First Day--Salmon Arm

在較大的地圖上查看The Trip Starts

We left at 10 AM this morning. Took our lunch break in Hope. It's hot here! Even the breeze from the valley was hot. Summer has definitely arrived. Then we went north by taking the beautiful Coquihalla Highway (Hwy 5) to Kamloops where Hwy 5 merges with TransCanada Highway.

Even though Thompson River flows right through, Kamloops area is arid, almost desert like. A few years ago, fire destroyed a large part of the forests nearby. Four years ago, we overnighted in town on our way to Minnestoa. This time, we wanted to push ahead a little bit to Salmon Arms. We located a campground in a provincial park, but it has "no vacancy" sign at the entrance. As it was getting late, we didn't bother to enter to make double sure. Instead, we went back to the main road and enter the first lodge we saw on the roadside. "ViewPoint Lodge" was owned and managed by a Swiss couple. "Yes, we have camping sites. You are the only tenter tonight!"

This camping ground is well kept and spacious. Din-sue quickly set up the new tent and we quickly turned in after a simple supper. Then the problem appeared--the stream of noises from the traffic on the highway and the rail nearby was impossible to ignore. We managed to get whatever sleep we could through the night. At daybreak, Din-sue promptly got ready to survey the place to try to snap some pictures. He soon came back, excited. "This place is called View Point for a reason. Higher up, there is a good view of the Lake!"

With this good feeling and good spirit, we set out, destination, Banff National Park.

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Introduction and Directory

Our Grand Journey East (and Back)

230,000 KM Across Canada

Din-sue Fon & Ding-ren Tsao


It's been weeks since we returned from our grand journey east and our lives are finally back to normal. Quiet moments have reappeared. However, after this trip, something is different. A genuine sense of joy and gratitude is there, deep in our hearts.

The green lines are our route

We traveled 233,668 Kilometers (14, miles), visited every province of Canada, touched the southern and the eastern tip of the nation, experienced the expansiveness and the beauty of this vast and friendly land. We met some very interesting people and befriended some. Altogether, we spent 78 nights away from home, of which 17 nights camping, 9 B&Bs, 17 motels, 6 hotels a5 hostels and 2 on ferries. During the trip, we felt like we worked seven days a week, about twelve hours a day; moved every day, especially on the days of camping. When we started our journey, Vancouver was experiencing its record hot summer. When we turned around from St. John's, it was fall already. On the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend (Second Monday of October), we encountered the unseasonable snowstorm in Winnepeg and started to drive in below freezing temperature across snow covered prarie and Canadian Rockies for more than two thousand kilometers. Many envied us for being able to afford such "long vacation". Actually, when a vacation is so stretched in time and space, it is more like an ordeal.

1. In the Beginning

The seed of this eastward trip was sown in the summer of 2006 when we drove into the Arctic Circle. In the village of Tuktoyaktu, Northwestern Territory, on the shore of Beaufort Sea, Din-sue took a picture of me with the "0 Kilometer Mark of Trans Canada Trail". Later, we learned that there are three such marks, the other two being in St. John's Newfoundland on the Atlantic and Victoria, British Columbia on the Pacific. Well, since we have made it to the probably most remote one, and Victoria is only half a day's journey away, how about going to the Atlantic? The idea of going to St. John's started to linger from time to time. We want to go. But when and how?

The distance chart on the map says it is 7,403 kilometers from Vancouver to St. John's. Wow! Probably we should fly there then rent a car? Or should we drive? To and back plus touring around a bit will add up to about 20K. It's a little scary. But our friend Evelyn in Minnesota would like us to visit with her for a couple of weeks this summer. Well, if we drive to Minnesota, we are more than half way already. If we do not rush, if we maintain our good health, if we are careful, this can be done. Well, if we do decide to drive, how do we begin to plan? Read the map. Study the map. Imagine ourselves on the map. The more we thought about it, the more concrete the trip seemed to become. In the meantime, we began to talk about the trip. The more we talk about it, the more pressure we felt to eventually make it happen。

In our previous trips, we tried to plan in detail and arrange daily accommodations. However, plans often turned into pressures to keep promises. This time, perhaps we could attempt a different approach. Actually, due to the scale of this trip, detailed planning proved to be impossible, especially for the return part. All we did was to "peg" down a few places up to Quebec City, and leave the rest to spontaneity and necessity. We were very flexible and were ready to accommodate anything, including camping or sleeping in the car. We also planned to cook our own food in principle.

When we shopped around of a new car in the spring of 2009, we put into consideration the requirements of this trip. Reliability is without doubt a number one concern. Then, in order to conserve gas, the vehicle must not be too big. To be safe, it should have all wheel drive. To double up as a bed in case of necessity, it must allow both of us to lie flat comfortably. We finally decided on Subaru Impreza because it has all these, is highly acclaimed as a good all around car, and reasonably priced.

At first, we wanted to name this trip as "a journey of discovery", and jokingly intended to "discover how far we can hang in there". As it turned out, we hanged on quite well--at least we two retirees managed to accomplish what we set out to do and returned in good health and good spirit. And, indeed, we were rewarded with many wonderful discoveries on all fronts.

II. Content
  1. First Day at Salmon Arm
  2. We Are in Lake Louise!
  3. O! Bow River
  4. It's really a black sky!
  5. Crowded Woodlawn Park
  6. The Ojibway Lake!
  7. This is My Land!
  8. Picking Mushroom in the Wood
  9. A Trip to Park Rapids
  10. Riding on Internet with Bikes
  11. The Mc’s Faithfulness
  12. Peter’s Stone
  13. An Animal’s House
  14. Who are Coming to Dinner
  15. Golden Anniversary
  16. Eagle Scout's Death
  17. Courage North
  18. The Retreat Lodge
  19. O! Cheese Cake
  20. Picking Wild Raspberry
  21. Rowing In the Lake
  22. Shopping at Park Rapids
  23. Preparation for Departure
  24. Come to Minneapolis
  25. A Magnificent Golf Course
  26. The 88 flood in Taiwan
  27. Friends in White Bear Lake
  28. Brain's House
  29. Dinner at Pamina's house
  30. Heading for White Bear Lake
  31. Returning to Canada
  32. Niagara Falls
  33. The Thousand Islands
  34. Visiting Ottawa
  35. Visiting St. Joseph's Oratory
  36. The Old Town in Montreal
  37. A Romantic Dinner in La Prairie
  38. First Night in Quebec City
  39. Camping Along St. Lawrence River
  40. Visiting Mingan National Park
  41. North To Labrador City
  42. We Got a Flat Tire!
  43. Laborador City, Here We are!
  44. The PJ’s B&B
  45. Eastward to Happy Valley-Goose Bay
  46. One Night on the Ferry to Cartwright
  47. From Cartwright to Another Ferry
  48. A Long Way to the Viking's Nest
  49. Visiting L’anse aux Meadows
  50. Visiting Gros Morne National Park
  51. The Western Brook Pond isn't A POND!
  52. Reaching Bonavista!
  53. Finally, We have Arrived St. John's!
  54. Standing at the Most Easterly Point in North America
  55. The Rooms Museum and Geo Center
  56. Find Our Way Home--Birds
  57. Driving Across Newfound Land
  58. Louiseburg Fortress
  59. The Bell Historic Site
  60. The Cabot Trails
  61. The Charming Gaelic Trails
  62. The Canso Causeway
  63. Near Halifax
  64. The Citadel in Halifax
  65. Peggy's Cove