Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Getting ready for our long drive

By the time most of you read this, we will already be across the bridge into Canada and on our way to Ruth's father's house in the little village of Galetta, Ontario.

From Sault Ste Marie, Michigan, it is a 740 km (463 mile) drive that we are prepared to do in one day. Depending on what we are told when we cross, we may be able to do it in two days. We will see.

We are doing this because the Canadian government still has a 14 day mandatory quarantine in place for anybody (including Canadian citizens) entering the country for non essential reasons.

So, we are to drive directly to our place of quarantine, which will be at Ruth's father's house where we have to remain without leaving the property for 14 days.

On Friday, we got ourselves ready for the drive. Once we arrived in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan we went to the Walmart where we sat in the rig and had breakfast.

Then, Ruth went in to do the shopping. The idea was to pick up as much as we could to do two weeks of isolation, although we do have her nephew or our daughter to do some running around for us if it's necessary. Also, we had to keep in mind that there is only so much room in our motorhome fridge!

On a side note, it was our first time in a Walmart since the company made a mandatory mask rule last Monday. We think they should have done this months ago.

The only problem with buying all this food is that some of it is technically not allowed into Canada. Hopefully the border guards see the conflict between ordering someone to do two weeks of quarantine, then telling you that there are certain foods that you're not allowed to bring. I guess we'll find out when we cross. I think they won't even ask about it... they'll be too concerned with the whole Covid thing.

Next stop was to find propane. Sherman's tank was below 1/4 and although that would still probably last two weeks, it is difficult to buy motorhome propane in Ontario when you have an older rig. They have the strictest regulations in North America, and most places interpret the rules wrong and will refuse to fill a tank over ten years old without it being re certified. Motorhome tanks are ASME horizontal tanks and don't have the same regulation, but the guy who took the courses and is certified to refill propane tanks usually doesn't understand the difference,

So, who knew... but it turns out that most Tractor Supply Co. stores do propane refills, including on motorhomes. And, at sort of reasonable prices... today's purchase was at $2.79 a gallon... still expensive, but far better than the $3.75 a gallon they wanted near Marquette the other day.

With that done, the next job was to find a dump station. I stopped at an RV repair place where they recommended the municipal RV park near the river. Sure enough, we drove over there and did a dump and fill.

Now, we were ready to relax!

We parked right downtown.

Now, downtown Sault Ste Marie, Michigan isn't that big. The city has a population of about 13,000 people. Compare that to the city of Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on the other side of the river at about 78,000 people... a much larger city.

But, they even had metered RV parking on the side of the road right where the big ships go through the locks. and at $0.25 per half hour we didn't bother looking for somewhere free. Although we should have... there was a large lot almost opposite where we parked that was free. (In fact, that's also where we are spending the night!) But, we didn't notice it until after we had put the money in the meter.

Big ships using the locks.

They kind of look like typical ship workers, don't they?
Not that I know what a ship worker is supposed to look like.

Look how much the ship has dropped as they drain the canal.

And this one closest to us is rising...


And now it's ready to carry on.

We went for a walk around the park.

Sherman looks like he is almost under the bridge to Canada, but it's actually half a mile away.

Now the ship is all the way down.

Sault Ste. Marie courthouse.

Another big ship going through.


I think we have watched a total of five ships go through this afternoon. It's a busy canal, and they are actually in process of building another one at a cost of 1 billion USD.

One of the ships that went though was huge... and 1,000' long. They had some kind of name for it, something like "super tanker" (maybe super-freighter?) except that it wasn't a tanker. Most of the ships going through here carry agriculture products or iron ore.

We then drove Sherman over and filled the fuel tank. First, I went inside and prepaid for $41.19 worth of gas... that's the amount of USD cash we had left over! Then, I topped it up with credit card. At $2.26 USD per gallon, it's the most expensive gas we've filled up with since we entered the country at the end of March. But, it's still cheaper than Canada.

Well, that's enough for now... we've got some driving to do. Full report tomorrow morning!

Great deal on the popular Fairywill Electric Rechargeable Toothbrush.

And in Canada...


  1. Now this seems to be the end of that part of your journey ! I’ve been following you daily for a long while and still look forward and enjoy your daily posts and beautiful pictures ! Thank you so much! Hope you’ll keep us posted on the Canadian quarantine part and the rest of your experiences. Love you both!

    1. Thank you for following along on our journey, we certainly have had a lot of adventures since the beginning of November when we started out on our trip this winter with Sherman.

      Guaranteed we will continue to keep blogging about our quarantine experience and our adventures that follow once we are "free" again. :-)

  2. Can't wait to hear about the long drive!

    1. Luckily we didn't have to do the whole drive in one day! :-)

  3. I've heard those big bulk carriers called "lakers."

    1. Most of the freighters in the Great Lakes are called "Lakers" but now they have the "Super" ones which are quite a bit longer than just the normal ships out there. One of the ships that we saw going through the lock was 1000ft in length!

  4. "And the iron boats go, as the mariners all know, with the gales of November remembered."

    1. Yep, part of the famous song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot. :-)

  5. Hope the final leg of your journey goes smoothly. Happy quarantine!

    1. Thank you Cindy, we are sure it will. :-)

  6. Safe Travels. Hoping no problems with Immigration.
    Enjoy returning to Ontario.

    It's about time.

    1. Our border crossing went without a hitch. :-)

  7. I don't think border guards refuse certain foods for no reason or due to Covid. They refuse foods based on their agricultural danger to Canadian crops. We may not have some of the pests that America has. If you have Ruth's nephew and your daughter to help you out why wouldn't you not smuggle food and instead ask them for their help? And typical ship workers? Not sure what that is supposed to mean.

    1. Hi Bob L.

      Yes, we know why the borders have restrictions on certain foods.

      There was no smuggling, or intent to smuggle involved. Not sure why you would insinuate that we were making that effort. Fortunately, the border guards didn't see it that way either.

      And typical ship workers? I'm not sure what that meant either. We're both on the same page!

  8. What kind of specific foods might they refuse--fruit, cheese??

    1. The list changes all the time. But usually it includes eggs, raw chicken, and any fruits or vegetables that are grown in Canada. For example, no apples would be allowed, but oranges are okay.

  9. Safe travels for tomorrow, or today??? FYI there is a roadside park off Hwy 17 that is about 2 hours east of Sault Ste. Marie that we have used frequently for a leg stretch'er, swim, nap, and supper ....... and I would recommend this to break up the 4 hr drive. Maybe not with the isolation because if you get spotted they can sock it to you. But here are the co-ordinates. Spanish River Highway Rest Area.
    Coordinates: 46°12'37"N 82°30'49"W Safe travels and in the words of our "fearless leader" try not to speak moistly. :)

    1. Thank you Nancy!

      We stopped in Iron Bridge for a break and for our breakfast. We are allowed to stop along the way, we just can't get out and walk around. By the way the total driving time from Sault Ste. Marie to Ottawa is at least 9 hours not 4 hours but luckily we are allowed to break it up over two days providing we don't leave the motorhome. We stopped in North Bay for the night. :-)

  10. I am a bit surprised that you wouldn't be allowed OUT of the RV for a very short walk around the unit, providing you wear a mask and that you keep 2-meter distancing with anyone around. What if you had a dog, for example? And the same applies to when you will be parked at Ruth's father's place, I would think!

    1. We probably could have taken a walk around the RV to make sure that it was safe for traveling but we were told to not leave the RV so we made sure we didn't. Nope, we read all the rules and the rules specifically state that you cannot leave the confines of your quarantine address. Luckily my dad's house has a decent sized yard. :-)


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