On our way, this time our destination is:
What a beauty!
Well, we are off again. Maps
studied, route picked (with a little help from Algonquin Outfitters, and our
friend Gord Baker). Gord was a guide in Quetico Provincial Park for a few summers and
lay of the land like the back of his hand. Corny huh, but he was filled
with so many good ideas and options.
All is packed, Kicking Frog washed, and
waxed twice. It helps movement through the water, and I always do this for
our trips. Try it once and you will do again and again. Up early,
our customary bagels and coffee and we head north. Another adventure to
A quick reflection:
As we drive we talk about the year that
has just finished, working with students at our respective schools. The joy we have sharing our knowledge with our
students and the students sharing their knowledge with us. The excitement
of learning, laughing, giggling, and sharing some sadness with these students
has made for another exciting year.
Friends in Wawa
Our thoughts begin to focus on our plan
and what we are about to do. Up to Wawa, stay at the Mystic Motel, say hi
to the owners, now friends because of all of the times we have stayed
there. Call to see if David Wells, down at Naturally Superior Adventures, is
there. David has said we are his second oldest clients-we met him
the first year he opened his company. He is busy on a trip with clients so
we head over to Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant. The family that owns the
restaurant also have become great friends. Great food, drink, and
conversation is had by all.
Another couple we have had the pleasure
of meeting is Joel and Carol. We had met Joel the year before on one of
our Pukaskwa National Park trips. He works with the MNR in Wawa and Carol
is the Chief Naturalist for Lake Superior Provincial Park. We met
Joel on the shore of the Dog River and the Lake after Kathleen and I had just
finished our hike up to Dennison Falls (a must for any canoeist or outdoor
enthusiast, absolute power and beauty). We talked more about our homes
etc, Joel shared with us where we could see bald eagles and their nest as we
travelled along shore. Yes "their", because a mother and her two little ones
were nesting. We could see their little heads bobbing as we paddled
by. We finished our trip a few days later, went back to the Mystic, got
all cleaned up, and decided to go to the Kinniwabi Pines Restaurant for a wonder dinner
(two weeks of dehydrated foods and we are ready for some "real" chow) and another great evening with Kathleen.
Just before we
started our meal Joel walked in and said he had a surprise for me. He went
back outside and brought in his wife Carol. He introduced her to Kathleen and
me. How nice, but the surprise was that Carol had babysat my two children
back in Mississauga years and years before. A small world HUH. But
please note that I had both of my children by the time I was 14 ( ha, ha). I felt
older but delighted to spend time reminiscing about the babysitting days in
We called Joel and Carol to say hello
and they invited us over to their home for a visit and a BBQ. They live on
the lake in the beautiful Michipicoten Harbour. One of those magical
evenings, great friends, great conversation, great company, great food and
drink. Bonus was the black sky full of stars, a full moon, and Mars.
Hmmm not bad!
Our adventure begins
Organized for the first part of our
trip, we cannot miss going out on the inland sea, Lake Superior that is. Kathleen
has a link about our adventure to share. Great story and pictures if I do
say so! baldhead.htm
From Wawa to Thunder Bay, well, actually
from Sault Saint Marie to Thunder Bay is considered by me the Rocky Mountains of Ontario.
The sheer beauty and ruggedness of the Lake Superior shoreline and the sea is a
must for all to see.
What is Quetico going to be really
like? We dream of the water, rock, trees, fish, wildlife, campsites,
fires, food prep, weather, portages and oh yeh, about all of the bears that are seen in
the park. We have researched and talked to many people who have had the
pleasure of experiencing the presence of bears and their cubs in Quetico.
We also realize if our campsite is clean and free of food and its smells, we will
A side note about hanging your food
This brings me to the fun I have
hanging our foodbag. It perhaps, at times, takes me hours to just get it
hung right. You know, the right branch, just the right amount of distance
from the tree. Ten feet up and 4
feet away from the trunk of the tree. No branches that the little bears can
climb out onto, and, swat at, and perhaps knock down the food pack. Could prove to be
trip-ending if it happens. The 10 X 4 just does not cut it for me. There are so many others ways to
hang your food.
remember one time I had an 80 foot rope which I threw up, the rock went over the
perfect branch and all of a sudden all of the rope continued to go up towards the branch.
Being slightly higher than the 10 feet mentioned, this particular branch was,
well perhaps, well almost 40 feet high. Thank goodness the rock was tied
properly and was just heavy enough to bring the rope down to the ground where I
could pull the rest back down. And of course you have to do it
again. Well, one maybe just a little lower, but not much!
Oh I forgot to mention that the whole time I am plotting and planning and
hanging the rope, my little one is giggling to herself, and enjoying
watching me, as I try again and again for just that perfect branch.
Oh there are so many more rope throwing stories we will share in
future. Some excellent "how to" and many "how not to"
ways to properly hang your food pack.
On the way again
Just before Thunder Bay and just off of the highway we see a
sign for the Terry Fox Memorial. One of Canada's true heroes. Terry
was trying to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. Terry
had lost a leg to cancer. With a prosthesis leg and his own leg (if you can
imagine) he began his quest in Saint John's, Newfoundland. He ran through
rain, snow, cold and hot weather and reached this
spot. He had to stop because his cancer had returned. He passed away
a short time later, but because of his effort, his legacy has lived on, and is
celebrated each year with the Terry Fox Run for Cancer. The little
one and I celebrate ourselves. We spent time at his monument trying
to understand a little of what sacrifice he made. WOW!
We stop for a quick overnight
stay. Have to do laundry you know, things do get dirty. Not smelly,
but dirty. Meet a great guy in an Italian bakery. Try some of his
special cheese, and it made me pucker.
Next stop was the water shed
location. From this point all waters travel to the Arctic Ocean and all
waters flow to the Atlantic Ocean. Yeh I know, there was not a hill there
to verify the waters going both ways.
We just have to believe it. And I do.
And then we arrive at Quetico
Provincial Parks Dawson Trail Campground. We have reserved a sight for an
overnight stay. We are meeting friends from Rochester, NY. They are
going to join us on the next adventure.
The staff at the Park Office are very
helpful. We had pre-registered our trip starting at Nym Lake access
point. The staff get all of the paperwork completed and they give us the
history of the area and the park.