Right after Fiddlefest we left in our Road Treker on a trip to see if everything worked as it should. We had not had a fun start. Before we bought the 11 year old Roadtrek it was safety inspected. When it was up on the hoist we could see the underside was badly rusted. Apparently the owner had parked the vehicle on grass for an extended period of time which is not good for the under carriage. It passed the safety test OK so we went ahead and purchased it. On the way home, I smelled smoke!! By the time I arrived, smoke was coming out of the right front wheel well. Some neighbors came over to see our “new” camper with smoke coming out of the wheel. How embarrassing! We had to get it towed back to the service station to get the seized break caliper fixed.
Our planned shakedown trip would take us to Algonquin Park, Midland, Orillia, Wasaga Beach, Picton and home again to Ottawa – 1000km over 5 days. It was the first of many such trips to enjoy nature, visit friends, catch a beach and take in some music. We were excited to finally be off.
Algonquin Provincial Park is certainly one on Ontario’s nature gems. We drove the Highway 60 corridor east to west and stayed at the Two Rivers Campsite for one night. We arrived late in the afternoon but had time for a short hike. Everything worked on the Treker as it should. The next day we were up and exploring before moving on. Here are a few pics.
We drove on to Midland to see the Shrine of the Canadian Martyrs. This national shrine commemorates the memory of six Jesuit Martyrs and two laypersons from the mission of Saint-Marie among the Hurons. It consists of a beautiful church and gardens adorned with statues, flowers and historical information. We were amazed at the beauty of the church inside – all wooden lined with canoes and other native artifacts. This video below followed by a few pics show you what we saw there. It was truly beautiful and very moving. It was soon time to push on to Wasaga Beach for the night.
We found a private RV park and leveled the vehicle, plugged in to their 110V power, filled our water tank and hooked up to the cable TV connection. All this takes about 10 minutes. In the morning as we left we dumped our grey and black water holding tanks into their underground tank. We were getting the hang of things and loving the free roaming lifestyle. No problems with any equipment that we remember. We looked around the wind blown beach on a cool autumn day. We almost got stuck in a sand drift in a parking lot lol – sand drifts can be dangerous lol.
We dove back to Midland to visit another national treasure Saint-Marie among the Hurons mission, now a restored historical park and museum. The first European settlement in Canada from 1639-49 was right here. We toured the facility and marveled at the beauty of the wood palisades, buildings and houses all built so long ago and lovingly restored. It is a great place to visit and we could have spent several more days in this area. But it was now time to head south for Casino Rama near Orillia.
We are not gamblers at all but like the lively atmosphere in and around casinos. The Chippewas of Rama First Nation own and operate Casino Rama. We were allowed to park in the corner of the parking lot. There were 3 or 4 other RVs there too. There were no services so we operated on 12 volt battery power. We also have a propane gas heater and stove so there are no real inconveniences for a short stay like this. We learned later that this kind of camping without services is called “boon docking”.
We entered the large casino and learned that John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival) was scheduled to play that night. Wow let’s go! Unfortunately they were sold out but they said to come back just before the concert started and they might have something. And they did. We got 2 seats in the very back row and enjoyed a great concert from one of the best. There are benefits camping at a casino like complimentary coffee, popcorn, washrooms and sometimes an indoor pool and showers. We spent a great evening there and left in the morning with our coffee cups full lol.
Our last stop was near Picton, ON to visit friends George and Sheila. Marie and Sheila had worked together in Ottawa many years back and we had kept in touch. George and Sheila were between houses and renting a lovely property on the Bay of Quinte. It happened to be Sheila’s birthday and they were gracious to let us plug in overnight. One advantage of bringing your own accommodation is you don’t feel like you are burdening friends as much when you drop in for an overnight visit lol. We had a great visit reminiscing about the good old days and promising to come back again to beautiful Prince Edward County.
The next morning we headed for home. All in all a very smooth shakedown trip in preparation for bigger trips to come. See you on the road again soon.