Searching for Dryer, Warmer weather
Into the next province – Saskatchewan. I camped in the Interprovincial Cypress Hills Park, which is in both Saskatchewan and Alberta. From what I could see through the rain pouring down, it looked like a very beautiful and big park. I was grateful for my little tent trailer to keep me dry and cuddle up in as it poured during the night. I wanted to drive around the park to see more of it. Unfortunately, in the morning the clouds were low and visibility was poor. I wouldn’t have been able to see much of the nice views. So I decided to come back in the future for another visit to explore it more. I haven’t had much luck with this park. A few years ago when I wanted to see the park, it was closed due to fire threats. I’m sure one day I’ll get to see it properly.
Despite the rain, I did get to see some of the beautiful Cypress Hills as I headed south to the Red Coat Trail. The Red Coat Trail was used by 275 red-coated men of the North West Mounted Police (NWMP – the national police force prior to the RCMP) when the NWMP travelled west onto the prairies in 1874. The 275 men, beasts and carts made a 5 km long column crossing the prairies. It must have been something to see.
This secondary route didn’t have all those red coats and was not busy but it was scenic. There were beautiful rolling hills with many colours. Unfortunately, when I saw some really nice scenery and wanted to take photos, there was no convenient place to pull off the road. And when there were places to stop, the scenery was pretty but not as colourful. I enjoyed the drive anyway.
Along this route, I still put up with the rain. It was challenging to find the least soggiest site to camp on. The advantage of this route was going through some small towns, towns that provided basic camping sites for a reasonable amount. Some of these campsites were nice and some not so nice. One of the small towns I camped in was Wawanesa. The insurance company was named after this cute little town.
From Saskatchewan, I drove into Manitoba and then into Ontario. Around Winnipeg, my only option for driving became the busy Trans-Canada Highway (“the Number 1”). It is a busier highway and not as picturesque but it got me to the next province, Ontario.
Finally, I reached dryer and warmer weather when I reached Ontario. I made sure I stopped to admire the views over Lake Superior. At the eastern end of Lake Superior I reached the town of Wawa and its big Canada Goose statue. I just had to stop for that photo op.
From Wawa I headed east along an isolated road to Timmins where Shania Twain grew up. I could see why she left the town as it was not quaint or scenic or anything. I was quite happy to be just passing through.
I did see some nice towns though, such as Kirkland Lake in Ontario. On the Quebec side were Rouyn-Noranda and Val-d’Or. After these towns, I drove south through the huge Parc La Verendrye. It was isolated and had very few campsites near the main road. There were other campsites well off the main road in isolated places. Obviously, the park was not meant for family camping but for hunting and fishing expeditions. Along this approximately 220 km route, the park had very few rest stops along the road and little signage to indicate how far through the park I was. Well, I had the experience of driving through it once. After driving through the park, I was glad to reach Mont Laurier and familiar territory.