A beautiful sunny day when we left our nicely mowed field, which Ryan had kindly let us set up camp in last night. (Ryan, Dennis says when you to pick up the skidoo, take a knife as he has cable-tied the cover over it!)
The temperature is supposed to reach 29 degrees today. Stopping in Dryden, we made use of Canadian Tire’s, wifi once again. On checking waiting times for appointments at the US Consulates in Ottawa and Toronto, I find they both advise the wait to be more than 60 days. Crazy! There is no way we can wait that long. Not sure what we are going to do. Hopefully, we will find a solution.
We carried on along Trans Canada Highway East, Highway 17. It was quite busy so we decided to turn South on the 622. This road was extremely quiet. We passed around 20 vehicles along the entire 130 km stretch. It must have cost a fortune to build this road. It is partially blasted through granite and the rocks from the blasting have been used as infill in the valleys in between. The road is mostly fenced and built up to a higher level than the adjoining forest. The scenery was pretty. Forests, with dozens of lakes and rivers. We wanted to stop for lunch by a beaver pond and sit quietly and watch to see if we could see any sign of activity, but we couldn’t pull off the road anywhere.
So, Dennis decided to turn off down a small track, with the intention of trying to find a pond. No luck. We ventured about a kilometre into the forest and came to a grassy area where the road forked. Both of these tiny paths were overgrown so we decided to abandon our pond search and to have lunch at the grassy spot. It was very pleasant. Summer flowers and butterflies everywhere. We headed back to the road and carried on South to Trans Canada East, Highway 11. This was much quieter than the parallel Highway 17, although they merged when we were not far from Thunder Bay.
While reading “Lonely Planet” this morning, reading up information about Thunder Bay, I came across a fascinating little story about Winnie-the-Pooh. As the story goes, back in 1914, in the little logging town of White River, a trapper returned home with an orphaned black bear cub. A veterinarian soldier was on a rail lay over there when he met the trapper and fell in love with the cub, purchasing her for $20. He called her “Winnipeg” and she boarded the Quebec bound troop train with him en route to Britain. When the soldier was called to serve in France he left Winnie in the care of London Zoo. She won everyone’s hearts, including that of a young Christopher Robin Milne, son of A A Milne. A frequent visitor to the zoo, young Christopher’s pet name for the little bear was “Winnie-the-Pooh”. In his 1925 first edition A A Milne noted that his stories were about his son, the bear from the London Zoo and Christopher’s stuffed animals.
I don’t think Dennis mentioned in his blog yesterday, the odd animal we came across on the road. A short time after we left Kenora, we could see something ahead of us slowly crossing the busy road, so we slowed down too. To our surprise it was a large terrapin. Lucky not to be a squashed terrapin. Today we saw a big old moose just standing there beside the road.
We decided to look for somewhere to camp just before Kakabeka Falls and turned off into a side road. We stopped at a house and asked if there was somewhere close by we could camp. We were advised of a tiny dead-end road with a grassy spot at the end which was just a few kilometres away and headed there. On the way on a quiet gravel road, a black bear and 2 cubs ran across in the distance. The dead-end road is perfect. Tomorrow we will venture into Thunder Bay, although it is not a huge city. Population about 125,000.
Thunder Bay is situated on the Western shore of Lake Superior, the largest of the 5 Great Lakes. It is the largest freshwater lake on the planet, covering a surface area of 82,100 sq km. I seem to remember writing something similar about Lake Baikal last year. Maybe that held the largest volume of water, being deeper. Very annoying when you have no wifi and cannot Google these things. Incredible how dependent we have become on instant answers from Google 🙂