Wow, back to the heat! Ontario was just like we left it at the end of June with temperatures hovering around 40C!
A train ride, two flights and a commute home, makes for a long day of travel. Other then a very crazy overcrowded arrivals area at Toronto Pearson Airport and a cellphone glitch, it had been a relatively seamless day. We were so tired that we dropped our bags in our living space and only pushed out our bedroom slide and fell into bed.
The next six days were used to get organized, do laundry, have nice dinners with family/friends catching up and to settle back into motorhome living. We reconnected with Ad and Karin Van Lith (the people who purchased our farm) as we took Leslie, Steve, Don and Dorothy out to the their “home” farm north of Woodstock to see their dairy farm and the robotic milkers in action. They are lovely people, and it is so cool to see these “robots” working!
On our way to Ottawa we stopped at another one of our favourite parking spots, the Bender/Mayeski home in The County. Our visit this time was too short (only one night) but as always, it is great seeing them! Their very busy life exhausts us! In fact when we arrived Phil and Isabella were just getting ready to head to a horseback riding lesson which June gladly hopped in their truck and went along to watch. I stayed back to set up our home and wait for Alex and Hayden to return from hockey practice.
The other reason for stopping in Prince Edward County was to pick up our new table for our home. When we were there in the spring we ordered a “live edge” counter to fit into the space where our dinette table was. We picked up two Mennonite made wooden stools in Wellesley a few days before and were anxiously waiting to see our new counter. After moving our table and chairs out, and the new counter in we are very pleased with our new look! It is becoming a good? ritual that we have a nice dinner and then stay up way to late drinking and talking when we are here!!! After a very nice breakfast in Wellington at Drake Devonshire looking out over Lake Ontario, it was time to head up the 401 to Ottawa.
Ottawa is always a fun visit with the Green/Kapitaniuk family. This time we were parked out at Wesley Clover Park just west of Ottawa. One of the perks of this park is that it is on the western end of the Ottawa Bike Path Network so it is a great way for us to get into the city on our bicycles.
This visit to Ottawa we also spent a half day with Larry’s cousin Doug and Joanne, who share a little of the wandering bug. They do not live full time in their “Beast” but have done some elaborate trips with it. When their kids were in school they even took them out for a year and home schooled them as they drove through Canada and the US in a motorhome. So, we had some things in common to talk about. We went for a nice cycle around the city with them before having a barbeque back at their place and drinks on the patio in the September sunshine. June had never met them before and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon!
With the arrival of the weekend we headed into Quebec to Lois and Denver’s cottage on Lac St. Germain for Saturday night. It was fun sleeping in the cottage, along with the resident mouse, with the fire burning through the night. Having coffee down on the dock in the morning sunshine before a nice lunch with some of Lois’s friends, another great day! We arrived back in Ottawa Sunday night and had to say our goodbyes as the kids had school the next day and the grownups had to work.
Our drive west was not very far as we stopped in Maynooth, Ontario, where you ask? It is a very small town north of Bancroft and east of Algonquin Park if that helps. We stopped here for one night to visit two special people. If you can believe it, Larry has a cousin here! Marilyn grew up on the farm beside where Larry grew up and they spent some fun times riding their ponies. We reconnected with Marilyn and her partner Svenda last summer in Grimsby, but they moved up here 6 mths ago so we parked our home on the street outside their home and church.
Our first stop was at their “land” south east of the village where they have an adorable small cabin, but are planning to build an amazing off grid house. There are many different things being planned and we look forward to seeing what happens, it is a such gorgeous spot!! They are both United Ministers and very interesting people, which makes for good dinner conversation. Dinner was a wonderful home cooked meal with some scotch we brought home from Scotland, mead from Niagara, kir royals and even some smooth rum.
The next morning after a nice breakfast and a walk around the very “artsy” village it was time to continue our trek west. This time we drove through Algonquin Park to just outside of Huntsville to visit with Peter and Doreen on their little piece of paradise on the Lake of Bays. They are some friends from our park in Tucson and offered us a place to park our home. They even have full power, water and sewage hook-ups as well as internet, better then some parks we have stayed in!
Our first night Peter took us for a tour on their pontoon boat around part of the lake before the sun set, so peaceful and beautiful! The next day we went for a 35km cycle into Huntsville, which included many hills!
This afternoon we were VERY excited!!! Peter has a Cub, which is a small 2 seater float plane, with a 90 horsepower engine, and he offered to take each of us for a ride! First Larry and then June. Peter is a tall man and he looked like a pretzel getting in, and it was a tight fit for us in the back. It was AMAZING and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!!!! We finished our day with a lovely barbequed dinner and Doreen even tried to entice us with a golf game the next day to keep us there for a little longer. It was a very tempting offer!!
Continuing west, we did not go much further. As it happens, and if you can believe it, Larry has 3 more cousins here and June had never met any of them! First stop was Roger ( cousin ) and his wife Rochelle’s house, which they built on the rocks along the French River. We spent a lovely afternoon on their back deck enjoying the company and the sun. There was a nice large paved area in front of their house which they said we could stay at, so we booked it for next year 🙂 .
Continuing on to just outside of Sudbury on highway 17 was Janet, ( cousin and brother to Roger ) her husband, Ray and son, Sam. They have several acres of land and we were able to pull in and boondock there for the night. Also joining the party was Kris ( cousin and sibling ) and her daughter Chloe. An enjoyable evening was spent talking, laughing and getting to know more family. In the morning Janet was kind enough to make us breakfast, and give us some of her preserves and then we were on our way.
We arrived at the KOA in Sault St. Marie and after getting set up and organized our friends Virginia and Ron hosted us for a nice home cooked curry meal. This was our second time visiting them in the Sault so our time was spent more visiting then sight seeing, which was nice. Their friends Kim and Wyatt own a cottage on one of the lakes north of the city so we went up and spent the day there. We did some kayaking, jet skiing ( which had a 100 hrs powered engine, which was more power than the engine in the plane that we were just in! ) and enjoyed time in their wood fired sauna before relaxing on the deck in the sunny weather. It was a great day!
The next day we managed to get in a nice bicycle ride out to Lake Superior at Gros Cap. That night we had dinner at their place which included a traditional Sault St Marie Italian sausage from a local Italian butcher, on a bun from a local bakery, with maple bacon donuts for desert. MMMMMMM! They have become good friends and we look forward to connecting with them again in the future on the road.