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This morning we woke to a dry day, initially cloudy but with the sun coming out and shining through. Wanting good pictures of Morty to use in our on line adverts we decided to have a clear out and, to use a Joanne expression, became “neat Nicks”. We emptied all the visible clutter, cleaned floors, windows and surfaces and then Stef went to work with the camera. We are not sure how many photos we will need or will use but it is good to have the opportunity to take some in bright sunlight and with a beautiful backdrop into the bargain.

Both of us had hoped that we would see the baby bear before we left Killarney but it was not to be. We headed out onto the main route 69 and before long were on the border of Sudbury. Here we stopped at tourist information to see what there is to see and do locally. The main attraction is a science museum which did not appeal to either of us. We had a quick bite in the sunshine before heading on towards Sault Ste Marie.

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"Neatnicked" for the ad

We needed to top up with petrol but missed the turn for the station at Sudbury. We have been warned that on our cross country trip we will need to top up both the petrol and the propane whenever we see a station open and were both jittery that we would not find an open petrol station in time. Quite a few of the roadside stop places we have passed in this side of Ontario are closed, and they look as if the closure is more than just seasonal. We knew what our limit for distance was before we would have to turn back to Sudbury but fortunately found a stop before then.

While Stef filled up I went in search of tea and coffee. We had stopped at a truckers stop which not only had washrooms (i.e. toilets) but also showers and a café. Useful to know as more and more of the campsites in our listings are now closing down. As I was getting the coffee I got chatting to one of the truckers. We thought we were going a long way today. He is planning to get to Thunder Bay today, we are allowing another day to get that far! We chatted about Canada, how much we have enjoyed it and how we would love to be here in the midst of winter. He and the lady at the checkout then reminisced about winters gone by. They have not had a white Christmas in this area for many years.

This added more confusion to our debate about what weather we can expect through November and how cold it will get. Everyone we talk to seems to have a slightly different view. The emerging pattern however is that whilst it is getting colder the real cold weather does not really kick in until January or February so we should be OK.

Our route took us along the shore of the North Channel, only split from Lake Huron by a stretch of islands. The area still has First Nation communities and there are local elections being held for Chief. A bridge spanning a wide river has been daubed with “this is Indian land” leading me to think that the usual tensions between the First Nation communities and the later settlers are still alive in this area of Ontario.

It is beautiful scenery again with water dominating the landscape. The ground is now starting to level out and the rockiness that we saw on the way to Killarney yesterday has given way to higher levels of vegetation. We passed a couple of deserted and now derelict houses facing onto the lakeshore. They must have been spectacular in their day.

On the way to Sault Ste Marie (or the Soo as it is known locally) we called Tom and Paula who we had met in New Brunswick many weeks ago, with the hope of catching up with them as we passed by. It was a bit short notice and unfortunately we got their voicemail rather than them. It is such a beautiful day that they are probably out and about enjoying the sunshine with their dog Mac. It is a shame that we will miss them as they were good fun to talk to and I am sure we would have enjoyed spending a few hours in each others company.

By the time we reached the Soo it was already getting quite late. We checked to see if the Koa campsite was open as one we passed earlier seemed to be although it should have been shut. No such luck here but we did have an alternative further out of town. We headed back to the local supermarket to buy some food for dinner and Stef optimistically went to Canadian Tire to get the essentials in case another barbecue was possible.

We then headed out of town looking for our campsite, the Glenview Cottages and RV Park. We found it from its light blazing on the roadside only to find out that they have already shut the RV park and that only the cottages are open. Not much good to us but they did refer us to another campsite, Blueberry Hill, further up the road in Goulais River. By this time it was dark and I was wary driving as we are back in moose country and I did not want a collision. We found the Blueberry Hill site and it was open. Not only that they have an indoor heated pool.

Rather than hooking up at our site we drove around the side of the building (very American) and hopped out to go for a swim. The pool room was lovely and warm and the water was just right for a dip. Swimming lengths (the pool is twelve strokes long) went out of the window when Stef found a ball and some of the noodle floats (pipes made from foam) like they had in the pool in Orlando. For abut twenty minutes we had the pool to ourselves but were then joined by a couple who live in the Soo and had come up here for the weekend because the weather was so good.

While we were playing about in the water I was lovely and warm but as soon as we stopped to chat I could feel myself cooling down quite quickly. We hopped out, dried off, jumped into Morty and drove round to our space. Dinner, a glass of vino and a film was a sure fire recipe to send us both to sleep.