon rolls we bought at Tim Horton's. We had a great day.

Barbecuing dinner

Bruce Mines Campground


         

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Tuesday 9-10 Overcast Day

Overcast Day

The weather man was right about the rain. The rain came in around 1:00 am and didn't stop until 10:00 am. We decided we would just stay put at the Kewadin Casino RV Park. Once the rain stopped some people packed up and left. Later on in the afternoon other people showed up. Larry and I read most of the day. After lunch we went for a half hour walk around Sault Ste. Marie, we didn't go too far because the clouds looked threatening. After our walk I went over to the casino to pay for another night of camping. While there I gambled a couple of hours. 

I spent the rest of the afternoon reading. After dinner I went back to the casino and gambled another hour and a half. By the end of the day I gave the casino a bit more money. One of the rooms at the casino had a small non-smoking section but it wasn't completely closed off. I spent the evening in that section because it gave my eyes a breather from the cigarettes. Afterwards I took a shower and washed my clothes to get rid of the smoke smell. Even though I lost money in the casino I still had a great time.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Monday 9-9 Sault Ste. Marie


Site Seeing

The ferry that takes vehicles on and off Drummond Island comes every hour, we wanted to catch the one at 9:10. The ferry is about five miles from Drummond Island Township Park so we left around 8:30. We arrived a little early so I had a chance to take a few pictures of the ferry coming in. This morning they were only running one ferry back and forth. It was amazing how many vehicles they could fit on the ferry considering it looks small. There was a small area for cars on the right side of the ferry, we were once again in the middle and in the first vehicle in line to get off because of our size. Once everyone was onboard they raised the gate. We left a trailer and a couple of trucks behind because the ferry was full. The driver had to put the ferry in reverse to turn it around. Once we were across the bay he had to turn it around again so we could exit. There were only a couple of people waiting to go to the island. Yesterday when we were on the ferry I thought I saw a ship but today I found out it was a lighthouse, I had Larry take a picture of it.


Larry waiting for the ferry

Here comes our ride off Drummond Island

Smoothly putting the ferry on the dock

Unloading the ferry

The lighthouse
  
We had a great time on Drummond Island. Our next stop was about 60 miles away in Sault Ste. Marie, (pronounce Soo Ste. Marie). First stop in Sault Ste. Marie was Walmart to pick up a few things and recycle our cans. Here in Michigan they charge you 10 cents deposit on every can and bottle. I drink a lot of soda so we ended up earning $4.50 in recycling the cans. Afterwards we did a little shopping. As we were parking the Minnie an Amish horse and buggy came in. While I was putting the groceries away Larry went and took a picture. It's so cool, Walmart had a hitching post and water for the horse. After putting the groceries away we had lunch. We had bought a chicken in Walmart so we had some of it for lunch.


Amish horse and buggy at Walmart

After lunch we drove into downtown Sault Ste. Marie to watch the big ships come through the locks. We have been here a couple of other times so we didn't stay too long. We watched Joseph L. Block go through the locks and the Soo Locks Boat Tour go through. While we were headed back to the Minnie we stopped and watched the Corps of Engineers people move a small crane from one spot to another spot on the pier using a tug and a barge with a large crane.


Joseph L. Block in the locks

One of the crew looking out the port hole of Joseph J. Block

The tour boat waiting to leave the locks

The Corps of Engineers opening the gates once the water level is high enough

Joseph L. Block leaving the locks

The Corps of Engineers crew working on transporting a small crane from one spot to another spot


After leaving the locks we filled the Minnie up with gas. As we were looking for the gas station we saw a few old churches so we found a place to park and walked around downtown Sault Ste. Marie. As we walked around we saw a Greek Orthodox Church that was built in 1932, the Central Methodist Church from 1893, the St. James Episcopal Church was built in 1903 and the Chippewa County Courthouse was built in 1877. This is our third time being to Sault Ste. Marie and we have never walked around the downtown. We always like looking at churches and courthouses.


Greek Orthodox Church (1932)

Central Methodist Church (1893)

Chippewa County Courthouse (1877)

St. James Episcopal Church (1903)


After walking around about a half hour we went to the Kewadin Casino, we're planning to stay one night but it's suppose to rain tomorrow so we may stay two nights. The Kewadin Casino has a RV Park with electricity. It cost $22.00 a night. It has bathrooms with showers and the women's bathroom has a washer and a dryer. You can do your laundry free of charge. They have a dump station and fresh water for RVs. The casino is just across the street from the RV park. Once we decided on a site and setup the Minnie we walked over to the casino and paid for the night. Then we came back and I did our laundry. The washer and dryer worked excellent.


Camping at Kewadin Casino RV Park


The bathhouse

 By the time I was finished doing laundry it was time for dinner. We had chicken tacos using some of the Walmart chicken. After dinner I went to the casino and gambled for two and a half hours. I like this casino because it is very fancy. It has different rooms with slots and gambling tables. The casino has a motel, shops, cafe and restaurant. The decor is very nice. I spent most of my time in the Superior Room. It has a very small room that is non-smoking. I gave the casino $10.00 but I had fun. While I gambled Larry did some planning on where we're going next.