A Travellerspoint blog

Week 2 on the Road

The journey west continues, through Northern Quebec and Ontario.

semi-overcast 9 °C
View TaJ 2019 on Rooseboom-Scott's travel map.

We are at Camerons Beach Campground near Iroquois Falls, Ontario and have traveled 2,700 kilometers since leaving our home in Millville, Nova Scotia on May 8.

We started this week at Camping Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. We were the first paying customers of the season at this 408 site campground. When we contacted them a few weeks ago they kindly consented to let us stay while they opened the campground for the upcoming summer. On our first night, the washrooms and showers were not open.


The campground is about a 50/50 split of long term seasonal campers and travelers. Many of the sites have permanent trailers, with attached decks and outbuildings. Many of the owners were in getting prepared for summer. Each trailer had a ladder in place up to the roof. By the piles of snow beside many of them it was apparent that someone had a good business going shoveling snow off the roofs during the winter.

During our first full day there a work crew was opening and cleaning the entire campground. A street sweeping crew was busily scraping up the 2 inch layer of sand and small gravel used on the roads up here. We actually thought the roads through the campground were gravel, that is how deep the stuff was!

The manager of the campground described the winter of 2018-19 as a winter and a half. Cold, heavy snow. In our travels about the area we saw numerous collapsed garages where the snow load proved to be too much for the structures. The area around the campground is a maze of snow shoeing and cross country skiing trails that are heavily used all winter. In the summer, the same trails are used for hiking and biking. The area around Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts is full of ski resorts. The many lakes provide summer entertainment. The town has full services and many B&B's and small hotels provide accommodation.

Like all days so far, our first full day started off cold, but showed the promise of sunshine and moderate temperatures. The campground is 3 kilometers from the town centre and we set off on foot to explore, and get in some exercise. We had a great 4 hour walk through the area and stopped for coffee at a local coffee shop. We stopped into Canadian Tire to check if the screen tent we wanted was on sale this week. Sure enough, there it was, marked down from $275 to $161. We will pick one up when we come back with the car on our way out of town. We also need to refill our propane tank.

By the time we got back to TaJ, our GPS watches showed we had walked 12 kilometers. Enough exercise for the day! We hung out, had a good supper and watched a dvd. As we dropped off to sleep the rain began to fall.

We woke on Tuesday to steady rain, which did not let up all day. We had planned to go hike at Mont Tremblant, but were quickly dissuaded from doing that. When life gives you lemons, well, it is time to do laundry, and read. Which is exactly what we did...a full day of doing very little. We are plowing through books on our Kobo e-readers. We download the books from the Halifax Library.

We did get our screen tent though. Although it has been cold and not very nice up to this point in our trip, it will get buggy. After all, this is Canada and bug season here is not one to be trifled with. Jenny and I have had issues with screen tents before, in fact, we bought this exact model a few years ago. It ripped on our first raising and we returned it and survived without one in 2017. Buying the tent at Canadian Tire was a must. If we need to return it, there are 1702 sites across the country that will honour the one year warranty. Our screen house is a Coleman 15 x 13 foot model that will easily fit over a campground picnic table:


It says easy up...yeah sure, we believe! We also have this handy screen hat that Jenny is modeling:


Wednesday: We left Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts heading north to Val-D'or Quebec, a mining town of 35,000. It was 5 C and raining all the 350 kilometers we drove. We arrived mid afternoon and found a site at this campground. Once again, today is day one of its season:


Camping Sagittaire is a cooperative campground on Lake Lemoyne. It has about 200 mostly seasonal sites, but they have 20 or so sites for travelers like us. The washrooms are not open today and might not be tomorrow but we will make do. It is 3 C when we arrive and pouring rain. We set up as the rain turns to a snowy sleety sort of mess. Chilled right through, we fire up the heater in TaJ and settle in with a couple of beers while we wonder about our sanity of traveling this early in the season. On the drive up here we passed several lakes that still had ice in them.

Thursday: We woke to a temperature of -1 C, but at least it hadn't snowed overnight. It warmed up a bit during the day and we did a nice tour of Val-D'or. There is not much here to hold us, since almost all hiking trails are still packed with snow and ice. We will move on Friday to Iroquois Falls, Ontario. The Victoria Day weekend is upon us and it is the beginning of camping season here in the north. All campgrounds are pretty full, so it should be interesting to see how people cope.

Friday: We woke to rain, and hooking up TaJ in the rain is not the most fun thing to do. Emptying the grey and black water tanks, hooking up to Sully. By the time that is done I am frozen solid. Jenny has been working away getting the interior ready to travel. But, we are like a well oiled machine and do a final check to make sure we have got all the essentials out of the way before we pull out.

Our destination is Iroquois Falls, and the Camerons Beach Campground. We will stay for 4 nights and attempt to get in much more outdoor time. When the weather cooperates, we spend about 40% of our time outdoors. So far on this trip it has been way too much time inside the tiny space of our R-pod trailer, which measures about 125 square feet. But we are where we want to be, on the road, so all is well and we know the good weather will eventually get here.

The roads in the north in pretty good shape, but there are a number of potholes and bumps to avoid with a trailer on the back. Luckily they are well marked so we can slow down and get our trailer over them without damage.

Camerons Beach Campround is quite nice. On still frozen Big Nellie Lake. We arrive mid afternoon and get set up overlooking the lake.



Another cold night, with the temperature dropping to -2 by morning. Saturday, May 18 promises to be sunny and a relatively balmy 13 degrees C. We decide to use the day to visit nearby Timmins Ontario, a city of about 45,000 and a hub of the mining industry here in Northern Ontario. Basically, the whole reason for being up here in the north is mining raw materials from the ground, or logging the vast forests. The people who live here like it. They are a hearty lot, that is for sure.

Saturday sees many of the seasonal campers at Camerons Beach to prepare for the summer. There is activity at virtually every site, as they de-winterize and clean up their campsites. Children abound. Despite the frozen lake, at least two teenagers go into the water, although not for long!

Timmins is a typical northern city. Bustling with action as the main shopping centre of the local area the city is busy. Jenny and I start our tour with a 2.5 k walk around Gillies Lake, the most popular walking trail in the city. It is busy with lots of people getting out for their first walk of the spring.

After our walk, we check out two local micro breweries. We prefer to try local beer whenever possible. It gives us a change from the offerings of the big breweries. We bought 10 cans of various brews to enjoy as we travel. There are no micro breweries between here and Thunder Bay, so we have plenty of time before our next brewery visits.



On our way back to the campground, we came upon Guy-Paul Treefall, a 20 foot statue of a logger at the visitor centre for Iroquois Falls. We will pull TaJ here for a photo on Tuesday when we head on to our next destination.


As this blog is written it is late on Sunday morning. While in Timmins yesterday we picked up the weekend editions of the Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star to read. One of my favourite things to do while travelling is to read the weekend papers from the closest big city to catch up on the news of the day. Even though it was sunny, I was forced to wear my toque to get the job done this morning.


Although this is only Sunday we will publish this blog today. Rain begins this afternoon and continues throughout tomorrow, so we will do what we can, but we expect to be reading and watching DVD's for quite a bit of the time. We continue east on Tuesday, with a planned 3 day stop at Fushimi Lake Provincial Park and then a longish run into Thunder Bay Ontario on Friday

Our next blog entry will come from Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park, west of Thunder Bay on Monday, May 28

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 09:30 Archived in Canada Tagged sainte-agathe-des-monts camerons_beach_campground timmins iroquois_falls val-d'or micro_breweries

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents


We have the opposite problem.....We are packing up the Airstream and it is beastly hot. We have both A/Cs going strong so that the refrigerator doesn't have to struggle so much. We hope for an early start tomorrow (Monday).. Our first night will be at Galvestson Island State Park. We have to watch the weather as there are a lot of storms in our travel path.

by Karmen Reid

I won't tell you about the weather here! Did you travel through the La Verendrye Wildlife reserve?

by Mary Klimek

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.