We woke to a surprisingly beautiful morning at Fushimi Lake.  This has to have been one of the best campsites we have stayed at, all because of the fantastic view and our private beach.  I booked this site in February and am so glad I did.  I wanted to watch the sunrise since we missed it the day before, and just like yesterday, we missed it again.  The hills blocked the best part of the show, and by the time the sun crested the hills, it was already rather bright.  That was my only complaint about this place.  We would stay again if only it weren’t so far from home.

We packed our things.  We rarely stay at a site for more than a night.  We camp because it is so much cheaper than a motel, and it adds a lot to the experience of traveling.  Our first destination was a lengthy two-and-a-half hours away.  We were all ready to continue this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, and we were still in disbelief that we were doing it since we had so many disruptions that delayed us for years.

In the car, we proceeded west along Highway 11.  We would end our journey on this northern road and start to make our way southward.  Day two would be the last time we would head south for several weeks, with every road leading in a northern and western direction—our first destination for the day was Discover Geraldton Interpretive Centre.  

It was closed.

It looked like it was closed for a long time.

I suspect that with the closures forced upon travel areas from COVID-19, this one never recovered from the strict government regulations.  I was disappointed by this because it was to explain the mining operations in the area.  I wanted to have a variety of locations to visit, learning about the cultures, histories, and everything I could as we passed from one side of the continent to the other.  

We would continue passing the other side of the Arctic Watershed boundary.  I appreciated this geographical feature, but I suspect most people do not know what it means, nor will they care.  For a geography buff like me, knowing where the water ends up is an interesting tidbit to highlight my day.

There was what I call a mini-stop along the way.  A stop that is just for a quick photo-op and a place to stretch our legs.  In Beardmore is the World’s Largest Snowman.  It does not contain a single flake of snow but rather a lot of steel in the shape of a friendly snowman.  

I was nervous about the status of our next stop.  I researched it years ago, being one of the first discoveries I had when I made a map of places I wanted to see.  There needs to be more information on how to access this location by foot.  After scouring the satellite feature on Google Maps, I found a place I hoped to park and a roadway I wished to access.  Fortunately, Jumbo’s Cove Train Tunnel worked perfectly and was a highlight of today’s events.  An artificial cave that serves as an ATV/snowmobile/hiking trail that once served as a train tunnel.  It was cool – literally and figuratively!

Our next stop was a waterfall that is viewable from the road.  I suspected that it would be dry at this time of year.  I was prepared for this disappointment.  I was not prepared for the fact that construction equipment had parked around the access point to the falls and was fenced off.  I could not even see if it was flowing or not.  Being a lover of waterfalls, missing this location was an unwelcome feeling.

I skipped the next site entirely by accident.  It was to be a gas station that also acted like a gift shop with native art.  It must have been small and unnoticeable because I just kept driving and never saw it.

Being ahead of time is usually a good thing.  We missed three destinations today, but that allowed me to add a couple more when we passed through Thunder Bay.  Centennial Conservatory was nice and featured their dreams of expansion, which would make this place spectacular.  

International Friendship Gardens surprised me with its size and scale.  It was a large park that offered so much in sculptures and design that it left Charlene and I impressed with what we saw.  We quickly forgot about the other places we missed and very much appreciated this add-on site.

We would arrive at Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park with plenty of time to relax and do nothing after we had set up camp and viewed the second-largest waterfall in Ontario.  Our second day was much more relaxed since we did not drive as much or as far as the first day.  

Day Three would take me to the farthest west my wife, and I have ever traveled.  In fact, each day after today, we would set new distance records from home.  Our trip would begin to accelerate in excitement as we saw more and got closer to our main destination point in Seward, Alaska.

Destinations on our Alaskan Trip:

DAY 1 – JULY 1- 2023

  1. High Rock Lookout 
  2. Laurier Woods Conservation Area
  3. Black Forest Park
  4. Marten River Pickerel
  5. Arctic/Atlantic Watershed
  6. 20-Foot Tall Guy-Paul Treefall
  7. 49th Parallel Park
  8. Fauquier-Strickland Heritage Park
  9. Moonbeam UFO
  10. Kapuskasing Cenotaph
  11. Kapuskasing Internment Cemetery
  12. Reesor Siding Memorial
  13. Voyageur at Missinaibi River
  14. Moose and Wolves statue in Hearst
  15. Our Veterans Park
  16. Fushimi Lake Provincial Park

DAY 2 – JULY 2, 2023

  1. Arctic Watershed 
  2. World’s Largest Snowman
  3. Jumbo’s Cove Train Tunnel
  4. Terry Fox National Historic Plaque and Lookout
  5. Centennial Conservatory
  6. International Friendship Gardens
  7. Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park


Husky the Muskie

I love mini-stops.  These are places where I put into our itinerary when we are travelling.  Generally, it is a quick stop to look at something, snap a picture, and away we go to the next destination.  But sometimes, a mini-stop turns into something bigger.…

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