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Report 14: Prince George BC to Ottawa ON

We are not sure how many times we've made the trip across Canada, probably dozens. Oddly, each time it seems somewhat different. Sometimes it seems like it will take forever to get through the prairies, other times we get that feeling from north-western Ontario. Each time we say, “next time we'll be in less of a hurry”; it never happens. This trip, like all the rest, was too rushed.

Route

From Prince George we took the Yellowhead Highway east to The Battlefords, where we turned onto SK-40 to Shellbrook, which we took through Prince Albert to Melfort. From Melfort we took SK-6 south to Dafoe, where we rejoined the Yellowhead, which we followed eastward to Portage La Prairie MB. At Portage La Prairie we picked up Trans-Canada-1 east, which we followed Through Winnipeg to Sudbury ON. At Sudbury we took ON-69 south, then local roads to Cookstown ON. From Cookstown we took ON-7 to Perth ON, then local roads to our destination in South Gloucester (Ottawa).

Highlights

The drive from Prince George to Edmonton, as always was a delight, especially through the parks. The scenery driving through Mt. Robson Park is second to none, every hill and curve is a vista. In Jasper we saw deer, elk and sheep; they must pose them! The elk had huge racks, still covered in velvet. Once past Hinton things begin to flatten out, but the road is good and we made miles, making up for the slow drive through the parks.

Edmonton was intended to be a short stopover, just to visit relatives and take care of the long-standing problem with the dash computer (MMDC). We ended up staying a week, skirting disaster. First, we had trouble finding a vacancy, and initially tried a down-market RV park, Shakers Acres; this was not good. They only had two spots, neither suitable. Moving from one spot to the other, we caught the awning on a tree and nearly tore it off. Fraserway RV, just down the street, took the awning off. Of course, replacement parts were not available in Edmonton, so we had to carry the awning on the floor in the RV, where it was constantly in the way. Freightliner took an entire day just to diagnose the MMDC, during most of which we sat around thinking, “only a few minutes more”. In the end, they determined that we needed yet another new MMDC, which had to be ordered from the USA...there went two more days. But, it is installed and, finally, for the first time in a year, our dash gauges work properly! Mercifully, all this was done under warranty.

Prince Albert & Winnipeg were stops to visit friends and relatives. In PA we had a good time renewing friendship with several old high school chums. We also had nice visits with both of Louise-Ann's brothers. Despite it being only an overnight stop, in Winnipeg we had dinner with a cousin and breakfast with an old chum from work.

We hurried through to Kenora, specifically to renew the licences on our motorhome and car. We went to the location published on the Service Ontario web site, only to find it had moved some time ago. The new office was right in the middle of down town, with no parking on the property; so, we double-parked the rig and tow on the street, quite a feat. After all that, we were told that Service Ontario offices in north-western Ontario cannot renew licences for vehicles from eastern Ontario...bureaucracy at its finest!

We pressed on to Fraserway RV at Cookstown ON, where Fraserway RV in Edmonton said that they would do warranty service on our Inverter, by swapping it out. When we got there, the inverter manufacturer reneged on their promise to have a new inverter waiting for us. They suggested that we drive their repair service in London ON...no kidding! We refused and they agreed to supply the part, which we installed ourself. Fraserway in Cookstown reinstalled our awning, and attempted to repair it; alas they couldn't fix it, but at least it was off the floor and out of the way. We've ordered a new one.

We were glad to arrive in Ottawa, where we have been visiting with the kids and friends. Being in one spot for a while is also an opportunity to take care of a years worth of doctor, dentist, banking and other matters. It's also an opportunity to clean up and gradually repair all sorts of little ailments on our motorhome, which went through hell on the poor Alaska roads. We also traded our Saturn in on a new Suzuki Grand Vitara. The poor Saturn got beat all to heck, mostly from rocks. Amazingly, it was still running like a Swiss watch...we hope the Suzuki is as good.