Not so much “Westward Ho!” as “Homeward Bound” now.
If you wish to start reading at the beginning of the journey, please click here.
Day 19 – Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan to Grand Forks, North Dakota
The terrain south of Moose Jaw is much flatter than to the north; but, south of Estevan we were back in a hilly terrain.
Among the many grain elevators we saw was the Dog River Grain Elevator in Rouleau, Saskatchewan. I never watched the TV show but this is the backdrop for some scenes in the CTV series “Corner Gas”.
We stopped at the duty-free store in North Portal, Saskatchewan which had great beer prices, so Al stocked up on Molson Canadian. I used to call that his house beer, but he’s really into the craft beers now, so I’ve renamed it his poverty beer.
Our excitement for the day was crossing back into the USA. When we pulled into the customs line up, there was only one line, and there were 12 vehicles ahead of us. The customs officer had every one of them open up their trunk, and she opened every cooler – being up in the motorhome gave us a good view of the goings-on. 30 minutes later when it was our turn, Al was asked numerous questions about what we had in the RV but most of the questions revolved around fruits and vegetables. We were told we had to pull up around the building and park in front of door B and then go inside. We parked in front of door B which was a large garage door fully expecting they were going to have us pull the RV inside. We got out of the RV with Ozzy, and Al went into the building only to quickly return saying we had to put Ozzy into the kennel area. Once we kenneled Ozzy, two officers came out and asked us some of the same questions the first officer had asked. Then they asked us to stay outside while they checked inside the RV. They were inside maybe 2 minutes and came back out making a joke about us being on diets since there was so little food in the fridge. I explained that I had gone through all the fresh items the night before and thrown out anything that wasn’t grown in Canada or the US. They were fine with their inspection, provided us with a tip sheet for future reference and told us we could leave. The problem was we were in a spot where we couldn’t drive forward, and we couldn’t back up with the toad attached. We asked about driving through the garage and out the other side; that wasn’t possible because the other side was a loading dock. Apparently the first officer had given us the wrong instructions, and we should have been directed to park in the bus parking area. Darn! So, Al had to unhook the toad, move both vehicles and then hook the toad up again. With Ozzy removed from “jail”, we were back on the road.
The area around Kenmare, ND is interesting. The Des Lacs National Wildlife Refuge on Hwy 52 is very scenic and includes a beautiful valley. Also south of Kenmare, we saw all sorts of numbers made out of rocks on the hillsides. We had a bit of discussion on what they could possibly mean. Al’s best guess was that it was the star football players numbers from the local high school; I don’t recall my best guess. With the aid of Google, I’ve learned that each year the high school seniors leave their mark on the hillsides by laying out the rocks in shape of their graduating year and painting them white. This has been happening since 1945.
We decided to try boondocking at a Walmart for the night in Grand Forks. I had called the Walmart and made sure they were okay with us parking there. When we pulled in, there were already a few RVs of assorted sizes parked in the front lot. Since the person I had talked to had told me we should park away from the customer areas, we parked at the back of the store. It was a pretty level spot which is what we needed since boondocking etiquette doesn’t allow for us to put our jacks down. It was a bit noisy until about midnight, but then it was as quiet as any RV park we’d been in.
Day 20 – Grand Forks, North Dakota to Ashland, Wisconsin
Our trip from Grand Forks to Ashland was uneventful. We were in travel mode and focussed on getting as far as we could for the day.
We had hoped to stay in Ashland at Kreher RV Park. But we couldn’t make a reservation for just one night, and it was full up when we got there. It looked like it would have been a beautiful spot right on Lake Superior.
We ended up going ahead to Bad River Casino. They have a good deal for RVers. For $20, you get a spot in their parking lot with water and 30 amp electricity, a $5 coupon for the slots and use of the hotel’s pool. It was raining so we decided to go into the casino to eat. Although the décor of the restaurant was more than a tad dated, the food was good. Al had the fried walleye which was excellent, and I opted for my old fallback of a quesadilla.
Day 21 – Ashland, Wisconsin to Echo Bay, Ontario
Crossing back into Canada was very uneventful; which it should be.
We didn’t have a reservation for the night, so I had to make a few phone calls to find us a spot. Ojibway Park in Echo Bay was able to take us. When we arrived, we found that they have an overhang at the entrance that our RV was too high to go under. Luckily, they had a secondary access that they were able to open up for us. Then we discovered the spot they had for us was pretty sandy and Al was concerned that we might sink. So they let us set-up in an open area that they use for parking for events. Very accommodating people right on the shore of Lake Huron.
Day 22 – Echo Bay, Ontario to Powassan, Ontario
Another uneventful day of travel. A few spots of bad traffic due to construction but we arrived at Booth Landing Camping and Cottages for a quiet night and visiting with family.
Day 23 – Powassan, Ontario to Home
And, another uneventful day of travel. And home!
I hope you enjoyed this blog series about our 3-week trip. We had a great time and are looking forward to our continued RV travels.