2.5 July 11, 2022: Wabakimi / Armstrong
On July 11th we drove to Armstrong to visit friends at Wabakimi Lodge – their wilderness camping and canoeing adventure place. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes were out in full force and they had a full house so I didn’t even get time for a swim.
We picked up a boost in Ignace, got a high-speed charge in Thunder Bay, and drove into Wabakimi Lodge just in time for dinner and at the same time as another large group that was going out the next day for a week-long outdoor adventure. Life at the Lodge is never boring and you meet the most interesting people.
Now, there’s only one problem with Armstrong. No charger at the top end and our level one only adds 5 kms range per hour. We told them we had to stay two nights to make it work. And we had to practice our efficient driving in order to have as much range left when we got there.
2.6 July 13, 2022: The Kindness of Strangers
Our goal on Wednesday was to make it to Nipagon, (232 kms) for our first charge, get a boost at either Terrace Bay or White River, and head on to Wawa for the night. We had a reservation in Wawa. (You absolutely have to get a reservation in advance if you want a place to put your head in any of the small towns across Lake Superior. They are always full.). With a start of 400 kms we weren’t too worried. We lunched in the parking lot at the PetroCan in Nipagon. (Remember this one?)
We had only gone 105 km at Terrace Bay and it seemed unnecessary to stop for a boost so we chose to carry on to White River and get our boost there. Just our luck, the IVY charger there was down, presumably not yet activated after the Roger’s fiasco. If only we had charged at Terrace Bay for insurance. It had become blatantly clear to us that there was simply insufficient redundancy along the TransCanada Highway to travel with any security across the country. We were stranded. There were no other chargers in White River. We had 100 kms in the bank and had to travel 97 kms to Wawa where our hotel was booked. We had no idea if we could even access a tow if we made it 10 kms outside of Wawa and ran out of steam. A level one charge would take 4-5 hours to buy us some insurance at 5 km/hour.
We quickly discovered there were no rooms available in White River.There were places to hang out and eat. One hotel was kind enough to offer us an outdoor plug to put our charger on. We phoned our hotel in Wawa and arranged for a very late arrival. The owner was very sympathetic. They arranged for us to plug in after we got our fast charge, and left us the key outside the office so that we could let ourselves in when we got there. Given that nobody could really do anything to save us, we had a lot of help and friendly support to put together a solution that could work.
We plugged in. Had our dinner.Visited a local bar with a live jam session on one side and a juke box on the other. Met a few local folk. Slept a bit in our car. And by 11:00 p.m. we were clear to drive to Wawa with 20 kms to spare. Fortunately, it was a relatively easy drive.Shortly after midnight we were charging at PetroCan, had left the car and moved into our hotel. By 1:45 we were asleep.
Ray and Lynn Vaillart, Welcoming Hosts
The Outdoorsman Hotel, Wawa
2.7 July 15, 2022: Home Safe at Eagle Lake
The rest of the trip was very pleasant and uneventful. All our charges were as planned on the way to Sudbury. We enjoyed a lovely picnic lunch on a private campground at Pancake Bay. (Once again, the kindness of strangers.) The Quality Inn and Conference Bay in Sudbury had a level two charger, and for the first time, made a reservation for us to use it. With such a full charge, there was no risk in going all the way to Huntsville without charging. This time the Swiss Chalet was open and everything was fine. We rolled in to Eagle Lake in good time to hook up the water and begin to unpack the cottage and get it ready for a wonderful holiday.
I am writing this blog as I look at the breeze and the sun playing on the water from my screened in porch at Fawn’s Point, Eagle Lake.
This is what travelling is supposed to be like.
My final blog will give some information on our experiences with different charges, their speed and their pricing in relation to our particular car, a 2020 Chevrolet Bolt.