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Friday, September 22, 2017

VACATION - Looping Around Lake Superior - Day 11 Agawa Bay to Pancake Bay

PS I fixed the pics from yesterday and also fixed the dog video. If you want to go back and reread the blog here is the link:

Travel today from Agawa Bay to Pancake Bay, Ontario Canada

It was raining most of the night at Agawa Bay, and we woke to foggy conditions over the water. We could not see more than 20 feet out onto the bay... and everything was humid and damp. The water was calm and would have made for great pics if we could have seen further out across the water.

Over coffee, Steve and I took out the maps and laptop and calendar.  We have definately decided against rushing down through the Lower Peninsula of Michigan or taking the ferry across Lake Michigan that we had tentively planned. At our speed, we just aren't going to see enough stuff to justify the cost of the bridge toll, ferry fee at Ludington and extra mileage. We will save that for another trip.

Steve cooked us up a pancake breakfast with bacon and more coffee.  It sure was a nice view out of the window and some of the fog was beginning to lift.  We are getting into a nice routine of a later breakfast and that holds us over until supper.  Then we are not stopping during travelling time to make a lunch.

We hopped in the Tracker with the dogs and took a jaunt over to Frater Station. We had gone there 20 years ago to nose around and it was a very narrow rough gravel road.  Now it's a little wider, but still pretty rough.  It's about 10-15 miles away from the highway.

I tried three different videos of going in on the road,
I don't think they are repeats:

This train station is used for a pick up and drop off point for hikers, canoers, fourwheelers and snowmobilers in the winter.  At any point on the train tracks, they can flag down the train, it will stop and let them load up on the flat cars. Then they can ride to the next station down the line and pay a fare.  Sometimes people leave their vehicles at this defunct station to load up again, or to depart from, as the train ambles through.

About 10 years ago, Steve and I rode that very same train as passengers from the station in Sault Ste Marie Canada up to the Agawa Canyon for a day trip. That is how we know about it stopping to load up and unload the people from the wilderness. It did stop a LOT so the train was never on a scheduled time. LOL... but we did ride past the Frater Station back then too. Kinda the reason we wanted to drive back there today on the road again.  Someone has been fixing up the buildings and added a propane tank and cleaned things up a bit. So maybe they stay there sometimes or the railroad now rents it out?

We bounced along in our little Tracker.  It moves along like a little billy goat.  Pretty handy because the dogs can ride along, compared to the Honda Helix scooter we used to ride together.  Plus... the Tracker has air conditioning, which we needed on this humid damp icky morning.

Here is heading back out on the same road: 

We came back to the Agawa campground for a little while to walk up and down the beach in between raindrops.  I picked up some pretty rocks to do a project with... more on that later. Just a few rocks, NOT like Lucy and Ricky in the Long Long Trailer movie!

We got roadworthy and I carried over our leftover campfire wood to our neighbors. They were from Lower Michigan but knew a lot of the places in the Upper Peninsula that I knew... plus they were looping around Laker Superior in the other direction.  Steve carefully moved the motorhome forward out of our narrow campsite, and hooked up the Tracker in the main parking area.  Tested, double checked, and good to go.

Not a huge driving day, I think we are just going as far as Pancake Bay, about 35 miles down the shoreline.  It's all pretty country, but we are missing the views from the gloomy weather surrounding us.  I think if we hang out a day or two here, the weather will clear and we can enjoy a bit more before we leave Canada via Sault Ste Marie.

We got to Pancake Bay and it was still overcast and humid... the temps were rising up in the afternoon.  The office to register for a campsite was closed, with a sign saying not open until 4 pm until 7 pm for check-ins.  We saw a few park workers doing shrubbery trimming near the entrance and one young man came over to talk to us.  He said that we could self register at the pay post, but if you wanted to use a credit card, you could pick a site, occupy it, and wait till 4 pm to register it. They are no longer taking reservations at this late in the season, so you are not taking anyone's reserved site, (the park closes on Oct. 10 anyhow).

The prices here are higher by about $5 for each type of site,  plus they have "prime sites" along the water that are even higher than the regular sites. The prices range from $42 to $51 a night (canadian $)  There are 325 sites throughout the entire long stretched out park!  We unhooked the Tracker and got permission from the worker to leave our motorhome at the entrance gate, blocking one of the three lanes. There isn't any parking areas for RV's anywhere, so we were concerned about blocking the lane. We drove around the park with our little map, marking off sites we liked. We chose to take a non-electric site by the water that was very nice. #238

We got all set up on the site and it was very nice.... we took a walk around with the dogs and visited with a few folks here and there.

Our dogs met up with a super HUGE sheltie named Fergus (actually he is a collie)...  his bark was just like our old Duchess, and we enjoyed petting a big wriggly furball who wanted his butt scratched.

The fall colors are more vibrant here, with gorgeous reds, oranges, yellows and rust.

By 4pm we went over to the gatehouse and registered and the gal inside was very nice and friendly. She mentioned rain and possible storms coming and pointed to her printout of the weather that was posted on the door.  It wasn't too current, just a week worth of weather at a time. Once we paid for the site, we buzzed over to the nearby tourist trap where there was free wifi and checked the weather again.  Rut Roh... not only possible rain in a few days, but high high heat and humidity coming tomorrow, up to high 80's and very very humid!

Hmmmmm what to do?  We drove back to the gatehouse and asked if we chose an electric site (so we could run the air conditioner) would it be a problem and could we pay the difference?  She smiled and said no problem at all!  Just chose a different site (electric  this time) and come on back with our original papers and she will take care of it, toot sweet.  We drove around and found a nice site with just as nice of a view, number #112, and drove right back to the gatehouse. And she did take care of it easily with a few strokes of the keyboard!   $6.00 more and we were good for the upcoming heatwave.  If we want it for another day, we can just go back at 4pm tomorrow and pay again.

This is SO strange weather for later September around any of the Great Lakes to have this kind of weather. EWWWWWW Heat and Humidity are not a good combination for me, after damaging my lungs and being on oxygen for so many years. I am not now, but that kind of weather does drain me down fast.

We put our tag on the post of 112 and then rushed over to pack up the rig quick and move. We only had out the lawn chairs and a few things on the counter, so it was easy to get "road worthy" and move over to the new site.  Steve drove through it and then manuvered the rig sideways, getting us the most optimum view possible from all the windows down the length of our rig.

Tonight's feast was salmon on the grill.  We are SO glad we were able to take along all our own frozen meat from home in the ample freezer inside of our motorhome. We are eating from our own home groceries and stores we are familiar with. We get these wild caught salmon planks are from the local Piggly Wiggly store near our home, and we like cooking them on a special rack over the grill. The salmon can be flipped to let the fats ooze out and then flipped back to finish cooking. No gooey white stuff on the surface of the salmon that way.

We moved our lawn chairs out onto the beach to watch the evening fall. We settled back in our chairs to watch the water and see the sun beginning to set.  The little sand gnats are pesty as well as some of the black flies (which bite!)  We set out a Thermocell between our chairs and sat in comfort without any buggy intruders.

The waves calmed down to almost a glass like surface, which again is strange for Lake Superior.  I did this cool panoramic picture with my cell phone that kinda captured the feeling of the evening.

 This little seagull, Jonathan, came to visit us!

Soon the sun was inching over to the far western horizon. I snapped a zillion pics of it as it sunk down in the sky... but here are the best ones.

 (this one is for you, Linda G.) 

We headed inside and I decided to bake some brownies (Steve's favorite) in the oven before we went to bed. That way I would not heat up the rig tomorrow during the day, and he could have his snack on hand.  While he hung out relaxing, I was working on this blog and baking the brownies.
We did tune in a single station (analog, not even digital) on the tv, hoping for more local weather or news. Nope, it was only a sub station of old reruns of Big Bang ... and even at 9 and again at 10 it was still older reruns and no local news programming.  We turned on the radio but didn't find any local weather either. In the morning I plan to run over to the tourist trap to use the wifi and check for the weather and also post this blog.

46 miles traveled today
1117 miles traveled so far


  1. We were at Pancake Bay way back in October of 2007, ten years ago. The park was closed, so we boondocked at the hiking trailhead. I can't believe they want $42 CAD for an unserviced site! We had heard that Ontario Provincial Parks have become really expensive. Shame. But, if the market will bear it...


  2. Had to smile when you referenced the Lucy and Ricky in the Long Long Trailer movie because those rocks on the beach look beautiful and it would be tempting to over pick.
    Your last picture of the sunset with the reflection on the water is beautiful, thank you for sharing.

  3. Beautiful sunset photos, makes me wish I was there! Looking forward to seeing what you have planned for the pebbles. Thanks for your post.

  4. Hey love watching your exploits. Hey those thermacells are great huh. I found a hack online to refill the cylinders and refresh the pad. And it works well.I am sad our camping season is coming to an end soon.


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