After a night of heavy rain, breaking down camp was messy. I drove back into Thunder Bay to update the blog and research the upcoming stops in a coffee shop.
I made several stops along the way. Nothing was planned, but I just went where it looked interesting. I drove past a sign that referenced pottery. I’m so glad I did. The work that Tim, the artist, created was just my aesthetic. I picked up a new mug for my apartment. I enjoyed talking with Vivian (or is it with an “e”?) about the pieces on display, as well as teaching. From my last full semester at Cortland, I have such fond memories of working with clay. I’ve looked into taking a course at Stony Brook several times, but time conflicts always seem to get in the way of registering. (If any LI people are interested, let me know!)
By late afternoon, I had reached Neys Provincial Park along the shore of Lake Superior. The temperature was quite cold, and after a walk on the beach to take photos, I decided to build my first campfire of this entire trip. Reading by the campfire was useless. All I wanted to so was just watch the flames flickering and moving.
I continued my trip around Lake Superior the next morning. As my drive wasn’t terribly long, I took my time between stops. Wawa was a wonderfully wacky way to waste some time. In fact, I spent an hour sipping my “double-double” coffee from Tim Horton’s as I took advantage of the free wifi. Afterwards, I visited several places that were recommended by Vivian. The stop at Agawa to see the pictographs along the rocky cliffs was a highlight. Luckily, the lake was calm and there were no issues walking along the edge. Apparently, several people have been swept off their feet by waves and have drowned trying to view the artwork. As the woman from Coyote Buttes said, “It’s just a rock formation. It’s not worth your life.”
After arriving in Sault Ste. Marie, I was able to get some much needed laundry done. The KOA was by far the nicest one that I have ever stayed in. While my washes were going, I sat in the comfortable lounge area and read some more about Toronto. Dinner was going to be a simple soup, but the bugs were very annoying, and I decided that with it being my last night of camping, I’d go into town for a bite. I wound up in an all-you-can-eat sushi place. I figured that a full parking lot and an okay review online, I’d be somewhat safe. It was fine, and I actually had a fun time trying to determine how much would be the “just right” amount without being overly stuffed. When I eventually returned, the bugs were gone and I was exhausted.
A long driving day.
I made my way towards Toronto, despite the heavy construction that was taking place every few miles.
I stopped in Parry Sound to stretch my legs and walk around.
I arrived in the Toronto region during rush hour. Luckily, most the traffic was heading the opposite direction. I managed to drive to a parking garage near by hotel, dodging many pedestrians and bicyclists along the way. By the time I got settled, I decided that importing dinner and relaxing was far better than exploring the city at night.
I love museums. I always have, and I always will. After getting coffee, I walked to the Royal Ontario Museum which was more of a hike than I realized. I spent about four hours wandering around what seemed like a nice mix of the Met and Natural History Museum from NY.
-Coffins from Ghana. (I had seen these on CBS Sunday Morning.)
-The architecture of the museum:
-The 100 facts for the 100th anniversary celebration:
-The million dollar gold coin:
(When I began collecting coins a few years ago, I purchased a few from the Canadian Mint. I had actually seen when this was offered online. The Mint made five of these coins. Needless to say, I wasn’t able to add one of these to my collection.)
When I got back from the museum, I was beyond tired from the wandering and reading. A twenty minute nap turned into a two hour nap. When I eventually got up, I strolled past the CN Tower, and made my way to the Harbor. The evening had perfect weather. A cool breeze made the walk so pleasant. I had a late dinner at the Loose Moose. (I couldn’t resist that name.)
Departed Toronto with an overcast and drizzly sky. I stopped in Jordan Village along the way to sample a few Rieslings. Quite good!
Less than twenty minutes later, I arrived in Niagara Falls. The Canadian side frustrated me when I visited while in high school. My frustrations are still the same. The over-the-top commercialization is just everywhere, and detracts from the overall natural beauty. I left after an hour only to spend nearly an hour creeping over the bridge to the NY side. The border crossing was uneventful.
I ate at the Griffin Pub which was nowhere near the falls. (Once again, thanks Tripadvisor.) I had the chicken and chive waffle sandwich.
Driving back towards the Falls took about ten minutes. After finding parking, I began exploring the NYS Park which is a much more natural setting compared to the Canadian side. I chose to take the Cave of the Winds tour. I’m so glad I did, as it was such a neat perspective. The interesting part is that the decks are dismantled every year before winter, and rebuilt the following year. I really enjoyed the experience. If I didn’t have the Nikon underneath the yellow poncho, I would have spent more time on the hurricane deck being pelted by the water. As I saw people completely soaked up top, I decided that the light mist was more than fine.
I enjoy noticing the subtle differences while visiting another country. When I first entered Canada, I had to determine what several unfamiliar traffic signs meant. Additionally, the conversion of the metric distances to miles and mph took some extra focus while driving. I also love using another country’s currency. There are so many other little things that I enjoyed making mental notes about.