An Oil Change is one of the Most Important Steps in planning a Road Trip
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Heading out for an adventure this summer? A popular way to travel, road trips are the best at this time of year, giving you the freedom to stop for photos, sample local cuisine, and breathe in the fresh air. When planning your summer excursion, long or short, there are many things to consider.
When we planned our trip up to Lake Superior to embark on the Circle tour spanning 2000+ km, we made a checklist to ensure all bases are covered.
Knowing that Canada is such a large country, second only to Russia in size, we knew we had several steps to take to prepare for our epic trip.
So first and foremost before departing, you need to perform a circle check on your chosen vehicle. Too many of us take our cars for granted assuming we will get from A to B safely and forget doing some important checks. One of those things is definitely an oil change.
Before we left on our trip to Lake Superior, an eight-hour northern drive before circling the lake, we ensured we gave our car some love with our Quaker State® Advanced Durability™ Motor Oil that withstands lengthy road trips, and is durable no matter what the terrain, bought directly from Canadian Tire. We love Canadian Tire as it really is a one-stop shop for everything you could want for your car and recreational needs, standing firmly behind its mandate of being Made for life in Canada. Just think – you can get oil and maintenance tools for your car AND coffee, AND camping gear and so much more in the same store! Ultimate in convenience I would say.
Before starting your car maintenance, double check your vehicle’s manual to ensure you choose the right grade for your type of car. As Canadian Tire has such a great selection of Quaker State Oil, it is important you choose the right grade for your make and model. After purchasing the right oil, open the hood and check the dipstick to determine your car’s needs.
Not sure which Quaker State type you need? Ask the Canadian Tire team for assistance and they will gladly help you find the right one for your vehicle.
Inspired to head to Lake Superior too? Well after taking care of your car and packing all your road trip essentials (missing a cooler or other essential road trip items? Canadian Tire has a huge section just for road trippers and campers!), head out to the largest freshwater lake in the world. To help you get in the mood, here is the ideal itinerary for the Circle tour taking you through not only the Canadian Shield, but also some of the most picturesque spots in the USA.
The Superior Facts…
After your oil change, grabbing your passport, your duffles, and everything else you could need from your local Canadian Tire store, start heading up to Northern Ontario Lake Superior (formerly known as Gichigami – Ojibwe for Great Big Sea) is such a large lake at over 82000 square km covering quite a bit of North America. To complete this trip successfully, dedicate 2-2.5 weeks to take in the scenic outlooks, enjoy nature picnics, wildlife encounters, scenic selfies, hikes, and pit stops.
Lake Superior is such a revered body of water. It has legends and folklore attached, plus, it was inspiration for Canada’s artistic geniuses “The Group of Seven’s” many beautiful paintings. If this weren’t enough to convince you to go, just read on.
Let the Driving Begin!
(*note we start this journey and end it in Toronto . If you are starting from a different city, do plan the same route around the lake, but alter it to arrive at the circle’s first stop.)
1- Head from Toronto on the way to Thunder Bay
This is a 2-day drive. Keep this in mind as you head out. Allowing this time to get there safely, you will thank yourself later after taking in the breathtaking scenery which will captivate you forever. My first suggestion for a stop is Sudbury, Ontario, approx. 5 hours from Toronto to grab a pic of the Big Nickel.
Famous here in Sudbury, the Giant Nickel represents this mining town, deemed the largest of its kind in the world. If you have time to spare, stop in the Dynamic Earth and Science North – two incredible science buildings full of interactive exhibits and educational documentaries.
2- Next, continue on to Sault Ste. Marie
This really cool Northern Ontario city is jam-packed with things to see and do! Try and stay a day or two here to take in the sites and enjoy your surroundings. Check out the Algoma Art Gallery, and the Northern Bushplane Centre before hopping on the Day-long Agawa Canyon Tour Train. The inspired land of the Group of Seven, see some of the actual spots the paintings were created. The tree from the most famous landscape can be spotted instantly!
4- Head to Wawa Ontario and Stop to see the Large Goose
After spending the night in Sault Ste. Marie, head North to Wawa about 3 hours. Have a photo stop with the giant Canada Goose statue!
5- From here, head to Marathon, Ontario
Make your way from Wawa up to Marathon! It is right on the circular edge of Ontario and full of small-town charm. Stay here for the night and rest up for the arrival to Thunder Bay the next day. There isn’t much to see here, but the beauty and quaint feeling of the town will make you fall in love.
6- Arrive in Thunder Bay
One of the most incredible cities in all of Ontario, Thunder Bay pulls at the heartstrings of many Canadians. It was where the beloved Terry Fox, one of the most heroic individuals ever to live, was forced to stop his marathon. He was diagnosed with cancer at a very young age and to raise funds for research on this terrible disease, he set forth on a trek across Canada. Stop at his memorial statue while here and pay your respects to a loved Canadian hero. Upon arrival here, double check your gas and how your Quaker State oil is holding up. If you need a top-up, Thunder Bay is the place. Head in to the local Canadian Tire for another container.
7- Wave at Winnie in White River
You have made it now to the top of Ontario and are ready to start heading south down the loop. Once you have spent quality time in Thunder Bay, you will begin your journey to White River! While here, check out the large Winnie-the-Pooh Statue! This little township just South of Thunder Bay is best known for inspiring AA Milne’s adorable hunny-eating bear. Explore the heritage museum that holds quite a bit of Winnie memorabilia and grab a souvenir or two.
8- Back to Sault Ste. Marie to cross into the USA.
Time to cross into the USA for a few legs of the tour! Again, make sure you have packed your passport and bring all the documentation you need in order to continue your circle tour!
When you cross the International Bridge into the USA, do pause and take in the incredible scenery and views. They are quite memorable while upon the bridge.
9- Welcome to Sault Ste. Marie Michigan!
After you cross the International Bridge, you will be in the United States of America. This quaint twin city has many activities for the outdoor enthusiast as well as tours of the famous Soo Locks – a canal way used for 150 years by many watercraft. The lock drops six metres in elevation between Lake Superior and Lake Huron!
10- Marquette Michigan
Need an escape from the wilderness? Stop in Marquette for a little shopping, rest, and perhaps a gastronomic masterpiece. Grab some gas, check the oil, and give your car a rest. This little town has everything you need before heading off once again along the I-75 surrounded by National Parks.
11- Mount Marquette
This glorious Mountain offers views from 260 metres high of the quaint town where you just went shopping! If you are the outdoorsy type, enjoy hiking and cross-country skiing trails of all levels along the lakeshore.
12- Head through Hurley Wisconsin
Once you have had a good view and taken many a photo of Mount Marquette, cross into Wisconsin! Pass through Hurley and head to Big Manitou Falls. Next, take a rest stop in the town of Superior that boasts a lovely 5-mile beach for swimming and sunbathing.
13- Last Leg before Home – Duluth Minnesota
After spending quality time in Wisconsin, head to Duluth Minnesota! There are many activities available to experience so plan for a couple nights ‘stay. Visit the Historic Congden Estate of the early 1900’s, national parks, shopping malls, and more. In the morning, start fresh as you head back to Thunder Bay.
Look at that! You have completed the entire circle and back where you began. Your vehicle served you well thanks to some much-needed TLC including a detail, wax, and the all-important Quaker State Oil change thanks to our friends at Canadian Tire.
If you plan any road trips this year, seriously consider this one. And with the right preparation, it will be the trip of your life.
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