Northern Ontario Eastbound

After almost a week in the Winnipeg area it was time to continue east into Northern Ontario. Our first planned stop was Kenora, located on Lake of the Woods.

After arriving in Kenora, late in the afternoon we tried a couple campsites we had designated where we wanted to stay, unfortunately they were a full, in-fact the place was hoping due to all the people staying local from Manitoba and Ontario because of Covid. Instead we went to the local supermarket and stocked up with groceries then went to a campground called the Willows, just outside of town and found they had room for us. We headed over and settled in for the evening, after dinner we went for walk.

We had hoped to be able to stay in Kenora for a few days at a location close to downtown, which was within walking distance. With the situation as it is, we decided to continue east and stop on the way back west as this is the only road East/West in Canada at this point.

This area of Ontario does not have any large population centers between Kenora and Thunder Bay, there are some smaller centers such as Dryden and Fort Francis, depending on which way you decide to travel. Just east of Kenora the road splits into two direction to get to Thunder Bay. We decided on the northern route which would take us through Dryden.

As this is approximately 500km/300 miles and 5.5 hours, we would break this drive up into a two-day trip. We left the Willows campground around noon and continued east. After driving for a couple hours we found a rest stop area located on a lake, managing to locate a primo spot next to the lake, where we hoped to spend the night and that the road noise would be limited.

After breakfast next morning we set off to Thunder Bay for Diesel and a late lunch. While here we took a stroll through the International Taija Park.

This park is a good location to see the Sleeping Giant.

The Sleeping Giant is a series of mesas formed by the erosion of thick, basaltic sills on Sibley Peninsula which resembles a giant lying on its back when viewed from the west to north-northwest section of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. As one moves southward along the shoreline toward Sawyer’s Bay the Sleeping Giant starts to separate into its various sections. Most distinctly in the view from the cliffs at Sawyer’s Bay the Giant appears to have an Adam’s Apple. The formation is part of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Its dramatic steep cliffs are among the highest in Ontario (250 m). The southernmost point is known as Thunder Cape, depicted by many early Canadian artists such as William Armstrong. 

One Ojibway legend identifies the giant as Nanabijou, who was turned to stone when the secret location of a rich silver mine now known as Silver Islet was disclosed to white men.

Sleeping Giant is the namesake and general setting of the 2015 Canadian film Sleeping Giant. (Wikipedia)

From here we continued east along our route towards White River, stopping to visit the Terry Fox Memorial.

Terrance Stanley Fox (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. In 1980, with one leg having been amputated due to cancer, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$750 million has been raised in his name, as of January 2018.

Fox was a distance runner and basketball player for his Port Coquitlam high school, now named after him, and Simon Fraser University. His right leg was amputated in 1977 after he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, though he continued to run using an artificial leg. He also played wheelchair basketball in Vancouver, winning three national championships.

In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada’s 24 million people. He began with little fanfare from St John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox had become a national star by the time he reached Ontario; he made numerous public appearances with businessmen, athletes, and politicians in his efforts to raise money. He was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay when the cancer spread to his lungs. His hopes of overcoming the disease and completing his marathon ended when he died nine months later.

In addition to being the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, Fox won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation’s top sportsman and was named Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, statues, roads, and parks named in his honour across the country. (Wikipedia)

Leaving here we travelled to the place we had chosen for the night, located on the shore of Lake Superior.

We had some great lake views here, it is a watersport playground for lots of the locals, who showed off their skills with their personal water craft.

Next morning, we continued east, stopping at Nipigon for a break and see some views of Nipigon Bay and the surrounding area from a visitor lookout tower.

From here we continued east along the Trans-Canada highway. We stopped in at Schreiber at a food truck that specialised in Fish & Chips for dinner, we can confirm they were very good, they sure satisfied our craving.

Now it was time to find a camp spot of the night. We checked out the town of Schreiber and their beach area.

We thought we may have found a perfect quite spot for us for the night away from the Trans-Canada highway. But after further investigation we decided that maybe this was not a good idea after all.

From here we continued to Marathon, another town located on Lake Superior, they have a Walmart  where we knew we could stay as a last resort. But after checking out the boat launch area we decided to stay there. A couple of other travellers also pulled into the parking and stayed over night.

Next morning, we continued on to White Lake Provincial Park, we had hoped to stay here for a couple of days. But again, all the sites were booked for the coming days other than this one night. We settled in and explored the Park which has a couple of nice beach areas along the lake shore.

Next day, due to the fact the campground was fully booked, we would continue east towards White River.

Next: Northern Ontario Eastbound Part 2

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