Friday, September 11, 2015

Lake Superior Circle (Part 2)

8/26/15 Wednesday
We had oatmeal with raisins, cranberries, almonds and brown sugar for breakfast. We took nice, hot showers after breakfast and reserved our campsite at Sleeping Giant for another night. We drove to Silver Islet, a small, historic mining town on the coast, and hiked to Sea Lion Rock.

Sea Lion Rock.

We enjoyed a nice rest on a beach of polished stones and skipped some rocks into the big lake.

We took a back roads scenic drive around Marie Louise Lake and had lunch in a remote campsite next to the lake.

It was a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies. We spent a lazy afternoon in camp. I enjoyed a beer from the fridge while looking at the sun-dappled lake. I loaned some tools to the neighbor camper to fix his son’s bike- much appreciated. I think it is the first time the tools have been used, although I carry them every trip. We visited the nature center which had a very nice exhibit on the Silver Islet silver mine, including an impressive model of mine in cross-section. Almost 400 meters deep, the mine was flooded when the pumps ran out of fuel. The mine was never re-opened and now sits beneath the water of Lake Superior. The little town remains. We bought Kathy a Pepsi at the camp store and made a sausage, vegetable stir fry with rice for dinner. Had a nice walk around the campground after dinner including a chat with a neighbor from Thunder Bay- a fisherman with lots of local knowledge about places to camp and paddle. We talked about Lake Nipigon- according to him, a place everyone should see in their lifetime. Wild and untamed, 10 foot waves for 3-4 days at a time. Not for small boats. Lake Nipigon has been added to our list of places to see.

The sleeping giant shrouded in morning fog.

We had a cold breakfast of cereal. During breakfast, the neighbor kid chased a fox out of their campsite with great energy. The neighbors told of waking up to a skunk in their tent vestibule! What would you do!? We packed up and drove to a short hike before leaving the park.

Our first stop-  Ouimet Canyon- very scenic and interesting. Geologists are not certain on how it was formed but it is an impressive crack in the earth. The canyon is so narrow and the walls so steep that the sun rarely reaches the bottom. Giant blocks of granite have broken from the walls and litter the canyon floor. As a result, ice remains year-round and rare arctic and sub-arctic plants native to regions of the far further north survive in the unique cold environment of the canyon floor. The rock pinnacle in the shape of a head inspired a legend:

""Long ago there were giants. Omett was one who helped Nanna Bijou, a great spirit of the Ojibway people, to raise mountains and make new lakes. Omett fell in love with Nanna Bijou's daughter Naiomi. One day Omett was moving mountains when a piece broke off and fell upon, and killed Naiomi. Afraid of Nanna Bijou's anger Omett hid her body in a shallow lake and covered it with a rock shield.
Searching for Naiomi, Nanna Bijou walked over the shield and felt vibrations from under the rocks. He reached into the sky and grabbed a large thunder bolt and drove it into the ground. The rock split open, and in the wide canyon he discovered Naiomi's body. Nanna Bijou buried Naiomi in the bottom of the canyon.
From her grave grow rare and beautiful flowers found only there. To punish Omett, Nanna Bijou turned him into stone and placed him on the canyon wall to watch over the grave forever. "

The stone column inspired an Indian legend.

Steep canyon walls...

...protect a rare environment at the canyon floor.

The canyon opens to a wide valley to the south.

A boreal forest surrounds the canyon.

We stopped at  Nipigon for gas, eggs and water and continued to Rossport- stopping at scenic overlooks along the way including the northern-most point on Lake Superior. Ate a fine lunch at Serendipity Gardens CafĂ© in Rossport. Kathy and I shared split pea soup, a ham and cheese sandwich and chocolate cake with raspberry sauce- very good. I took Kathy past the Rossport Inn where our son Eric and I stayed years ago. The Inn was closed- Kathy peeked in windows. We drove to Aguasabon Falls and walked on the beach at Terrace Bay. Aquasabon Falls is notable as a man-made falls created by reversing the flow of the Kenogami River away from Hudson Bay to Lake Superior instead to create a hydropower facility.

Aguasabon Falls.

Terrace Bay.

On to Pukaskwa National Park for camping. Selected a nice campsite, fixed dinner, walked to the visitor center which was closed, and had a fire. Evening was cold, wet, foggy. The next day would bring new adventures.

No comments:

Post a Comment