Slow Travel Vacations in Canada

Our Slow Vacation or Slow Travel by U-Haul

After just being married a short two weeks, the time had come to fly to Muskoka, Ontario, collect all our furnishings and belongings and trek across Canada in a U-Haul. A slow vacation!!! Our Honeymoon!! We had just bought a beautiful new home in Duncan, BC to house all our furniture and collectibles and we were excited about the trip!! So many sights to see, stop when we wanted and just take it nice and easyno rush! I had a brand new camera that I could not wait to test out, compliments of my brand new tested-out husband.

adventure canada Toronto

adventure canada Toronto

We arrived Toronto on a Friday night the 18th of July and we were excited at seeing family, packing everything in the truck and begin our SLOW TRAVEL!!!

We spent Friday and Saturday catching up with family and friends and on Tuesday morning we were packed and ready to go!!! Northern Ontario

Ontario Accommodation

Blue Mountain Chalet Tyrolean

We stopped at a truck stop in North Bay for breakfastour stomachs were complaining about the early rise and lack of nourishment!!! Then we started our way up Highway 11 taking the northern route to save gas money, reluctantly bypassing Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. The miles were getting eaten up pretty quickly as we struggled north with our heavy load.

We had planned to meet up with some of Ted’s family who were on vacation in Alberta and with any luck our paths were going to cross!! I was looking forward to meeting my new relatives!!

 Best hotels for holidays and vacations

We drove through Latchford, claiming to be “Best Little Town by a Dam Site” to New Liskeard, home to a “giant cow”, sunny, yellow fields in Cochrane and then past the Arctic Watershed. We continued our trek through Butler Lake, Smooth Lake Falls, Kapuskasing and finally Hearst where we decided to call it a day! Northern Ontario is beautiful, rustic, and sometimes barren. I have so much respect and admiration for the people that carve out a life and live here. It is beautiful, but isolated and so vulnerable to the elements.  Life cannot be easy there!

After eleven hours of travel my ankles looked like a version of the elephant man!!! Our nondescript room looked like a five star hotel and just laying flat was pure luxury! We ate and had an early night.the road was beckoning with many new and yet to be discovered wonders and sights!

The road to Thunder Bay was beautiful rocky cliffs, smooth as glass lakes and the trees were getting bigger!!! I was so missing the trees in British Columbia and home! We barely noticed a little town of Nipigon as we drove through our sights were set on Thunder Bay and Kakabeka Falls!! Little did I know that Nipigon was to be home for the next three days!!!

Thunder Bay Ontario Travel

Thunder Bay Ontario Travel

Just 60 miles out of Thunder Bay we came to a dead stop on the accident and it looked like we were going to be there for a while. Even more troubling was the smoke bellowing out from under the hood!!! Fluid was pouring out under the truck.we had no choice.we had to turn around and head back to Nipigon and hopefully find a garage that could fix our problem!

U-Haul..we’ve heard the stories, we watched the TV shows narrating the nightmares and I guess in some way we thought we’d be spared!! No such luck!! We had a problem with the transmission cooler and it had to be replaced. It was ordered from Winnipeg and would be on the next bus out!! We settled into the Birchview Motel and our vigil started! Unfortunately for us the part did not make the first or even the second bus out of Winnipeg and our patience was wearing a little thin. We called U-Haul and believe it or not the closest location with a phone number was Phoenix, Arizona!!

We tried in vain to get help but they were so conditioned to apologize, they did not listen to my request and ended up cutting me off! I just spent twenty minutes explaining my problem to five different people and now I was left holding the phone and no help in sight!!!

Sometimes if you believe enough the gods will smile down upon you. In this case our “God” came in the form of an area field manager for U-Haul who knocked on our motel room door. We were shocked!!! He happened to be driving by the U-Haul rental location in Nipigon, became informed of our situation and stopped in to see what the problem was with our truck!! He offered to drive to Thunder Bay and get the part we needed from another U-Haul truck that had hit a moose. The transmission cooler (the part we needed) survived the accident!! Now that is customer service!!! We could not thank him enough!!

On the road again.Can’t wait to get on the road again!!!! Yes, we are back up and runningliterally.!! Three days lost!!!

Nipigon was small, quaint, friendly and I can think of a million worse places to be stranded but time is running out and we are now a little rushedso much for slow travel!!!

We watched dawn arrive over “The Sleeping Giant” in Thunder Bay, visiting the Terry Fox Memorial. So inspiring to see. We then went on to Kakabeka Falls. Beautiful By this time, we had managed to get in touch with Ted’s relativesthank god for technology and cell phones.And, as luck would have it we were going to cross paths in Dryden, Ontario, just before the Manitoba border. We lunched at the Riverview Lodge in Dryden, and I spent a wonderful hour getting acquainted with my new relatives. They are just fantastic!!! Full of life and energy!! I really enjoyed our time together.

Next stop Manitoba! We had sunshine and blue skies since we left Muskoka. So far no rain on our trip. We bypassed Winnipeg and stopped in Brandon for dinner and decided to rest for the night. Manitoba is very beautiful, rolling plains, fields of colour, wide open skies.

We slept in!!! Another hot, sunny day!!! Canola and flax fields flying by my windowcrossing the border into Saskatchewan.
Big skies and a “green” desert..kinda scary how much open space and the roads that go on forever. I can see where the early explorers got the idea that the earth was flat!! From where I am sitting that looks like an “edge” in the distance!!!

Outlook Saskatchewan.Looks like an old western town!!! Heading to Drumheller and the Hoodooswe can’t wait!!!
Kinderly is an oasis in the middle of this “green” desert! Miles and miles of green, big, blues skies and an occasional dot of farms in the distance. I feel very small and insignificant.

What a beautiful country Canada is!

Now we see rolling hills..I love this sort of terrain!! Drumheller at last!!! It was sunny and warm again but we ran into a prairie storm an awesome sight!!!

Hoo DoosRolling hills suddenly give way to steep, dry coulees ridged with strata. This is like nothing I have ever seen!!. I am speechless!! We stayed at the Badlands Motel and spent the following day taking in the sights of Drumheller, by U-Haul!.

We had our picture taken in the mouth of the eighty-six foot Tyrannosaurus Rex, visited the Fossil Shoppe and bought fossils and petrified wood. What an awesome placethe Hoodoos were magnificent!! Nature is magnificent!! We really enjoyed this place.

For the first time we felt we were really on our honeymoon!! A storm hit during the night and hail stones the size of nickels pelted down .We got up to watch the storm from our room. The thunder was so loud it shook our bed!!

We left Drumheller before dawn and the sky was pink over the coulees and stopped at Horseshoe canyon to take photos even though it had started to rain. Such beautiful country. What a ride! A great place for horse riding!

On to BC and through the mountains!!! Now I feel at home!! The mountains are so majestic!! My camera has not stopped clickingup to four hundred photos!! My treasures can’t wait to see them on the big screen!!

Golden BC was our next pit stop!! Yesreally we are broken down again!!! The U-Haul truck had the same problem!! Arghh!!!

The delay in Golden, cost us another day! A mechanic in Golden fixed the problemget this!!!he bypassed the transmission cooler and hooked the hose up so we can continue on and with any luck the truck would get us home.

We arrived Kamloops at dusk and what a spectacular sight!! I loved the semi arid desert terrain. Few trees here but lots of sage brush. I like this part of the country!!! We booked into the Four Seasons Motel (the only one we could find with enough parking for the truck) and set off to find dinner. We dined at Harry’s Restaurant and I had the worst Greek salad I ever had, but my belly was full and there was a clean bed beckoning.

On the road at 5 a.m and like a horse that smells water we were hell bent for the ferry to take us home!!! We weren’t really in a rush but the truck could just die at any moment!!!

Slow Vancouver Island Accommodations

Vancouver Island Accommodation

Vancouver Island Retreat

Vancouver Island Retreat

Vancouver Island Retreat

Honeymoon Bay Lodge Retreat

What a drive through the Rockies!! Spectacular, breathtaking, awesome, majestic and terrifying!!! We were literally hugging the sides of the mountains in some places and the drop down made me dizzy but oh. what a ride!!!

We missed our ferry from Vancouver to Nanaimo by four minutes but were the first in line for the next. We are on our way to home sweet home!! At last..!!!! The truck made it and we are home in Duncan!!

We had to return the truck to Victoria. We returned a clean truck, with more gas than they gave us, yet they still managed to ding us another $28.

As I sit at home in Duncan in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island, and ponder our trip, I realize how quickly it sped by and how much we enjoyed it!

Beautiful sunsets and sunrises in Northern Ontario, Manitoba and Saskatchewan with it’s fields of gold and purple, Alberta’s pristine lakes, home to the Hoodoos and the badlands, and of course British Columbia and the Rockies!!!