Rewind day 7: My new favourite restaurant is in Sudbury

Wait, what? I know, I know, but let’s stick to a linear narrative for now.

We woke up at my favourite campground.

It was so pretty I looked up real estate prices and leaned that you can buy a cabin around here for $ 70,000. Just saying.

The light is so pretty.

Then we drove on, stopping for dinner in Sudbury. On this trip we ate in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, Winnipeg and Calgary. But my favourite meal of the whole trip was at Ripe Restaurant in Sudbury.

The kids menu had homemade gnocchi. I ate wild mushroom and fontina gnocchi. It was so good I forgot to photograph it. All you get is vanilla crème brûlée. Sorry!

We got to the next campground, on the Ottawa River, after dark, got the kids to bed and lit a fire.

I may have stolen my kids’ last juice box to mix a drink.

You could see the last shooting stars from the Perseids and every single star in the sky.

Some stats:

  • Brown herons: 2
  • Eagle: 1
  • Hawk: 1
  • Chipmunk: 1
  • Total distance: 11,105 km

Rewind day 6: Driving around Lake Superior always takes longer than you think it will

We woke up at a campground in Northeastern Ontario and had breakfast.

Then we headed on to Thunder Bay.

We made a quick stop at the Terry Fox Memorial just outside of town.

Then we drove around Lake Superior. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, by surface area – which is all that matters when you have to drive around it.

We made good time getting to Wawa.

But we had left too late. So we had to drive through Lake Superior Provincial Park in the dark, with mist and big clumps of fog rolling in.

Luckily, we had all that Rocky Mountain forest fire driving experience, so there was that.

We arrived at the next park much later than we had hoped, set up our tent, and fell asleep in our clothes.

Some stats:

  • Eagles: 3
  • Moose: 1
  • Total distance: 10 500

Rewind Day 5: The bugs of Northern Ontario

We left Brandon bright and early.

We stopped in Portage-la-Prairie for a break and found a flock of pelicans.

We visited the Canadian Mint.

We stopped at the longitudinal centre of Canada.

We saw another house on the back of a truck on the TransCanada highway. Must be a prairie thing.

Then we crossed from the forests of Manitoba to rocky Northwestern Ontario.

We stopped at a quiet rest stop to celebrate kid No 2’s birthday with cake and a picnic dinner.

We got to our campsite late. Nothing like setting up your tent in Northern Ontario in the dark because turning on the car lights attracts swarms of bugs. Those bugs were vicious. Hitchcock and his birds have nothing on these bugs.

It was just in time for a campfire. No fire bans here. And we spotted a few shooting stars from the Perseid meteor shower before bed.

Some stats:

  • Crop duster: 1
  • Deer: 2
  • RV in a ditch: 1
  • Pelicans: 1 flock
  • Total distance: 9600 km

Day 3: Muskeg, a beaver crossing the road, and a plague of frogs

The black flies of Northern Ontario will eat you through your jeans.

But that’s the end of day 3, let’s start this story at the beginning.

We woke up at Pancake Bay Provincial Park, which is spectacular!

First, breakfast.

Camping breakfast

Then swimming in Lake Superior. It was cold, but Pacific Ocean cold, not glacier stream cold. My kids had never been to a real beach before and they loved it.

Swimming in Lake Superior
Playing on the beach

Then we set off for the Canadian Shield.

Heading north

We made our last major stop at Wawa, or as their signage says, “Wawa Wow!”

The giant Wawa goose
Mining display in Wawa
Hmmm. What’s that up ahead?

We had a long way to drive and we needed to make good time. But as soon as we hit the muskeg we hit a torrential downpour, then fog, then a beaver crossing the road. There were some delays.


We eventually got past Thunder Bay, then on to Ignace and the Sandbar Lake Provincial Park.

This park was pretty and very quiet. We set up the tent about 10 m from the lake in the drizzle.

The thing about camping by wetlands in the Boreal forest after a rainstorm is that the rain is followed by a plague of frogs. There were two types, the regular brown kind, and spring peeper tree frogs. They were everywhere.

There was one casualty, but I’ve refrained from posting photos until the next of kin are notified.

One of very many frogs

Also there were black flies. They bit right through my jeans. Ouch. Many parts of me are still sore.

Sunset at Sandbar Lake

Two reasons to keep the tent zipped up tight. The sunset was great though. And we fell asleep to the sounds of a pair of loons singing to each other.

You’ll have to imagine loons singing in the background

Some stats:

  • Helicopter landings viewed: 2
  • Giant goose: 1
  • “Wawa wow” signs: too many to count
  • Baby deer in the Boreal forest: 1
  • Eagles: 2
  • Falcon: 1
  • Beaver crossing the road: 1
  • Frogs: an infinite number
  • Singing loons: 2
  • Underground mines: 1
  • Total distance: 2059 km