Heading West 2020

Really, I will get caught up! This is very VERY late in posting -LOL

That fall trip wasn’t quite enough. I checked to see if I could get reservations on Vancouver Island for the winter and I was able to get good sites at a couple of beautiful RV parks.

Fall Leaves
The first bunch of leaves ready to go. Ok this is an old photo, but there were more bags this year.

Before heading west the leaves had to be raked and the town kindly removes them.

Off I went with the first night at Nairn Centre on Ontario Highway 17.

Nairn Centre - parking spot
A nice truck stop with plenty of parking. That changed overnight to a full parking lot.

I liked this place as there is a restaurant nearby and the truck gets fuelled up and ready for roll early.

Kenora - rainbow on the road
A good driving day…No one around and I could stop and take the photo.

I had thought that from the last stop I could get to Sault St. Marie, and I did, but was early enough to try for Wawa. When I arrived there was nowhere to spend the night. They had roped off the visitor centre and anywhere I could spend the night. It was still light so I continued and ended up at White River where Winnie the Pooh was from…they have a great visitor centre and it’s a good place to park with an A&W and a fuel station nearby. I was close enough to Thunder Bay I thought it would be nice to camp out nearby but when I arrived it was early and kept going to Kenora, ON. With the time change to Central Time I arrived a little after dark around 5pm and fuelled up. I asked around where to stay and some said the Travel Centre outside of town and others said the Walmart is usually pretty good. I chose the Walmart parking lot, went in shopping for some groceries and the usual noises of the parking lot made it difficult to sleep. I woke early and drove off in the dark. I made it Balogne, SK and that is just on the East side of Regina. The temperature had dropped quite a bit at this point and the winter snow had started but it wasn’t too bad for driving.

Saskatchewan - Snow on the highway
Winds and snow had started.

I parked at a Flying J and overnight a great many trucks came in and ran their engines. The temperature dropped down to -21ºC (-6ºF) when I awoke, there was snow and it was cold. Again I started the drive in the dark and dawn was quick to follow. After I left the Regina Saskatchewan area the winds started to pick up. By the time I passed through the Cypress Hills area of the Trans Canada Hwy 1 the road had 3 to 5 cm (1-2inches) of ice build up and winds were steady at 80km/h with gusts to 100km/h (50-60 mph) I had slowed to about 60km/h (40 mph) but even at that one gust pushed the trailer sideway so I could see it out the passenger side window. Fortunately there was enough road to recover and it tucked back in behind the truck. I slowed to about 35 km/h and continued. There had been a truck following me and he backed off and maintained the same speed as I had. A van passed us and a few kilometres later I passed them in the ditch, unharmed on their cel phone calling for assistance. On the Eastbound road I saw at least three tractor trailers sideways and police directing traffic around them. I hoped I would not encounter anything like that. I was happy that the line of trucks following me didn’t seem to be in a hurry and stayed a good distance away and a safe speed. That was a very long and stressful few hours. I stopped and filled up in Medicine Hat.

Medicine Hat - Ice buildup on the front box
Ice build up on the trailer.
Medicine Hat - snow on the dirty trailer
The back looked horrible, but I knew I would be going to warmer weather where I could wash.

It was such a stressful drive, I thought about spending the night in Medicine Hat, but instead, I called and made sure that I was able to get into Bridgeview Resort in Lethbridge and gave them an approximate time of arrival and continued. Once out of the hills the road conditions improved enough to resume regular highway speed.

Lethbridge - Bridgeview Camping in winter

It was great to finally park and be able to rest. I probably should have washed the trailer. I did manage to find and replace the trailer tires and had a good experience at the tire place.

I will try to be more efficient in catching up.

One thought on “Heading West 2020

  1. Brighton, Ontario
    Hi Pierre,
    That is quite the trip you & Linda have undertaken. I remember driving out West in both winter & summer and I encountered weather as you have described which was stressful & like yourselves, I was very fortunate that slow
    driving got me safely through. There was a heavy snowstorm in early October north of Sault.St.Marie years ago. Dozens of cars & trailers beside the highway. The OPP closed the Trans-Canada HWY just as I got through. I made it to Marathon! Cheers, Doug

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