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  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Do you like fish?

We started our day yesterday morning in the ‘Your Independent’ Grocery store parking lot in Hearst. Our destination was Kenora, Ontario to ‘mooch dock’ in our good friends driveway for the evening. We figured if we left Hearst at 6:30am we might be able to make dinner, which was scheduled for between 6-6:30pm. No pressure, but we wanted to make it for dinner as Shauna is an outstanding chef!

Starting our journey out of Hearst, Ontario.

We usually don’t like to drive in the dark in Northern Ontario because there are way too many ‘critters’ that could come out of nowhere onto the road, but we did have a ‘sweeper’ ahead of us, so Richard followed the truck as fast he could to hopefully avoid any critters getting any ideas about jumping out of the bushes and into Newman’s way. Following the truck at the speed he was going was not making Newman very happy though. The ‘speed sensor’ warning alarm kept going off every time Richard tried to exceed the speed that Newman likes to cruise at (from 95km/hr to 105km/hr). Finally after almost 2 hours of driving, the sun was up and we were able to slow down a bit, and take it easy on Newman.

As you can see from the picture above we don’t have our GPS in our front windshield. Last year we purchased a special Garmin RV GPS at quite an expense. The RV Garmin knows which bridges and roads are not suitable for Newman to go on. We programmed Newman’s height and weight into the GPS and any other time we have used the GPS it stuck to the window like a charm. Yesterday though as we were leaving Hearst, we had condensation on the inside of the very cold window, and the GPS refused to stick to the windshield. To compensate for the GPS not sticking to the window, we rested the GPS on my purse, on the dashboard so that we both could read it, even though it was quite annoying that it wouldn’t stick to the window.

Early morning trucker….focused!

Near Beardmore, Ontario. There is a very beautiful stretch of highway with high rock cliffs on one side of the road and Lake Nipigon on the right hand side of the road. Stunning Northern Ontario scenery!

The bridge at Nipigon where Hwy 11 and Hwy 17 meet. We went Hwy 11 North over Lake Superior on this trip, as the road is less windy and is flatter. Last year coming home from B.C., we went Hwy 17 along the North Shore of Lake Superior. While it was a beautiful drive, it is a tougher drive in a RV with all of the winding roads and elevation changes.

Stopping for diesel fuel in Nipigon, Ontario. Diesel was $1.519. Yikes! A lot more expensive than last year. I could hear Richard chatting away to somebody while he was filling up Newman. If you know Richard, you know he is always talking to strangers, but we were on a mission and I didn’t want him standing around talking, when we needed to get going. Turns out the people he was chatting to had driven from Campbell River, Vancouver Island, to Barrie, Ontario to have Thanksgiving dinner with their family!!! They were in a mini van too, so that sure was a lot of driving in a small space!

As we were driving to Kenora, I was getting messages from our friend Shauna. The first thing she asked was “Do we like fish?” I didn’t realize she had also sent a picture with her message as the internet is often spotty on the remote roads we were driving. When I went back to her message, I saw this picture!

14 freshly caught Pickerel and Perch from Lake of the Woods, Ontario!

Shauna also caught a bass, but she threw this one back.

Shauna sent me more photos while she was out fishing. Isn’t this just beautiful God’s country?

Lake of the Woods, Ontario

Beautiful fall colours on Lake of the Woods, Ontario.

Shauna and Chris’ fishing boat. A really beautiful Lund boat!

And we finally made it to Kenora, Ontario by 5:10pm! In time for dinner!!! Richard backed in Jerry to Shauna & Chris’ driveway for the night and Newman was parked right next to him all night.

So I really must explain how we know Shauna and Chris. I’ve been a member of Georgetown Golf Club (formerly Eagle Ridge Golf Club) for over 20 years. Before we moved to Fort Erie, Ontario 10 years ago, I used to golf with Shauna, Miss H (Heather Kurtin) and Lady B (Janet Baccardax) every Saturday morning between 8-8:30am. Shauna would always book our tee times for us, waking up at 6am to call Linkline and waiting on hold most mornings to get us a good tee time every weekend.

Shauna originally from Scotland is hilarious! I think we laughed more than we golfed and the hi-jinx that we got up to on the golf course were fabulous. The jokes, stories and memories were some that we will remember for a lifetime. And the scores really didn’t matter in our Saturday morning rounds, because we would have names for every shot. A ‘Saddam Husain’ was 2 shot in a bunker, a ‘Brazilian’ was a ball that just went by the hole, but didn’t go it. There were so many more acronyms but I won’t get into them except to say that ‘100% of the balls that you don’t get to the hole, won’t go it’. We once had a former golfer from Eagle Ridge we were playing with say “that seems like a very high percentage! We have never forgotten that one!

Richard and me were very much looking forward to spending time with Shauna and Chris who had only moved to Kenora in June 2021. Their son Kyle (who we watched grow up) lives in town with his wife Lesley, and their two children Lincoln (4) and Bennett (2).

Now getting back to Shauna’s original question of “Do you like fish?” I really only started eating fish when we went to Vancouver Island last year and realized how tasty it was to eat fresh fish. Richard has always loved fish and enjoyed eating it whenever we were out somewhere, as we didn’t cook fish much at home. Knowing that the fish was going to be fresh for dinner, I responded “yes we like fish”. I had eaten perch before in Port Dover, Ontario and knew how delicious Lake Erie perch was. Richard‘s favourite fish is pickerel so he was looking forward to the feast of fish we were going to have for dinner.

Chris and Shauna surveying the battering of the fish.

Chris preparing the fish in milk and dipping it in a very neat coating called ‘Shore Lunch’.

I had never seen this fish coating before. We also had the ‘Cajun’ flavour and it was delicious! Shauna gave us this box of ‘Shore Lunch’ to take with us to B.C. Apparently the premise behind a ‘Shore Lunch’ is you catch your fish on the boat, you bring potatoes and cans of beans with you on the fishing trip. Once you’ve caught your fish, you pull over on the shore, dock the boat and bring out your fish deep fryer/propane powered device and fry up some fish, heat up some beans and cook up some potatoes. A proper ‘Shore Lunch’ to eat after fishing!

Coating the pickerel.

Shauna quickly cooked up the fish in the air fryer and was it ever delicious! I’m sold on fresh fish now!!!! YUMMY!!

The sky after dinner last evening in Kenora, Ontario. A beautiful fall evening!

I had messaged Miss H and Lady B earlier in the day to see if they wanted to have a Zoom call after we had finished dinner in Kenora. Now we are on Central time in Kenora, so we caught our friends as they were almost heading to bed. With Lady B in Chester, Nova Scotia and Miss H. in Georgetown, we had a great catch up with the four girls, while the guys also got into the call too. We’re hoping we can all meet up next summer in our RV’s and hopefully a new 5th wheel for Shauna and Chris if things go their way this week!

Isn’t technology amazing! 8 friends in 3 time zones, thousands of kilometres apart enjoying a lot of laughs!!!

We slept in Newman last evening in Shauna and Chris’ driveway. We were plugged into their home, so we were able to run our furnace for the night. After a great sleep in Newman, Shauna and Chris made us an amazing breakfast of hearty bacon and tomato sandwiches on bagels. After breakfast, Richard and Chris filled Newman up with fresh water, as we were about half empty after 2 days on the road.

Jerry all hooked up to Newman on Shauna Crescent (yes they did buy a house on a street named ‘Shauna’!)

We left Kenora, Ontario around 10:30am headed to Winnipeg, Manitoba as our first stop for the day. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit with Shauna and Chris. It was so nice to have a long hot shower this morning too in their fancy ensuite shower instead of our water conservation showers in Newman!

Leaving Kenora, Ontario. Kenora has so many beautiful Lakes and it definitely would be nice to come back with Newman and Jerry and spend more time exploring this beautiful place!

Arriving in Manitoba.

Last year on our drive home through Manitoba we found that this Province had the absolute worst roads of any Province we drove through. But today we were very, very surprised. Manitoba has been very busy since April fixing their roads!

Fresh pavement!

Unfortunately the fresh pavement had to end and the bumpy, pot hole rutted roads started again.

We were heading to Winnipeg so Richard could visit Birchwood Chevrolet. Last year when we drove through Winnipeg we replaced the battery in Jerry. Unfortunately with all of the towing we have done with Jerry, the battery is usually very dead by the end of each day, and Richard has to keep boosting the battery, run Jerry to charge the battery and repeat the same process every day. Since the battery was less than a year old, Richard wanted to have the battery checked and determine if we needed a new one, or if the old battery would suffice.

In the meantime, Richard parked me and Newman at the Flying J truck stop across the road from the GM dealership. Richard filled Newman up with diesel and also dumped our black and grey tanks at the Flying J RV Dump station, while I made us some lunch. After lunch, Richard took Jerry to the GM dealership and I tried to write the blog.

I was making great progress on the blog and then nothing. The site crashed! OMG. I kept trying to log into the web site and it wouldn’t allow me to log in. Finally, I reached a chat bot on the support line and they guaranteed I would receive a telephone call for support in 7-10 minutes. After speaking with their customer service representative and being on hold for about 30 minutes, I was told that their entire blog system was down. I would be sent an email though that I could follow along with their progress on resolving the blog system.

I was enjoying the sunshine though in Newman at 21C today it was a nice day to chill out and not be driving all day!

Richard returned with Jerry and a new battery (as well as the old battery, which apparently is still fine) and hooked him back up to Newman and we left Winnipeg around 4:30pm on our way to Brandon, Manitoba. We knew that the 2 hour and 20 minute drive would put us in Brandon, just after sun down. Richard had already called the Walmart in Brandon to make sure we could stay for the night and away we went.

After leaving Winnipeg, the flat, bald Prairie commences. It’s so different a landscape than we are used to and it goes on for mile and miles and miles.

A slow moving farm vehicle we had to pass near Brandon, Manitoba.

Nothing but miles and miles of Prairie.

A beautiful sunset through the trees on the Trans Canada highway in Manitoba.

We made it to the Walmart parking lot in Brandon for the evening. The RVs seem to all be heading our way for the night with 3 other RVs so far in the parking lot with us.

And because we loved the fish so much for dinner last night, Shauna and Chris gave us the leftover fish to have for our dinner tonight! We are making fish tacos with a cilantro, honey, lime slaw on top of the fish. MMMMM!!! I can’t wait to dig into that. We are both starving!

We are not sure where we will get to tomorrow. Our original reservation for Fort Steele in Cranbrook was for tomorrow evening, so I will need to call the RV park tomorrow and let them know our plans have changed. I think Cranbrook may only be a 3 night stay, instead of a 4 night stay as we left 2 days later than we planned. That’s why we always leave a buffer in our plans, in case something unexpected arises!

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