Killbear and Sudbury

Sudbury Travel Blog

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Benny Hill - To whom I dedicate my Mosi-dome

I'm an expert faffer as anyone who knows me will attest. But I took faffing to a whole new level when it came to departing from Oakville. Firstly there was the car, which needed all sorts of things doing, most recently of which was a repair to the bumper following an injury inflicted while trying to do the oil change. Second there was route planning, which I don't normally do, I just kinda follow my nose, but I was determined to have a bit more of a plan this time, in an attempt to stop my jaunt becoming a year long expedition. This took ages, mostly because each province has its own set of provincial parks and its own website site showing (or in the case of Alberta*, merely hinting at) the location of each site. From heading out east I'd learned that the provincial parks have the best campsites, so I wanted to get a list together of all the sites I'd likely be staying at along the route.

view from my tent at Killbear
That of course was reliant upon me having a route, Andy scratches his head and visits Google maps for rough directions from Toronto to Vancouver. Ah that's better.

Having finally got that all sorted, I broke through the gravitational pull of my sister's house and headed off, I was on the road at last! The freedom! The wind in my remaining hairs! But not for long, first over to home depot to get torch batteries and to treat myself to a nice brand new head torch (more on that later).

The traffic was bad through the north of Toronto, but it gradually eased off. I wasn't bothered because I had a load of stuff running off the lighter socket so didn't want to empty my tank just yet by going heavy on the gas, and my car doesn't go 'FAST' anyway.

Killbear beach

I Whizzed past the Cookstown outlet mall, not pausing to buy any jeans and wound my way up towards georgian bay. I pulled into Parry sound to get camping gas at the Canadian tire, but realised once I was a good few clicks down the road that I should have got car gas too, do'h. Then things got screwed up, my trusty GPS (Which I won't mention again I promise) which I had installed updated maps on not one month previously let me down. It insisted that I needed to go straight on when in fact I needed to take the exit lane. Grrrr.

After a small 45 minute detour I headed to Killbear provincial park, and managed to get a pitch right down by the beach!

I'd brought with me a new piece of camping kit, its a kind of extra tent, but the sides are made of gauze, I'll hence forth call it the mosquito dome.

my campsite
The dome's instruction said it requires two people for set up. I checked the 'Andy's trip out west staff manifesto' and discovered there was only me. My Penguin of death mug looked on in admiration from his perch* on the picnic table as I struggled in true Benny Hill style, one pole would slip down, so I'd run around to the other side, whilst the first pole slipped away. After a frantic few minutes with at least two poles temporarily defying gravity I managed to get the dang thing up. I re-read the instructions as then I had enough hands, feet and mouths free. I think they must have been badly translated it from Ineptish into Moron-ese. Second Grr of the day. I avoid multi-Grrr days whenever possible. Step 6 should have been step 2, and as for step 9 well that just didn't seem appropriate given the circumstances, and may well be illegal in some provinces.
the butterfly room at Science North

After Dinner I went down to the beach for a walk, I wanted to follow the beach around to the day-use area and then go on one of the park's trail routes that started from there. I soon found my path blocked by a large stream, having not brought my pole-vaulting equipment, I double backed and wandered through the edge of the campsite until I found a road. Light was beginning to fade from the sky, so I tried out the all-new singing and dancing head torch. My word what a marvellous piece of modern engineering, 6 different modes, including 'off' (dubious advertising) but best of all was night vision mode: a single red LED bright enough to find your way whilst only 'sipping' from the battery pack. I wandered along and soon realised I was being followed. Two fireflies were hot on my tail. Later I realised there were following the bright green flash from the 'find me in a bag' light on the battery pack mounted at the back of my head.

Start of the geology tour

On my return towards the campsite I discovered two small red eyes starring back at me from the woods at the side of the road, something about the size of a fox. Of course the eyes could have been baby blue, but everything is monochromatic red in 'night vision' mode. I keep expecting 'no. of casualties 0.0' to appear whenever I have it switched on. I made a low grrr noise and the creature disappeared into the night.

I slept in late despite setting my alarm, decamped and headed north through the rain to Sudbury. I found Science North, had some lunch and went and explored it. Its quite a compact science experience with only 4 smallish levels of exhibits. Its mostly hands-on kid oriented science experiments so I was in my element.

snake at Science North
I did the geology audio tour, but missed the beginning by a few million years, just caught the last ½ hour.

Afterwards I headed off to find an internet cafe, but failed so instead found myself at a library which was shut. I managed to use its wireless connection from the car park, so I looked up Sudbury internet cafes and discovered that there used to be some but now they're all shut.

I then drove off to Fairbank provincial park, which was much further into the boonies than I thought. You leave the main road and then your on a dirt road with potholes for no less than 20 km. The campsite is wet and quite dark as its mostly trees. I'm writing this from inside the relative safety of the mosi-dome.

Tomorrow, big nickel and then Sault Ste. Marie.

*Alberta – I can't mock your website too much, Manitoba and Saskatchewan didn't have ANY maps on theirs!

* Do Penguin mugs perch? I think perch works. Answers on a postcard.

davethree says:
Hi Andy! I am glad that you are back on the road and can finish your Epic Road Trip (tm) at last! I love the idea of the mosquito dome - is that for keeping them inside or outside? As soon as they invent teleportation I will zap myself over to where you are and join in!. Hugs, Dave
Posted on: Jun 14, 2011
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Benny Hill - To whom I dedicate my…
Benny Hill - To whom I dedicate m…
view from my tent at Killbear
view from my tent at Killbear
Killbear beach
Killbear beach
my campsite
my campsite
the butterfly room at Science North
the butterfly room at Science North
Start of the geology tour
Start of the geology tour
snake at Science North
snake at Science North
Sudbury
photo by: row-zzzzz