Another Interesting Summer Day in Hastings, Ontario


I’m often amazed at how easy it is to find something interesting to do in this little town that we call home.

On Monday we learned that the Kawartha Voyageur was going to be cruising down the river and through Trent Severn Waterway Lock #18, something we’ve been wanting to witness, but hadn’t before been able to catch it. We weren’t sure of the time so we took our chairs and books to the lock, prepared to wait.

The Kawartha Voyageur is a river boat that provide 5-day cruises along the Trent-Severn Waterway. It navigates across many lakes and along a few rivers and through many locks between Peterborough and Big Chute, and Kingston to Peterborough. On other weeks it follows the locks of the Rideau Canal from Kingston to Ottawa.

While we waited, we accepted free (temporary) tattoos that a Parks Canada representative was offering, and I had my picture taken with Parka, the Parks Canada Mascot.

Then we decided it might be better to move further up the river, to the Gazebo, where we could see this cruise ship master the winds and glide through the canal, then we’d jump back into the car and return to the lock to see it go through.

We didn’t get much reading done. Shortly after 2:00 p.m. we first heard the horn, and then we saw the vessel appear from around a bend.

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Back at the Lock, we watched as it entered, and then waited for the water to be lowered so it could exit the other end. While the passengers waited, they were entertained by Parka.

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Jim got a hug too

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By the time the Kawartha Voyageur was through the Lock and on its way, three private yachts were waiting their turn to go through from the other direction, so we stayed a little longer to chat with the owners and watch them go through. The two larger ones are doing America’s Great Loop, an adventure that can take a year or more to complete. The boat from Fort Meyer’s Florida had already been traveling for six months; the other, from Texas, had only begun a few weeks ago.

Loop Boats

AGLA flag

We’d like to add that adventure to our bucket list, but considering the cost, it would be unrealistic.

Maybe the Kawartha Voyageur cruise might be a possibility someday though.

 

Exploring and Camping in Canada’s National Parks Part II


Banff National Park

We were awake at dawn the next morning so thought we’d postpone breakfast and get back onto the Parkway before other traffic, hoping, again, to see some of the wildlife that a multitude of signs along the road warned us about. We saw none. Fifty-two kilometers later we finally came to the only service area on the Parkway so we stopped for breakfast. It was nearly 9:00, but neither the restaurant nor cafeteria were quite ready to open. We looked at the restaurant menu and decided that we’d just grab some coffee at the store and eat cereal in the motor home. The Continental Breakfast would cost us $14.95 each, and the full breakfast buffet of bacon, eggs, sausages and pancakes, would be $25.00 each! As it was, two coffee cost $7.50.

The higher we climbed over the mountain pass, the more snow we saw on the evergreen trees and in the ditches. Fortunately it wasn’t on the roads. That’s the kind of snow I like to see! It was beautiful. By 10:30 we had crossed into Banff National Park.

Glacier Parkway

Glacier Parkway between the Glacier Centre and Banff

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It was just before noon when we reached our next planned destination, Lake Louise, but because it was still early we agreed to continue on to Banff and stop at Lake Louise on the way back the next day. An hour later we were at the Information Centre in downtown Banff getting campground information and lunch locations suggestions. We walked to JK Bakery and Cafe to fill up on salad and homemade lasagna for much less than the breakfast offered along the way. I also picked up a big loaf of their fresh multi-grain bread for less than the price of it in a grocery store. Look for it if you are ever in Banff.

We found a lovely, full hook-up campsite at Tunnel Mountain Trailer Park, that included a bus stop to catch the bus back into town, which we did as soon as we were hooked up. After looking around the shops, we found a grocery store where we bought a few supplies, and then had dinner at Tony Roma’s. To our surprise, the same cheery young Australian woman who’d waited on us at JK Bakery was our hostess here. In fact, most of the servers in the restaurant spoke with Australian accents. They love Banff, and I can’t blame them.

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Banff

Our Campground

Banff (7) Banff (11)While we waited for our return bus I chatted with Wendy from London, England, who was in Banff on a bus tour.

The next afternoon we were out of the National Parks and into British Columbia. We decided to bypass Lake Louise this trip.