Driving to BC with dogs, Sault Ste Marie / by Tracy Munson

Days 1 and 2 of travelling to British Columbia with dogs. My partner Graham, our 2 chihuahuas, Becca and Delgado and I take a 30 day road trip from Toronto to Pacific Rim National Park, on Vancouver Island, BC and back again. We will be camping, staying at pet friendly hotels and participating in whatever activities will allow us to bring our furry family along.

Dogs on driftwood, Harmony Beach, Lake Superior ON
Dogs on driftwood, Harmony Beach, Lake Superior ON

The starting point: Toronto

The Plan: camp in Lake Superior Provincial Park for the first night.

The reality: we got off to a much later start than we had planned (not really surprising). Having been up until 1 AM packing, we weren't too keen to get up and start our 10 hour drive when the alarm went off at 6. The result was that we ended up hitting the road around 9:30 AM, which put us in Sault Ste Marie going on 6 PM. It was getting chilly and windy and we decided that the shores of Lake Superior may not be for us tonight. The temperature was going down to 3 degrees Celsius. A quick search on trip advisor found that the Super 8 in Sault Ste Marie allowed pets, so we booked a room. From previous travels, I expected it to be mediocre, but it exceeded my expectations.

Upon check in, I was told that the only rooms that allow pets are the 2 queen bed rooms (I had booked a single queen room), but that, because I had already paid for the room online, she had to give it to me for that price. I don't know if that will be the case at all the Super 8's along the route, but you can bet I'll be trying it again! The room was clean and actually quite nice!

The staff were very friendly and helpful and recommended the sushi restaurant next door. I never need my arm twisted to eat sushi, so I was right on board with that. The restaurant has an all you can eat menu if you eat in, but we had to get takeout because we can't leave the dogs alone in the room on account of as how Delgado screams like a possessed demon baby. The prices were very reasonable and the food was excellent. The restaurant offers a 10% discount if you show your room key, but CRAP! I forgot to do that!

The complimentary breakfast offered in the hotel lobby was also way beyond my expectations. Besides a selection of cereal and pre-packaged muffins, they had French toast, eggs and a freakin' waffle iron and batter! The coffee was weak, but at least it didn't taste unpleasant.

The weather reports for where we were headed in the next couple of days didn't look favourable (it's not often you see the commitment of a 99% chance of rain!), so we decided to take advantage of the sunshine on day 2 and putter along, stopping wherever we wanted and taking lots of photos. I'm so glad that it worked out that way, because we saw some beautiful beaches through Superior Provincial Park and took a dirt road a few kilometres off the highway to High Falls, near Wawa, which was well worth it, although we got absolutely devoured by mosquitos...I suspect that will be a common theme on this trip. Finally, we stopped in Terrace Bay for a snack, some photos at the beach and waterfall and Graham even got to throw a few casts.  I had forgotten how beautiful it is, driving along highway 17 on the shores of Lake Superior. I suspect that we won't be so impressed with it by the time we're on our way home, but for now it's quite spectacular.

Next:  Driving to BC with Dogs - Lake Superior to the Prairies

If you would like to receive updates as we travel across Canada with Chihuahuas, as well as my tips for taking better photos of your pets with the camera you've got, subscribe at the bottom of this page to get email notifications of new posts.  If you'd prefer to just receive one email every week or so, subscribe to the newsletter here: