Back to Reality: Fall is here!

We are now settled back into the life of regular people. The kids are back at school but our trip across Canada is still referenced time and time again. We have been fortunate to have what Calgarians call, a lengthy fall. Still, I can’t help reflecting back to our many lake days of the summer.

We ended our trip with just us. We wrapped it up with a second visit to Lake Superior Provincial Park. Our campsite, directly on the beach, became the kids' favorite site of the trip. They spent hours playing in the sand until the wee hours of the night.

 Black Betty threading the trees to park it for a few days on Lake Superior. Amazing site!

Black Betty threading the trees to park it for a few days on Lake Superior. Amazing site!

 Yet another beautiful sunset, Lake Superior Provincial Park.

Yet another beautiful sunset, Lake Superior Provincial Park.

 Enjoying the sundown while the kids play on the beach. I miss my hammock!

Enjoying the sundown while the kids play on the beach. I miss my hammock!

 Late night snacks by a campfire on Lake Superior. All dressed and ready for bed.

Late night snacks by a campfire on Lake Superior. All dressed and ready for bed.

 Playing in the sand with headlamps until the wee hours of the night.

Playing in the sand with headlamps until the wee hours of the night.

With another beautiful sundown on Lake Superior, we cheered to our good fortune. This time, we managed the day trip to Agawa Bay’s pictographs but with signs of fall around us, we knew that the school year was calling us back.

 Holding on to the chain so not to slip on the slippery rock and into the coldest of the great lakes.

Holding on to the chain so not to slip on the slippery rock and into the coldest of the great lakes.

 The hike back up from the pictographs in Agawa Bay.

The hike back up from the pictographs in Agawa Bay.

 Hanging on to the rock not to slip in the water, checking out the pictographs of Agawa Bay.

Hanging on to the rock not to slip in the water, checking out the pictographs of Agawa Bay.

 Signs of fall.

Signs of fall.

The next day we hit the road in a timely fashion and crushed some long driving days. We drove from Lake Superior Provincial Park to Kakabeka where we booked into a motel for the night. But, not before we paused at the Terry Fox Memorial in Thunder Bay.

What a hero!

With tears in my eyes, we took a moment to acknowledge his courage. If you ever get the opportunity, it is a stop that is well worth it. The depiction of Terry Fox with his leaned forward stance, his head back and his chest to the heavens is something else. When I looked up, his figure against the blue backdrop gave off a majestic aura. I couldn’t help but think of how proud and worried his parents must have been and how he captured the hearts of Canadians at that time and for generations to come.

With a quiet thank you, we climbed in the van to reach our next stop.

 Taking a moment to admire Terry Fox's legacy.

Taking a moment to admire Terry Fox's legacy.

From Kakabeka, we drove to Quetico for our final few camping days. The nights were getting cold and with frost advisories in the forecast in Ontario, we knew our days on the road were numbered. We stayed in Quetico for two nights. On the first of our evening there, I managed to get out on the lake with my paddleboard.

That evening was one of the most remarkable paddles of my entire trip. The sundown was breathtakingly beautiful and I took it all in. I reminisced about our trip thus far. The things we had seen, the friends and family we visited, the people we met, and the things we had done. I spent the entire summer making deep rooted memories with the kids. I felt triumphant. And the gorgeous sunset was a bit like closure. I knew that at this time next week, we’d be into the September chaos. I wanted to soak this moment in. And I did.

sunset SUP

The next day we spent a day on the water in kayaks. We paddled around and enjoyed our final day. We ended our fine trip with a campfire and a late night. We remembered together about some of the things we really enjoyed but, it was much too difficult for the kids to pinpoint a favorite. 

 Morning coffee and paddle...ahh, what a great way to start our final day.

Morning coffee and paddle...ahh, what a great way to start our final day.

 Family day on the waters of Quetico.

Family day on the waters of Quetico.

 Goodnight Quetico and summer roadie, you were something else!

Goodnight Quetico and summer roadie, you were something else!

 Alberta, we're back!!!

Alberta, we're back!!!

We loaded up and knew we had two long days of driving to get back to Calgary. We did one night in Brandon and then made it to Calgary where the kids cheered our return when we saw the sign on the outskirt of the city.

At bedtime that night, the kids all claimed that after 64 days on the road, they were happy to be back in their beds and excited to see their friends but already they missed the van and the road tripping adventures.

Now, we are getting our fill of fall in Calgary with the first snowfall already down! Although the kids are asking when and where our next road trip will take us, we are getting excited for the upcoming ski season!!

 We're back in the mountains and Ellie is calling on the snow gods...let it snow and bring on ski season!

We're back in the mountains and Ellie is calling on the snow gods...let it snow and bring on ski season!