|Logging truck on its way|
|Further along, a pulp processing plant, at Marathon, on Lake Superior|
We woke this morning to cloudy skies and drizzly rain, not great as we have a long drive ahead of us round to Thunder Bay. We were up early planning to leave by 8:00am but got chatting to one of the people from the campsite so were a bit late leaving. The people who currently run the site have only had it for about two years. Originally from New Brunswick they have spent the last twenty years up in Inuvik in the North West Territories bringing electricity to the small, remote populations there.
We headed out along the route 17 around the shore of Lake Superior, a vast expanse of water spanning the border between Canada and the US. Here we started to see another change in landscape coming through. Fully wooded hillsides gave way to a more rocky and open landscape, but then back driving through national parks the trees came back again.
We made a brief detour into Wawa to top up on coffee. Being Halloween loads of houses and businesses have all been decorated for the last few days and the Wawa general store was no exception. The building itself was like something out of an old western movie and inside it was a treasure trove of useful and useless bits and pieces. The people working here were all dressed up as angels for the day, the girls did not seem to mind too much but the guy manning the petrol pump did not seem impressed.
Outside the store they had a huge statue of a Canadian goose. It was first put up when the trans Canada highway made it this far and it was designed to attract people off the road and into the village. The goose has had a bit of a potted history being moved from one location to another, vandalised as part of Halloween celebrations and having to be remade in a durable substance as the original plaster goose crumbled away. In its current location outside of the store it is too far off the road to attract people into Wawa.
At White River we stopped again and had lunch served to us by a witch and a clown, neither of whom seemed impressed they had to be dressed for Halloween. White River's most famous export though is Winnie the Pooh. A man from Winnipeg bought a bear cub here before being sent over to Europe as part of the Canadian Army in World War one. Not the most practical of things to take he donated the bear to London Zoo. As the man was from Winnipeg, the bear was called Winnie. AA Milne came to the zoo and Winnie was his inspiration for Winnie the Pooh.
From White River we continued around the north shore of Superior along flat open plains, a first taster of what is to come in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. Around the lake shore we passed beautiful old houses, now long deserted and in a state of ruin, with great views out over the lake. In summer they must have been great places to go out and about enjoying the lake and the great outdoors. We could see waves lapping at the shoreline, a sign that it is not always so beautiful and calm.
On the outskirts of Thunder Bay we stopped at the Terry Fox memorial. This was as far as he made it on his trans Canada run in support of cancer awareness before his own cancer returned and forced him to stop. There is a big statue of him on a small hill overlooking Thunder Bay and with views out to Lake Superior. He really seems to have captured the soul of the Canadian people.
Thunder Bay itself is a small town and we drove around looking at options for places to stay. There are no campgrounds here so it will be a hotel. We stayed at the Prince Arthur with views down across the harbour, very pretty lit up in the dark. It was late and dark by the time we arrived. The fact that the hotel restaurant closed at 9:00pm did not bode well for late night dining. Being Halloween quite a few places had not opened but in the end we found a Chinese that was still open and, being their only customers, tucked in to a tasty meal.