As I began my journey back down south I took in the beauty with every mile! I am so glad I am here! In this moment! Doing what I love the most! Traveling down the road and writing about it!
Leaving Pickle Lake and winding my way south the sun shining and the colors of the season bright it was a beautiful day! Going down Hwy 599 passing through Silver Dollar. I am not sure what I was expecting but the name reminded me of an old western town but that was not what it was. It was litterly a crossroad with a gas station sort of. A couple tanks with 1 pump and a small shack! Haha! Neat!
Back down to Hwy 17 toward Thunder Bay I stopped at Ignace for gas and got to Thunder Bay Walmart just as it was getting dark. I had only put enough gas to keep me at a quarter tank when I arrived in Thunder Bay. I never let my gas tank go under a quarter tank. I knew there was a reserve there and the price of gas would be much cheaper than what I have been paying! I had worked in Thunder Bay a few times so I was somewhat familiar with the city. The reserve is across this little bridge to a pretty mountain. As I remembered the bridge lanes were very narrow I could not remember if it had any height limitations. We will see!
Squishing through but I did not have to duck! Haha! There is a little gas station on the other side that I liked to go to and what a pleasant experience! With a pleasant greeting to an uplifting conversation with the girl inside I left with cheap gas and a warm heart!
Back on the highway I had decided I wanted to go to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. I had passed by there many times and never stopped. Boy am I glad I did. The park is actually separated by Highway 17 with the Falls on the mountain side and the campground on the lake side. I pulled into main park area to find it closed. The sign indicated where the falls were so I filled my water tank at the filling station and carried on up to the falls. A beautiful walk down the boardwalk through the colors of fall with peeks at the falls all the way through. Rainbow Falls is named not for the rainbow colors in the water or the trees but in the rocks. A layer of pink granite underlies the entire park. It is interesting to note that the grey and black color on the rocks is actually a living breathing organism called lichens. It can grow right out of the bedrock. Nature is amazing isn’t it.
Once to the bottom the view was spectacular! Nestled in the woods a beautiful picture unfolds.
Back to the van and over to the otherside to the campground they said they had hydro sites on the water. Oh that excited me. Not to often do you find a hydro site that is on the water. Pick me!! Wow what a nice site, right on the beach, I may have to stay an extra day!
I did stay another night but they did not have a hydro site on the beach available but how about a non hydro site tucked into the woods with your own beach! Haha!! Woohoo!! I will take it!
After a beautiful night’s sleep listening to waves crash on my own little beach it was a wonderful morning to have coffee on the beach!
Not wanting to leave but knowing there is more to see down the road, off I went! More beautiful lookouts that I just have to stop at. Its an Ahhh moment I just can not pass up.
I was driving down Highway 17 with no real destination in mind and came into White River. I have gone through this town many times and never noticed a giant Winnie the Pooh sitting in a tree. How can that happen? Not to mention why is there a giant Winnie the Pooh in a tree? What could Winnie the Pooh have to do with this little town in the middle of nowhere?
I knew the story of the English writer with his son Christopher Robin and was familar with the little stuffed bear that started the wonderful world of Winnie the Pooh and Tigger too! (Tigger was my favorite) I had no idea where it all began was in a little town 1/2 a world away!
As the story goes it all started with a veterinarian who went war. He was responsible for the horses that rode on the steam train. The train rolled into the train station at white River and Harry Colbourne spotted an abondonded black bear cub for sale on the platform. He bought the little bear for $20.00 which would have been a good amount of money back in the day. He named her Winnie after his home town of Winnipeg and they set off on an adventure. Because of the war he eventually got sent to England where the little bear became the mascot for his troup. Not being able to take her into battle with him he found her a place at the London zoo. That is where Christopher Robin met Winnie the bear. They became fast friends and the beginning of a fairytale that has lived through the ages!
Ohhh that was a cool find. Back on the road I was soon at Wawa. I love the giant goose that sits at the beginning of town. It was erected in 1963 to attract tourists into Wawa after the new highway was built that bypassed the town. Why a goose? The meaning of the word Wawa is wild goose or Land of the big goose. It all seems so fitting! It must work as the Wawa Goose is one of the most photographed landmarks in North America.
Deciding where to go from there I decided that I would stop into Dunlop Lake Lodge in Elliot Lake. Looking at the map, there was a the highway I came in on or a back road way! Oh for sure you know which one I am going to take! As I headed north a rainbow appeared! A beautiful touch to a beautiful day!
North towards Chapleau and a gas stop then east and south and then left and right and I was lost! No cell signal and I have no sense of direction. I would usually load a map because I knew I would be without a cell signal but this time I did not. Driving through the windy roads hoping I was turning the right way as it was getting dark I kept an eye on the sides of the road for moose! Very large animals that can do a lot of damage to your vehicle and still walk away! Darkness, backroads and no shoulders on the road between you and the ditch means a slow careful drive. Just as I was starting to look for a place to just pull over I came to a paved road with a number and the word south! Woohoo! I followed that and came out in Iron Bridge. I knew there was a car park area near Highway 108 exit and I could rest there! Phewww!!
This called for coffee and cheesecake!!
The next morning I headed up to the lodge in Elliot Lake. It is such a pretty drive up through Elliot Lake. The trees and small inlets that make up this pretty little town. Turning onto the street for the lodge feels like coming home. Warm wonderful people in a beautiful setting. It really does not get any better!
With warm hugs and a welcome back I settled in and went to the little restaurant for my favorite meal when I am here! Liver!! Oh I love liver but only if it is done right, smothered with bacon and gravy. So tender you can cut it with your fork. Its how my Mom used to make it.
Funny story about my Mom. My Dad and I loved liver. My Mom hated it. Once a month she would cook liver for us with a clothes peg on her nose and the windows wide open at any time of the year so it would not “stink up” her house. Always on her bowling night and we were instructed not to close the windows, she did not want to sleep with a clothes peg on her nose! Hahaha! My Mom! 💜
As I write this and night is falling over the lake and everything gets quiet, the stars beginning to peak through. I think back to my travels in the last few weeks realize I am so where I wanted to be! Free!! I am here!! I can not wait to see where my next adventure takes me!!
Thanks for coming along on my Chipmunk Adventures! I hope your enjoying them as much as I am sharing them with you!
See you next time!