Canada's Best Monuments/Attractions - Road Trip From Ottawa to Saskatoon
Updated: Aug 22
2020 has been a hell of a year. To be completely honest, both Woody and I were devastated when we were forced to cancel several trips because of the coronavirus pandemic. Instead of picking out bikini's for my trip with my Mom to the Dominican Republic or buying loads of sunscreen for our trip to Australia where Woody was going to compete in the World Championships of Ultimate Frisbee (I was going to support him and desperately get some sun on these gams), we stumbled upon an old beat up 1987 Camper that had been sitting in a farmers field for 20+ years. Since we couldn't go anywhere or do anything outside of our bubble, we decided to bring this ADORABLE little 12 foot camper home into our bubble to renovate it and take it on a road trip across Canada to see my family in Sasky! (Keep an eye out for a separate blog and video of the renovation process!)
The Trip: Ottawa, Ontario to Saskatoon, Saskatchewan/Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan
- Hours: 65+
- Kilometres: 6300+
- Average Hours on the Road Per Day: 10+
-----> Here are all the spots we stopped and some cool things we experienced at each stop!
Day 1 on the Road: We hit the highway bright & early to begin our 30 hour road trip from Ottawa to Saskatoon in our newly renovated 1987 Camper "Clover" 🍀
- First stop - 3 hrs in - North Bay, Ontario: Headed to the beach at King's Landing and went for a dip. GORGEOUS sand, water was like a bathtub and clear as day. Could not have asked for a better beach day, but we had to keep moving if we wanted to put in 10 hours of driving before dark. 👑
7 1/2 hrs in - Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario: We parked alongside the waterfront, and guess who tried to throw Woody the keys to the camper with a bold lobbed lefty, and the keys ended up on the top of the camper? Yup - I did that. OOPS. Crisis was averted after 5 minutes with some handy finagling. Went for dinner at the beautiful 'View' restaurant at the Delta on the waterfront. Fish and chips were TOP SHELF.🐟🍟
10 hrs in- Agawa Bay Provincial Park: We got to the park right as the sun was setting, and thankfully the park staff let us park in the visitors parking lot because - to no surprise - the camping area was entirely full. *FYI if you are planning to camp anywhere in Ontario, BOOK AHEAD! Basically every campground we tried to book with was full.* Believe it or not, camping in the visitors lot was almost BETTER, because it was still directly on the beach, but quite far from the campground so we literally had this enormous mystical beach ALL TO OURSELVES. We got there right as the sun was setting, so we decided to go for an evening swim to watch the sun set, followed by a romantic walk down the beach where we watched the moon rise up from the sky above the treeline (see pic). This spot was special. We both tried to soak up as much of the serene setting as we could. There was no need for words when you were on that beach, just sitting and staring at this setting calms the spirit inside of you and makes you realize the true beauty of our spectacular country.
Day 2: Woke up bright as early after a great first sleep in the camper, made coffee on the gas stove, and we were on the road again by 7AM!
- 12 Hours in - As we were driving along, I looked to the left and saw WINNIE THE POOH! Made Woody pull a U-turn so we could go take a picture with Pooh Bear in his hometown of White River, Ontario. 🍯
14 Hrs in- I've got a thing for lighthouses, so naturally we made a stop in Terrace Bay to climb up the lighthouse and check out the incredible view of Lake Superior. Our plan after this was to stop at the nearby Aguasabon Falls, but somehow we drove RIGHT by it. (We made a point of finding them on the way home; TOTALLY worth chasing these waterfalls although TLC advises against it. See pics below)
14 1/2 Hrs in - Made a stop at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. Beautiful falls over pink granite and bedrock. Did a brief hike up the hillside and took a dip in Whitesand Lake before continuing on. Definitely wish we had more time to explore this place.
15 1/2 Hrs In - Stopped at The Willow Amethyst Mine in Shuniah, Ontario to DIG FOR OUR OWN AMETHYSTS! How cool is that? This was one of the most unique experiences we had on the trip, and the best part? We got to take home a whole box of amethysts we found for only $10! So glad we made this stop, don't pass this up if you are near Thunder Bay! Check out this short video of our experience here:
16 Hrs in - The Terry Fox Monument. A wonderful tribute to an extraordinary Canadian and another spectacular view point overlooking Lake Superior. As soon as you arrive, you will feel the wave of emotion when you stand there staring at Terry amongst the clouds, knowing his struggle and the impact he made on every Canadian during and after his journey. This is a very special spot in Ontario, and one I will not soon forget.
16 hrs in - We stopped in Thunder Bay for a beautiful dinner at 'Bight Restaurant' on the harbour front. GREAT food at this spot, we sat on the patio, but the inside of this restaurant was also very impressive. We got chatting with our server, and he had a great suggestion for us - "You MUST stop at Kakabeka Falls, it's like the smaller version of Niagara Falls, you'll love it." ... so we did - and we are pretty damn glad we took his advice! Huge waterfall, many view points available, and a bridge that allows you to walk RIGHT over top of them.
- 20 hrs in- We stopped for what may be a pinnacle moment in our lives: We joined the 'Wal-Mart Camping Club' for some Zzz's in the parking lot of the Kenora Wal-Mart because we're classy like that. (lol) Our bodies were tired and it wasn't hard to fall asleep in the camper that night- only another 10 hour day on the road tomorrow. 🏕️
Day 3: Only 10 more hours of driving ahead of us through the tail end of Ontario, into Manitoba and on to Saskatchewan to finally see my fam jam in Saskatoon! We woke up, made eggs, sausage & toast on the gas stove in the camper, and ate breakfast in our lawn chairs overlooking the beautiful Wal-Mart parking lot of Kenora LOL. As we were leaving Kenora though, a HUGE group of deer crowded around our camper to say goodbye! We couldn't stop laughing because several deer ACTUALLY used the sidewalks and crosswalks properly, better than most humans we know. Looked both ways before crossing and everything! 🦌
21 hrs in - West Hawk Lake - This was a MUST stop for me being the space nerd that I am. This is a lake that was created by a meteor that smashed into Earth approximately 100 million years ago which is why it's almost a perfect circle. Mandatory morning swim in the lake, quick hang on the beach which we had all to ourselves, definitely coming back here to camp in the near future. ☄️
25 Hours in - Spirit Sands Provincial Park- Now THIS is cool. Who would have thunk that in the middle of Manitoba, there is a huge patch of desert land known as the "Spirit Sands". This is a spot covered in sand-dunes where cacti grow and the snakes roam free. We decided to make a detour and did a 4K hike through the dunes to experience this oddity in the middle of the prairies. Wish we could have made a full day out of this place. Don't forget bug spray and sunscreen here. 🏜️
27 Hrs in - We finally made it to Saskatchewan! Just a few more hours on the road to Saskatoon, but we made a quick stop near Reston, Saskatchewan to run through a field of sunflowers 🌻
28 Hours in - Chamberlain, Saskatchewan - Is there anything more Sasky than 2 GIANT tiger lilies next to the grain elevators? The only thing I was missing was a Roughrider's jersey. Mandatory stop for photos and ice cream at the Twisted Sisters Snack Shack!
30 HOURS - WE MADE IT TO SASKATOON!!!! My Mom, Dad, Grandma and Aunty were waiting for us as we pulled up; finally got to hug my family after such a long period of time spent apart. Words can't express how much I miss my family, and those hugs made every minute of this 60 hr round-trip worth it. 🌾♥️
Our 2-week road trip to Sasky has finally come to an end, but we managed to do and see a hell of a lot along the way, and our 30 hour drive home was just as eventful!
First - check out this EPIC sunset from the beach at our family cottage at Jackfish Lake, Saskatchewan (where we spent most of our time when we finally got to Saskatchewan).
✓ Our 1987 renovated camper 'Clover' made it over 6300 KM's and over 65 hours of driving. Did we have to use duct-tape to keep her together near the end of the trip? Yup. But she made for some fantastic memories and after a little TLC, she will be back on the road ♥️
> A few cool stops on the way home to #YOW:
- Echo Bay, home of the Canadian Loonie! 🤑 This thing is HUGE, I can't believe it's only worth a dollar! (ha)
The Big Nickel, Sudbury Ontario, if you thought the loonie was big, The Big Nickel can be seen from miles away! 👀 This spot also has a lot of great information about the city of Sudbury, the smoke-stacks from the copper mines, and the general struggles of industrialism in Canada.
The Wawa Goose, Wawa Ontario. Didn't get hissed at, chased, OR pooped on. 😉 Is there anything more Canadian than a giant goose on the Trans Canada Highway? We think not.
Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park Beach - *Disclaimer: I may or may not have peed in the water.
It was an accident I swear.* Good place for a beach day and a swim near the glorious falls (although I hear there's pee in the water). 🤷
Aguasabo Falls, Terrace Bay Ontario - We TOTALLY missed this by accident on the way, so we made sure we caught it on the ride home. Incredible view of the falls from high up, not for those who are afraid of heights, but definitely do the hike if you're down for a thrill! These falls are incredible! A hidden gem in Ontario, for sure.💧
Lake of the Woods Brewing Company, Kenora Ontario - SO much beer, so little time. Pizza hit the spot and supporting local is easy when the beer keeps flowing. Thanks for the grub, guys! We will be back.🍻
The local Antique Shop in Saltcoats, Saskatchewan. Lots of treasures here. A friendly older fellow greeted us and we chatted about the effects the pandemic has had on his business. Go visit this man if you're ever nearby - he's got plenty of hidden treasures for those who appreciate the value of something old.🔑
The Boat, North Bay Ontario - A huge boat now turned into a restaurant right on the marina alongside the waterfront and beach. Unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived, so we opted for all-you-can-eat-sushi which we did not take for granted lol.🛳️
And last but not least, shout out to the dude driving a DeLorean down the Trans Canada somewhere between North Bay and Ottawa. Made our day, and I'm pretty sure he was going 88 m/hr & time-traveled shortly thereafter but cannot confirm.💥
(Pictures and Video's of our 1987 12 Foot Camper Renovation coming soon!)