Going International

Lovely sunny start to the day – and we rolled out of the campground at 1015 hrs.  The truck alerted us to a trailer wiring fault – we pulled off the road to check connections to discover that our emergency brake cable had been activated – which accounted for a very noticeable burning rubber smell outside the vehicle.  That was remedied – and we were back on the road.  After a short, unplanned exploration of Port Huron, we were on the Blue Water Bridge headed into Canada.  We sailed through Customs, and left Sarnia headed toward Montreal.

We spent our day on Highway 402 and 401.  The drive was very pleasant and scenic – except for Toronto.  That was a little nightmare – and I am thankful we aren’t making a return trip through there!  Road signs are very different…a visible sign that we are in a different country.  Of course, the speed limit signs are interesting – kind of fun to think that we were going 100 – kilometers – per hour.  We notice that they advertise their speeding penalties – a great encouragement to keep in under the limit.  Another noticeable difference – lots of words that end in “er” in the US are switched to “re” here.  Center is Centre, meter is metre.

We did encounter a truck driver that sounded his horn several times as he passed and did a great deal of hand gesturing – as our son would put it – “he was praising us”.  We still aren’t sure what we did to offend him – we were traveling the speed limit, not changing lanes, nothing was left open or trailing behind us…  My sign language skills are rusty, and I only learned American Sign Language – I’m pretty sure his was French – and it didn’t appear to be polite.

There are no rest areas (at least not on our route).  Thank heavens we haul our home with us.  Once we realized the lack of facilities, we started paying more attention to the fuel stations.  Also, the internet is seeming to be a challenge.  Our Verizon plan includes Canada and Mexico – unlimited talk and text – but the data thing is as clear as mud – apparently everything is roaming.  And internet signal appears to be random and intermittent at best.  Likely, this post won’t appear until Sunday evening when we are back in the US.

Our destination today is Pickerel Lake Campground in Greater Napanee, Ontario.  This is an older campground and it appears to be mostly seasonal campsites with many big old trees.  It’s a little sketchy for being big-rig friendly – and we were on the receiving end of many stares and comments when we drove in.  The transient sites for campers are at the back of the campground with many trees overhanging the narrow road.  It is a well-used campground – there was a rousing Bingo game in full swing when we left on our walk – and the lovely sound of children laughing and playing on the playground.  They were running and climbing all over the playground equipment.  The sounds of children laughing, playing, running, and generally enjoying life are becoming a rarity.  So often, they are inside, or on their devices, and silent.

We enjoyed a 5k walk along the road and lake near the campground and were treated to a lovely sunset.  I managed to get in my 10k steps – actually about 11.5k – before sharing a late, light supper.

Things to remember while in Canada:

  1. Don’t rely on your phone for map information.
  2. Don’t rely on rest areas – watch out for those fuel/food stops – that’s where they hide the “facilities”.
  3. Make sure you get poutine while you are in country (that’s on the list for tomorrow).
  4. Remember that the big number on the speed limit sign is kilometers per hour – NOT miles per hour!
  5. Avoid driving your house through or near Toronto.
  6. Apparently, like northern Michigan, Texas, and the northern tier of states in the US – decaf coffee is outlawed, prohibited, or otherwise deemed not necessary for life.


Miles driven today:  327 (includes unplanned exploration of Port Huron) – and 614 total.



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