It felt a little like coming home to Yellowknife when we crossed the Manitoba-Ontario border...rocks and boreal forest. We missed the big open skies of the prairies but loved arriving in Kenora with the geese and fall colours. We had a nice quiet campsite overlooking the Lake of the Woods. Unfortunately we couldn't stay very long as Ontario is one big province to get across so we pressed on to Thunder Bay where we headed straight to the shore of Lake Superior to take in the views of the sleeping giant across the bay. We camped in a big open field beside the Fort William Historic Park with one other RV. I highly recommend Fort William if you are ever in Thunder Bay. You are guided through various buildings in the fort by a character from 1816 (in our case a metis woman married to a voyageur), and they share many interesting details and stories about the fur trade and the purpose of the North West Company's fort as a half way point for the voyageurs.
As the weather was nice we decided to leave Thunder Bay to camp along Lake Superior but not before a very important stop at the Terry Fox Monument. Steve and I have always taken the time to visit the monument during trips across the country and it was great to bring the kids. As we drove east they could then see where Terry had run, and realized how difficult it was for him to accomplish what he did over 30 years ago.
We set up camp at Rainbow Lake Provincial Park on the north shore of Lake Superior just east of Rossport. We had been disappointed that another provincial park we had our eyes on further along had just closed for the season so did not have high expectations but were blown away at the setting. Car camping right on the shore...with smooth rocks and pebble beaches a few steps from our tent, and very few other campers in the park. We could still hear the highway and trains at night but they were mostly drowned out by the waves of the lake. The next morning we even managed to get some schoolwork done but were interrupted when Léa spotted three bobbing heads swimming to shore in calm clear conditions...three otters, one with a big fish in its mouth, who nonchalantly swam on when they saw us. In the afternoon we had a perfect hike to a waterfall and up to a lookout over lake Superior. We had a map with us and figured out that we could only see approximately 0.2% of the worlds biggest freshwater lake in front of us but yet it looked huge.
The weather was so nice we decided to stay two more nights. On our last night we decided to carry our tent to a beautifully sheltered spot since the winds had just shifted and couldn't believe it was even nicer then the first spot. We then came upon an incredible blueberry patch, and we biked a short track to a sheltered sandy beach and all tested the waters of the lake to varying degrees. Steve was in his element photographing fall colours, smooth rocky shores, and sunsets ranging from sunny to foggy. The only negative from my point of you were the scary road cycling conditions on the trans Canada highway (tons of transport trucks), so I decided to keep the ride very short and jog around the campground instead.
We did have to leave and made our way to Wawa where we selected the vintage Beaver Motel as our accommodation and did not sleep half as well as in the tent. We have mixed feelings about not camping again until next July, especially since our camping ended on such a good note. Although we will miss fall camping, we will now be visiting with family and friends until we leave the country which is fantastic. For now we will continue to chase fall across the country and hope the clear skies outnumber rainy days.