Whining in Thunder Bay, Ontario

Cumberland St Park, Thunder Bay, OntarioWe left Steinbach before 10 am after dumping our tanks. The campground manager let us dump for free because of the problems we had with the electric on our site the first night we spent there, so we were grateful for that.  We do however always wonder what the motivation is for some campgrounds that charge a further fee for dumping after you have already paid for a site for a couple of nights.  I’m kind of thinking that registered guests should get to dump for free. People arriving just to dump, sure, charge a fee for that.  Enough said.

It was another sunny day in southern Manitoba.  We left with about 3/4 of a tank of fuel hoping we’d find diesel on the way out of Manitoba before having to pay northern Ontario’s sky high prices but no such luck.  We did manage to find diesel for $1.239/litre at the Husky Travel Centre in Dryden which is no different than what we paid a few months back in Chilliwack, BC, so not too bad.  Odd though that both Alberta  and Saskatchewan diesel prices are much more reasonable than those in BC and Ontario.  We just about flipped when we saw regular gas prices in Thunder Bay at $1.369/litre or a whopping $5.19/gallon without factoring in the exchange rate…. definitely the highest we have seen since coming back into Canada in mid April.  Even the residents in the local Tim Horton’s and Walmart are complaining about the most recent 6 cents/litre price hike that happened last week.

Thunder Bay Waterfalls

Backing up a few days…..after leaving Regina, we crossed into Manitoba on the Trans Canada Highway east of  Moosomin, Saskatchewan and never had a Telus cell phone signal until we got into Winnipeg, a distance of 325 kilometers.  Our new found Telus signal was short lived too because we had absolutely no reception in Steinbach at all.  Our friends John and Joanne say it is a Telus oddity and for that reason no one in Steinbach subscribes to Telus.  Fast forward to today’s trip to Thunder Bay and we continued looking for a cell phone signal all the way into Ontario.  It is over 1000 km/ 600 miles from Moosomin, SK to Thunder Bay, ON and the only Telus signal was a brief blip in Winnipeg and another even shorter blip in Kenora, Ontario.  The most aggravating thing about this is that we drove past at least a dozen microwave towers, so cell phone service is surely available along the Trans Canada Highway from Saskatchewan to Ontario, just not with Telus. We aren’t expecting any better cell phone reception on Wednesday’s drive toward Sault Ste Marie, Ontario either.  One has to wonder why cell phones in remote areas are incapable of sharing towers with other cell phone providers like Rogers for example.  We’ll most definitely be having a chat with Telus customer service once we get settled later this week.  I’m not 100% certain but I’d be willing to bet that nowhere in the USA can one drive 600 miles without a cell phone signal.

We were going to stop in Ignace, Ontario instead of going all the way to Thunder Bay but we still had plenty of daylight left and I wasn’t tired, so we pushed on to the KOA in Thunder Bay.  We stayed here on our way to Alaska in 2009 and find this to be a great spot.  In fact, this KOA just received the  best KOA 0f 2011 award.  The park is very well kept and the sites are quite spacious too.  We didn’t use many of the amenities as we were more interested in putting our feet up after two long driving days from Saskatchewan.  The free wifi is a bit spotty but we are surviving.   We managed to get out for a drive around Thunder Bay today so Chris could renew her driver’s licence.  Our stop at PetsMart with Teddy was a great hit as he won the hearts of many customers and sales people.  He’s such a cutie!  Today’s photos are more iPhone HDR shots using the iHDR app.  Not too shabby for a cell phone camera.