Wawa to Chapleau

By: Lloyd Mize

One of the things I have had trouble with while driving in Ontario was the distance to a city was given in kilometers. At that same stop we asked other visitors about how to compare the kilometers with miles. Learning that a mile is 1.6KM or on KM is 0.62 miles we went on with a little bit of knowledge. It is frustrating trying to figure the difference to know how long it will take us to drive to the next city. It is becoming easier but will have more opportunities to improve. Signs to the next town were placed every 20 KM. I became a little more accurate by multiplying the KM by 0.6 to arrive at an approximate mileage. Using this method, 100 KM is roughly 60 miles. Seeing a sign stating 40 KM to the next town I simply multiplied 40 times 0.6 to arrive at 24 miles.

Another observation I came to enjoy was the roadside signs portraying a snowmobile approaching the road. Living in the south I had never experienced this. During the summer it is just a trail but I will let your imagination run as you think about the exciting times to be had when there is enough snow.

We stopped in Wawa for a break, went to a bank and exchanged $20 US for $20.88 Canadian. As you can tell there is not much difference and the rate does change daily. With 135 KM ahead (you figure it out!) ice cream sounded good. Settling for pie, ice cream and milk for $11.21 CA most of the twenty was gone. I should have put it on a card and let them do the exchange. Actually, it was not much more for the same thing than in the States but half of the 20 dollar bill I had exchanged had departed.

The drive from Wawa to Chapleau did not seem as long because the terrain was flat. The trees were different too and not as pretty. It was almost as if they had grown back from a fire some years back. Suddenly, about 20 or so miles outside of town my wife stops the car in the middle of the road-there was very little traffic. A black bear was on the side of the road! I struggled getting the camera out of its bag and focused before it ran 20 feet away. Darn! It would have been a great picture. I did get a distance picture taken before a couple of vehicles were catching up with us.

Arriving at Aux Trois Moulins (At the Three Windmills), our hotel, we checked in then had dinner at their restaurant and went for a walk in the nearby residential area. Inquiring about Chapleau Game Preserve we learned that it is not very far from the hotel. The room was comfortable providing several TV channel selections and Internet access.

Chapleau has a museum which is located on the road into town. A river meanders through the town but Chapleau is known for the entrance to the Chapleau Game Preserve, a destination to be explored tomorrow. We have noticed that our AT&T cell phone is not picking up a signal in our backcountry travels. This was disappointing as I would have enjoyed calling back home and sharing some of our adventures.

I learned about several of the towns and places we visited by simply typing in the town name into my favorite search engine.

This is the third in a series of fifteen articles about out vacation to Ontario.

You have my permission to reprint and distribute this article as long as it is distributed in its entirety, including all links and copyright information. ? Lloyd Mize 2007

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