The Great Lakes

Trip Start Apr 06, 2010
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Saturday, May 1, 2010

The landscape dramatically changed on entering Ontario, and we were back surrounded by mountains, lakes and wildlife. We saw one unlucky moose on the side of the road that had been hit by a truck being thoroughly enjoyed by some vultures. The sun finally came out again and we stayed for a couple of nights in Thunder Bay in a really nice campsite with sparkling bathrooms. Thunder Bay sits right on Lake Superior and there is a lookout over the lake called the Terry Fox lookout and memorial. Terry Fox lost a leg to cancer but set out to run across the entire length of Canada when in remission from the disease. Sadly he only made it as far as Thunder Bay after running 5373 km (almost half-way), when his illness worsened and he died soon after.

The last stretch of our trans-canadian journey took us around the Great Lakes from Thunder Bay to Sault Ste Marie, a really scenic drive via Lake Superior Provincial Park with beaches and bays around the lakes that you would expect to see on a Caribbean Island. It's hard to believe that this is actually a lake - you can see big container ships on the horizon and no sight at all of the other side. Back in bear country and after a very long and tiring day of driving and desperately scanning the roadside the entire time in hope of spotting a grizzly, we screeched the car to a halt and reversed along the hard shoulder, only to discover that the bear with two cubs we'd finally seen was actually a decoy and of the plastic variety in some 'comedian's' garden. We've no doubt that they were sat snug in their cosy, warm house having a good laugh at us. We spent the night with our host and increasingly good friend Walmart in Sault Ste Marie and set off early the next day for Ottawa.

We planned to do this last leg of the journey in one hit, but one detour too many off the beaten track in search of the elusive wildlife meant we were again still on the road as the sun began to go down. We called it a day at a beautiful campsite on the side of Ratter Lake and chilled out with a bottle of red wine and a campfire. The campsite was really remote and we seemed to be the only people staying there...luckily the wine knocked us out otherwise we would have been too scared to sleep with all of the noises going on around us including a pack of coyotes howling their heads off the second our fire went out. When we woke up the next morning the lake looked stunning and we felt refreshed and excited about driving to the eastern cities of Canada (Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto) and hooking up with Sarah - a friend in Ottawa that Lou spent a couple of months travelling with in Cambodia and Vietnam in 2007.

Other things to note: number of speeding fines = 1, number of very near moose collisions = 1, number of Tim Hortons coffees = 3 (not bad considering the first two points occurred within half an hour of each other).
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Claire and Andy on

Loving the posts and the photos, keep them coming xxx

Jacko on

good to see the long arms

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