Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Back in Canada!

We had the alarm set for 5:30am Saturday morning with a plan to get across the border by 6:00am. We didn't quite make it! It turns out that sunrise is at 6:10am, so we waited at least wait until there was a little bit of light outside.

From the downtown area of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan it is only a 5 minute drive to the International bridge that crosses over to Saul Ste. Marie, Ontario.

We paid our $8.70 CAD ($6.50 USD) bridge toll, and said goodbye to the Unites States.

Heading to Canada.
Photo taken at 6:17am.

Sunrise in Canada.

Looking down at the locks.

Sault Ste. Marie locks.

We were the only vehicle on the bridge in either direction. Arrived at the Canadian customs and said good morning to the officer. He didn't have a mask on, and never asked us about ours. Of course he was a good 6 feet away from us and never left his little booth.

I stretched my arm out with our passports, and as he reached out to grab them he asked "where are you from?"

I said that we are Canadian citizens, and he asked again, "yeah, but where in Canada?", to which I replied "Saskatchewan."

He asked if we were showing any signs of shortness of breath or fever. He asked if we knew we had to quarantine, and I replied that we thought that we were familiar with all the rules, but we had some questions for him. He asked if we had a place to quarantine, and we told him the story of Ruth's dad's house. No problem, did we have people to supply us with all the necessary food, medication etc that we might need for two weeks, and we said that we had everything with us that we should need, but that yes... we did have people lined up if necessary.

I had filled out the Canadian government app that was designed specifically for Canadians arriving that have to do the quarantine, but he couldn't get it to work! He was just shaking his head. So he had to do it all manually... he needed the address we were staying at, phone number, postal code... all of that.

He asked if we were going to get to that destination today, and that's when we asked for clarification. After a discussion, he said that if we were not going to leave the vehicle then we were fine to stop and overnight along the way. He also said that our 14 day quarantine at that point begins right when we entered Canada. So we will be free as of 6:30am on Saturday, August 8th!

He asked about booze and the value of whatever goods we were bringing into the country. We had a list of everything. We also had a detailed list of all foods that we had with us, but he never asked about that.

He handed our passports back and said "Welcome back to Canada".

The whole thing from start to finish took ten minutes.

We breathed a big sigh of relief that we wouldn't have to do the drive all in one day.

We stopped in the town of Iron Bridge, had some breakfast, and relaxed for half an hour.

Near Blind River, Ontario.

By 11:00am, there was lots of traffic on the highway.
Traffic of all different kinds!

Scenery along the way.

More traffic.

More traffic.

Our side of the highway definitely seemed quieter. Most of the traffic was going the other way.

Sure a different style of driving here in Canada. The maximum speed limit the entire trip was 90 km/h (54 mph). These highways would be 65 mph (104 km/h) anywhere in the U.S.. It seems that in the U.S., they put realistic speed limits (sometimes too high!) but if you break them the police are quick to fine you.

Here in Canada, they put unrealistically low speed limits, but 90% off the drivers break the limits and people are rarely caught. I kept my speed at about 95 km/h (59 mph) and I only passed one car the entire drive. Dozens of cars passed me though.

Scenery along the way.

We stopped for lunch just east of Sudbury, Ontario and after lunch I had a quick nap. Then it was back on the road for the final stretch of Saturday's drive.

We pulled into the Home Depot parking lot in North Bay, Ontario (pop 52,000) at around 3:15pm. Found somewhere totally level (so that I wouldn't have to get out and put blocks under the wheels) got ourselves hooked into the free Home Depot WiFi, and settled down for the afternoon.

I waited until the store quieted down and at around 6:00pm (the store closes at 7:00pm), I phoned customer service asking if we could stay the night. The manager looked out the window at where we were parked and said "sure, you're fine right there!"

Plan B would have been to backtrack to the busy Walmart parking lot where we knew they would let us stay, but Home Depot is far better than Walmart in our opinion. At 8:30pm, I looked around to see that we are the ONLY vehicle in the entire parking lot! I'll bet the RV section at Walmart is packed.

We will be up at 6:00am Sunday to do the final 300 kms (185 miles), and with a stop for breakfast and a break we should easily get there before noon, with one day of house arrest already complete.

Yesterday's drive 444 kms (275 miles).


And in Canada...


  1. Enjoyed, as always, following your journey this year. Great descriptions and pictures. Safe rest of 2020!

    1. Thank you very much, we have enjoyed bringing you the pictures and stories. We look forward to showing you what the beautiful Ottawa valley area has to offer once our quarantine time is up. 12 more days to go! :-)

  2. Welcome home. Now I understand your direction of travel.
    Be Safe and Enjoy your Isolation.

    It's about time.

    1. Thank you! Yes, this route was so much better than the alternative route of going below the lakes and over to Gananoque or Ogdensburg. Less people, less congestion and a lot less stress. :-)

  3. Yay! Sounds perfect so far!

  4. I know you're happy to see your kids and grandkids but it's one less person on the road. I know you'll be tooling along in a couple of weeks. Enjoy your time at your Ruth's dad's. We loved your trip through the U.S.

    1. We still have almost two weeks before we can see our kids or grandkids but it will be oh so good to see them when we do. :-)

      Thanks Chris, I am sure that we will enjoy our down time and we have a number of projects here that should keep us busy over the next 12 days.

  5. All these restrictions and requirements make you feel like a criminal. Slip up and get one wrong and you could be one! :cD

    1. Exactly why we have been calling it "house arrest".

  6. Would you like me to send a cake with a hacksaw & file inside?....+).....

    1. Lol, sure just make sure it is gluten free! ;-)

  7. They've been captured by the mounties in Deep River 😭


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