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Week 4 on the Road

Kakabeka Falls, Kenora and Winnipeg

sunny 18 °C
View TaJ 2019 on Rooseboom-Scott's travel map.

We have traveled 5,120 kilometers since we left Millville Nova Scotia on May 8. At the end of this week of travel we are at Arrowhead RV Park in Iles des Chenes, Manitoba. Gas prices in this area are a very pleasant $1.19 per litre, down about $0.30 from what we were paying in Northern Ontario.

Monday, May 27:

Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park is quite nice, but it does not have wi-fi, nor is there any readily available in the small town of the same name. We had also gone through most of a week without wi-fi in the other campgrounds along our northern route, so we had a deficit that an hour in a Tim Horton's or Starbucks could not fix.

When we travel, the very best wi-fi available is through the local library. We headed off to the main library in Thunder Bay, where we spent 2 hours getting access to the internet world. I got the blog done and published, Jenny did a bunch of computer stuff to keep us up-to-date with our bills and we did e-mails to family and friends. We spent some time planning the next couple of days. We picked out a campground near Kenora for our next stop and did some research on Winnipeg, where we will spend a full week.

During the afternoon we visited Tony and Wilma Kempe. Wilma is an old travel buddy of Jenny's from the 1970's It was good to spend some time socializing with them. They live totally off the grid just north of the city. We'll drop in on the way back through Thunder Bay in September, on our way back east.

Our night was quiet: back at the campground, most of the weekend people had departed. It looked like maybe 10 sites, out of 85 were filled. It makes it nice when you use the showers...all to ourselves, no waiting and generally a lot cleaner this time of year.

Tuesday, May 28:

We woke to a freezing cold morning, back down to zero, but with clear skies the promise is for a high of 25 degrees. We spent the cool morning getting our laundry done. Kakabeka has laundry facilities, so it was easy for us to get them done.

The afternoon was a 6 k hike down to the falls and back. Kakabeka Falls was on the route of the Voyageurs, and the 150 foot falls necessitated a difficult and strenuous portage, either with furs heading down or trade goods heading up. Each voyageur was capable of carrying a 90 pound pack up or down a very steep slope. Three or more were required to carry the canoes. Really glad we have horsepower to get us across this country.


The day's warmth brought the first black flies out, in swarms late in the day. They aren't biting yet, but still annoying. No complaints from us, we have been expecting them since we left home. They are a sign that summer is on the way. We took an evening walk through the campground and chatted with other travelers, most from BC, heading east, to Nova Scotia!

Wednesday, May 29

We started the day with exercise, Jenny did a walk run and I did a power walk. We find that exercise before settling in to the car for a long run is the way to go. I got in 35 minutes and just over 3 k and Jenny closer to 45 minutes and 4.5 k. Usually, by the time we arrive at our destination, we do not feel ready to walk that hard.

We drove 450 kilometers west to Kenora, arriving at Willows RV Park and Campground, around mid afternoon. We set up camp, and talked to the owner. It seems that today is his first day with any significant number of people arriving. He has only just gotten the campground ready after a longish winter. Almost all of our camping stops so far have been right at opening of the campground. If we were to do this again, we would likely leave our start date until May 20 or so, to get better weather and more prepared camping facilities.

We took a stroll around the campground, checked out the washrooms and found the garbage/recycling facilities and settled in the night.

Thursday, May 30:

We loafed our way into this day, having 3 cups of coffee and oatmeal for breakfast. Considering that I had almost never cooked inside TaJ before this trip I have now cooked every meal inside the trailer so far this trip. I am hoping to move to outdoor cooking soon, but the ventilation fan in the R-pod trailer does an amazing job of sucking out the cooking odours.

We did our usual power walk along the country road next to the campground, logging 45 minutes and 4.3 k of good solid exercise before leaving to explore Kenora. We both wear GPS watches that track the number of steps we take each day we try to make it to 10,000 steps a day.

Kenora is a smallish city of 16,000 people on Lake of the Woods. As the biggest community on the lake it is the shopping centre for the tourist and cottage crowd. We came across this bear statue on the waterfront.


Kenora has a long history of mining, logging and tourism, dating back to the days of the voyageurs. We wandered downtown and along the lake shore. We came to the local museum, which was featuring, you guessed it, a quilt exhibit. We spent an hour exploring the past and looking at marvelous quilts.


Lunch was walleye and chips at the Lake of the Woods Brewery, the northernmost micro brewery in Ontario. We picked up some beer to add to our larder and headed back to camp. There is a sight seeing tour boat that does extended tours out into the lake. It doesn't start operating until June 1 and finishes on September 14. Luckily, we think we can make the September 14 sailings on our way back home. We will try to make sure we get here for that.


Friday, May 31:

We headed off to Manitoba. Our destination for the day was Arrowhead RV Park, in Ile des Chenes, about 15 kilometers south of Winnipeg. We re booked in here for full week. We will use the time off the road to get Sully's brakes redone and check out Winnipeg, home of 750,000 people and 15 micro breweries. It is also Pride weekend and we will take in the festival. Our campsite at Arrowhead:


This is the first time this trip that we have been able to set up outdoors, and it sure feels nice to have the extra space. No bugs yet, and the weather is starting to improve. Jenny was particularly impressed with the washrooms here. Really well set up...they even provide bath mats!


Saturday, June 1

Our day started at The Forks market, in downtown Winnipeg. The market is over 100 years old and is full of food vendors and other merchants. The park next door was the centre for the local Pride Festival. In our travels we came across this memorial to the first settlers, who arrived here from Scotland in 1813. The first immigrants spent the winter of 1812/13 along the shores of Hudson Bay and arrived here at this site in August 1813. It was only through the help of local natives that they managed to survive that winter.


We shopped and did some general looking around and by mid afternoon were pooped and returned to the campground to relax. Needless to say, we had picked up a few local brews to enjoy.

Sunday, June 2

We attended the Pride Parade, in downtown Winnipeg. Like most of these parades, the big thing is the people.


We enjoyed the 90 minute festivites and then headed off to try out some more beer, this time a flight of 4 beers at One Great City Brewing Company:


We have now been to three micro breweries and bought some cans to share with George and Karmen Reid, our Texas travel buddies, who will arrive mid-week to join us for the next three weeks of travel through Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

A bit of a dark cloud popped up on the horizon on Sunday: our emission system warning light on Sully(our 2016 Pilot) came on. Since we already had planned to stop at the local Honda Dealer to get our brakes done, we now have one more item to add to the service agenda. Sully is still under warranty so any emission problem will be dealt with at no cost to us.

Monday, June 3:

We have Sully booked into the dealer for Wednesday to get brakes and emission system serviced and we will use that day to visit the Museum of Human Rights.

I spent the morning out doing chores, and Jenny, back at TaJ, is baking zucchini bread! All is well, and we are enjoying much improved weather. Winnipeg is a marvelous city with lots to keep us occupied for most of the week. We move on to Riding Mountain National Park on Friday, June 7.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 09:20 Archived in Canada Tagged winnipeg kakabeka_falls kenora micro_breweries arrowhead_rv_park pride_weekend

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Will you be taking in a museum in Winnipeg? Looks like there are many there. And that washroom photo likes like 5 star!

by Mary Klimek

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