Jeff Longland

Relax, don't worry – have a home brew!

Cross-Country Reflections: Wawa to Thunder Bay

with 2 comments

Great driving road

Lookout over Hwy 17 in Lake Superior Provincial Park

It was nice with the canopy off… until I awoke to a light rain around 5:30am.  I quickly threw the canopy over the tent and tried to go back to sleep.  After some tossing and turning, we decided to pack up and get on the road again….   after some debate from yours truly about whether we should spend an extra day at Lake Superior Provincial Park.  It was really that nice.  Everything felt so relaxed after the the big rush days earlier.  Our only commitment?  The open road between us and Vancouver.

Roadside Flowers

There were so many flowers along Hwy 17

We continued north through the park along Hwy 17.  A lot of people suggested that we skip Northern Ontario and cut through the States to save a few days.  We were told it’s a long, boring drive, with lots of twists and turns.  They weren’t lying.  But I don’t share the opinion – what a great drive!  I wouldn’t want to drive it at night with all the moose…  And I won’t mislead you, there were some rather long lines of traffic behind the occasional slow-moving RV.  The silver lining is that you can kick-back, relax, and enjoy the scenic drive.  Several sections of the highway run alongside Lake Superior and there were great views throughout the day.

Northern Ontario

Stretches of highway

The drive from Wawa to Thunder Bay easily ranks as one of the best legs of our trip.  It’s just a really nice drive.  The ditches were full of wild flowers.  The scenery alternates from vistas of Lake Superior to seemingly desolate stretches of highway.  We listened to CBC Radio for most of the day, something I haven’t done in a long time.  There was much chatter about the G20 events and it was intriguing to follow the event almost entirely by radio.  I will always remember cruising down the highway, listening to a Neil Young tribute concert – thank you for the memory, CBC.  The whole day felt very Canadian.  And much of the drive, I was mindful that this was the last leg of Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope.  We arrived in Thunder Bay in late afternoon and visited the Terry Fox Memorial.

My uncle had recommended Kakabeka Falls Provincial Park.  After checking out a few sites, we settled on a fairly private site in a corner of the park.  We setup camp and started a fire.  There were minimal bugs and Mill St. Lemon Tea Ale was in good supply.  Having started the day a bit earlier than expected, it ended early as well.  We were eager to continue the next leg of the trip and the last part of our Ontario drive.

Chairs, fire, and beer

Perfect end to the day at Kakabeka Falls. Note the Mill St. Lemon Tea Ale - stocked up specifically for the drive!

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Written by jlongland

July 26, 2011 at 9:42 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Awesome description of your N. Ontario trip! I just came across to Montreal from central Alberta over the past couple weeks, and feel so fortunate to have now seen the greatness of our vast country. Those views of Superior are, well, superior! Look forward to following you on twitter and your next #ds106radio cast.

    onepercentyellow

    October 11, 2011 at 8:32 am

    • Thanks! Feeling fortunate is definitely how I’d describe it. I felt changed by the drive – would recommend it to anyone. And this is a good reminder that I really need to post the rest of my reflections.

      jlongland

      October 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm


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