|Terry Fox Monument|
The first part of our journey from Sault Ste. Marie was along Lake Superior – a breathtaking and magnificent drive. We all know that the Great Lakes are just that: great or large or grand, but until you physically make your way around one of them, it’s hard to understand their vastness. I also enjoyed all of the little lakes along Highway 17. All clearly labelled: Rouse, Black Fox, Red Rock, and my favourite group of lakes, Mom, Dad and Baby just outside of Wawa! And the mountainous vistas and turquoise water near Rossport (between Marathon and Thunder Bay) made it difficult to keep my attention to writing. This area reminded me of the islands, mountains and ocean views near Horseshoe Bay in B.C. Overall, I highly recommend the drive across Ontario to Thunder Bay, as it is one of the most rewarding travel experiences I have had.
Although we got a few hours of downpour before Wawa, we were blessed with mostly blue skies and only intermittent clouds. My goal of getting photographed with things “larger than life” did get rained out, but I managed a quick photo of the Canada Goose at the Wawa Tourism Office before skipping over puddles to get back to the car.
As this was our longest travel day, we wanted to make up some time by driving a little over the speed limit. Unfortunately, the OPP are everywhere on the Trans-Canada and we got pulled over. The speed limit is 90 km/hr and we were doing 120 km. Perhaps because of our charming apology, or perhaps because we were moving to another jurisdiction in the country, we got off with a warning and a reminder about the dangers of moose along the route. Apparently they have bad vision and can’t distinguish cars.
Just before Thunder Bay we stopped at the Terry Fox Monument. I think it is important to take advantage of moments where you can just stop and reflect about the heroes who have shaped our country's history. We all know him as an inspiring figure for his courage and perseverance, but he also represents all of the qualities we hope to have as Canadians. The province has done a great job with the monument, set high upon a hill with a panoramic view of Lake Superior, and it is worth the stop.
We took a longer break in Thunder Bay to have an early dinner. There wasn’t much in the way of selection for a casual place with decent food, but we were lucky and found a restaurant called Gargoyles which had a good atmosphere and decent salads. After a day of sitting in the car, we were looking for something a little healthier, and were pleased with our choice. It was affordable and hit the spot.
The last part of the drive from Thunder Bay to Kenora was a struggle, as we had been in the car for so many hours already and just wanted to settle down for the night. Still, just when you think you’ve become immune to the beauty of the natural landscape, Canada hits you with an unreal sunset that captures both your attention and your spirit.
We arrived in Kenora, Ontario at 11:30 p.m. (10:30 with the time change) to the Best Western Lakeview Inn on The Lake of the Woods. We crumpled into separate beds and took some time to wind down after an epic day. Stay tuned for Day Three of the journey – through the Prairies!