Ontario

 
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Cooking dinner in a rest stop is a great way to save money on campings on long drives. We stop in a (free) beautiful spot to stretch our legs and cook dinner and keep driving. After that, it doesn’t matter much where we spend the night.

Cooking dinner in a rest stop is a great way to save money on campings on long drives. We stop in a (free) beautiful spot to stretch our legs and cook dinner and keep driving. After that, it doesn’t matter much where we spend the night.

Beautiful stop along Lake Superior.

Beautiful stop along Lake Superior.

Exploring a beautiful free campsite just outside of Lake Superior Provincial Park

Exploring a beautiful free campsite just outside of Lake Superior Provincial Park

Look at that water!

Look at that water!

Very cool Cheetos powder lichen.

Very cool Cheetos powder lichen.

Eating dinner by Lake Superior

Eating dinner by Lake Superior

Mathilde at the Horseshoe Canada Cup

Mathilde at the Horseshoe Canada Cup

The start of the Cadet expert girls at Horseshoe. Mara got stuck at the very back…

The start of the Cadet expert girls at Horseshoe. Mara got stuck at the very back…

Aïsha at the Horseshoe Canada Cup

Aïsha at the Horseshoe Canada Cup

Mara at the Horseshoe Canada Cup

Mara at the Horseshoe Canada Cup

So, how do we deal with the heat when relying mostly on solar? Even with 750 Watts of panels, we can’t run the AC in the bus. We could pay for a 55$+ campsite, but we try to find public beaches where we can spend the day and sleep in free spots. We haven’t paid for a campsite since we left the Yukon. Actually, we very rarely pay for campsites anymore since it is so easy to find free camping spots, and since at this time of year you need to make reservations in advance to have a good campsite (and in our book, if you pay for a campsite, it better be a good one). 

When we cover a lot of ground like we are doing this summer, our go-to strategy is to stop during the day (and often for dinner) at beautiful spots along the way, stretch our legs, bike, swim, and keep driving afterwards. By then, it’s dark and it doesn’t matter much where we spend the night as long as it’s not too noisy. It allows us to save money (since we are spending a lot on gas during this time) and not worry about making reservations in advance.


In Canada, iOverlander is the best app to use to find free camping spots. Be aware that most users are in vans or 4 x 4 vehicles, so scout out the recommended spots in advance if there is no information about vehicle length in the comments to avoid bad surprises.


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The XCO Mountain Biking National Championship was a bit of a bust. Aïsha crashed during her first preride and got a concussion, so there was no racing for her. She is still healing and focusing on the Western Summer Canada Games at the beginning of August. Mara felt strong and ready, but the crazy hot weather at 42 C with humidex was really rough for a Yukon kid. She battled hard, but crashed near the finish and lost 3 positions, finishing 14th over 21 strong girls. It was not the results she was hoping for and she was quite disappointed.

Mathilde is still too young to compete at National level, but took part in the Ontario Cup the next day. The weather was a bit cooler, but there was A LOT of traffic on the course. She’s still quite happy with her race.

The girls are now on Instagram and they will share their own race reviews (and lots more) there. Give them a follow if you want:
@aisha.roldan
@mathilde.roldan
@mara.roldan.mtb

 

Across Canada in pictures (+ a new puppy!)

Meet Stout! He is a Presa Canario (Canary Mastiff), a rare giant-breed from the Canary Island, a cousin of the Cane Corso (Italian Mastiff). Yes, he's gonna be big!

Drawing at Buffalo Pound Provincial Park in Saskatchewan. Believe it or not, we found some great mountain biking single track there! And no, it wasn't flat. At all.

The knitting club hits the road!

Exploring the water in Dryden, Ontario.

A girl and her pup!

The sploot.

Dinner stop in Ignace, Ontario.

Oh no! The scary waves are out to get me!

Superior Lake shower

These girls are crazy! It's way too cold...

Can you see the bus across the bay?

We made it to Ottawa and are spending a few days visiting friends!

Farmers' market and the Great Lakes

One of the things I love about living on the road is discovering the local farmers' market. We love our greens and sprouts and supporting local organic farmers is very important to us, so wherever we go, we try to shop at health food stores that carry local produce or at farmers' market when the timing is right. This is a great site to find the farmers' market in every town we visit.

The other night, we stopped to make dinner at one of our usual spot near Pancake Bay Provincial Park (Ontario) and the girls swam in cold Lake Superior while we sat in the soft sand. We looked at them jump in the waves and scream with glee and smiled in silence.

Things felt more right than they had in a long time.