Ontario

Hidin’ in Dryden – July 31, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

Hello there –

Sorry I haven’t been writing much but the days seem to be whizzing by now though today seemed endless. It all started well this morning with the Man all smiles and chuckles after experiencing a tremendous thunder storm in Marathon, Ontario last night. Lots of lightning and torrential rain throughout the night. This morning it was still raining, very foggy and hot – all a strange combination for those of us from BC.

Blind Rive

Blind River

As we were driving down the highway I happened to mention that we seem to be seeing Ontario MUCH faster going in this direction. The Man said that we are homeward bound and it’s not too unusual for travellers to get a yearning for home. Well . . . the mention of home set off a reaction in me like Pavlov’s bells. I could almost taste my good old lawn under the apple tree and I started to get quite excited about seeing it again and that’s when the Man had a snarky fit. All I did was ask him, “Are we almost there?” every 10 kilometres or so when he slammed on the brakes, picked me up and locked me in the trunk. There I sat for the rest of the day listening to the wheels spin and my four stomachs gurgling. When he let me out tonight in Dryden he made me promise to only ask once a day for the rest of the trip.

Batchawana Bay Reprise

Batchawana Bay Reprise

I must admit, there is a different feel to the return trip. Every morning we climb into the car, the Man points our tails east and our noses west, throws on the air conditioning and sets the cruise control to 66 mpg (107 km/hr) ?! and down the highway we go. I think the Man and Lady are getting a little satiated with scenery. While it is still very beautiful they are now seeing it with experienced eyes. Mind you, the weather hasn’t been too co-operative – some of the heaviest rains the Man and Lady can ever remember. Since I am a sheep, I can only remember two days ago so it’s all new to me. Our route through Ontario has been retracing old ground as there aren’t many other choices. We will re-examine how we will travel the rest of the way home and determine what we really want to see. I’ll keep you posted.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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The Ontario Dash – July 25

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

Hi there,

Well, we’ve scooted along to Ontario. We decided to make a dash to the sunshine. We contemplated driving the Gaspé Peninsula but the weather was very foggy and rainy so we headed for Ontario. The Lady wanted to tie up some loose ends in Mulmur so we headed here for a couple of days. This time we were able to find the actual farmhouse her great-grandfather, Robert Noble, built in the 1840’s. We had thought we had found it a month ago when we were through but wrong house. This one was definitely right and we spent an hour with the ‘new’ owners whose grandfather bought it in 1909. We got to visit with lots of cows and the Man thought he was getting along well with the farm dog until it nearly took off his hand. All ended well though and the Man can still drive. Sadly there were no blessèd sheep.

We also managed to find the old Ferris farm (the Lady’s grandparents) though it appears that it isn’t being farmed right now.

Mississagi River

Mississagi River

Ontario is looking a little different than our first time through. The corn is chest high, much of the hay has been cut and baled and lots of the grain fields have turned golden. The weather has turned hot and very muggy. The rain has been spotty with some areas having flash floods and other areas in bad need of some type of moisture. It was interesting talking to Mr. Pendleton, the owner of the Noble house. He showed us their new porch. The old porch had been taken off by a tornado a few years back. It seems the property is in a tornado alley – a very localized area. Fortunately the house is made of brick so only the wood porch suffered any damage though they also lost a barn.

Cranes

Cranes

 The Man is getting rather blasé about moose, now he wants to see a tornado! I’ve told him he can walk home because the Lady and I aren’t going anywhere near a tornado.

Old Michipicoten River

Old Michipicoten River

We’re now planning the next leg of the trip which will take us up the east coast of Georgian Bay. It is known for it’s 30,000 islands and we’re hoping to get some kayaking in. From there we’re not too sure where we’re going but we’ll let you know.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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Bonjour/Adieu Quebec – June 22, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at “About” before continuing)

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Well, when the Man says he’s going to hoof it, he hoofs it! We started the morning in Ontario and finished the day in New Brunswick.

We spent two weeks going through Ontario and the Man and Lady thought they should pick up the pace just a little bit because there is soooo much to see in the Atlantic provinces. We will have to return through Quebec so we can pick up what we missed then.

The Man chose a route on the south bank of the St. Lawrence River and only managed to get lost for about an hour or so today. He’s pretty good when he gets lost though, he usually knows where he’s lost, he just doesn’t know how to get back to where he shouldn’t be lost from.

Can’t say the first part of the journey was very pretty as it was quite industrial looking but the last half of the day was very pretty with beautiful strip farms rolling down to the banks of the St. Lawrence. As we approached New Brunswick we encountered more evergreen forest and it became apparent we were entering an area where the lumber/pulp industry reigns forth.

We arrived in Edmundston, New Brunswick about 7:45 tonight and checked into a very NICE motel. Haven’t looked around but apparently this is a satellite campus for the University of Moncton and there is definitely a pulp mill here. It is also known as the Gateway of the Maritimes. We will check our maps tonight and figure out how we will attack our route.

Well, as today was a freeway day there’s not much news so I’m off to the paddock for the night. Not sure what Internet will be like in the Maritimes but I’ll try to keep you informed.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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Mulmuring – June 21, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at  “About” before continuing)

Hi there –

Well, we were told we wouldn’t have Internet access tonight but I’ve picked up a weak signal so I’ll send you our latest news. The last time I wrote from Alliston I told you that Alliston was the Potato Capital of Canada. I have since found out that it is only the Potato Capital of Ontario so PEI doesn’t have to worry. We also found out that Alliston has a very large Honda car manufacturing plant. The Man took his car by the plant to show it where it may have been made. The car didn’t seem very impressed. One last thing we found out is that Alliston is the birthplace and was the home of Sir Fredrick Banting, the inventor of insulin and other things.

We started off the day by walking through the cemetery at Alliston where we found many of the Lady’s distant relatives, the Kerrs, Nobles and Ferris’s who settled around here in the early 1800s. It’s a beautiful cemetery but kind of sad because right next door to it is a huge senior’s complex and their only view is the cemetery. The Man says there’s a conveyor belt connecting the two but I don’t believe him. I didn’t feel very comfortable eating the grass there either.

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The old Noble House

We spent most of the day lost, travelling up and down very unusual and out of the way roads trying to find traces of the Lady’s family. We travelled down one very narrow, hilly, curvy dirt road only to find at the bottom of a hill two women standing beside their SUV. The Man stopped and asked them if they needed any help and they said no they were just waiting for their kids. So the Man asked, “Can you tell me where we are?” After telling us about concession lines, township lines, side roads and lot lines the Man figured they were just as lost as we were. As it turned out the Man fluked onto what we believe we were looking for, the house that the Lady’s great grandfather, Robert Noble, built in the early 1800’s. As with most of the houses here, it is built of brick and therefore looks as good as the day it was built.

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School House on the old Ferris farm property

We also found the Perm/Mulmur cemetery where a large gathering of Ferris’s lie including Thomas and Catherine Ferris who came from Ireland in about 1830 to settle here. It was a beautiful spot with rolling farmland and a great view though they probably don’t appreciate it.

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Perm Cemetery

We also spent some time at the Dufferin Museum Archives. The museum is a beautiful new building with lots of great information about the area and it’s history.

Because of being lost we ended up driving about 150 kilometres around the area and ended up 30 kilometres from where we started in the morning. It was getting very late when we started looking for a motel and the Man and Lady were getting quite snarly, I was fearing for my life.

As a last resort, we ended up in the only motel in Bradford, Ontario. The Man was ecstatic because it was the ultimate in sleazy motels. We knew we were in trouble when we were finally parking the car and saw a toilet under the trees. Even the Man started getting a little queasy! The Man and Lady jumped from chair to bed in order not to put their feet on the floor and I wore baggies on my hooves as the carpet was very spotty. Fortunately the Man and Lady’s friend, Rosamond, had warned us that when entering a sleazy motel room, you must immediately whip off the bedspread because you don’t know what or whom has been on it. (I’m not sure if she’s speaking from experience with sleazy motels.)

All evening the Man kept saying how nice it was and you could barely notice the large fist sized patches on the gyproc and the holes in the bathroom door because the sun was pouring through the grungy windows creating a golden glow. Unfortunately the front window wouldn’t open but it was ok because the bathroom window fell off into the Lady’s hands. I am still scratching but the Man claims he only saw one small flying type insect.

We went for dinner next door to the BBQ Palace and the lady at the counter looked at our credit card as if it was a dead snake. The atmosphere wasn’t very exciting there. Before bed the Lady piled up furniture in front of the door and slept in her clothes. The next morning we were up and on the road at six. We went to breakfast at a different cafe and had the same problem with our credit card and the hostess would only accept cash. We decided we must be getting too close to Toronto and it was affecting people so we decided to make a beeline to the East coast.

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We got on Highway 17, the central Trans Canada route through Ontario and were revived by the sight of beautiful pine and maple forests, lakes, rolling hills, farms and rocky outcrops of the Niagara Escarpment.

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Merrickville, Ontario

We stopped for lunch at Merrickville and had a fascinating time. The site of Merrickville was originally called Grand Falls. Around 1800, a Mr. Merrick decided that it would be an idyllic spot to build some mills powered by the Rideau River that runs through there. Eventually a town grew around his mills and became known as Merrickville. Around 1850, the British government realized that the waterways needed to be opened up to create a supply line for the military so they created a 200 kilometre network of canals and locks.

At Merrickville there are about six locks where we watched two boats enter from both ends to bypass a treacherous part of the river. There was about a 18 metre (60 foot) difference from one side to the other and it took about 45 minutes for the whole process of opening and closing the locks to get the boats through. It was all hand operated winches and chains. The town itself was very well restored and we saw lots of wonderful stone buildings.

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We continued on east to Alexandria where we found a very pleasant clean motel for the night. We’ll continue our journey east tomorrow once we plot out our course. We’ll keep you informed.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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Old Family Stompin’ Grounds – June 19, 2006

(For those reading this for the first time, you might want to look at  “About” before continuing)

Hi there –

Well, we’ve been having a pretty interesting time and I survived my close contacts with the Scots of Kincardine. I was afraid the Man’s Scottish blood would start to churn being around all those kilts and stuff but he contained himself. Yesterday we continued touring a little more south towards Goderich, a town our Queen said was the prettiest town in Canada.

Over the last few days the Man had noticed that the Lady was going through Thrift Shop deprivation – slurping down her meals so she could read the bottom of her plate, going through her suitcase reading the labels on her clothes, scraping paint off the motel furniture, etc. So . . . driving down the highway the Man spotted the Lakeside Flea Market, Farmer’s Market and Bakery. We drove into a parking lot of a huge converted barn. The Man KNEW he was in trouble! He tried the old ‘dim view’ tactic. He told the Lady that it looked like it was sure going to be a great place to go through so we should hurry in. The Lady was so excited that she forgot she was still wearing her sunglasses. Inside we walked through quite a nice bakery area into the actual barn. There were ten – seventy foot long, seven foot high shelves loaded with endless thrift shop merchandise. There was another room about ½ the size. A closed section about the same size absolutely packed floor to ceiling with more stuff and then an upstairs just a little smaller than the downstairs also full. The Lady kept saying how dark it was and the Man said, “it sure is”, hoping to get out a little quicker. Unfortunately, the Lady soon realized she was wearing her sunglasses so we had to spend even MORE time there. After going through EVERYTHING, the Lady bought one small item but she had experienced the thrill of the hunt so was feeling much better.

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Lakeview Flea Market

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Lakeview Flea Market

We then drove into the very old town of Goderich and wouldn’t you know it – there was a big outdoor flea market. We spent about an hour there and then toured the town. Goderich is an old port town that was a terminus for the CPR. It still has a large grain elevator facility but now also handles salt (the Sifto Salt Company) and calcium chloride.

The town was designed in a wagon wheel pattern with the town square in the center and streets radiating out from it. We are still amazed by the old Victorian architecture. The houses are beautiful!

The beaches and parks in Goderich go on and on down the coastline with a lighted boardwalk running the whole length. It was a warm stormy day yesterday with a strong swell but our walk was great.

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As we left the lake to head inland, the Man told me about his great-great grandfather, Alexander Henderson, who was an engineer on a ship called the Tinto that sailed on Lake Erie. Unfortunately he died when the ship caught fire.

Burning of the Propeller Tinto -Seventeen Lives Lost July 17, 1856 – (From the “Kingston Daily News – 1856)

“On Thursday evening, seventeenth instant, the propeller Tinto, from Montreal, bound to Lake Erie, passed Kingston harbour about half past eight o’clock, and went about three miles from nine mile point, to the horror of all on board, fire was discovered in the fire hold, where a quantity of wood was ablaze and the flames with great fury and rapidity spread to the upper cabins in proximity to the hold, rendering their extinguishment utterly hopeless, and causing the utmost consternation among the crew and passengers. The only small-boat attached to the vessel was immediately manned, and four women, three children, some of the crew and passengers embarked; the boat was then lowered from the davits and, owing to the rapid motion of the vessel, on striking the water immediately capsized, and all the unfortunate inmates were engulfed in the lake, to the number of seventeen, none of whom have, up to this time, been heard of, and are doubtless all drowned.”

Alexander Henderson, Engineer, was listed as lost.

As we headed inland we must have found the Road Kill Highway of Canada -raccoons, woodchucks, seagulls, doves and many unidentifiables. The Man said it would make quite a wildlife stew – he’s so gross.

Last night we ended up in Stratford which is known as both the Shakespeare and Pork  Capital of Canada. It is another beautiful Ontario town again set in the surrounding farmlands. No Shakespeare around though. This morning we headed into Cambridge (Galt) where the Man’s great-great grandparents, the Blains, arrived in 1839. The Man delivered a portrait of Richard Blain to the city archivist. Historians are definitely very reserved, if not comatose, people. Though not showing it, he did seem to appreciate the painting. Cambridge is an old milling town that used waterpower from the river to power the mills. Again, many, many old stone buildings – beautiful houses, large churches and a very nicely restored town center.

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Cambridge Archives Stairway

From there we headed northeast to what used to be Mulmur. The Lady’s great-great grandparents arrived there about the same time, 1830, from Ireland. There is a very good museum in the area but we arrived too late today so we are staying in Alliston which is the Potato Capitol of Canada (not sure where that leaves PEI). Tomorrow we’ll head back to the two houses of Mulmur and then the museum and finally the Mansfield/Mulmur cemetery to try to solve some missing genealogy/family info. Mulmur is only about 150 kilometres from Cambridge if you aren’t being driven by the Man who is getting map-reading directions from the Lady. Interesting the families would be so close to each other.

The countryside here is very rolling farmland – both grain and cattle. Some nice rivers and a lot more trees, white pine, sugar maple and oak. All very green and beautiful.

We’re still working on our route east but I’ll let you know.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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Cookin’ in Kincardine – June 17, 2006

 

Hi from very hot Kincardine,

I feel like it’s time for a shearing tonight with the temperature at 86º F (30º C) but it feels like  96º F (36º C). They say that there is a chance of a thunderstorm tomorrow morning and even more so tomorrow afternoon. The Man is very excited!

Last night we watched fireworks from our waterfront motel in Tobermory Harbour. It had been a very blustery, rainy evening just prior to the fireworks but things cleared up and they were quite beautiful. The wind did blow a few glowing chunks onto the motel and the Man and Lady’s car but nothing caught fire.

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Cabot Head Lighthouse

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Cabot Head Lighthouse

 

This morning we explored a bit more of the Bruce Peninsula and then drove off the peninsula and headed south down the coast of Lake Huron. The countryside turned into large tracts of ranch land as this is Ontario’s premier beef producing area. The highway follows the coastline and long, sandy beaches with bright blue water have replaced the rugged limestone.

St Margaret’s Chapel, Cape Chin, Ontario

 

Even though the weather is hot, the water is cold and hardly anyone is swimming. I’m still in my woollies so I took a sheep dip to cool off. The Man wouldn’t let me in the car until I dried off because he said I smelled like a barnyard. I don’t know what he was talking about, I hardly had any flies on me.

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Colpoy’s Bay, Ontario

Tonight we are in the very Scottish town of Kincardine. The Scots arrived here around 1800 and their influence is very apparent with lots of Scottish names for the surrounding area. The town has many beautifully restored Victorian houses with lots of tree lined streets (oaks and maples).

Kincardine, Ontario

 

I was very nervous when I heard we were going to be surrounded by a bunch of crazy Scots. They eat things made of SHEEP PARTS that should never be eaten and then they make musical? instruments from the leftovers. I kept a very low profile and so far, so good.

I hear we’re heading a little more south tomorrow and then east. I’ll keep in touch.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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A Story from Tobermory – June 16, 2006

Well, it’s been a while –

A lot of oats have been eaten (an Olde Sheepe adage) since I was last in touch. The Man has been up to par, leading us to the only places in the country where there isn’t Internet or cell phone coverage.

 

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Manitoulin Farm

Despite that, we have been having a great time. We arrived on Manitoulin Island on Tuesday the 13th and ended up spending 2½ days there. The island is beautiful and if it was in BC we would move to it immediately. Manitoulin is the largest fresh water island in the world – 140 kilometres long and 42 kilometres wide. We managed to drive over 600 kilometres on it – exploring parks and old 1800’s lighthouses. The island was once connected to Bruce Peninsula to the south and is the end of the Niagara Escarpment. 800 kilometres southeast at the other end is Niagara Falls.

The island is very rugged, made up of limestone, white quartzite and granite. Around the coastline the limestone lies in sheets like an old parking lot. Wherever there are cracks, junipers and wildflowers are in profusion – wild iris, lady slipper orchids (and 19 other varieties of orchids), columbine, daisies, lupines, tiger lilies, wild grapes, Black-eyed Susan, wild rose, lilac, wild onion, trillium, Solomon’s Seal and on and on. It makes my mouth water just writing about it.

Because of the limestone and large field rock the farming on the coast is marginal, mainly cattle and blessèd sheep (obviously a civilized bunch of humans living here). In the interior of the island there is better and deeper soil and the farms are much larger producing mainly hay. By looking at the buildings and fencing you can easily tell that this is a much older settlement than BC.

 

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Meldrum Bay Inn

The first day we drove to the end of the island to a town called Meldrum Bay (one inn, one closed store, one closed museum but the laundromat was open – whew). We stayed at the 103 year old inn there and were the only guests. Actually, the Man and the Lady stayed in the inn, I had to sleep in the car because they had a ‘No Sheep’ policy. It wasn’t too bad though because I looked right out into the North Channel of Lake Huron. During the night I managed to see a beaver, some river otters and some rabbits so there was lots of company. The hosts at the inn were an interesting couple and very friendly as are all the people we have met. It turns out the hostess has a young grandson in Sechelt and she used to live in Vancouver (though originally she was from South Africa).

The next morning we drove to an old lighthouse and had a tour of it. I got a bit of a scare as there is a large limestone quarry near the lighthouse and while we were staring at the view there was a HUGE explosion. Nearly scared me out of my woollies and my hair stood on end. The Lady had to give me a perm the next day to get me curly again.

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After that we went on a LOOONG, hot hike into Misery Bay. As with most of the shoreline, the limestone goes right into the lake. Some is very rugged and carved by the waves, some flat and smooth. It causes the very clear, clean water to turn incredible shades of blues, greens, and browns – something the Man takes endless photos of. That night we stayed in Mindemoya.

 

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Yesterday we did a bit more exploring – my perm almost failed me when another large, black bear ran across the road, too fast for the Man’s shutter finger. We drove to South Baymouth and caught the 3:30 ferry to Tobermory on the north end of Bruce Peninsula.

 

South Baymouth

South Baymouth

Tobermory

Tobermory

The ferry is a little smaller than our BC ferries but quite a bit nicer. The trip takes one hour and 45 minutes through the beautiful blue waters of Lake Huron. Bruce Peninsula is an 80 kilometre long limestone outcrop that juts out into Lake Huron. On one side is Lake Huron and on the other is Georgian Bay. On the lake side are large, white sandy beaches with warm water and on the bay side are the high, rugged limestone cliffs with cold water.

This morning we went for another long hike in the Bruce Peninsula National Park which is an UNESCO world biosphere area. Lots of rare plants and protected animals like YIKES rattlesnakes – that and the poison ivy stopped me from romping through the bushes! The hike we went on was quite rugged in places, crawling over broken limestone on the top of high cliffs but the view and landscape was incredible! And the colours!

 


We have been jinxed as far as kayaking on the Great Lakes due to wind but we think we have scoped out a good place for tomorrow. We are staying another night in Tobermory and then we’ll head south tomorrow. Not too sure how far we’ll get cause the Man and the Lady keep finding great places they want to explore.

So . . . we’ll be it touch IF we can find an Internet connection.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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Hola from Esponola – June 12, 2006

Hi everyone,

Not sure when you’ll get this because we’re out of Internet range again.

 

Today (the 11th) was the highlight of the trip for me as I accomplished another of my bucket list goals.  Today we visited the town where my hero Winnie the Pooh came from! The sign under his statue reads:

“On August 24, 1914 Lieutenant Harry Colebourn of the 34th Fort Garry Horse & Canadian Veterinary Corps purchased a black bear cub while passing through White River, ON while enroute overseas.  He named her Winnie after his hometown Winnipeg.  Winnie became the soldier’s mascot and was left in care of the London Zoo on December 9, 1914 while Lieut. Colebourn served in France.  In 1919, he gave her to the zoo for permanent keeping where she was loved and watched by many, including author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher.

In 1926, A.A. Milne and illustrator E. H. Shepherd gave the fictional character Winnie-the-Pooh to Christopher and the world for posterity.  Winnie entertained visitors to the London Zoo for almost 20 years, and lives on in the hearts of children of all ages.”

I have always loved Winnie-the-Pooh and all the great characters in the stories though I always thought a ‘Miss Ewe” would have added greatly to the cast.

Today turned out to be a long drive and the weather was overcast and again windy on Lake Superior.  The scenery continued to be beautiful though and it was a pleasant drive.  The Man’s moose count is up to four now (not counting Mr. Road Kill) but so far no great photo ops.  The moose seem to pop out of nowhere and it is hard to stop soon enough.

The Man figures that they have learned the sound of a car driving down the Trans Canada backwards at 60 kms/hr and make a run for it.

We have ended up in quite a wonderful spot which we found by a fluke.  It is called the Lake Shore Salzburger Hof Resort at Batchawana Bay, Ontario.  It is six kilometres off the highway, perched on a high bank with sweeping views of Lake Superior.  The accommodations are a pan abode motel-like building with an Austrian design to it.  It is situated on 32 hectares (80 acres) of gardens (lilacs all abloom right now) with tennis courts, shuffleboard, horseshoes and plenty of lounge chairs.  There is a separate chalet with a great restaurant.  We’re stuffed tonight with good German food.  We may stay another night and take a break from driving but we will decide that after breakfast tomorrow.  If so I will be way behind in my updates but you’ll get them eventually.

 

Just north of where we are staying are lots of Provincial Parks.  About the closest one to us is Pancake Bay, so named because the voyageurs would stop here and would have just enough flour before restocking supplies in Sault Ste. Marie.  From there you can see where the ore ship, The Edmund Fitzgerald, (remember Gordon Lightfoot’s song) sank in a fierce November storm attesting to how violent conditions can get on the lake.

We found out that sometime on the highway today we passed the halfway mark between the Atlantic and Pacific.  Day 19 so we think we are doing alright time wise.  We are close to Sault Ste. Marie (45 minutes) and once we get past it we will head east for a bit and then south through Manitoulin Island, ferry to the Bruce Peninsula (Lake Huron/Georgian Bay).  We’ll have to choose a route at that time to get to old family haunts around Galt (Cambridge) and Mulmur, Ontario.

By the way – after driving over 3000 kilometres, the Man passed his first car today!

Today the 12th – Well, we didn’t stay a second night at the Lake Shore Salzburger Hof Resort after all.  The weather was cloudy and we didn’t think we could stand another delicious but RICH German meal.  We had a leisurely breakfast with our hosts and then headed out.  We continued to travel east and once we got past Sault Ste. Marie headed east again along the shores of the North Channel of Lake Huron.  The surroundings almost immediately changed from the rugged coastline to sugar maples and rolling farmland.  This is old mining country and we thought it wouldn’t be that attractive but again it is quite beautiful.  Tonight we are staying in Espanola which is ½ hour from Manitoulin Island.  Tomorrow we will explore around the Island and then decide where and when we’ll proceed from there.

This afternoon was a little upsetting as the Man hit a turtle that was lunging across the highway!  I sometimes wonder.  We did see a black bear run across the highway this morning but he did manage to miss it.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

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Marathon Sleeping – June 10, 2006

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Hi all…

We’re in Marathon, Ontario tonight after a beautiful day of travelling. Actually we’re on the outskirts of Marathon as Marathon is a pulp mill town and downtown has a bit to be desired. We’re staying in a very nice motel just off Highway 17 (southern route of the Trans Canada).

The Man’s sister asked in an email how it is travelling on the Trans Canada. It has all been great except yesterday when the Man’s driving was very embarrassing to me – in fact I had to pull the wool over my eyes. Around Thunder Bay the traffic increased a lot. Many semis and fast driving cars. The Man has decided that he is definitely a tourist so drives like one. His theory is that he will drive the speed limit and he will pull over when either the cars behind him start honking OR he accumulates more than fifty cars–whichever comes first! I spend a lot of the time on the floor.

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Trans Canada Highway

Today was more typical of most days. I think we had perhaps fifteen cars come up behind us the whole day. The road is very quiet and a pleasure to drive. There are lots of areas to pull over and enjoy the view or just let other cars pass. The views have been incredible with Lake Superior glowing in all sorts of shades of blues looking almost tropical against the bright green of the deciduous forest and the dark green spruce.

We popped into the small town of Rossport which used to be a huge fishing port until the fish were all fished away. Lake Superior is the largest of the Great Lakes, in fact all the other Great Lakes could fit into it. It’s about 530 kilometres wide and 260 kilometres long. Waves over 9 metres (30 feet) high have been recorded on it. It looks like the ocean and there are places that you can look across to the horizon and see no land. Despite it’s size, there are winters when the entire lake will freeze. Towns along this route are about one hour apart with just forest and lakes and great rock (much of it very red).

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Rossport, Ontario

In Rossport, the Lady found a store she wanted to visit. Fortunately there was a sign on the door saying that there was a husband ‘waiting bench’ and a viewpoint behind the store so both the Man and Lady were happy.

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Rainbow Falls

We were also able to go on a beautiful hike up to Rainbow Falls just past Rossport. The rainbow wasn’t found in the actual waterfall but in the rocks and vegetation along the river. Lots of pink and gray granite, wildflowers and different colours of lichens.

We saw one squirrel, lots of mosquitoes, one live moose from a viewpoint about a mile away and one moose road kill.  It looked like that moose did a job on whatever hit him – lots of car parts on the road.

Tomorrow we continue south towards Sault Ste. Marie. We’re hoping to get a kayak in but today was apparently unusually windy so perhaps tomorrow.

 

Til the next time,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Ontario | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

North Pigeon – June 9, 2006

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Hi there – well, we had quite a long day driving and the Lady developed a crick in her neck looking for more moose. She finally gave up then the Man spotted a moose but by the time he got his camera ready the moose had gone.

Our drive from Ignace to the bypass highway to Thunder Bay (two hours) was very much like travelling through BC with lots of forest, and granite outcrops. Once we turned onto the bypass the countryside changed almost immediately to rolling hills with farmland and coniferous forest. We got our first look at Lake Superior from the highway that goes around Thunder Bay. I have noticed that the Man and the Lady go to great lengths to miss big cities. Seems they like to look at the natural stuff better.

One of the highlights of the day was to visit the Terry Fox Memorial that is located just east of Thunder Bay on Highway 17 (Trans Canada). This is the spot where Terry had to give up his run across Canada (he started in Newfoundland). The whole site is very beautiful with a great view overlooking Lake Superior. Two of the Man and Lady’s grandkiddos go to Terry Fox School in Abbotsford, BC so we took some photos that we’ll send along. The highway we continued to drive on is now called the Terry Fox Courage Highway.

After leaving the memorial we made one more stop at Canada’s largest amethyst mine. Quite interesting BUT IT WAS A MINE – it kind of confused me to see the Man and Lady there but humans do such weird things.

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Tonight we’re in Nipigon (or North Pigeon according to how the Lady reads signs). Quite a pretty town but one that obviously suffered when the Trans Canada moved to the outskirts of town. The center core is looking a little weary. Tomorrow we will head south down the Lake Superior coast but no real plans so I’ll be in touch.

Til later,

Miss Ewe

Categories: Cross Canada Road Trip, Ontario | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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