#15 – Exploring the US Capital, some country music, and learning about the Civil Rights movement. Washington DC, Nashville TN and Montgomery AB!

Exploring the capital of the USA

After a very exciting and fun filled three nights in New York City, we headed the truck south towards Washington DC to explore the capital of the US. The weather was nice, but chilly, and we spent two nights camping out about 10 miles outside of downtown, in Maryland.

The main mall is huge! We walked the entire length, from the Capital building all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. It was really interesting to see the Washington Monument, the Capital building and the White House. The Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting pool were very powerful experiences and opportunities to reflect on some of the great people of US history.

Smithsonian Museum Elephant

We also enjoyed checking out the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, a free experience as are all the museums in DC. It has some incredibe exhibits on climate change, natural history, geology, gems and minerals and African orgins, and Human history. It was a great way for us to spend the morning, and we definitely learned a lot.

Breakdown in Roanoke Virginia

After Washington, we continued to head southwest, and worked our way through Virgina. Caroline happened to be driving and we were just pulling off the highway for our stop for the night when our truck complety shut down! Turns out our Alternator went bad and then our battery drained and we were stuck on the road, needing a tow. We got all fixed up in a couple of days and headed out back on the road after exploring Roanoke, Virginia, the “Magic City” for a day!

Checking out some country music in Nashville TN

Our next stop was Nashville Tennessee, where we got to enjoy some tasty BBQ and good country Music. This city definitely had a “Vegas” vibe, with the downtown Broadway street very busy with people, bars, restaurants and live music all day and evening! Most bars were three stories, with live music on each floor! We had a fun evening exploring downtown after leaving our truck and camper back at the KOA campground in Music Valley.

Learning about the Civil Rights Movement in Montgomery AB

After our visit to Nashville, we headed south in Alabama. We wanted to visit Montgomery, to learn more about the history of slavery and the Civil Rights Movement. We explored the city and found many useful and insightful plaques the described the important events, people and history of this city. We talked with some locals and did a self-guided walked tour around town. We also complemented this with a visit to Selma, a very important town nearby where the march for voting rights began. It was a powerful experience and we are so glad we got to witness this historical place.

Photos from this part of our trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/m4yeP7jHurKAHe149

Overall, this segment of our trip was great, despite the breakdown. We learned a lot of new history, witnessed interesting events and locations and explored some new music. We had great new southern food, met lots of very friendly people and made it deep into the southern US. Our next phase of the trip is to head west through Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas!

#14 – New York City!

Taking the ferry over from New Jersey

After waiting for what seemed liked forever, the USA border opened up at last and we were able to cross over on Nov 8th. Despite lots of hype, it was quite easy and fast for us to cross over and begin our long way home.

We spent our first night in the US boondocking at a Walmart near Kingston, NY. The next day we drove into New Jersey and where we were parked for the next 3 nights, at Liberty Harbour RV Park, essentially a parking lot near the Statue of Liberty that allowed us to stay in our Camper, but still be very close to the City. We had two options, a ferry across to Manhattan, and a subway PATH from Jersey City into World Trade Center.

Times Square Giant Panda

We walked about 30,000 steps every day, and explored as much of the city as we could in 3 days. Lower Manhattan, Broadway, Hudson, Central Park, Little Italy, Brooklyn Bridge, 9/11 Memorial, the MET Gallery and so much more. It was beautiful, unseasonable weather for early November, most days were clear, sunny and above 20 degrees. We rented bikes, took the subway, ferry and walked our way around this giant, busy island.

The stage for “Come from Away”

We were very excited to be able to get some 1/2 price tickets to “Come from Away”, an excellent Broadway musical all about the town of Gander, Newfoundland, and how they helped and housed over 7000 stranded travellers after the 9/11 attacks. It was a heartfelt and emotional experience that resonated with us a lot, especially when we also were able to spend some time at the 9/11 memorial at the World Trade Center.

9/11 Memorial

The city that never sleeps is always busy! Even on a weeknight, we found New York to be energetic, exciting and engaging. People were friendly, talkative and welcoming for us, as visitors. There was lots of attention to making sure everyone was safe, wearing masks when required and checking our vaccine passports when neccessary.

Taking the ferry back to our RV after a long day of exploring.

One of our favourite days was spent walking and exploring Central Park and the adjacent MET Gallery of Art. It was so full of interesting exhibits, displays, collections and pieces of art. We saw so many beautiful things, evidence of past civilizations, examples of transformative art, and engaging stories of history.

One of the many exhibits in the MET Gallery

We happened to be in NYC during Remembrance day, or as it is called in the US, Veterans day. They had many examples and displays of the sacrifices of their soldiers and people during the past world wars. It was an interesting for us to see the subtle differences between Canada and the US on this important day.

World Trade Center Station lit up for Veterans day

Overall, our New York experience lived up to our expectations and more. We were very lucky with our timing, had great weather, a very close place to park our truck and camper and easy access to the city. With good walking shoes, google maps, and a bike and subway pass, we were able to go anywhere we wanted. We had amazing pizzas, dinners and street food, saw an amazing broadway musical and fully explored Central Park. We got to do all the things we planned and more, yet still, we hope to come back again one day!

Below is our video from this part of our trip and below the video is a link to more photos of our time in the Big Apple!

A collection of our Photos from New York City https://photos.app.goo.gl/c4Y4gpQcKKSF9s459

#13 – Quebec! Montreal, Laurentians and Quebec City

Enjoying some beautiful fall weather!

Since driving across Canada, we have slowed down a bit and are enjoying a break from travelling. We arrived into Montreal in mid September and are staying with family, having regular showers and appreciating indoor plumbing! We spent a few days exploring Montreal, using transit, the Metro, and even renting Bixi bikes to cruise around looking at the gorgeous murals.

We love Montreal!

We explored multuple neighbourhoods, enjoyed lots of great food, including some authentic bagels, and smoked meat sandwiches! We had lots of fun getting lost and exploring Mont Royal Park, Old Port, and using the metro! The weather was great, warm and sunny and we ate our way around town.

A great view!

After Montreal, we loaded up in the truck and headed north to the Laurentians where we had booked an AirBnB near Joilette to spend a few days in the fall colours and some time to unwind. We timed it perfectly and really got to see tons of colours, from yellow to gold, from orange to maroon, it was a spectactular! We had access to a canoe and kayak and were right beside a nice little river where we could paddle for hours.

Our view from the AirBnB

Nearby our AirBnB was a Monastary, the l’Abbaye Val Notre-Dame which is famous for its beautiful walking trails and amazing fall colours. The Monks there have made a vow of silence, and their gorgeous property was easy to lose our words over.

So much gold!

After our relaxing time at the AirBnB and the Abbey, it was a nice thanksgiving with family back in Montreal, where we enjoyed a turkey dinner with all the trimmings. We had a great time catching up with family and tons of delicious food. We wrapped up the meal and started packing for our next trip, where we took the VIA train to Quebec City for the week ahead.

Leaning on the Frontenac!

We had an incredible time in Ville de Quebec and had wonderful fall weather while we were there. We stayed right in the old town, near the wall, and walked thousands of steps every day, exploring almost every street downtown.

Heading down to lower town.

We had one special night planned for Quebec City, a delayed anniversay dinner from earlier in our summer. Quebec City is a special place for us, as it is where we got engaged here over 10 years ago, and also visited again for our 5th anniversary! We love the revolving restaurant there and had a delicous and romantic meal as we watched the city below us.

A celebration!

The rest of our time in Quebec was equally great, with a visit to the National Art Gallery, as well as a open top bus tour around the city. We saw two protests while we were there, and lots of good buskers playing traditional Quebec music.

Some modern art capturing the Quebec family

We have a lot more photos of Quebec City: Click Here

We have more photos of Montreal and the Laurentians here:

Finally, here is a short video of some of our highlights and explorations from all over Quebec:

#12 – Southern Ontario

Hanging out at Sauble Beach!

After we unloaded from the Ferry in Tobermory, we headed south in the sunshine and made our first stop at Sauble Beach. I can see how this would be so popular and busy in the summer, but because we arrived mid-week in Sept, it was pretty quiet. We enjoyed an afternoon with some sand, sun and chips from the burger stand.

We drove across the Pennisula and stayed the night in Owen Sound, boondocking at the Walmart there, which, conveniently was right beside a Swiss Chalet, our favourite restaurant. However, our wishes were dashed as they were “out of chicken”. So we had Harvey’s burgers instead. We carried on the next day to camp at Meford, in a wonderful municipal campground that was beautiful. We had a great site, good showers, power and a wonderful beach. We also had a visit with some of Caroline’s family and a chance to catch up and share about our trip.

Georgian Bay, Meford ON

After Meford, we headed northeast on our way to the Muskokas and Algonquin Park, where we had 3 nights booked at Lake of Two Rivers. We wanted to do a lot of Canoeing and so we rented one from Algonquin Outfitters and it was great! We explored multiple lakes, waterfalls, portaged and biked around the park. It was mostly good weather, except for the Tornado warning we got, but never actual materialized.

Practicing her J Stroke.

It was super nice to slow down for a bit, canoe every day and enjoy the changing of the seasons into Fall. We had full sun, fog, some wind, a little thunder and a little rain during our 3 days, but we stayed dry, warm and comfortable in our camper and canoe.

Pulled up for a picnic on the beach
Finding lots to explore in little side rivers

Here is our video and below are some pics of this segment of our trip

Photos from this segment here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/CEJdwgFV2zmbCLCBA

After Algonquin, we are shifting gears for a bit as we visit with family in Montreal and Ottawa. It will be good to park the truck for a bit and enjoy some indoor time and catch up with our family and friends back east.

#11 – Northern Ontario

Terry Fox Memorial in Thunder Bay

We came into Northern Ontario pretty excited. The Prairies were great, but hitting the border with Ontario signaled a new chapter in our adventures. We were coming to our home Province, where we were both born and have lots of family and friends to see and visit.

Our first stop was just outside of Kenora, at Rushing River Provincial Park. We had a great site and a good swim with some nice hikes along the river.

During our drive from Kenora to Thunder Bay we drove through the most intense thunder, rain and hail storm we both have ever seen. We had to pull over and wait for the rain to let up three separate times! All the cars and trucks were crawling along the highway with hazards on and barely able to see more than 40 feet ahead.

Sleeping Giant Provincial Park

When we arrived in Thunder Bay, the sun was shining and it was a good couple of days to go camping out at the Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. We had a wonderful time there and did the epic hike to the top of the Giant and to see the dangerous chasm!

Giant Cliffs!

After Thunder Bay, we headed south again, after stopping at the Terry Fox Memorial nearby. It was an incredibly beautiful spot, and was quite sombre to be there and think about the sacrifice and contribution that Terry was able to give to the world.

The Milky Way from Manitoulin Island

We stopped a few times along Lake Superior for some incredible beaches, waterfalls and camping at Rabbit Blanket campsite before we headed into Manitoulin Island where we wanted to catch the Chi Cheemaun ferry down to Tobermory and Southern Ontario. On Manitoulin Island, they have very little light pollution and the stars were so amazing. I was able to get a good photo of the milky way from our campsite!

The Chi-Cheemaun Ferry from South Baymouth, Manitoulin Island to Tobermory

Below is our video from this segment of the trip, as well as a link to some more photos from this leg of our trip.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/1XWcWqSwQcDaG5zD9

#10 – The Prairies

Exploring downtown Winnipeg

We spent a full week exploring the Canadian Prairies. We had great weather and good driving conditions for the whole time. We tried to stay north as we came down from Fort St John and skip along northern Alberta and Saskatchewan.

Our first night was in Fahler, Alberta and it was full on harvest time. Combines in the fields, farmers working and hay rolls everywhere. Fahler is also the honey bee capital of Canada and had a huge bee in town. We stayed at a beautiful municipal park with power, showers and just a couple other campers.

We drove through Cold Lake, Alberta, home of the Snowbirds and giant air force base. We spent a night at Beaver Creek provincial campground. It was decent, but busy.

Next day we crossed into Saskatchewan and visited Athabasca, which was a nice stop and had some interesting history. We then spent two gorgeous days at a giant, empty mega campground near Battleford, Saskatchewan. It was strange to be at a spot that had thousands of campers a week earlier and now it was just us and the retirees.

Beautiful sunset, Battleford Lakes SK

We had power, showers, sunshine and space, and so we settled in for 2 nights. We had a few nice hikes, a couple of refreshing swims and lots of time to read.

After Battleford, we headed straight for Saskatoon to do some laundry and also get a hotel room for the night! (Our first one!) We also enjoyed a nice dinner out to celebrate Caroline’s birthday. Good thing we brought some nice clothes.

Getting shrunk at Moosomin Lake SK

After Saskatoon we went south and aimed to hook up with the trans Canada #1 highway. Our main road for the rest of the trip. We also had our check engine light come on! We knew it was a minor issue, most likely related to some bad fuel. We got it looked at it Winnipeg and it’s been fine ever since.

Tiny Caroline!

Before Winnipeg, we spent a night at Moosomin Lake, which has a super nice little regional park with camping. It was also very quiet as everyone had gone back home for school and work. We still enjoyed our time exploring their giant chairs.

Museum of Human Rights. Winnipeg MB

In Winnipeg, we got lots done! We did a big shop, loaded up with supplies, got our truck looked at and sorted out and spent a morning walking around downtown. It was a beauty blue sky day and we really enjoyed all the public art and parks by the river.

After Winnipeg, we set our sights for Northern Ontario. We were excited for this next chapter and also to see some family and friends. Next stops will be Kenora and Thunder Bay.

Below is a link to more photos from this segment of our adventures.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/Hb4u6phPWmnhTLvW6

#9 – Watson’s Signs, Muncho’s Bison, and Liard’s Hot Springs

All of the signs in Watson Lake

When we left Atlin, we knew it was near the end of our Yukon Adventure. It had been over 3 weeks of exploration, driving, hiking, biking and camping. We had excellent weather and met wonderful people in our travels. Our next big stop was at the very famous Watson Lake and we had to check out their sign forest! Over 88,000 signs and growing every day. We took a bit of time to check out a few signs and get lost in the forest.

Whatch you lookin at?

The drive along the ALCAN highway from Watson to Liard was the most bountiful wildlife we have both ever seen. We wanted to see Bison, and we got to see three herds on the side of the highway. We also saw Moose, Bears, Cariboo, Elk, Mountain Sheep, Porcupine and Fox. We kept our eyes peeled and cameras ready. It was a great drive and one we will remember a long time

Liard Hot Springs early morning

We arrived at Liard and grabbed a campsite and our swim trunks and headed straight for the pools. We’ve heard from many of our friends how amazing this place is, and we agree! There is a “hot” end that you can see in the photo above that shows where the hot water enters the pools. It was super hot, and you had to circulate the cool water on the bottom to keep yourself at a comfortable temperature.

A nice way to enjoy apres hot springs

We slowed down and spent three days here. We slept in, did’nt drive at all, and snacked a lot. We needed a little downtime as we had been quite busy, active and covered a lot of miles through the Yukon. This was our restful reward. We also needed to recharge for our next big push across the Prairies.

Premo Muncho Lake campsite

We stayed one night on the side of Muncho Lake and got a good sense of the Northern Rockies. It was a crystal clear blue lake and apparently had great fishing. We explored a nearby resort and had a great campfire.

Black Bear fattening up

After Muncho Lake, we headed east and aimed straight for Fort St John. We needed an oil change! After 6000kms, it was time and we also needed to resupply and recharge. This is the end of the Yukon chapter of our trip. We are now heading east through the Prairies and are hoping to get to Ontario region for mid sept.

Here is this segment’s video and below is the link to some epic photos!

Here are the photos from this video https://photos.app.goo.gl/1rxkghfFQEuYkwUW9

#8 – King’s Throne, Sand Dunes and Atlin, BC

King’s Throne. The hike goes up the left side of the stone face, and goes to the ‘seat’ of the throne.

After we left the Bear Corridor on Congdon Creek, we headed a little bit south, to Kathleen Lake, a National park in a beautiful spot. The lake overlooks King’s Throne, a truly majestic looking mountain and hike we scrambled up a few days later.

We enjoyed some great weather and good hiking at Kathleen Lake and would recommend a visit if you are near Haine’s Junction. They had lots of Park Rangers, interpretive content and presentations and even a kid’s scavenger hunt that we did ourselves!

We moved on and toured through Carcross, and its nearby micro-climate desert, the Carcross Desert. It was windy and not too big. Super strange to have that much sand swirling around us in the Yukon cold.

I had just taken a bite of my sandwich!

We stayed a night at Conrad Campground, the Yukon’s newest Campground. It was on the way to Skagway Alaska, but we still could not cross the border to the US, so we turned back and headed for Atlin BC!

Our campsite at Palmer Lake, near Atlin BC

Our first night near Atlin, BC, was at a forestry site, near Palmer Lake. It was gorgous and we had the place to ourselves. Atlin BC, is on a dead end road and is only accessible via land through the Yukon. A lot of Whitehorse residents come down often for vacations and little trips as it is only 2.5 hours away. We could definitely see why!

Atlin Mountain, on Atlin Lake, near Atlin, BC

Apparently, Atlin BC, is like the Switzerland of North America. The mountains, lakes, rivers and glaciers that surround this tiny little town are impressive. There is lots of mining nearby as well. We had a very tasty lunch at a little diner here that was delicous.

Lots of eccentric creativity in Atlin

While in Atlin, we checked out their local museum and rode our bikes around town, up and down the blocks. We also did an epic hike up a nearby mountain and got a great view of the whole lake, town and region.

The town of Atlin
previously out of breath from a huge climb up

Here is our video from this chapter of our trip. We can definitely feel the weather shifting and the seasons beginning to change. Its time to start making our way south and out of the Yukon.

Here is a link to the Photos from this video: https://photos.app.goo.gl/pZVRAKKmyaBj8khL6

#7 – Kluane Park: Bears, Hikes and Lakes!

We were excited to head west after we stocked up in Whitehorse. With our loaded, charged and full Camper, we merged onto the Alaskan Highway and headed west. Kluane National Park is well known for some amazing views, lots of huge mountains, including Mt Logan, the tallest mountain in Canada. Lots of glaciers, bears and sheep to see as well.

Pine Lake

We first stayed at Pine Lake, about two hours west of Whitehorse, and had a great time riding our bikes into Haines Junction. We enjoyed the views and slowed down for a couple of days. We found an amazing rasberry patch and enjoyed the fruits of summer.

Fireweed Season

Congdon Creek was a pretty exciting place to stay, as it was right on the “bear corridor”, or the Bear Buffet as we called it. The feeling was that they built this campground on the wrong spot, as the giant grizzly bears have been using it as a highway for a lot longer. The tenters had to stay in an electrically protected enclosure, but our camper kept us safe and warm once again. We used Congdon Creek as a jumping off point for a great hike called the Sheep’s Creek Trail that overlooked an amazing river delta

lots of erosionary processes going on

This was a very interesting region to explore. We drove up the Alaska Highway as far as Burwash Landing, which was still about another 150km to get to the actual border. It was still closed to Canadians when we got there, so we will have to come back again for an Alaskan adventure.

Here is our video for this chapter. with some photos linked below!

Photos from this chapter of our trip: https://photos.app.goo.gl/cBm6KaU9RotERVABA

Next video is all about Kathleen Lake, Cacross Dunes and Atlin BC!

# 6 – Back to Whitehorse!

After a lot of hiking around Tombstone Park and with some sore feet, we decided to head back south. Tombstone was the northern zenith of our trip, the literal high point and the most north we have both ever been. We had such a great time, and with such amazing weather, it was hard to turn the truck around and head down south.

We camped for a night at Tatchun Lake and caught the tail end of a pleasant thunder and lightening storm. We were safe, dry and warm in our Camper and had nothing to worry about. We got to swim before hand and the lake was super pleasant!

The world’s biggest Cinnamon Bun from Braeburn Lodge, Yukon.

We treated ourselves with a very tasty treat, a Cinnamon Bun from the Braeburn Lodge, halfway between Dawson City and Whitehorse, near the five finger rapids of the Yukon River. We heard these were big, but really, they were gigantic. We shared one, over three solid sessions, and were stuffed! Glad we got only the one.

We were returning to Whitehorse to restock, restore, and refresh ourselves and our camper. We needed supplies and a shower mostly. We also wanted to see some of the more touristy stuff of Whitehorse, mainly the Beringa Museum and the Transportation Museum, conviently located next to each other at the side of the Alaskan Highway. We enjoyed both!

One of the most important planes to the north after WWII
Yolo’ing the rapids at Miles Canyon

We also checked out Miles Canyon, a very scenic spot just outside of Whitehorse, with hiking along a narrow canyon, full of white water that was a serious hazard for the early prospectors of the gold rush.

We had a great second visit to Whitehorse and we are feeling that we are getting to know the city a little better. We stayed at the same RV park and were able to get some laundry done, some more showers and charged up our batteries. Here is our video from this segment:

As well, we have more photos from this segment of our trip at the link below!

Next chapter we will be heading to the Kluane National Park, near Haines Junction and visit Pine Lake, and Congdon Creek. Apparently there is lots of Grizzlies!

https://photos.app.goo.gl/kv8Rpw6XauvSH9Bg7