Monday, 26 July 2021

Made it to Saskatoon

I left Dad’s Thursday morning around 9am and drove to Sault Ste Marie, ON where I parked at a Flying J (very friendly staff) and Friday am I had a shower in their facilities and headed off to Dryden, ON.

Arriving in Dryden at 4:30pm I was receiving tornado alerts on my phone. Checking the weather apps there was a break along the highway where two cells separated north and south so I pushed on to Kenora, ON with the weather clearly behind me.

Reaching Kenora at 6pm and in typical Katie fashion, I asked Siri (iphone assistant) how far it was to Winnipeg, MB… 2.5 hours, okay what time is sunset in Winnipeg? 9:30pm. Perfect, and off I went. 

I didn’t see the point of sitting 4-5 hours in the truck (I’ve slept in the truck the whole trip) so I could then sleep a few hours.

I arrived in Winnipeg at 9pm and parked up at another Flying J where after a good nights sleep I was able to have another shower and beautify myself before heading northwest to Saskatoon, SK.

Because my Daughter-in-law runs a daycare and my Mother-in-law is 82, I once again wanted a Covid rapid test to make sure I was clean so stopped in Yorkton at a drive-thru one.

In case I didn’t mention it, I had a test done before getting to Stacey’s Mum in Nova Scotia and another before getting to Dad’s in Ontario. Shopper’s Drug Mart offers them in Ontario for $40. Both were clear.

Anyway, in Yorkton after stuffing the swab waaay up my nostril he tells me they don’t do the rapid test only the pcr which takes 3-4 days to come back. At least I didn’t have to pay for that one.

Off I went to Saskatoon to get the proper rapid test so I could see my Gkids, arriving at the facility just after 2pm. Once again Negative and headed to my Mother-in-law’s.

With her tomatoes

Now - Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia have removed mask requirements since Stacey and I left but I continue to wear it anyway.

Yesterday (Sunday) I picked up my Gkids and took them to ToysRUs with a budget each and then ice cream after, which we brought back to Meg’s (Mother-in-law) so they didn’t eat it in her car.

Brad meanwhile has prepped all of the garlic he grew to feed to Betty….

And picked his first ear of what he figures is about 200 corn which he then had for supper with a juicy steak.

Meg and I had a lovely dinner perfect for this Saskatchewan heat.

Right now the plan is for me to leave here Thursday and pick Stacey up in Calgary where we will continue our journey home.

Anyone who knows me will find this cute. 
I find it priceless.

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

We had to break him out

My Daddy

Ann and I went out to run an errand, One of those girly shopping trips that Dad had no interest in so we left him at home in his comfy chair.

We had forgotten to turn on the AC so I suggested we text Dad and ask him to do it. Well that was a bad idea…

He texted ‘ok’ to the request then moments later something gibberish. Then SOS.

We immediately headed for home while calling a neighbour we thought would be home and asked them to help Dad. 

Sure enough he had fallen. He lost a fair amount of blood from his nose and we called an ambulance. 

As he was loaded in the ambulance and Ann and I came out the door the door caught Ann’s arm somehow causing a bruise and small cut, nothing urgent but …

He arrived at the ‘Met’ hospital at 2:20pm. He then spent the next 6.5hrs in a hallway (now remember he is 81) with no food or drink but was given a warm blanket.

Because of Covid Ann was not allowed in to be with him until he got a ‘bed’, which of course didn’t happen.

Ann and I decided to break him out. Clearly he was not a triage priority and he has a pre- arranged home visit with a Dr in the am. Ann called him to see what he felt about that. 

He was in agreement so we grabbed the keys and went to get him. He came out of the hospital at 8:40pm.

Straight to Wendy’s for a chili which he loves and then home to unwind before bed.

Quite a day.

Mechanic was unable to find anything wrong with the truck. Checked batteries, alternator, starter etc and tested for a short in the wiring but came up blank. He said ‘Everything happens for a reason’.

Clearly it is not time to go yet. 

I will be here at least one more day to keep an eye on Dad and make sure he’s alright before heading off. 

I will also run the truck a few times to make sure it’s ticking properly.

Monday, 19 July 2021

In no particular order

Put the truck in the shop Tuesday to have the ball joints done as there was a wobble on the passenger side. Got it back Friday. Saturday I packed up the truck and tried to start my long journey home but it wouldn’t start. 

Called CAA and they sent a kid with a couple of battery charge packs but it wasn’t enough juice, he called a big truck to attempt a boost or tow me back to Evoy’s shop. 

Now to be clear, I’ve used Evoy’s before and they are Dad’s go to. 

The 2nd truck couldn’t carry my truck as it’s loaded and couldn’t get me boosted either. Batteries read ‘ok’ (11.83 is low but still good)  all 3 of us checked them. 2nd guy called a 3rd to tow me. Not a very friendly chap that 3rd one but he got her on and moved to the shop.

Meanwhile Brad sent pics of the garden…




The Bunch

Legs for the new U.S-Canada bridge in progress


So just before we arrived here the Dr’s took Dad off the cancer pill he was on which was making him so deathly ill that we almost lost him. They said it ‘could’ extend his life but I can tell you that is no way to ‘live.

So in just the first couple of days after our arrival he made leaps and bounds. Of course this won’t cure anything but he will be comfortable and both Drs he has seen since we arrived now say they want to see him in 6 months which is fantastic. 

As his new wife is taking such great care of him, I am going to start making my way home. Unfortunately, as noted above the truck wouldn’t  start and so I’m waiting until the shop opens in about an hour (oops need to beautify). 

I’m sure that it’s just a ground wire or something that came loose during the repair and hopefully not a major problem. Fortunately my departure was not urgent and I could afford to wait the weekend out, and spend more time with my favourite Daddy!! 

I was meant to call some blogger peeps while I was here but it just hasn’t fit in so far. If for some reason I stay awhile longer I’ll call them and meet up. Sorry guys.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Out of the bubble

So I drove from Nova Scotia to Kingston yesterday. 

When leaving the Atlantic bubble, there were no Covid checks at all. Not a one.

In fairness, because of my harsh comparison of our New Brunswick experience, I must note that the entry to New Brunswick from Quebec yesterday (as I looked over on the way past) was a vast difference to what we experienced going in.  

So perhaps something had happened that caused such a force to be there when we drive in, there was but 2 police vehicles when I drove by on my way out yesterday.

This am I drove from Kingston to Windsor, through pouring rain, arriving at noon.

Because of my extensive travels I stopped in London and had another rapid Covid test done before coming down to Dads. Negative.

 My step-mother has a nice little herb garden going on her deck too.

As my brother likely doesn’t want his pic posted online and he’s on a run for fish & chips at the moment so I can’t ask him- I have not posted any of the family pics we took today.

Anyway, I am here - finally. 

I was unable to stop for coffee with friends in Ottawa due to timing but I do intend to call some bloggers ( you know who you are) during my time here, as and when I can.

Saturday, 10 July 2021

To Hell and Back

While I’m away Brad is holding down the Fort…

Preparing Stevia (sugar substitute) for Betty

So we went to ‘hell’ anyone familiar would be able to suss out where that is by now but I shan’t be naming names or offering explanations to everything just yet.

Still too much on the go there. So please don’t type it below either or I’ll have to delete your comment. The day will come.

Stacey and I managed to get all of our belongings out, and absolutely no desire to go ever again but there may be a need to at some point. 

Only time will tell.

The Covid check to ‘hell’ was a gong show just like everything else hell related. To be clear, we pre- registered for everywhere we went so there would be no delays… 11 lanes of 40 cars each , 1 man with a clipboard for half an hour before another 2 joined him… 45 min of our 1.5 hrs allocated to loading the truck. Oh, and the ferry was 45 min late too! So used up all of our allotted truck loading time. We needed to get back for our next booking.

I called the office and was told it was the Gov’t that was holding us up, not the company… except that I was a customer of the company and on the company’s property. But nope not even a ‘sorry’ ‘kiss your ass’ or anything, just tough.

Tried to talk to one of the guys on the ground he just said ‘right on, right on’ and walked away.

Stacey spent 2 hrs on the phone getting disconnected, given a wrong number to call a different dept., and never did get through. Even Brad emailed the head office about it to which an auto reply came saying they’d call in 3 days. 

We just went for it, got to loading and praying we’d get there in time but knowing we’d likely be turned back.

While Stacey’s cell played the ‘we appreciate your call’ bs, my phone rang and it was a rep from Nova Scotia who made a note on our booking that we’d be late. Thank you! 

We arrived after everyone else was loaded, last car in the hold. Whew! 

That boat only runs every 3 days… so, yeah… we could not miss it!  Or drive 10 hrs to another. 

Entry to ‘hell’

Yeah and in hell… Fish & Wildlife we’re checking people in. 

I tell ya you just can’t make this up.

Nova Scotia re-entry took 5 min. Smooth like butta. 

Friday, 9 July 2021

Entering Nova Scotia


Nova Scotia border check

Completely different experience. These guys didn’t even have booths. Just a line up and did you register? 

Much more appropriate to what’s happening in our world. 

Comparatively, New Brunswick must think it’s a zombie apocalypse or something. That was absolutely unbelievable and so far over the top that I just have no words.

Thursday, 8 July 2021

No exaggeration

We had filled out a ‘hey we’re driving through’ form before our arrival at New Brunswick. We were expecting a guard in a booth…

New Brunswick border

What we met at the New Brunswick border was a force. Literally, a crowd of officers, the term could only be ‘Gestapo’ ( a political state police force), about 20 cop cars, and a lot of attitude (not directed toward us). I didn’t dare get more pics and this one above does not show the extent of it I’m afraid, but believe me it’s harsh.

We had pre-registered, unlike a few hundred the day before (we arrived there very early in the day) - they were turned back. 

The show of force was unprecedented in Canada I’m sure- save maybe Oka in 1990. Very reminiscent of this pic below and with the same energy I can assure you.


These guys were not messing around and are now absolutely fed up with people. 

Absolutely unreal in Canada. And in my opinion, should not be allowed. Unless they’re preparing for something else we’re not aware of…

On a lighter note, Brad did the market for me and had a big $$$ day! Naturally, I have the truck, so…

Even Robbie was wondering if he’s serious. LOL It worked as it was resting on the hitch. Good for a chuckle anyway.

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Wa Wa What?

We made it to Wawa, ON.

Wawa is known for it’s giant Canada Geese. They have more than one now. We assume that is the native word for them but I’d have to Google it and I only have my phone, so if you want to know- just look it up.

Ontario mustard fields

The original Wawa goose 

A new goose ( at least to me)

Sunday, 4 July 2021

Chief Mechanic Chick

Once the truck was dropped at Canadian Tire in Canmore, BC we immediately went inside to get the cleaner we would need. 

Bring the July long weekend we knew a mechanic would be hard to come by. Fortunately we are clever girls because no mechanic was available until 10am the next morning.
Dropping truck at Canadian Tire

With dusk approaching rapidly we decided to get to sleep early so we could get a start on the repair.

I had had the foresight to bring my mechanic with me haha…

Stacey - Chief mechanic chick extraordinaire


In just a matter of minutes we had the blue hose attached to the pipe once again and the clamp tightened down.

Back on the road again…

Friday, 2 July 2021

Trouble on the mountain

Driving along in the mountains and suddenly ‘POP’… we were able to pull straight into a pullout fortunately. 77km before Banff.  

38C (100.4F) temperatures, climbing through the Rocky Mountains was just too much one of the coolant clamps.

A little snafu

A clamp had come loose in the inter-cooler pipe. Blue in bottom right corner.

We called CAA and they sent a truck. Very quickly in reality but seemed forever in that heat. 

I was able to make my Stinging Nettle Tea while we waited for the tow truck since Stacey had brought a camp stove and kettle.

Loaded and headed for Canmore, AB