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Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Trips to Canada....................

When the kids were young and before we had to have a passport, Canada was a favourite destination for trips. Ontario being just across the border of Michigan at Sault Saint Marie. The Soo as we call it is the northern gateway to Canada.The Soo locks connect Lake Superior to Lake Huron. The Soo lies on the St Mary's river and the town gets its name from that. Saint Mary's Rapids.
Well anyway, we cross the international bridge from Michigan to Ontario and on our first visit stopped at the welcome center. I had a map of Ontario, well of Canada, folded down to the area we wanted to explore. I saw two roads west, Hwy 17 and hwy 11 a bit further north. So map in hand I asked for a map with the roads on it. Got a puzzled look from the guy at the counter. I said I want the map with roads that go up there.....pointing to Polar bear national park. It didnt look too far and maybe we could go up there........he was very nice and politely explained (without laughing) that the only way I would get up there was in a canoe or a water plane. BLUSH!!!!.......I did not believe the models on display of fish with fur or rabbits with horns though,
So we decided we would make the best of it and go to WaWa on 17 and back on 11.............the next time we went as far as Thunder Bay.
Wawa is a very small town. They have a general store and it was fun to watch the Chipmunks helping themselves to corn in a sack and peanuts.

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The store is what one would have expected 100 years ago and is about all there is there. Wawa takes its name from the Ojibwe word for "wild goose", wewe. There is a huge statue overlooking the lake.
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The town from the lake.
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The town has declined since we were there and I have no idea what its like now, one day I do want to go back. The mine closed and the forestry has stopped as I understand. The harbor from above.
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Back to the road trip. Hwy 17 is the Trans Canada Hwy. From Sault Saint Marie to Wawa (and beyond)there is not a lot in between so be sure you have plenty of gas. One time we took my Mum and Dad. We were naive and took a side trip through the woods in the hope of seeing some wildlife. Saw nothing but black flys. Had a giggle because Dad had to take a potty break and went off into the brush. We could tell where he was by the cloud of black fly hovering over him and following him back to the car. The road was endless and our gas gaige on empty. We never told my parents but we were worried, we had no idea where we were or how long it would take to get out. We had no idea if we were going off into wilderness or towards somewhere........eventually we saw some men in a tree. Yes in a tree, lumberjacks. We got their attention and they told us how to get out. Just as well because I am sure we coasted into the gas station on fumes.
One of the first places we stop is Old Woman Bay
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A breathtaking view of Lake Superior can be found here, as you look out over cliffs that tower more than four hundred feet above the lake. Recently this region has become home to Peregrine Falcons, once thought to be extinct in the area
Not much further, or maybe it was before (its been so long now) there is an amazing place where Indian pictographs can be seen. I was terrified and dare not go out on the ledge. I would not let the kids go either as its a slope and really quite safe but I am paranoid. The adults all went out there and got pictures. I have a huge respect for Lake Superior, she can be an angry bitch.......
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They say young Indian boys went and sat there all night on vision quests. I can only imagine what they would see.
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There are many more than these but I cant fill up the post with just this, and its really only a glimpse of the beauty here.
Another place we always stopped were the Magpie Falls. This picture shows a calm waterfall, sometimes its a raging torrent of water that you would not want to be near. I have pictures of my boys when they were young out on the rocks probably before they build the lookouts,
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I believe we usually spent the night near Wawa before taking off on Hwy 11 for the return trip. All we want to see up north is Bear, Moose or a wolf. Well we did see Moose a few times but until we stopped at a motel and saw photo's we didn't really appreciate how they could be. My aunt Liz went with us one time and we saw a Moose, we stopped the car, got out and walked along the ditch until we got close to it. She was shaking with excitement or was it fear?(Liz says she was awed) We were across the road from it, a small female. (Liz's pictures)
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We could smell it long before we got to it. When it comes to wildlife I admit I have no sense. I have no fear. So we did get a few pictures but not good ones. Liz not so good with the camera got some knees and other parts. The moose went off into the brush. Now........please don't ever do that. They can be aggressive. They are huge and at certain times of the year will not think twice about picking a fight.
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You can see how lonely the road is, help is not close at hand. Be smart, drive with caution.

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Along the way there were a couple of places worth stopping. The Canadian Carver.......wood carvings. Naturally I bought a couple of things that I still have.

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We hoped to see Bear but didn't or Wolf either. I guess we have as many in the UP of Michigan now and they are seen more often. Bear, well we have them right here in the neighbourhood now. The only time we saw the Bear in the wild Liz was with us, we stopped at a dump known for having bear visitors............so we did see our bear. He was at the edge of the dump. He took his garbage bag and took off into the woods. (Liz pictures of our bear)

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Trying to coax him back we got out and put candy out in the hope of him coming closer to us..........again.......dont do that!!!!!!! If he would have come to the car for food he could have been aggressive and its always the wildlife that pay for people (like me) mistakes. I know better now, I am older and wiser. Ontario is a wonderful place to visit if you enjoy the remote places with nothing to do but enjoy the view. Thats me...........cant wait to go back some day and see how much its changed.
I will be sharing this with Our World Tuesday

4 comments:

Tracey Steele@Breathing English Air said...

It looks wonderful. As I said to you previously, coming from a tiny island, I cannot begin to imagine all that space!

Magic Love Crow said...

Great photos!! Thanks for sharing my friend ;o) I truly enjoyed them all!! You made me smile ;o)

HOOTIN ANNI said...

Wow...what a trip you've taken us on...great photos. I especially like the moose images. They're not down in Texas so it was a special treat.

I do hope you're having a grand holiday today. I swear having it in the middle of the week, it's really thrown me off somewhat and that's the reason I'm so late getting over here to visit with you.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I loved Wawa! Thanks for posting about Canada!