#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.

#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

#4 – Dawson City!

Riding our bikes into Dawson City

We made it! Dawson City was a big part of our Yukon trip and what we were heading for right away. We had a long weekend planned for lots of fun, exploration and some gold panning! We stayed at a RV park on Bonanza Creek, just out of town, and we took full advantage of the programs and tours that were available around town.

Lots of good advice around Dawson

We settled into our site and were enjoying the very sunny hot weather. The drive up was a little bumpy with a couple of construction segments and small detours. Our first full day was spent exploring Dredge #4, one of the largest dredges from its era and very well preserved to this day. We got a guided tour as a part of a small group.

Dredge #4

We also got a tour of the SS Keno, a much smaller paddlewheeler that will go from Dawson up to Mayo to collect ore and other resources. It was a interesting tour through the boat and our guide, a local paddler was very informative and entertaining!

SS Keno

The other big historical site outside of Dawson is the Bear Creek worksite. This was a huge village of workers who would build, maintain and support all these dredges and equipment. They also cleaned up the gold and kept everything locked up. It felt like a time capsule into a long past era of hard work, lots of noise and dirt to produce thousands of ounces of beautiful gold.

Some gold we panned on Claim #6

The other important things to do in Dawson are more entertainment based! We explored the town, did some shopping, biked all the streets. We happened to be in town for the very famous Dawson International Outhouse 5km Race and Dirty Limerick Contest! We saw the launch and were impressed with the creativity of the teams, the “Harry Ploppers” vs “Skid Row”. It was hilarious and a fun activity.

The other big activity for a lot of people who visit Dawson is to have a drink with the Sour Toe at the Downtown Hotel. I made sure we did this, as Caroline was not interested. A shot of Whisky with the Toe and the famous call: “You can drink it fast, or you can drink it slow, but your lips must touch the Toe!” I enjoyed it and am fully certified if you need to see my certificate!

Earned my certificate!

Our four nights in Dawson went by so quickly. We tried to make it into Diamond Tooth Gerties, but with Covid restrictions, they were at capacity, so we did not get to catch their popular show. All the more reason to come back again. We got to see Moose swimming across the Yukon river, we explored the old cemetary on top of the hill, and we got a good feel for the town and met some locals. Overall, we loved it and would come back in a heartbeat.

Next we are off on the Dempster highway to Tombstone park for some hiking!

Click here for some photos from Dawson City and of our trip!

Here is our video from this segment, enjoy!

#3 Into the Yukon!

Rancheria Falls, Yukon Territory

We finally made it to the Yukon Border! We’ve been pushing to get through most of BC quickly as we’ve seen a lot of it, and the wildfires were not good. We decided on the Cassiar highway, definitely the road less traveled to get to the north, but we appreciated the views and experience.

We crossed over the territory boundary and went through a checkpoint to register us and fill out some forms. It was quick and easy. We were happy to be fully vaccinated and elgible to enter!

Our first day driving in the Yukon on the Alaskan Highway was great. Good weather, empty roads and lots to see. We saw a moose and 4 Chinook Helicopters fly over us.

We stayed at Teslin Lake Campground that night and also were able to reposition our camper on the back of the truck as it had shifted to one side a little bit. We’ve gotten pretty good at it now!

Testing out her bug helmet. This was the only time its been used.

Our next day was a drive into Whitehorse and some touring of the SS Klondike, a massive paddlewheeler parked right as you enter Whitehorse from the south. We had a great day exploring Whitehorse and we were staying at an RV site, so we could shower, get some laundry done and recharge the camper batteries!

SS Klondike

Here is a video of this part of our trip. You can follow along on YouTube and subscribe for notifications when we publish new videos.

As well, here is a photo album of our adventures during this segment. Click here for Photos

#2 – Famous Places – Bear Glacier, Stewart BC, and Jade City

Our second and third days on our journey north went through some pretty famous spots. We started on the Cassiar Highway, famous for being a very picturesque highway with lots of beautiful lookouts and stops. Its also known for being a little rough or ‘bumpy’, we which can confirm. 100% correct. We bounced and bumped our way along, visiting Stewart, BC a quirky little city with a big past and a close town, Hyder, USA, that we wished we could visit.

We also drove past Bear Glacier, which has been retreating away from the highway over the last few decades, but still provides a beautiful view of ice and power to move mountains!

Caroline checking out the Glacier

We drove through Dease Lake on our way north and ended up spending the night boondocking in the Jade City parking lot, which offered “FREE RV PARKING” which immediately appealed to us, of course. I also happen to be a huge fan of the tv show “Jade Fever” which explores a family Jade mining operation nearby. During our travel through, we followed Scrappy Larry, a scrap dealer from the show for a while, and saw Larry himself and his son at the Jade City store. We also got to watch Gary fire up “SixPack” their old, broken down work truck that is a big part of their mining operation and show.

Our video below shows some of these explorations and more, with some bonus footage of the Jade City work truck “Six Pack” from the tv show “Jade Fever”

Here is a link to some more photos from this segment of our trip!

A&C

#1 – Heading North!

We are ready with out first video from our grand adventure! We have been exploring northern BC and the Yukon for the last two weeks now and have seen so many beautiful and amazing places. We have driven over 3000km so far and everything has been going great. We are spending lots on gas, but we are appreciating every moment we have.

I’ve got a couple of videos completed and ready to share of our trip so far. Wifi is rare up here, and wifi with any kind of upload is even more hard to find! We are settled into an RV park in Whitehorse for a night to do laundry, have showers and upload a couple of videos!

Our first video is from the beginning of our trip, as we left Vancouver and headed north, with route unknown, as the forests were on fire in southern BC. We drove the Coqihalla #5 highway until 97c and then headed north through Williams Lake and then onto the Hundred Miles Houses. We drove almost 800kms that day!

We hope to be sharing videos and posts a little more frequently going forward. Its been so good to disconnect up north, where the cell phone signal is non-existant. We’ve been enjoying being in the present more, and to slow down lots. We have been to some remote spots, rough roads and beautiful vistas and can’t wait to share them with you.

We’ve got lots more fun content, videos, and photos to share over the next few weeks as we continue to explore the Yukon!

I’ve got some photos from this leg of our trip that you can view here in this link!

Follow along on my twitter account if you want to see a few more up to date photos of where we are! @aaronmueller

Update and New Camera!

Hello Everyone!

Well, its been a while since we’ve posted an update and rightfully so, its been a strange and confusing year in regards to our postponed trip. We’ve had to adapt, pivot and plan for multiple scenarios and situations, but we are still taking our delayed sabbatical next school year. Obviously, everything is dependant on our vaccines, travel opening up and opportunities to go visit our friends and families. We are optimisitic and hopeful that we will have the opportunity to drive north, east and across Canada this summer/fall and perhaps travel internationally for early 2022!

In the meantime, we’ve been planning, plotting and preparing for our trip and have recently purchased a new Camera to help capture fun moments and special places along the way. We got a new GoPro Hero 8 Black:

Its a pretty neat camera with lots of great features (Image Stabilization, Waterproof, 4K) and lots and lots of accessories to help attach it to different things and options for filming. It should allow us to easily capture our hikes, views, drives and adventures. In playing around with the camera, I made a few videos already:

Here is a short video of our evening walk around the neighbourhood. I used the GoPro app on my phone to automagically put this together with intros, edits and music in the background.
Here is a “Time Warp” feature of my morning commute on my E-bike.
And here is my bike ride home!

As well, here is a picture of our truck and camper setup we are using this summer to hopefully drive around Canada. We are so excited and hopeful our trip goes as planned, but we also know we need to be flexible and adaptable and patient as things slowly get back to normal.

We hope this post finds you all well, healthy and safe! We plan to be posting more often as we get into the summer and officially start our delayed sabbatical year!

Cheers!

Aaron and Caroline