On-The-Road Canada: Day 1-3: Sudbury, Would You Like Gravy With That?



But First, A Little Introduction

This is the first of many on-the-road reports to come to RJsTravels about my visit to all 50 States, Mexico and Canada with camera in hand and history in mind. I believe that these personal stories are more interesting than just giving you the same facts and figures that most travelogues provide. My version of travelogue tells you in a “John Steinbeck – Travels With Charlie” account of our adventures. I hope you find these stories interesting. I hope you find them enjoyable.


Day 1 -2 Travel

Day 1 – Upper Michigan To Sault St Marie

(photo from the tourist bureau website)

Since we started out near Green Bay Wisconsin and most our first day was spent in the wilds of the upper peninsula (UP) of Michigan. The UP is about the least populated area of the country except for maybe Alaska. After leaving the Lake Michigan coastline there is very little there except for forests. It was a six-hour drive to Ste St. Marie where we stopped for the night. I have been to this beautiful city on several occasions and as usual we enjoyed a peaceful stroll down the riverfront boardwalk and a nice meal afterwards. Looking back, I wished we had spent another day touring the city, but we were just too anxious to officially get into Canada across the St. Mary’s River.

Day 2 – Sudbury, Ontario – Would you like gravy with that?

Since we were only planning a four-hour drive this day we spent the morning at the Canadian Bushplane Heritage Centre learning about one of the major means of transportation in northern Canada and then hit the road.

One of the first things you almost immediately about Canada is that there are almost no franchises here. So, at the end of this day’s drive what should have been a routine thing turned out to be quite an adventure. We stopped at a small motel just short of Sudbury and asked to see one of the rooms. What we found could have been directly dropped from the 1920s. It had a very hard bed, velvet bedspread and one-hundred year-old very used furniture and lots of wallpaper on the walls. It even had that old hotel smell, you know what I mean. It is mainly found in motels that have been used way beyond their useful life. We were tempted to stay there but just didn’t think we would get much sleep on the rock they call a bed. We politely said that we decided to drive some more before stopping.

We did eventually find a place closer to Sudbury that was clean and cheap but with no Internet connection and had a TV out of the 1950s with only one usable channel. 🥴 The bed was well worn but without any protruding springs, so it proved a restful night after two days on the road.

French Fries with Gravy??

After we got settled in the room we went out for dinner to a place called Hardrock 42 Gastropub. No, it is not one of those Hardrock places with the loud blaring music as found in the US . It ends up that Hardrock is what they called the miners in the area years ago. I guess this place was kind of like where they used to eat. It was similar to a New Jersey diner in that they had a lot on the menu including what I chose which was a pulled pork sandwich with Jack Daniel’s sauce and french fries. So, here I am in Canada having sauce made from Tennessee whiskey I hardly knew I was out of the U.S.

The waitress who took our orders  was a very nice young girl. After I told her what I wanted she asked me if I wanted gravy with that? I wondered why they would put gravy on a pork sandwich with sauce already on it. She saw my confusion and said the gravy was for the french fries. I decided to go with the flow and try it. After I said yes, she commented that you guys must be from the U.S.? She just didn’t understand why we didn’t put gravy on our french fries in our country. After trying it I can say that gravy on french fries is really pretty good; maybe I will ask for it at McDonald’s when I get home.🥴

Tomorrow we keep going on toward Ottawa which is the capital of Canada. We will spend at least a couple of days there before heading towards the St. Lawrence River.

Day 3 – Travel

Day 3 – Sudbury To Ottawa

We made the last trek through the seemingly endless pine trees this morning and afternoon and finally got into the city of Ottawa. Since the first two days of this trip were travel days I considered this day 3 the official start of our adventure. I, like a giddy school kid can’t wait.

Upon entering the city my first impression of Ottawa is that there is a lot of traffic for 9:30 on a Wednesday morning.  After that soaked in I started noticing quite a few older building in the downtown area. Since this is the capital of Canada I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised. We found a nice hotel in the downtown area and pretty much vegged out there for the rest of the day, even eating in the hotel dining room.😎 Tomorrow we will be visiting all the capital sites, and then who knows where…

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