The Road Home
As we made our way across the northern states and back home to Ontario,
we continued to include as many stops as possible from that epic first RV trip we had –
the trip that started it all – 17 years ago.
We often stop at public pools (as much for the shower as the
swimming). We remembered 2 pools in Wyoming with free access on this
route: Buffalo and Gillette. Can you believe it? 17 years later, both are still
Devil’s Tower National Monument
Seventeen years ago we suffered a broken brake line in Deadwood, SD. We recall coasting to a repair shop (closed for the weekend) where we parked and put a note on the window. We couldn’t have chosen a more entertaining town to hang out in. We just had to revisit a few of those experiences.
Theodore Roosevelt National Monument
Someplace Else Lounge, Martin, ND
Martin ND has a population of about 60 (and decreasing). We had to stop here for a beer (again).
Thirty seven years ago, Randy rode a bicycle across the country, stopping in many watering holes. It was a hot summer.
The Someplace Else bar holds a particular memory.The afternoon he stopped here went on well into evening when the bar’s patrons (local farmers) stopped by one by one and, hearing how far he had ridden, bought him a beer. And another. And another.
On our first RV trip, 17 years ago, we found the place and were surprised to find that nothing except the bartender had changed. (Don’t expect any of them flowery, crafty beers here! )
The place is still the same now! Bonnie, the bartender and owner, who served us 17 years ago, was still there, too! Since Randy’s been coming for the past 37 years (whenever he’s in the area), he now considers himself as a regular.
The last significant stop on our trip was in Michigan. We spent a day at Picture Rocks National Lakeshore. On that first RV trip, 17 years ago, it had been our first stop at a National Park.
Boondocking and other Scenic Camping
The last leg of our journey included a couple of paid campsites but also some great free stops. Seventeen years ago, when we didn’t have nearly the resources we now have for finding legal, free camping. We often just parked in stealth mode. Now we have so many options.
We consult Harvest Hosts, Days End Directory, Overnight RV Parking, Free Campsites, Campendium, Allstays and, of course, our own invention: Boondockers Welcome. RVers today have access to a myriad of free camping tools and suggestions. When we pay for camping, it’s because we chose to.
We stopped with Minnesota Boondockers Welcome hosts, Carpodiem, who treated us like family. They put on a sumptuous dinner and a campfire. (I know it wasn’t because I own the web site. They hadn’t even noticed that.)
We crossed into Northern Ontario at Sault Ste Marie and stopped to visit old friends, who we don’t see nearly often enough.
The Best Scene of the Road Home
We saw so many world wonders in the last 3 and 1/2 months. But it was on the 3-hour ferry ride from Manitoulin Island to Southern Ontario that we realized we were looking at the best scene along the road home: Our Canadian Flag.
We love traveling to the USA. So much beauty there . We’ve been drawn back over and over for 17 years now. I’m sure that will continue for many more.
As flag wavers, Canadians could never compete with our neighbors to the south. But for many reasons, too many and to complicated to mention, Randy and I are more proud than ever to be citizens of Canada!
We are so glad to be back in time to celebrate this big event: Happy 150th Birthday, Canada!
Days on the road at time of posting: 109
Total camping costs to date: $177