It was very windy at our campground on Lake Superior.

But we couldn’t complain. The campsite just up the road was covered in snow.

We had trouble finding the nickel in Sudbury. “I remember it as being bigger.”said Bill. He last saw it when he was a boy.

The camper has a very comfortable double bed, with a down comforter that is cozy on cold nights. It has hot water, a fridge a shower and a noisy propane furnace. We just bought a little electric heater that gives out a quiet dry heat.  But, going into Thunder Bay on Thanksgiving Sunday we decided to stay in a hotel. The forecast was for flurries and I was tempted by the thought of a Thanksgiving turkey dinner with all the trimmings.

They offered us a room with an outside door so we could park the camper outside and bring the dog in and out with ease. Lovely. But someone had parked outside our door- the only car parked on that side of the hotel. No problem. we took another spot.

As I walked out to the lobby to figure out our food options, several police officers and two paramedics walked an empty gurney to one of the rooms. We walked the dog, put her in the truck and went to the lobby bar for dinner.

Our timing was such that we followed the gurney as the paramedics pushed it out through the lobby. “Alive.” said Bill. “Dead.” said me.

The neighbours left in the car they had parked outside our door, leaving a very distraught dog in their room. The dog barked for about 3 hours until they returned. The hotel staff could not go in to rescue the poor mutt, even though we volunteered to care for it.

When the owners returned, and the dog settled we fell asleep. But sleep did not come easy. It was an uncomfortable bed; the room was too hot or too cold.

The hot shower, en-suite bathroom and TV are much appreciated, but we are ready to settle back into the camper in the wilderness.

One of the good things about camping is being able to cook our own meals, often with food from the farms that we pass.

The lakes in eastern Manitoba were overfull. The next stop was Winnipeg.

To avoid the worst of the chaos in Winnipeg, and based on the online reviews, we found a room in a hotel in near-by Selkirk. The lobby was full of evacuees from the Little Saskatchewan Reserve. So was the swimming pool. Many reserves were without food, heat and water as the power lines were down. The hotel was a good place to be if you had to be out of your home. They served a great breakfast, including cooked- to-order omelettes and huge bowls of fruit. But still, there is no place like home.

Home was not in anybody’s immediate future. We drove past flooded fields, crumpled hydro towers, downed poles and lines, and lots of evidence of the sudden snowstorm.  

But Selkirk has a 24 foot statue of a Catfish.

We didn’t see many birds on our travels. Snow geese yes, and magpies, crows and ravens. Was it just because of the season? Even in the maritime provinces, where they seem to leave all the road kill on the highway, there were no birds chewing on the carrion.

We saw very little wildlife. The highways back east were liberally sprinkled with dead raccoons, opossums, porcupines and the occasional red fox, but, aside from the occasional deer, the wilderness appeared to be uninhabited. It was a different story in the Rocky Mountain parks.

It was great to get home to our raccoons and deer in the yard, hummingbirds nagging us from the trees, and a mini- wilderness of our own. We live in the most beautiful part of the world. So very very lucky.


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