A Travellerspoint blog

Trip summary

So, what did this cost us?

We've been home for 6 days now and are starting to settle in to our fall/winter routine. Jenny got our finances figured out and here is how the trip shakes out.

We drove 31,167 kilometers, over 142 days, for an average travel of 220 kilometers per day. We did two long hauls of over 800 kilometers in a day during the trip, but generally kept daily travel with the boler attached to less than 500 kilometers in any one day. We figure we towed the boler for 18,000 kilometers during the trip, the rest of the mileage was touring in the various locations we visited.

We paid $5,002. for gasoline, which works out to $0.16 per kilometer. Gas prices ranged from around $1.35 per litre in Canada with a US dollar price equivalent of $0.95 per litre while we were in the States. With exchange the US price worked out to about $1.05 per litre.

We slept 109 nights in the boler, mostly in campgrounds. Three nights were in Walmart parking lots, in Pierre, South Dakota, Victoria British Columbia and Bangor, Maine. We spent 13 nights staying in motels, and the other 20 days we stayed out of the boler with friends or family. Accommodation cost $4,542, or an averages of $32. per night.

We paid $646. for ferries, road and bridge tolls and parking. Over the course of the trip we spent $2,495 on repairs and maintenance on our 2006 Pontiac Torrent. Most was routine maintenance like oil changes and tire rotations, but we did have two wheel bearings fail during the trip, which were unexpected additions to the cost of the trip. Both the car and the boler caused us little concern during the trip.

The rest of the expenses were food and supplies, and it appears our total cost for this trip was just over $18,000 for a total daily cost of about $125 per day.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 14:04 Comments (4)

Sept. 29, 30 (Days 141, 142) - The Journey Home

Sept. 29 - On to Bangor, Maine and the Walmart Parking Lot

On the road at 7:00 am, with a planned 840 kilometer drive, approximately 10 hours, to get us to Bangor Maine. This time we were going to take the expressways and cruise with the boler at 105 kilometres per hour for the first 4 hours of this run, before we cross into Maine and do the last half of the trip on two lane roads.

We got a surprise right off the bat as we were departing the campground. Our car stereo failed, dead. Oh well, something more to get fixed when we get home. We had bought a new car stereo last year, before heading for Quebec, Labrador and Newfoundland, mainly so we could get satellite radio in the wilds of Canada. It turned out to be a total bust, with terrible reception off the beaten track. The stereo equipment lasted just 18 months, so we will see what Future Shop will do for us when we back to Nova Scotia.

The travel was OK, with Jenny and I sharing the driving. The Torrent and boler handled the expressway travel well. There were tons of geese on their way south for the winter through the eastern part of Ontario. Traffic was pretty heavy through the portion of the trip near Montreal. The route we chose took us through Quebec, south of Montreal and into Maine at a sleepy little border crossing at Woburn. The US border guard said we were the first travel trailer through her crossing that day, at 2:00 pm.

Maine was full of fall colour, perhaps the best we have seen on the trip home. We arrived at Bangor as dusk fell, in the early evening. We had taken enough breaks on the road so we were not too travel weary. We did a small shopping at Walmart, picking up some things that are relatively inexpensive compared to Nova Scotia prices.

There were 12 other RVs in the Walmart parking lot, and we had a very quiet night.

Sept. 30 - The Saint John-Digby Ferry and home.

We were going to lose an hour as we crossed into New Brunswick and dropped to Atlantic Time so an early start was necessary if we were to make the ferry connection. The option to taking the ferry was to drive around into Nova Scotia, another 400 kilometres. I was ready to get off the road, especially after a 10 hour day behind the wheel yesterday.

The drive to Saint John was uneventful and we arrived at the ferry terminal in plenty of time to make the Noon sailing. We paid our $275 ferry fee (ouch) but figured it would work out as a wash expense wise. We would have stopped for the night in Moncton and paid for a motel, as well as the gas to drive the 400 kilometres from Saint John to home, and we were really road weary at this point.

It was foggy with a light rain, visibility on the ferry ride was about 1/2 kilometre in every direction so we sat and read for much of the sail to Digby. We were out and on the road after the 3 hour sailing time and the last 110 kilometres of our trip fly by. We stopped at the Superstore for some essentials and picked up a roast chicken and salad for our first night's supper.

We pulled into the driveway at 5:00 pm, popped the chicken in the oven to keep it warm and started getting the house up and running. I turned on the water, the electricity and got things working while Jenny started unloading the boler and the Torrent. It was good to be home, but we could tell by the state of the yard that we were going to be busy after being away so long.

The Boler is safe in the driveway and as you can see we have lots to do. Firewood needs to be moved into the woodshed, gardens weeded and leaves raked.

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We will post a summary of our trip costs in a few days once we work out how much this mother of a trip cost us. It has been a wonderful trip and something we have wanted to do since we acquired the boler. We will have more adventures with our little trailer in the coming years.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 12:55 Comments (0)

Sep 26, 27, 28 (Days 138 to 140) - Sandbanks Provincial Park

We hit the road at 7:30am after saying goodbye to Kim and Ross and thanking them for a wonderful visit. Our first stop of the day was breakfast with Jim, an old work friend of mine, who lives in Exeter, Ontario. Jim and I go back to 1969, when we were just pups, starting out our careers in banking with the TD Bank.

We spent a lovely hour going over our travels with Jim, who does not have a computer, and an hour seemed barely enough to say hello, and we were back on the road, with several hours of travel to go to get to our destination.

We drove across Ontario on back roads, avoiding the killer 401 and all the feeder expressways into Toronto. Driving across Ontario gives you the opportunity to see the vast expanse of crops grown in this bread basket. We did manage to find a soy bean field to take pictures, making our crop tour virtually complete. The fall colours are just starting to appear in Ontario, and we figure we are about a week ahead of the full effects. Still pretty spectacular.

Soy bean crop

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Fall Colours

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We arrived at Sandbanks late in the afternoon, and were stunned by the $150 fee for three nights of camping, the most we had paid in any provincial or state park on our journey. This is a huge park, with 730 camp sites. The washrooms were adequate, but they seemed to have stopped daily cleaning by the time we arrived.

Sandbanks is located on the shores of Lake Ontario, along an area of sand dunes and beaches. It is a mecca for people from Toronto looking for summer camping within a reasonable drive of Toronto and Ottawa. There are hiking trails galore and lots of small towns and villages in Prince Edward County to explore.

I also arrived with a sore back, which I must have caught from Jenny, who had been suffering with one for a few days. We got our camp set up, ate a light supper and crashed for the night.

Sept. 27 - Exploring Prince Edward County and the Town of Picton

We spent the next morning taking a look at Picton, a picturesque town of 4000. We had coffee and spent a half hour on the internet before taking a 90 minute walk along the main streets of the town. it is very much a tourist town, and we are sure it is a sleepy little village the rest of the year. Some of the summer businesses had already closed for the season.

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We did find a farm market, with lovely produce and bought enough for a salad to go with a steak for supper. They had excellent heritage tomatoes which we picked up to go into our salad, as well as for BLT's the following day.

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This area has an October tradition of putting quilt patterns on the barns for the month. We saw several on our outing and Jenny took a few pictures.

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Our friends Karmen and George are travelling through Iowa and have seen a similar patterns on buildings there. There it is a Scandinavian type of painting called Rosemaling.

We returned to the campground, where my back continued to get worse. We decided to try the beach, as it was a warm sunny day. We found a great spot and the sun did warm my back enough that I wandered into the waters of Lake Ontario. Although I live much of my life in Ontario, I had never actually been in this lake, so another first for me on this trip.

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We returned to the campground and made supper, steak and salad, with some wine to wash it all down. We lit a fire and talked a bit about going home after this stop. We were both getting a bit road weary and my sore back was not sitting well with the idea of staying on the road longer. We pretty well decided at that point that we would make the run for home when we were done at Sandbanks.

Sept. 28 - Driving tour, hikes

I woke with my back still bothering me, so I decided to walk it off, and it worked. by the time I returned from a strenuous 5 kilometer walk, my back was much improved, Seems all I needed was some good exercise to loosen things up.

We did a driving tour of Prince Edward County, with a planned stop at an internet cafe for some computer time. Well, internet access was non existent at the first place we stopped and spotty at the second but we did manage to get enough time to check e-mails and for me to plan our route home on Google Maps.

In the afternoon, we did a tour of the campground, in case we decide to come back here some other time. The beach campground is amazing, all sand sites, some with power, some open and others with partial or full shade. Our campground was back in the woods, away from the beach and was pretty good as well. The only major problem I can see here in the woodlands campground is that the sites are on dirt. If it rained, this would be an unpleasant place to be as it looked like they would turn to muck in a downpour.

We did an hour long walk around the campground, on this Sunday afternoon in September, as the place cleared out. The campground had been pretty full Saturday night, but by late Sunday was mostly vacant. Jenny got some shots of Monarch butterflies and their favourite food, milkweed.

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We closed down the camp and hooked up the boler for a fast departure in the morning. We burned the last of our wood and enjoyed a final campfire.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 07:30 Comments (0)

Sep 25 (Day 137) - Sarnia

Once again I awoke at a very early hour and picked up a Tim's coffee and headed under the bridge for my last morning wander along the shore of the St. Clair River. The weather has been magnificent for our stay and today promises to be just as beautiful. We have work to do today, though. The boler needs polishing, we have laundry to do and we have to get packed up and ready to depart tomorrow so that takes up much of the morning.

Kim gave us some neat gadgets that we can use at stand-up cocktail parties. So someone please plan one for when we get home. This neat gadget fits on to the side of your plate and you place your wine glass in it.

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Kim cooks up a mess of peameal bacon on the bbq. For those of you unfamiliar with this form of bacon, it is marvellous stuff. I offer this explanation from Wikipedia:

"Peameal bacon (also known as cornmeal bacon) is a type of bacon originating in Toronto, Canada. The name reflects the historic practice of rolling the cured and trimmed boneless loin in dried and ground yellow peas, originally for preservation reasons. Since the war years, it has been rolled in ground yellow cornmeal. It is low in fat, and slow cured.[1]

Peameal bacon is made from boneless pork loins, short cut from the leaner portions of the loin, to ensure a more uniform product. External fat is generally trimmed to within 1/8 inch (3 mm). Smokeless and tender, this product is sweet pickle-cured and rolled in a traditional golden cornmeal coating.[2]

Peameal bacon sandwiches are often considered to be a signature dish of Toronto, with the most famous vendors located at St. Lawrence Market."

Peameal is delicious. Enough said!

We spend the afternoon keeping an eye on preparations for supper, which will be a Pickerel fish fry. Ross and Kim are preparing 4 1/2 pounds of Pickerel, trimming and cutting the fillets into equal size small pieces, to be dipped in buttermilk and battered and deep fried by Ross. These two have been doing fish frys for friends and relatives for years and have got it down to a science.

Now, the Pickerel is commonly known as the Walleye in the USA, but we are pretty well assured by the fishermen from Purdy's Fishery, which has been in business in Sarnia for more than 100 years, that Pickerel and Walleye are the same species of fish. They are also delicious. In addition to the fish, Kim has prepared coleslaw, her own Tartar sauce, and potatoes, that will be cooked on the BBQ.

Pickerel being prepared.

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My sister Vivien and my half-sister Joyce, Kim's mother, will be coming for dinner as well as Kim's son David. So 7 of us will be enjoying.

While waiting for supper we hook up the boler and prepare her for an early departure in the morning, We are heading for Sandbanks Provincial Park, in eastern Ontario, about 500 kilometres from Sarnia.

We had a lovely family supper, the food was delicious, the conversation sparkling and it was a nice end to our stay here in Sarnia. After saying goodbye to family, we crashed early so we could get up early and head onward. Kim and Ross are excellent hosts and we hope to get the opportunity to visit again!

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 06:57 Comments (0)

Road Weary

Well, now that we are on the homeward bound journey, we are anxious to get home. We expect to be home September 30 or October 1.

We will finish the last few days of our blog when we get home.
We have enjoyed our travels but are looking forward to being home and with family again.

Posted by Rooseboom-Scott 06:25 Comments (0)

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