As darkness set on Ontario at the same late hour as we had been experiencing with the Jeep club, the dashboard mounted iPad spoke up and announced we were nearing the campground the Airbnb would be located at. For those unfamiliar with the company/trend, Airbnb is an online-based “hotel” network where people list spare bedrooms or even entire houses for others to rent for a night, week, or even month. Prices range depending on where you are in the world and how nice the space is, but I have had great success using the platform in the past to book places to stay, and Dani and I agreed it would work well for the trip. For a mere $37 we had a small cabin to ourselves, nestled at the back of a popular campground along a wide river just off the highway in Mackey. I met our host, April, at the campground office and she gave us the key for the one-room cottage we’d be staying in. After well deserved showers we quickly fell asleep, a small desk fan providing white noise and a bit of air movement throughout the night.
After an incredibly delicious soup and sandwiches lunch we hopped back in the car and stopped by Wal-Mart to resupply some of our more perishable foods, picking up veggies and fruits to store in the fridge as future snack items. At that point it was nearly 13h00 and we had another 497 miles on the Trans-Canada Highway until we reached our destination for the night. We carried on for hours, watching the sun slowly sink in the vast Canadian sky, making a few stops for bathroom breaks as we went along. Darkness set on us at 21h00 as we travelled along Highway 11, and with the abundant lack of other vehicles I turned on the 30” Black Oak LED bar mounted on the Grand Cherokee’s roof. Lighting up the road for almost a mile ahead, it was an immense contributor to my comfort level as we navigated winding roads over countless hills. A heavy rain began as we carried on into the night, and I began to get nervous as the gas needle gradually sank below half a tank. We drove late into the night, getting closer and closer to lightning and storm clouds ahead of us, eventually passing over the last of the small mountains and descending into Longlac, arriving with just 10 miles of fuel left in the gas tank. All in all we had gone over two and a half hours without seeing a town, a street light, or any kind of fuel station; I cannot convey how glad I was that we had made it without running out of gas. We scoped out a remote campsite that had been listed on iOverlander.com, and after deeming it suitable I rushed out into the rain to set up our tent as Dani got the inside of the Jeep organized and ready for bed.
We climbed into the tent and laid down to the sound of heavy rain falling on the tent fly and loud cracks of thunder echoing through the area, shaking the ground beneath us. A few times a minute cracks of lighting would illuminate the entire sky, and for a moment the inside of the tent was as bright as daylight. Despite the sensory overload, we fell asleep quickly after a long day of travel, resting up before continuing on to Winnipeg when the sun again crested the horizon.