July 6th – Trip day two.
We got off to a somewhat late start this morning. We were on the road by 9am, a little later than I had planned, but I figured the extra hour of sleep was worth it. Leaving the motel tired would just be pointless and if I wanted to make it out of Ontario today I needed some extra rest.
We left Wawa at 9am, in the rain. The drive from Wawa to Thunder Bay was a lot longer than Chris and I had planned, but the drive was breathtaking. I can’t even describe the beauty. Driving through enormous rock cliffs, past giant hills – arguably small mountains – dressed securely in green bush and evergreens. The lakes were so blue, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen water so blue in Canada.
We stopped at Rossport at a beautiful sand/rock beach. We pulled over along the road to take some photos and dip our toes into Lake Superior. The feeling of cold, fresh water rose right to my cheeks with only the toes on my right foot exposed to the water. I walked in up to my knees, took some photos with Chris, and we were back on the road.
I was really excited for Thunder Bay. I’ve spent two summers in Thunder Bay so it was kind of like going back to my hometown. As much as I wanted to stop, we were behind schedule due to all the construction we had hit coming from Wawa,but driving through was still exciting. First we came to Sleeping Giant, one of the Ranger camps I have stayed at, but never attended. Two of my ranger friends, Kerry and Kiersten, are there right now as staff. Then we went by the Terry Fox monument, which was always a fun stop while at rangers. Then we drove by the exit for Atikokan/Quetico Provincial Park, where I lived for the summer when I was 19, returning to rangers as staff. Finally, we passed the exit for Sioux Lookout/Ojibway Provincial Park, where I spent my first summer away from home and my first ranger summer, when I was 17.
We stopped in Dryden for dinner. I had been to Dryden as a ranger. And now I write to you from highway 17, on our way to Manitoba. We’re about four hours from Winnipeg, where we plan to stay for the night. Hopefully we make it!
We haven’t seen any wildlife – deer, moose or bears – which is partly good, I suppose, but partly disappointing. I’ve seen tons of bears, deer and moose in my summers in Northern Ontario, but Chris hasn\t and I really wanted him to see some. Now he may never believe my stories of canoeing through northern Ontario and seeing a deer upstream, having a bear attack one of our tents on a canoe trip (we were not in the tent at the time) or nearly hitting deer through Sleeping Giant.
Still loving the drive! It’s gorgeous!!