Saturday, July 3, 2010

AmeriCandian Road Trip - North Shore and Canada

We woke up bright and early on Saturday morning, excited for the next leg of our trip. We didn't have many plans for the day, just drive until we saw something interesting enough to stop.

Here is our campsite in Grand Marais.

Canada - Grand Marais

First up, was to take a walk into Grand Marais for donuts at the World's Best Donut place. As you can see the light was gorgeous at this time of day, so I took some pictures of the area.

Canada - Grand Marais

Canada - Grand Marais

And here we are at the donut place. And this started our habit of eating crap the entire vacation.

Canada - Grand Marais

On our way to pick up milk at the gas station we spotted some new parts of Grand Marais we hadn't noticed before so we took a few pictures.

Canada - Grand Marais

Canada - Grand Marais

After our trip into town, we packed up our tent and headed back to the road for our journey to Canada. We decided we needed gas, so we stopped at the last town before Canada, Grand Portage. We had been there before while camping Grand Marais; there was a burning ban, so we were unable to have a campfire. We heard there was a casino there so we decided to check it out. It was pretty gross, so we didn't expect much from Grand Portage.

It turned out to be more interesting than we expected. We were following signs for the National Monument and we came upon a little reenactment village. It reminded me of when I was in high school and we visited Williamsburg, Virginia, although on a much smaller scale.

Canada - Grand Portage

The Monument, with no monument in sight, is where North West Company, the most profitable fur trade operation from 1784 to 1803, was located.

Below are the tepees and canoes made of birch bark. Also pictured are the kitchen facilities and the giant sized walls that barricaded the complex in.

Canada - Grand Portage

We also went through the building where the canoes were built and repaired. It was pretty interesting. They made the canoes out of birch bark and sealed them with bear grease.

Canada - Grand Portage

Canada - Grand Portage

Right outside the walls was a view of Isle Royal.

Canada - Grand Portage - Isle Royal

Then we headed to Canada. There was a short line to the interrogation station. The guy was pretty nice, but he asked us why we were going to Canada and how long we were going to stay. Patrick said we were headed to ThunderBay and were planning on staying a week. Little did we know then that we would be back in the US the next day.

Canada - Day 2

On our way through Canada we went through Thunder Bay in search of somewhere fun to eat. We were very unsuccessful in finding anywhere but fast food, so we ended up eating lunch at Wendy's.

In Duluth, or maybe in Two Harbors we found a brochure for Canada's longest zip line. It was on our way so we decided to check it out. After driving a few miles down dirt country roads we finally ended up there. The people who owned it were pretty crazy with all their signs and rules. We decided to do the suspension bridges and skip the zip line. It ended up being a very cool view and more unnerving to walk across a bridge than you would expect.

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

There were two suspension bridges to cross. The first one was shorter, but I think it was more windy. It was really freaky to walk over a bridge that swings so high in the air, over an open canyon. Here we are getting ready to cross the second bridge.

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

Here is a view of the canyon in both directions.

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

Of course they are sporting the Canadian flag. And check out the wires that hold the bridge up.

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

Here are a couple pictures looking up at the bridge from the ground.

Canada - Eagle Canyon Adventures

We were both excited to get back into the car after that little adventure. It was really warm that day, so the air conditioned car was much better than the heat outside.

We started driving again and at this time we were just planning to drive until it was almost dark and find a state park to camp at then. It was a good thing that was our plan, because there was nothing to see. We were following Lake Superior and it was deserted. The scenery was beautiful, but its nothing like the North Shore where there are things to stop and see. The most excitement we saw was this group of teenagers playing hockey in the middle of the road in Rossport and a big group of people outside the local curling club, where a wedding reception was being held.

Canada - Rossport

We decided to call it quits on the driving and camp at White River Provencial Park. They had a site, but let us know that there was no electricity because of the thunderstorm earlier that day. That should have been our first clue to keep going, but we got a site. We got our tent set up right away and planned on making some type of dinner on the grill.

As soon as we set up the tent it started raining and then down pouring. We we made a mad dash to get our things out of the tent. In that process we both ended up soaking wet. Patrick probably more than me as I was not very quick in handing him the items when he came back for more stuff. We decided that we were going to head into White River to get something to eat. From the campground map, it looked like they had an A & W and this place called Robin's Donuts. As we are driving there we realize that it is 8:45pm on our clock, but when we entered Canada we entered the eastern time zone. Meaning it was really 9:45pm and we only had a short window to get dinner before they closed at 10pm. We arrived in White River and were pleased that Robin's was open 24 hours. Well, I guess that doesn't apply when the power is out. So, our solution we pulled out the box of Oatmeal Squares and ate that for dinner. White River apparently is the home to Winnie-the-Pooh, so we took advantage of the rain letting up and took some pictures with Winnie.

Here is the story behind Winnie-the-Pooh. In 1914, a Canadian Army Veterinarian, Lt. Harry Colebourn, purchased a black bear cub in White River, while enroute overseas. He named the cub Winnie after his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. While Colebourn served in France, Winnie was left in the care of the London Zoo. There she was cared for by A.A. Milne and his son Christopher. In 1926, A.A. Milne and Illustrator E.H. Shepard created the fictional character Winnie-the-Pooh to Christopher and the world.

Canada - White River

On the way back to the campground, the sunset was really gorgeous. Unfortunatley our tent was completly flooded by then. So we slept in the car looking out at our tent. This was definitely the first sign that we needed to get out of Canada.

Canada - Our Flooded Ten

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