1/6/17 - 7/6/17 17 °C
Couldn't find Tigger in White River, Ont. but spotted Winnie in the playground snacking on his honey pot. Also saw the exact place where Winnie boarded the troop train at the White River Station to Halifax with WW1 Canadian veterinarian Harry Colborne, eventually reaching the London Zoo just in time to meet A. A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin who, as every child should know, made 'Pooh' famous. Actually, Christopher named the bear Pooh after his pet swan.
Skirting down #17, we dropped into Wawa to get GOOSED by the BIG ONE perched on the outskirts of town beckoning tourists to scoot off the highway and spend $ in Tom's Bait and Tackle store. No really!
The TC south from Wawa to The Soo, is one of the best, most scenic drives in the country. Awesome views of Superior, the highlands, birch, pre-cambrian shield, white pine and groves of sugar maple. In fact, this is as far north as these syrupy trees grow. Can't wait to see these forests 'ablaze' in the fall!
Camped at Pancake Bay PP and again, we're finding Ontario's PP too expensive and not well kept! Think the Ont. Parks' folks need to travel west to any of the 4 western Provinces to see how affordable parks can be and well-managed! Larry says he's writing a letter to Premier Katy Wynne. Probably asking for a refund!
Visited the historic Sault locks on the St. Mary River just beside the Long Sault (rapids). Discovered that the technology used here was replicated by early engineers of the Panama Canal. (and the Sault locks still work) lifting or lowering ships 20 plus ft. into Lakes Superior or Huron.
After disposing of black fly, dragonfly and mosquito juice from the car and trailer (fortunately, there are lots of wand washes in The Soo), we drove east to explore ''old turf' in Sudbury. Saw INCO's superstack which used to blow acid to points east and denude forests as far as Cape Breton. Think it's got a scrubber now but in the early 70s, we 'fondly' remember being warned about pollution levels 'off the scales.' Larry still blames his hair loss on that superstack and/or on his old Sudbury Wolves SPABS helmet. Sudbury seems to be chugging along, nickel still being the King! Larry practised some of his 'Nordern Un-dare-ee-oh' French at a gas station in Val Caron; but not very successfully.
The 299km drive up Hwy144 to visit Barb and Tim in Shania Twain's (aka Eilleen Regina Edwards) hometown of Timmins (pop 45,000; 48% French), was stunning. Great pavement, sweeping curves, few frost heaves and no traffic; a biker scoot for sure! We arrived at the Ankerite to be welcomed by our family, cold beer and DEET! Their former mine manger's house is situated on an old, gold mining property. Tim says the old house is haunted but we think it's Charlotte-the-Cat that 'upsets the apple cart' most of the time. Barb and Tim have beautifully renovated their home (in and out), and Tim has built a rustic, one room, 'man-cave' cabin on his back 40. Cozy at -40C too; must be the wood stove full of birch. The property is full of white and red pine, black spruce, poplar and birch.
We visited the MacIntyre Arena in Schumacher to search out pics of some former NHL favs. Saw the BIG M's banner hanging from the rafters and pics of other greats from the past. Mr. Mahovolich, Frank and Pete's Dad, used to sharpen Larry's skates (in the really old days). Timmins is a hockey factory; sub-zero temps and a thousand lakes might have something to do with it. Imagine the cries from kids thawing frozen toes by the heater vents in their tar papered, Hollinger houses. If you've ever experienced frozen toes (or ears) after a spin on natural ice that is so cold it cracks when skate blades cross it, you'll know how painful that is. Shared a clubhouse, chips and gravy at the rink's cafeteria then scooted out back to see the McIntyre head frame. These once dominated the Timmins landscape. Nowadays, $2000/ounce pays for massive open pit mines so big (and profitable) that even Shania's Museum was crushed by the slag berm. Maybe Ms Twain should have recorded, "Any Mine of Mine" or "Whose Bed Have Your Workboots Been Under"; sure hits in THE PORCUPINE mining communities!