Thursday, June 27, 2013

Canada Road Trip: The Pig's Town and Bug Hell

When we left Sudbury, the sun was going down. It didn't take too long before we were driving through complete darkness again. Even during the day, these drives were extremely monotonous. At night, it was hard to tell if you were actually moving or maybe just standing still in the middle of the road. Worried we would run out of gas before hitting Sault Ste. Marie, we stopped at a "trading post," which is what you get when you're no longer on the main highway. (That's a good indicator of how insignificant these towns were that we were visiting - we were relegated to secondary roads.) During our brief chat with the Canucks hat-wearing cashier, we learned that things like moose, bears and wolves crossed the road all willy-nilly round those parts. Which pretty much terrified me right before I was to take over driving duties.

But, we made it to our hotel in Sault Ste. Marie in one piece. But, sadly, it was a bit too late to go gallivanting around town. See, the reason we were in Sault Ste. Marie was to see if we could see Tyler Kennedy, aka Piggy.

TK - if you ever see this, I do truly enjoy you and cheer for you in earnest.

Okay. I'll admit to this only being my reason. Rob is just a good friend who goes along with my crazy sometimes. Our plan was to each wear TK t-shirts to a bar. Then magically TK would appear. But, by the time we pulled into the parking lot, I wasn't even willing to muster the energy to go out, even for some pig hunting.

Skip ahead to 1:10 to watch what made me choose Tyler Kennedy as my favorite Penguin. Adorable.

The next morning though, we did both don those Kennedy t-shirts and set out like a couple of real weirdos to explore a charming little stretch in downtown Sault Ste. Marie. After wandering for way too many blocks, I was starting to get hungry-cranky again. We passed the town's mall, and being that it had both an ATM and a Tim Horton's, we made our way inside. Apparently we were late to the party, because I think maybe all people from all of Sault Ste. Marie were already there.

I propose a change to this! Take out "naturally gifted"; sub in "where it's really nice."

There was a large table.

So we sat at it and drank our Tim Horton's.

Hello, America! (Our phones actually worked in Sault Ste. Marie cause we were so so close!)

We drove away from Sault Ste. Marie, where it's really nice, a little farther north, to Lake Ivanhoe, where we'd be camping that night. I love camping. I love sleeping in a tent. I love campfires. I love camp food. I like getting a little dirty and waking up with the sun. Rob...not so much. He was a real trooper though, especially when we learned that camping right next to a lake in northern Ontario would not be the most pleasant experience. There were more mosquitoes out than I have ever encountered. We had to retreat inside the tent well before the sun went down, because even with the fire and two citronella candles going, as well as bug spray reapplied an unhealthy number of times, we were getting attacked.

One of the trading posts we stopped into felt quite like home.

This is like Final Destination: Canada...

Here is Rob, in his "bug hell" attire, at Lake Ivanhoe.

Grilled cheese for dinner.

Beautiful, but also buggy as hell.

Why I love camping with Rob. Last year it was the Spaghetti Man dance, this year it was roasting two marshmallows on a candy stick. 

I woke up near 5:30 the next morning and forced Rob awake so we could escape bug hell. Our drive the next day was the opposite of exciting. We stopped in Timmins - Home of Shania Twain! - but mostly drove through (our only reason to be there was for only for coffee, donuts, free wifi, and gas - which would become a semi-ritual on this trip). We didn't bother stopping in Swastika, we just took pictures of the sign from the car. We found the World's Largest Hockey Puck. We set up camp at Algonquin Provincial Park, which had way fewer bugs.

Rough name, 'lil northern Canadian town.

We cannot be sure this is the world's largest, because it was quite underwhelming. The nickel was like four times this size.

We had another night of camping ahead, before it was back to civilization, onward to Ottawa.

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