The Long Trip Home

I am almost done with my Ontario Summer in posts. I was extremely lucky when I drove to Ontario because my mom was with me to help with driving, the toddler, and the dog. She was a hero. Travelling Writing Momma

I didn’t have help on the drive back to Saskatchewan. I shortened the trip to four days, and I made a decision to travel without my dog. He stayed with Clint’s parents. I have a whole bunch of dog mom guilt for it, and I wish I could have brought him home with me, but with a toddler and 8 hours of driving each day, the nights were rough enough.

We went to Clint’s parents first. Clint drove in his truck so he could get back to work, but it was nice to have one more weekend with family. And I love watching Anthony get to know his Ontario grandparents.

Anthony got to hold turtles and frogs, and Drogo got to watch the chickens.



Drogo knew something was up, and hopped in the car any moment he could because he didn’t want to be left behind. He was helping with the guilt, and breaking my heart. We had a lot of fun with the family on the boat as well. Anthony is really becoming a water baby.

We had a great last day together. Family walks. Family drive. Visit to see Anthony’s Great Grandpa. And Drogo trying to get into the car.


To prepare for the trip, I got A LOT of food to toss at Anthony into the back seat while we drove. A LOT. More than was needed. IMG_20180813_171343


Day one of my trip was from Apsley to Sault Ste. Marie. It was about 7 hours and 40 minutes. Even though I usually stop a lot on my first day of driving, we didn’t stop as much. There were nice places, but none at the right times during the drive. We also hit the MOST construction that day. Anthony proved to be a very patient passenger.

We said a goodbye to our loves, and drove and drove and drove. The only stops we made that day were for coffee, gas, and washrooms. When we got to our hotel, Anthony wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted to walk and walk and walk. I don’t blame him. Somehow, I was able to get him to bed on the same schedule as usual, but he had so much pent-up energy.



Day two was from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay. It was also around 7 hours and 40 minutes. We made more stops on this day, and I’m glad we did. We left early every morning, and made good time even with the stops. All the stops we went to were new to us (except Winnie the Pooh.)

The first stop was a rest stop with a great view of Superior. We found a trail (that was a bit steep, but we did it anyway), to get down to the shore. It was worth it. So gorgeous.



The next stop was another long trail in Lake Superior Provincial Park. But it was pretty great and so gorgeous. Unfortunately, Anthony did not want to be put down so we went for a short hike, and then returned to the car so he could have a nap.

We stopped at White River for gas, a bathroom break (and diaper change), lunch, the park, and a visit with Winnie the Pooh. For those of you that don’t know, THIS is where the real Winnie the Pooh was discovered.



Our last stop before we made it to Thunder Bay was to climb the Terrace Bay Lighthouse. It’s a pretty cute little place.

All our stops required Anthony to climb, hike, or stretch his legs. That’s perfect.


Day three was from Thunder Bay to Winnipeg (actually Headingley). It was the same as the others. 7 hours and 40 minutes.

Also, I’d just like to put this entire trip into perspective right now. This was my third full day of driving. I have now been with my toddler (with absolutely no break or even my own room) for THREE days (and one more to come). That’s a lot of time to hang out with somebody.

We stopped at the time zone change area for a little walk. I can never remember exactly when the time change is. Sometime before Thunder Bay, but it’s always a surprise.

We stopped at a little store called The Beaver Post. I bought Anthony a stuffed moose. Did he need a stuffed moose? No. But he had been on this torture trip in the torture car seat, and I thought he could use something new. The only washroom there was an outhouse, so Anthony’s diaper was changed on his pad in the grass, and he immediately decided to change the diaper of his moose.

We stopped for lunch at a great place called Fort Vermilion. They have a food truck outside called Busters BBQ. I have stopped here before, and if possible will always make a stop. It’s got a playground, places to walk, coffee, food, and it’s kid and dog friendly.




We stopped at a hotel just outside Winnipeg (the side closest to Saskatoon). It’s a REALLY nice hotel, but unfortunately it wasn’t the best choice for this trip. Every other hotel we stayed at was in a more urban location. Meaning, I didn’t have to get back in my car to find some place to eat. We were able to walk to find food. This place had no restaurants around us. It did have take-out options, but Anthony didn’t want to wait. So we used the frozen food vending machine, and Anthony had his first microwaved mac and cheese. By the way, he loved it. This was the only hotel with a pool so that helped us SO much. The only problem I had with the hotel was the lack of coffee maker in the hotel room. They assumed the one in the breakfast room was all they needed. If I didn’t have a toddler, I’d have to drag downstairs with me, I’d probably agree.


The fourth and last day was the best day because we drove all the way home. It was 7 hours and 30 minutes. Winnipeg to Saskatoon. Once again, we gained an hour, so we were winning for time.

As we were walking to the car, I told Anthony we were going home. His response was: “Dadda? Drogo?”

And then I cried because I did wish we were all going to be home together. This last day of driving was hard. I had kept my mind off the reason we were heading home the previous driving days, but the last day, I knew I was driving to say goodbye to my friend. (Still a post to come.)

The first stop was mostly because I liked the Happy Rock in Gladstone (do you see what they did there?)

We stopped at a beautiful rest stop in Manitoba that would have been perfect if only it had a washroom. As you can see, I was excited about being closer to home.

We got into Saskatchewan and stopped in a little town for Subway and some sandbox play. I stopped and took some Prairie Photos on the drive home.


And then: I was home, and I was so relieved, and so happy. My mom met me at my house which was nice to have some help when we got out of the car.

I got home on August 17th. There was still two weeks left of our summer, but my Ontario adventures were done. We’ll be back.

Thanks for reading about my summer. Next up: a Momma Post.

©ErinLeahMcCrea All photos I share on my blogs are my own, please Ask Me For Permission Before Using Them.

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