Construction, Cancer & Comfort

Pukaskwa to Thunder Bay

We both had a slightly better night’s sleep; only waking up a few times. We set off at about 8am and caught a glimpse of some massive rabbits (and no they weren’t hares they didn’t have big ears) which posed as if waiting for a photo and then as soon as I had the camera ready they ran off (typical). We decided to drive to Marathon to find somewhere for breakfast and ended up in Robin’s as that seemed to be the only place with several cars outside! It was greasy fast-food heated in a microwave, but edible nonetheless and the hot chocolate wasn’t too bad. We continued on our way stopping at a lookout point over Lake Superior and getting a sneak preview of the train tracks! As Lonely Planet didn’t seem to think there was much to do along the route, we tried to find scenic lookout points but they weren’t really very scenic at all! We popped in at Aguabason falls in Terrace Bay before hitting some more, yes you guessed it CONSTRUCTION (yippee) and THE most bored-looking lollipop man ever. We passed designated snow plough turning areas, incredible cliff faces with layers of varying colours of rock and waterfalls dispersed among the trees as well as driving through a rainbow (pretty cool).

We went into the visitors centre to find out what there might be to do around Thunder Bay and the lady advised use to see the Terry Fox Memorial just around the corner and go to the Fort William Historical Site. Following her advice, we went and saw the memorial which is about a guy who was diagnosed with terminal cancer and having already had one leg amputated he decided he would run the length of Canada from Novia Scotia and he ended up near Thunder Bay where he became too ill to carry on and passed away – all in aid of raising awareness of Cancer. The Fort Williams Historical Site was supposed to be really good; however, we arrived to be told because it’s late in the year you can only go if you have a reservation (urgh).

So we did the only thing we could and carried on our journey towards our campsite in Upsala, stopping off at Kakabeka Falls and doing the mountain portage trail where we saw an eagle flying around and froze our toes off. The campsite wasn’t the easiest to spot, at least the sign wasn’t very clear which meant we ended up driving 40km too far, with around 96km of fuel wasted as we had to go back and then go along a dirt, pothole-ridden track in the dark for another 16km. Getting lost in Canada is costly unfortunately but we were hopeful we could have a fire at the campsite. As we arrived, surprise surprise it started raining so yet again no fire. We were greeted by an enormous dog barking quite aggressively (I will admit I was a little scared despite loving dogs), but I got out of the car and faced the dog and somehow managed to calm it down enough to stroke it and stop it barking at me (phew)! The office of the campsite stank like smoke and the lady inside looked a bit confused as I walked in. Apparently there was only one other couple here so we could pick any spot we wanted and about the fire – she said it had been raining for the past week so a fire wasn’t likely to work anyway. The campsite was pretty empty and exposed to the nearby Lake. It was yet another miserable rainy night for us with sweaty meat and cheese sandwiches. As we were just sitting in our car discussing plans for the next day, we saw a flashlight and two enormous dogs heading towards us – the owner wanted to offer us to sleep in her trailer (at no extra cost) as she couldn’t bear thinking about us sleeping in our car in the horrible weather (amazing)! Once she’d figured out the lights and showed us around she bid us goodnight and we settled into our comfier accommodation for the night.

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