Sunday, June 1, 2008



FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2008


Rather than going along the boring Trans Canada Highway, I chose to drive the more scenic route along Highway 44. Rugged Whiteshell Provincial Forest lies through this route passing lots of creeks and trees, giant rocks and very little traffic, at least today. It didn’t help that the winds were gusting up to 70 km/hour. We passed deer casually crossing the highway, and I was intrigued by a sign announcing the Alfred Hole Goose Sanctuary near Rennie. I wondered whether this was actually a sanctuary for Canada geese, considered a scourge and nuisance in most parts of Canada, and sure enough, it was!
The sanctuary was created by Alfred Hole to protect the geese, and the sign announced that there were 105 in residence. Much of the area was fenced off, but there was a trail around the lake for visitors, crossing over man-made rapids. I followed it for part of the trail, before heading back to have lunch in the parking lot.

Highway 44 was in no better shape than 101 had been; in fact, we were jounced around so much that the smoke alarm was set off! I had to listen to its annoying ringing for some time until I could find a safe spot to pull off. I was heartened to see that a couple stopped when they saw me on the side of the road, to check to see if I was okay. It’s nice to know that people care.


Close to the junction of Highways 44 and 1 is the end of Manitoba and the beginning of Ontario. After a short drive I pulled into the Visitor Centre to pick up some information on local attractions. Even though I grew up in Ontario, it’s a huge province and I haven’t been in the northwestern end very often.


Onward to Kenora, where I pulled into the parking lot of McDiarmid Lumber, as suggested by Diane and Jerry, my cousin. We had previously agreed that I would call them when I arrived, so that they could come to guide me to their cottage. It’s just as well that they did. Not only is the road twisty with several turns, it is also badly damaged after the winter, with giant potholes and parts of boulders exposed. Jerry sat with me to guide me through the obstacle course until we arrived. The land in this area of Lake of the Woods is owned by an aboriginal tribe so the cottage lots are on a 79-year lease. Diane and Jerry have two acres and have built a beautiful cottage with a panoramic view of the bay. There are decks front and back, with a glassed-in porch, leading into the dining room, kitchen and high-ceilinged Great Room. And to top it off, there’s a hot tub on the back deck! There are three bedrooms, which is just as well, as they have a lot of visitors. And no wonder. It is a beautiful, serene location.

With Jerry’s help, I pulled into an area close to the cottage where I could plug into electricity and get comfortable, as I will be sleeping in my rig. They are still in the process of opening up the cottage for the season, and the water has not yet been turned on.

Despite the strong winds, Diane and I took Ripley for a walk up to the road and around the neighbourhood of adjacent cottages. We had a quick, convenient meal of chicken nuggets while we awaited the arrival of Jerry and Diane’s daughter Lisa and Lisa’s daughter, Mikayla, as well as Jerry’s brother (my cousin too) Peter who all arrived late together, along with Kenny (Mikayla’s Pomeranian) and Oliver (Pete’s Shih Tzu). All three dogs went through the ritual of making acquaintance dog-style by sniffing bums and, thankfully they all agreed to be friendly. At least they are all about the same size!

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2008

Poor Ripley was terribly sick overnight, vomiting several times and having awful diahrrea. She had obviously got into something around the property, but I don’t know what. I was very concerned about her and debated about whether I should wake my cousin to drive into an emergency veterinary clinic. Between puking on the comforter and the rug in the RV, she just lay panting and shivering. By dawn, she was sleeping soundly and was much improved. Jerry thought that she might have eaten either some mushrooms that grow wild here or else a crayfish. The gulls on the lake dive and grab the crayfish, eat only the body and leave the claws. Perhaps Ripley helped herself to one or two of the leftovers. I do hope that she’s learned her lesson!

Jerry and Pete worked on hooking up the water again, so we can shower – and fill up the hot tub.

It is extremely windy today and overcast. Because I had very little sleep last night, I slept in. I did hear loons on the lake early on, and I’m looking forward to seeing them.


It took some getting used to the slow-paced style of cottage living, but eventually I got into the groove of simply relaxing. Unfortunately, it was too cold and windy to stay outside for very long, but the glassed-in windows on the porch afforded a good view. There are two bird feeders and a hummingbird feeder on the front deck; I sat inside and watched a parade of red squirrels,
blue jays and starlings displacing each other at the feeders. A little TV, an afternoon nap and it was soon time for a supper of barbecued pork steak, salad and peaches & cream corn. Afterwards, we played Scattergory, a word game that I brought along, and then dominoes. A typical cottage-style day.

SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2008

The wind has finally died down, and it’s a nice sunny day – a perfect day at the cottage. I walked down to the dock with my binoculars and was rewarded with two loons swimming by. Diane had mentioned that there is an eagle’s nest across the bay on the island, but I couldn’t find any sign that it is occupied at the moment.

Lisa’s boyfriend Bob arrived this morning and went off with Pete to buy some minnows. We’re going fishing! Jerry’s boat was launched and Bob, Diane and I went along with Captain Jerry to a quiet cove nearby where some good fish have been caught previously. But, even with Jerry’s fancy fishfinder, none of us got a bite.

We returned to the dock where Bob and Pete traded places and Captain Jerry steered the boat to a nearby area to troll. Pete got a strike but it got away (isn’t that the traditional fish story? –“you should have seen the size of the one that got away”). Even though we didn’t catch any fish, it still was fun to see the surrounding area.

I’m not sure if it’s because the weather is better, but I saw a pair of common mergansers, some mallards and Canada geese.

A nice session in the hot tub took out the aches, and after dinner we played dominoes and watched Extreme Makeover, Home Edition.

MONDAY, MAY 19, 2008

Ripley vomited twice during the night and did not eat her dinner. However, I suspect that she has been begging food from Mikayla and just isn’t very hungry. All three dogs hover around her during mealtimes.

Jerry has bought a boat lifter from his next-door neighbour and the men spent the majority of the day dismantling it and attempting to float it over. However, they were not terribly successful, as the pipes that hold it in place merely sank into the river bottom, and after several hours, they gave up for now.

Mikayla and Diane each played my Scrabble game, playing against the computer and soon became as addicted as I am in trying to beat the computer. I’m happy to report that they agree with me that the computer cheats!!

Bob, Lisa and Mikayla left for home to return to Winnipeg later in the day. Tomorrow is a work and school day for them. Jerry and Pete, along with their neighbour, made another effort to float the boat lifter but again were unsuccessful.

Today is a holiday in Canada, so I am remaining to avoid the crowded holidays. I am enjoying the leisurely lifestyle here and it is a pleasure not to have to drive!

The sunset was magnificent as I sat on the dock, and had the experience of watching a beaver swim across from our side of the lake to the island just across.
And just at dusk I saw three pelicans fly over as well as the same pair of common mergansers.

Diane got into the Scrabble game again and seems to be enjoying it a lot.

TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2008

Ripley was again sick overnight and I got little sleep as a result. She vomited on the rugs in the RV, so I spent some of the morning shampooing them. From now on she will have to be on a leash when outside, so as to avoid any further problems.

I had intended to leave today, but Diane and Jerry have graciously invited me to stay longer and will drive me to town to take care of some of the important business I need to do. And besides, today is a beautiful sunny day.

I have found a few ticks on Ripley, and this morning I found one on Oliver, Pete’s dog. He has long hair and is black and white, so it is very hard to find them. I let Pete know so that he can check his dog more thoroughly. He’s a very sweet dog, but Ripley gets jealous when I pet him!

I asked Pete and Jerry if they would look at my generator to see if they can figure out why it doesn’t start. Pete pulled off the spark plugs and checked the wires and concluded that they should be replaced.


First, we stopped by a dock and boat lifter company so that Jerry could arrange to have someone come out to move the boat lifter and to build the supports needed at his own dock, but the owner was away for lunch. While I waited for Jerry and Diane, I was visited by a friendly Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and a black lab puppy, the owner’s dogs. We will come back later.

We headed into the little town of Keewatin to the Motor Vehicle Licence department so that I could report a change of address on the ownership papers of both my car and RV. I should have taken care of this before I left, but simply ran out of time. So it was a great relief to get this chore accomplished, just in case I should get stopped by the police.

Keewatin and Kenora have amalgamated under one township now instead of being two separate towns, and we headed into the downtown area of Kenora to Safeway to get groceries, and then to go on to the Provincial offices so that I could report to OHIP, the Ontario Hospital Insurance Plan. Ordinarily, Ontarians may not be out of the province for more than six months in a year, in order to continue to qualify for medical insurance here; but I had obtained permission to be away for a year, and I needed to report in that I had returned. I had to fill out some forms, have my photograph taken, and also sign an organ donor card.

Something that I was unaware of was that my previous signed card donating my entire body for medical research is no longer valid. For liability reasons, only organs can now be donated unless I contact the particular hospital to whom I wish to leave everything and get their approval first. So, that is another thing that I will have to take care of. I feel strongly that, once we are dead, we should contribute what we no longer need, either organs or the entire body, to assist others. Unfortunately, there is a serious lack of organ donors in Ontario and many people die while waiting for a transplant. And medical students can only learn their profession by practising on the dead. I don’t want to take up some space in a cemetery and would hope that fledgling doctors might learn something through my donation.

It took longer than I had anticipated finishing my business at OHIP, and we hurried over to Cummins Generator in order to get the spark plug wires. They had the wires but not the spark plugs, and directed us to Piston Rings down the road, which did have the plugs.

It was getting close to closing time at the dock and boat lifter company, so we hurried back to the west side where the owner agreed to come out tomorrow to assess the situation. We backtracked to McDiarmid Lumber where I checked out generators while Jerry and Diane looked for paint. They had an 1800 watt generator for only $500, and maybe I’ll just get a new generator if it still doesn’t work properly.

When we returned Pete spent some time installing the new spark plug wires and plugs. He got it started, but it quit shortly afterwards. So we are back to square one. I did appreciate the effort that Pete and Jerry put in and it’s a shame that it still doesn’t work properly.

For supper we had the frozen lasagna and garlic bread that I had bought at Safeway and then watched American Idol Finals and Dancing With the Stars Finals. Kristi Yamaguchi won. Tomorrow the winner of American idol will be announced. I expect that it will be David Archuleta.

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2008

Ripley was fine last night. So, I conclude that she has been eating something on the cottage property that has been making her ill, and now that she is not allowed to wander loose, she can’t get at it, whatever it is.

Pete called to me to come quickly, and through binoculars I saw that the bald eagles have returned to their nest. One of the birds sat on a branch beside the nest for some time. Diane mentioned that they cause a great deal of excitement during the nesting season, as the eggs hatch and as they raise their young. It’s like having a front row seat, as the tree is directly across from the dock, and I wish I could remain to see the whole sequence.

Jerry, Diane and Pete
As lovely as it has been for me to stay at the cottage, I felt that it was time to move on and not overstay my welcome. Jerry and Diane have been very gracious, but I imagine that they would enjoy some time to themselves before they return to Winnipeg on the weekend, although they assured me that I was no trouble. Pete, of course, is here often and pitches in to help Jerry with the various chores that need doing.

With the help of Pete and Jerry, I back up my RV and turned it around, ready to go. After taking some last-minute photographs, I said my goodbyes and headed back along the very bumpy road through the native community. Diane told me that they have to pay for the 79-year lease upfront in one go, but then pay a yearly road maintenance fee. They have been informed that there is no money left this year to maintain the roads, so something is wrong. The money from all sources, including the provincial government, goes to the chief and he alone determines what to do with the funds, so this could lay the groundwork for some uneven distribution of funds to the other members of the tribe. I’m not in a position to criticize. However, I could certainly see that some houses were quite modern, even with satellite TV, while others were in disrepair.

I passed several deer nonchalantly nibbling on grass at the side of the road during the 10 km drive back to Highway 17.

As I continued eastward, I passed through the town of Kenora once again, passing the statue of Husky the Muskie.
Many of these northern towns have a statue of one animal or another. The highway winds through the downtown area, passing several historic buildings that have been renovated into shops, hotels and the town hall, overlooking the harbour of Lake of the Woods. Jerry and Diane can actually bring their boat across right into the marina, if they wish.


Northern Ontario is sparsely populated, with long stretches of trees and lakes between the towns, and I was concerned to see that many of the trees lining the highway were dead. I don’t know if they had been affected by the pine beetle or some other insect, or if there is another factor of which I’m not aware. Nevertheless, it was disturbing to see.

I passed several construction zones where the road is being worked on. It looks as though much of it will be converted to four lanes. That would be helpful for the many transport trucks that use this route to cross Canada. I drive only at 80 km/hour and held up many of these trucks who wanted to go faster, until a spot opened up where they could pass me on the winding highway.

I had a salmon sandwich for lunch.


I didn’t get too far today, after leaving late, and stopped for the night at the Crystal Lake Campground. The sign on the highway said they were closed, but I took a chance anyway, and sure enough, they were open. They had just opened for the season over the long weekend, and I was the only camper there today. It cost $29.25 for a full hook-up, but they do have wi fi included. The campground is located on Crystal Lake and is quite attractive. I was told that the owners bought the property thirteen years ago, and it was in quite a run-down state. They are slowly putting in improvements, and apparently have the only campground with wi fi in the entire area. They are in the process of digging a trench to erect a strong transponder. However, I couldn’t get a strong enough signal where I was camped and moved to the picnic bench just outside the office. Fortunately, it was a nice warm day, so it was comfortable being there for a couple of hours, while I checked my email and put up two more installments of my blog. I don’t know when I will have another opportunity to add the photographs, but at least the blogs are up to date. One of the emails I received was from Suzanne Chacon, my friend in Seattle, letting me know that her boyfriend Dan was at the 8,000 foot level of Mount Denali and that there were few other climbers there. I sincerely hope that he makes it to the top with his team, and that they descend safely. It was very courageous of him to undertake this climb, his first and I hope that all his preparations paid off.

I then discovered that I had left behind my sewer hose at the cottage! I remembered that I had taken it out of the generator compartment in order for Pete to work, and then I completely forgot to put it back! This was serious as my tanks were full. Fortunately, the owner of the campground had a spare sewer connection, so that I was able to dump, but I will have to get another one as soon as possible.

When I took Ripley out for a walk, we encountered several rabbits with white feet. That’s unusual and different from the rabbits that I have seen in southern Ontario. I’ll have to check to see if they are a different sub-species or just a colour variation.

THURSDAY, MAY 21, 2008

It is overcast and cool today. The weather is so unpredictable and switches from spring-like weather to fall-like weather in just 24 hours.

I was very itchy overnight and discovered that Ripley had picked up fleas during our walk in the grass yesterday. I had to get up and spray the bedding and carpets, and treat my hair and Ripley in order to get rid of them. This is really unpleasant, and I’m glad that I’ve treated Ripley with her monthly dose of Flea and Tick remedy, although that didn’t help in repelling the fleas. I’ll have to be more diligent when I take her out walking in future.

I tried to call Diane on her cell phone to tell her that I had left my sewer connection there, and found that my carrier doesn’t have coverage in this part of Ontario! Darn. That means that I can’t use my cell phone at all.


As we drove along the empty highway, I saw more deer by the roadside and at least one red-tailed hawk. When I arrived in the relatively large town of Dryden, I stopped at the Canadian Tire store to buy a new 20’ sewer connection. They had the hose but not the fitting that attaches it to my drain, so I still need to find that part. I tried the Wal Mart store, but all they were selling was the complete kit with a 10’ hose. It’s too short for some of the connections I’ve encountered.


At Ignace I gassed up, at the price of $1.34.9/litre. Across the road from the gas station I spied a chip truck selling fish and chips, a comfort food for me that my family indulged in every Friday. So naturally I had to order one. The haddock was a little sparse, but the fries were freshly made and both tasted just great with malt vinegar on them. This is yet another difference between Americans and Canadians. Americans do not put vinegar on their fries, and look at you very oddly if you ask for vinegar. And you won’t find malt vinegar anywhere there.

The skies remained clear with a few clouds as I continued, passing a number of signs for fishing and hunting lodges, some of them being fly-ins. There are lots of wetlands and lakes, but I continue to see dead trees that look like birch. There are lots of transport trucks heading westward, and I’m glad to report that the highway is in good condition so that I am not bouncing along for a change. There are many signs warning of the danger of moose crossing the highway at night, so I suppose that the incidents of accidents are quite high. The railway line follows the highway more or less, winding its way from coast to coast and I noticed a lot of freight being moved. I’ve noticed that there are many cargo boxes doubled up and it appears as though some of the boxes are just perched on top of the one below quite precariously. But I imagine that they are secured somehow – at least I hope so!

If I were working in an office, by now I know that I would have had at least a few bouts of flu and cold over the past few months because of working in an enclosed air environment where the germs just migrate around from one person to the next. I am so thankful to be away from that and out in the open fresh air, where I have had only the one incident back in Florida when a sick child coughed on me repeatedly.

As I continued along the highway where there is no radio coverage, I listened to more of the tapes that I bought in Calgary – Riverdance, Folkways (renditions of Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly tunes) and Vacation in the Sun (everything from Greek to Caribbean music).


At 4:30 it began to get more cloudy, and I pulled off at a picnic site where there was a sign proclaiming a crossing into the Eastern Time Zone, along with an explanation of Sir Sanford Fleming, who created the concept of time zones. That means I lose an hour.

As I was walking Ripley around the picnic site, I came across a man who was busily picking up bits of garbage, and he seemed quite strange until he went back to his car and put on his orange vest and helmet. I thought it was a big odd that he was just beginning his clean-up at this hour, and he actually worked until 9:00 p.m. Perhaps this is a second job for him. The Savanne River flows by the picnic site, but I didn’t see any waterfowl, maybe because the current is quite strong.


The weather is mild and I decided to remain at the picnic site for the night, as I didn’t see any signs prohibiting overnight parking. Very soon I was joined by two other rigs and a conversion van. One of the rigs was a home-made job on a Mercedes chassis. I spoke to the owner, who was German, briefly, and he informed me that it was a four-wheel drive heavy duty machine that could go off-road and that he had done all the work himself. I think it may have been imported, as the licence plate was not Canadian, but I didn’t think to ask him that.

I also chatted briefly with a woman who stopped briefly in a U-Haul van. She lives in Ottawa where her parents were both elderly and ill, whereas her husband is working in Winnipeg. Her mother has now passed on, and her father is now in a nursing home. She was hauling some of their furniture to him to fill the house that he is in, and will wind up the sale of her father’s house, etc. before joining her husband.

I decided to make a beef casserole for supper, using the pound of hamburger adding pasta, garlic, onions, tomatoes, peas and corn, a dash of Montreal steak spice and some leftover tomato sauce. This will be a meal for a couple of days – my favourite as I can then quickly have a decent meal in days to come.

I’ve traveled 293 kms. today.

During the night a transport truck also pulled in, so I had plenty of company.

FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2008

I awoke late to find that all the other rigs had departed. I got underway around 11:45 a.m., after walking Ripley and having breakfast.

I soon passed a sign announcing that I was crossing the Continental Divide. From here on eastwards, all streams flow into the Atlantic Ocean – a long way from here.

Aside from the trees and lakes, I am also passing boulders, some of which have been blasted in order to lay out the highway. Northern Ontario is renowned for these landmarks and there are no visible houses along the highway for miles and miles. It really is a vast wilderness.

The weather continues to be warm and sunny.


Kakabeka Falls is a well-known tourist attraction and is known as the Niagara Falls of the North. The falls are not quite as impressive as the more famous southern Ontario falls, but still worth a visit. The Kaministiquia River was a trade route for early explorers, fur traders and the native tribes, but the portage around the falls was onerous and eventually another route was used, as well as a wagon trail and eventually the Canadian Pacific Railway. I took Ripley with me as I followed the trail to the falls and further. Ripley ate some grass and then vomited. I’m not sure if this is still the after-effects of whatever she got into at my cousin’s cottage or something else.

Kakabeka Falls is now a provincial park and campground. Despite the fact that I had only traveled 79 kms. today, I decided that this would be a good spot to stay and after paying the fee of $22.00 I made my way to a nicely treed pull-through site that had electricity but no water.

It was actually warm enough to sit outside at the picnic table and enjoy the afternoon sun, while Ripley found a sunny spot in which to lie. I had leftover beef casserole for supper.

As it is Friday night, many more campers began to arrive, many with small children and the air was soon filled with their voices as they rode bicycles around the trails.

I tried to use my cell phone, but there is still no Telus coverage, which is unfortunate. I thought that I would try to contact another cousin, Bernie Golibowski, who lives in Thunder Bay nearby, but I seem to have lost the information that Pat had given me back in Winnipeg. And I can’t phone him either!

I took Ripley for a walk around the park, but saw few birds other than the odd robin or sparrow. The trees are finally starting to bud, but there are still no flowers in this area.

For the evening’s entertainment I began to read another of my bargain books – Adrian Mole The Cappuccino Years by Sue Townsend. She has a very amusing style of writing.

My hair is now beginning to look very untidy, as it slowly grows out from the style I received back at 29 Palms in California. You will recall that I went to a hairdresser who specialized in military haircuts, but whom I was assured also did women’s hair. I’ll just have to put up with it until it is long enough to be styled properly.

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2008

I really enjoyed watching the stars in the night sky as I lay in bed last night. The sky was very clear and there were myriads of stars. In the early morning the park was quiet and peaceful, but as the various children awoke, their shouts soon broke the peace.

I wandered over to the shower building for a lukewarm shower – all that was provided. I’m glad that the outside temperature is fairly warm.

I continued through the town of Kakabeka Falls, stopping for gas ($1.30.9/litre) and propane (89.9 cents/litre), and bypassed a shop selling local amethyst. It was tempting, but I kept on going to Thunder Bay.

As I have been driving along, I have also been pondering what I should do when I get into southern Ontario. I can’t decide whether I should head down to the Toronto area or go north a bit to my own property in Muskoka. The disadvantage of my land is that there is no electricity or water on the property, but it is free. If I head south as soon as I arrive, then I would probably have to see if I could find an available spot in one of the campgrounds in the area. In the summer, sites are scarce and very expensive. In August, I will be house sitting for a friend through to the end of December, but in the meantime I would like to find a spot where I can park for awhile and work on my various projects, including jewelry making and self-publishing this blog (as I have been encouraged by several friends to turn my adventure into a book). I still have time to make up my mind, and as with most things, I’m sure the solution will become obvious as I move along.


I detoured off the highway to follow my GPS Maude to an RV dealer. It was further north than I had anticipated, but at least I was able to get the sewer fittings that I need to get a workable sewer connection. While there I enquired about the cost of the small portable generators they were selling. The salesman told me that a 2000 watt unit sold for $1250, while a 3000 watt, capable of running an air conditioner, cost $1750. He assured me that these were a far superior unit to the ones selling in Wal Mart at a much cheaper price, ran more efficiently and quietly. It is still a lot of money, but something to think about.

The local newspaper is advertising a Senior Star Competition on June 17th, an opportunity for seniors to demonstrate their singing talent. I suppose it is based on the “Idol” competitions.


After leaving the RV store, Maude got me lost. For some reason, she took me in a very wide arc out of my way, but eventually I made it to my destination – Fort William Historical Park. This is another site where costumed people greet you and tell you of their lives as they are in the 19th century. After paying my admission (senior’s price is $10.79), I watched a video describing the history of the fort, an important trading post of the Northwest Company, rivals of the Hudson’s Bay Company. The Northwest Company had a different strategy in that they set up outposts near the villages of the aboriginals, enabling them to travel much shorter distances in order to trade their furs for the European goods they coveted. In fact, the NWC established trading routes all the way to the Pacific coast, and then reached an agreement with the American traders in order to obtain goods from China.

The next tour had just started, so I hurriedly caught up with Francois and Registe at the site of wigwams (different from teepees in that they were permanent structures, made out of birch bark instead of portable teepees using animal skins).

Both have the central hearth around which the family would eat and sleep on fur. Francois and Registe (both university students working as a summer job) are voyageurs and told us about their hard life where they would paddle miles each day in large canoes, and at portages they were each responsible to carry six packs each weighing 45 lbs. around rapids or other obstructions, and then carry the canoe to the next launch spot.

At the fort they lived in tents outside the palisades and did not really mingle with the bourgeois.

They have a rendezvous early in June whereby the voyageurs who have traveled from Quebec will meet up with those who live at the fort for a large festival. The men from Quebec will then return home with the packed furs and other goods, leaving behind the European goods they brought, such as guns, cooking utensils, cloth, sugar and other luxury items.

Francois with beaver pelt

Francois and Registe accompanied us to different buildings within the fort, describing the apothecary’s house and demonstrating some of the harsh tools used by the local doctor to treat such ailments as toothaches and headaches.

Registe in apothecar's house

Voyageurs were not given alcohol to deaden the pain before surgery because they prided themselves on being tough, but just imagine having a tooth pulled out with pliers, and then having the root scraped out with a tool that resembled a small pick, without benefit of anesthetic. The headache remedy was equally as painful and it was a small contraption fitted with a spring that literally cut slices into the scalp in order to allow bleeding to occur. Is it any wonder that the voyageurs preferred to use the herbal remedies of the local natives?

Demonstrating stitching the birchbark together to make a canoe

There were many buildings within the stockade (erected to protect the inhabitants from wildlife rather than enemies), and because it is early in the season there are only a few costumed people rather than the full contingency in the summer.

Likewise, the demonstrations of local manufacturing of tin, sewing, etc. are not available at this time. However, we did make our way to the trading post where I was astonished at the number of animal pelts to be found here – everything from beaver pelts (the most coveted) to ermine, lynx, bobcat, rabbit and every other furred creature found in Ontario. These were all genuine furs and I wanted to ask how they were obtained.

The trading post is also the store where the natives came to exchange their pelts for goods such as blankets, shot, cloth, salt, sugar, etc.

We went on to the central dining room where the aristocrats and clerks took their meals, with tables laid out with china, Wedgewood glassware and silverware. Paintings on the walls of this vast central room depicted some of the more prominent residents, many of whom were present only for the summer, and returning to England before winter set in. There were four bedrooms attached to this building set aside for these gentlemen. The clerks had their own building.

Francois and Registe left us on our own at this point, as they had another tour coming in, and I continued on my own to the area where the blacksmith and others would be demonstrating their crafts during the summer, but which were unoccupied presently. From there I wandered over to the farm where all the vegetables and meat are grown for the occupants of the fort.

By this time I had been walking for 2 ½ hours and it was almost closing time, so I made my way to the greeting area, where a costumed staff member spoke into a box to call for a golf cart – a clash of centuries, but something that I was quite grateful for.

I considered just remaining in the parking lot overnight, but found that the gates were locked and no one was allowed to stay there. Consequently, I continued on my way back to Highway 17 eastwards.


The majority of Canadians have heard the story of Terry Fox, a courageous young man who had lost his leg to cancer at the age of eighteen. During his recuperation in hospital, he realized that there were many people suffering from this terrible disease and decided to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research. He began by dipping his artificial leg in the Atlantic Ocean, and then headed across Canada, averaging 26 miles per day running on his good and artificial leg. He had traveled some 5,000 miles before being forced to stop in Thunder Bay because his cancer had recurred. He died shortly after that, at the young age of 21 in 1981.

By the time that Terry had reached Thunder Bay, he had raised several million dollars as he became an inspiration to all who saw him. I can recall seeing him on TV as he made his way through Toronto.

There is a monument to Terry just on the outskirts of Thunder Bay. I had a particular interest in seeing this as my last contract job before taking off on this trip was assistant to the International Director of The Terry Fox Foundation. I worked with Breeda to oversee the Terry Fox Runs that were held around the world, so I had an insider’s look at just how inspirational this young man has been. Twenty-seven years later there are Runs held not only across Canada, but also around the world in Terry’s name and to date approximately $90 million has been raised for cancer research.

The monument is life-size and a very accurate portrayal of him, as it looks out over Lake Superior. I had read that earlier this year someone had defaced the statue, but it must have been repaired.


Lake Superior is one of the Great Lakes, and is huge. I will be crossing the northern end of it for many miles yet. Gordon Lightfoot wrote a very famous song called “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” about a freighter that went down in Lake Superior on one windy day. The lake looks quite foreboding on an overcast day like today and it wasn’t difficult to imagine that many a ship has been lost in this body of water.

The Camping Directory that I picked up at the Visitor Centre when I first entered Ontario indicates that there are very few campgrounds along this stretch, and when I saw a sign for Eagle Adventure Campground, I decided to stop there even though it was some 15 kms on a side road. However, when I arrived I was told that the fee was $45, including the admission fee to some suspension bridges and that was the fee whether or not you wanted to see these bridges. There was no way that I was going to pay that fee, so I retraced my steps over the gravelly bumpy road back on to Highway 17 and eventually came across the Wolf River Park where I managed to get the last site available (electric only) for $22.

Most of the sites are seasonal and people have erected porches and fences and put out decorations around their sites.

The Wolf River circles around the park, and I took Ripley down to the beach to collect some river stones.

After more beef casserole, I settled down to see if I could pick up any TV and managed to watch a snowy version of the Stanley Cup Finals first game. Although there was a double image of the players, I could at least listen to the play by play. Detroit won 4-0. I’m rooting for Pittsburgh.

SUNDAY, MAY 25, 2008

It rained overnight, and the river beside the park had risen overnight, with a strong current.


As checkout time wasn’t until 2:00 p.m., I slowly got ready to leave and listened to the CBC , with Stuart McLean. He contacted a young boy who had named his cow after him, and others who had written to him with their stories.

After it ended another show came on featuring two characters doing a take-off on a Dr. Seuss story, in which a man had turned into a cockroach and was writing to a prominent doctor in Europe to help him. The doctor would respond in a typical Seuss rhyme, and it ended with the man’s sister writing to the doctor to say that her brother had passed on, but not before starting to show wings so that he was in fact a beetle and not a cockroach after all. You had to hear it.

As I drove along, I listened to interviews with three Olympic athletes talking about their preparation for the upcoming games, followed by an interview with Dr. Gabor Matte who has written his fourth book “In the Realm of the Hungry Ghost”. He explained that this was one of the Buddhist concepts of life. The Hungry Ghost realm is one in which people are confronted with their demons that make one dissatisfied with life and make them want to escape from reality. He works with drug addicts in Vancouver and uses this concept to treat his patients. He describes one who is highly intelligent and who can spout Goethe and Proust but who is in and out of jail frequently as he pursues his need for drugs. Dr. Matte also spoke of his own addiction to classical music; he said that he has been known to spend thousands of dollars on different versions of a Mahler symphony in a 48 hour period. The book sounds quite fascinating, and I will have to seek it out in the library when I get home.

I have noticed that many of these towns have service clubs, and as a Rotarian I am pleased to see the Rotary wheel prominent on the signs as I travel through.

The highway follows the shore of Lake Superior, so I was able to stop at a few picnic sites for views of the lake. There was one site in particular where I was tempted to spend the night, as it was well away from the noise of the highway amongst the trees that overlooked the lake. But I had only driven 60 km so far, and the weather is forecast to be very cold tonight, so I continued on, listening to Donna Summer as I lost radio contact.

The lake has whitecaps now and the overcast skies make it look very dangerous.

The highway travels through rolling hills and wilderness, and there are a number of moose warnings in the area.

I thought to stop in Terrace Bay to fill up with gas, only to find that there was a power outage throughout the area, and consequently the pumps were not operating. A sign on the pumps stated that the outage would be over at 4:30, a half hour from the present time. As my tank was very low, I opted to park and wait and had supper while I was waiting. This time I had pot roast with gravy and mushrooms (a refrigerated package) and mashed potatoes.

Just as I was finishing my meal, the power came back on and I was able to fill up. When I started out on this adventure, I paid $80 to fill the tank. Today it cost $128. However, on a lighter note, I won $4 on a lottery ticket!

I thought that I might see some interesting birds in this region, but so far I have only seen sparrows, robins, gulls, Canada geese and the odd hawk and turkey vulture.


After consulting my Passport America book, I found that one of the few member campgrounds in Ontario is located just outside Marathon, so I pulled into Neys Lunch and Campground, paying $12.50 a site with electricity, water and sewer connection. Tammy and John Gillespie bought the run-down campground four years ago and are slowly renovating it. They are setting up wi fi, but for now they have a computer with internet connection in the café area, but they charge $5 for just an hour’s use. Since I haven’t been able to check my email for some days, I forked over the money. The connection was very slow and I wasted ten minutes of the sixty allotted just in connecting to my email.

The campground is across the road from Neys Provincial Park, which was a German POW camp during World War Two. After the war was over, it was used for awhile as a work camp, but then the government decided to erase any traces of its former use. It was then discovered that there were many sensitive indigenous plants growing there and it was then converted to a park and campground. I suppose that I could have stayed there, but it would have cost me more and, like most provincial parks there is probably only electricity available and no water or sewer.

I checked to see if I could get any TV reception with my rabbit ears, and found that I could again get the CBC. I watched a new show called “Test the Nation” with Wendy Mesley and Ron McLean. The subject of this first show was sports. There were representatives from Olympic medalists, armchair sportspeople, umpires and referees, cheerleaders and mascots, and extreme sports people, each of whom had a voting terminal. There were also terminals available at a sports bar in Toronto for the occupants there, all of whom had to choose the correct answer to fifty multiple choice questions. It was quite entertaining.

MONDAY, MAY 26, 2008

During the night the weather turned nasty, with loud thunderclaps and lightning, which frighten the hell out of Ripley. She just quaked most of the night and was very restless regardless of my efforts to reassure her. Consequently, neither of us got much sleep and I awoke this morning to freezing rain and strong winds. Not a good day for traveling, so I opted to remain here for another day.

The café offered a full breakfast of two eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee for $5.99, so I decided to splurge, and use up the rest of my hour on the internet. The store is also the local liquor outlet, so I bought a bottle of strawberry wine too. Since arriving back in Canada, I have not bought any beer or wine because the prices are so much higher here, but I made an exception today.

When I arrived yesterday, I was surprised to learn that there was only one site available, but I was told that the mill in Marathon has shut down for maintenance and consequently many of the workers have their rigs here. Apparently there are three gold mines in the vicinity, one of which is the largest open pit mine in Canada. I thought that gold was further north, but I guess I was wrong.

I took Ripley out to the field behind the campsites a couple of times, despite the nasty weather and she enjoyed racing around off leash, particularly when I brought her soccer ball along. She has fully recovered from her frightening night! On one of these walks I saw a bird that I have identified as an American Redstart. It had a wonderful flash of brilliant orange on its wings and tail. It is described as having a butterfly-like flight, and I have to say that I thought at first that I was looking at a butterfly and not a bird, until it landed and I could get a better look at it.

In the afternoon it began to snow, but it does seem that it isn’t going to stay on the ground.

I spent part of the day cleaning house, vacuuming and scrubbing. It’s amazing how much dust gets into the rig.

Besides catching up with my blog, I also indulged myself in reading another novel, this one by James Lee Burke, called “A Morning For Flamingos”. I have read one other novel of his and enjoyed his main character Dave Robicheaux, an ex-cop from Louisiana.

By evening, the sun had come out and the wind had died down, so tomorrow will be a good day for traveling.

The radio is saying there is a frost warning tonight, with a low of -3 degrees C. What happened to spring??

For a change, I watched a DVD featuring Robin Williams in one of his stand-up comedies. As usual, he was totally irreverent but very funny.

The second Stanley Cup Finals game is on tonight, so I tuned in during the second period. Detroit is leading 2-0. Not good.

TUESDAY, MAY 27, 2008

The weather is really variable at this time of year in the north. Overnight the temperature dropped to near freezing and the forecast is for freezing rain or snow.

After checking my oil and making a sewer dump, I headed eastwards to the town of Marathon to the library to use the free Internet service. That is one consistent service that I have found throughout my travels, and it has been a real boon to me. I checked the American Idol site, and was really surprised to see that it was David Cook who won. In my opinion, he was better ready to get on stage an entertain an audience than the 17-year old David Archuleta, but I was sure that the tweeners would have voted the latter in as winner.

On my way out of the library, I passed a table selling remaindered books and picked up Rick Mercer’s book of rants. (Canadians will know who I mean; Rick Mercer is a Canadian comedian who is known for his very humorous commentaries on various political and newsworthy subjects, known as rants.

My friend June Barringham will be 80 years old on June 3rd and unfortunately I won’t be back yet; but I did send her a card to wish her well. That is quite a milestone that not all of us will see, and I wish her well.

I’ve been passing a lot of construction on the road – certainly something that is needed and an event which heralds the coming of better weather. Many of the people holding the “Stop” and “Slow” sign are women – probably university students working for the summer. Not a bad gig, so long as the weather is good, but today there are ice pellets and a strong wind. I, for one, would not want to be standing outside today!

I passed the three gold mines, the name of one being Barrick Gold Mines – an infamous name.


I’m really concerned about the numbers of dead trees that I’ve passed along the highway, and wonder if these are the victims of the deadly pine beetle. They look like giant toothpicks sticking up for miles and miles and are a shocking reminder of what can happen when a non-native species is introduced.


White River has a huge sign showing a drawing of Winnie the Pooh, stating “Where It All Began”. I don’t understand this, as I’m quite certain that the fictitious bear was based on a bear found at the Winnipeg Zoo. I didn’t stop to enquire, but probably should have.

But I did stop at a picnic site (they are few and far between on this road) between White River and Wawa, for cheese and crackers (President’s Choice crackers and locally made cheddar cheese).

Today’s choice of music is the soundtrack from Tequila Sunrise. There is no radio service along this stretch of road. The weather has changed again from this morning and is now sunny, with a high of 11 degrees C.

There are quite a number of provincial parks, and I’m glad to see that the habitat is being protected, although I believe that mining is allowed within the park boundaries. There is a lot of rock that has been blasted to make way for the highway, and many travelers have left their own mark in the form of Inukshuks, a popular thing to do now and certainly less damaging than graffiti.

At Wawa I stopped for gas ($1.29.9/litre) and of course had to take a photo of their famous goose statue, one of many around town.

There is a great deal of creativity in naming the bodies of water; my favourites today are Fungus Creek and Desolation Lake. I overnighted at Rabbit Blanket Lake inside Lake Superior Provincial Park. There was nobody on duty, so I picked a spot and took Ripley for a walk along the shore of the lake. It is really too bad that it is still too cold. This would have been a perfect place to launch a kayak. I do wish that I had brought mine along instead of lending it to Shana.

The computer cheated again at Scrabble. But at least I had strawberry wine to console myself.


I woke up with a headache. Even one glass of wine seems to do me in now. I took Ripley out for a walk on the Peat Mountain Trail to clear my head and to enjoy the beautiful sunny morning. I saw a sharp-tailed sparrow in my binoculars, which I identified from my Eastern Birds book. I am finding this book a bit confusing, and would prefer to find one on just the Birds of Ontario. Ripley desperately wanted to get to a chipmunk she spied through the screen door, and the little mammal seemed to realize that Ripley couldn’t reach her, as it calmly went about foraging for food in the underbrush just outside. That, of course, made Ripley all the more frantic to get out there, but that was not in the cards.

When I was ready to leave, there was still nobody manning the booth, so I guess I had a free night!

Although I am truly enjoying the scenery, I am finding it quite wearying to drive on day after day. It would be good to set down some roots and stay for awhile.

My favourite names for lakes today are Dad Lake, Mom Lake and Baby Lake.


Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world and goes on for miles and miles. I’ve mentioned previously how ominous it looked, but today the lake is relatively benign, the sun is shining and it has taken on a very different demeanour, especially at Katherine Cove, a lovely sandy beach protected by an outer island. I have no doubt that it is a favourite spot for swimmers and canoeists in the warmer weather. As it is still within the provincial park boundaries, I bought a two-hour permit in order to walk along the shore with Ripley and to sit on the rocks overlooking the lake.

I watched a solitary loon diving for fish just offshore. There is such a feeling of serenity in places like this, but I do wish that smokers would not drop their cigarette butts to mar the beauty of the natural surroundings.


At 3:30 I continued towards Agawa Canyon, a sacred Ojibwe site where there are pictographs left by members of the tribe in an earlier time. I recall visiting here many years ago and that it was a difficult climb to get to the pictographs.

But I hadn’t quite remembered it as being so hazardous. This sign is not an exaggeration!

The trail from the parking lot takes one down through a rocky trail between giant cliffs, and then over some boulders to the stairs leading down to the ledge where the pictographs are. Any visitor who isn’t steady on his or her feet would have a very difficult time climbing down or up. Quite honestly, I am really amazed that the provincial authorities allow visitors to climb out on to the ledge which drops sharply into Lake Superior.

There are a few hand grips, but it would be so easy to fall in. The authorities have very kindly provided a lifebuoy and a grappling bar for those who do fall in, but considering all the safeguards that are generally in place in a tourist area, I just don’t understand why visitors are allowed here at all. And what I found so disappointing is that the pictographs have not been protected and have been allowed to fade, and for moss to grow around them.

I ventured out to the first two closest to the stairs, but was too nervous to go out any further to view the rest. After Ripley slipped on a rock and hurt her paw, I tied her up and left her behind on the trail; she would not have wanted to go any further anyway, as she was quite scared afterwards.

To make matters worse, the black flies were out in hordes, viciously attacking any unprotected skin. That’s the price you pay for hot and sunny weather! The sun glistened off the rocks along the shore, but I did not hang around to admire the beauty for very long!

There is still not cell phone service in this area.

I thought that I might see some shorebirds or waterfowl, but there has been quite a scarcity of these birds in any of the areas where I have stopped.


The Agawa Indian and Wildlife Fine Arts is a group of buildings together where one can buy gas, chain saw carvings, paintings, groceries, fishing and hunting licenses, export permits for deer, moose and bear, liquor and souvenirs and have a free coffee while browsing. I try not to get too engrossed in places like this, but I did find a compact guide to the Birds of Ontario, with large drawings, and I think it will be a big help in identifying the common birds found here.

The Ontario Campground Directory does not list all the campgrounds that I have come across along this stretch of highway since I left Manitoba, so I don’t know how they get listed. Perhaps it is only those who pay who are in the directory. At Goulais River I stopped at Blueberry Hill Motel and RV to take advantage of my Explorer’s membership discount, the first I’ve been able to use. Explorers is a Canadian RV club that I joined before leaving, so it cost me $26 for the night with electricity and water. The campground boasts a huge variety of playground toys, plus an arcade building, an indoor pool (the water was too cold), sauna, volleyball, basketball, nature trails and internet access. There are many permanent sites here and it must be quite noisy on the weekends when the children are out of school!

After catching up on my laundry, I took Ripley for a walk and came cross a single sandhill crane feeding in the front field.

My new book mentioned that these cranes can be found around the Sault Ste. Marie area as they migrate from the south, so I was quite excited to see and hear this large bird. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes and black flies are also quite prevalent!

I am close enough to Sault Ste Marie to pick up a TV signal and watched Game 3 of the Stanley Cup Finals. Pittsburgh won!

THURSDAY, MAY 29, 2008

I don’t believe this. I’ve lost my new sewer hose! The generator compartment where it was stored was not secured the last time I used it, and the hose has dropped out somewhere enroute. Boy, does that make me annoyed with myself for being so careless! It also meant spending $33 for yet another one.


Some years ago, I had the privilege of attending a function at which Dr. Roberta Bondar was the keynote speaker. She is the first Canadian woman to be in space and her talk and slide show was completely fascinating. I had a chance to speak to her after her talk and admired her greatly for her intelligence and sense of adventure. Sault Ste. Marie is her hometown, and they are justly proud of her, naming a community centre and school after her.


Lake Superior is now behind me, and I am now traveling along the shore of Lake Huron, an indication that my journey is coming to a close, as I get closer to my destination


Today the temperature is 19 degrees C and sunny. But it is also very buggy and I’ve had to dig out my insect spray. However, it is thrilling to see pussy willows and other bushes in bloom, after so many days of nothing but bare bushes and evergreens. There are lots of deciduous trees, with green leaves now instead of only fir trees.

The terrain has changed as well, and there are farms alongside the road now, with hayfields and cattle. There are warning signs for motorists to beware of horse-drawn buggies, so I guess this must be an Amish or Mennonite community.

It would have been interesting to take a mine tour at Bruce Mines, but the sign said it was closed. I suppose it’s too early in the tourist season yet.

I had lunch beside a fast-flowing river about 100 yards wide near some very old abandoned houses near Blind River. I suppose that, once the mines closed and farming was not productive, some people decided to move on. I am only conjecturing and the reason for abandoning the houses may be quite different. I noticed that there is a sign announcing the territory of the Mississauga Indian tribe, and perhaps the property around these abandoned houses was ceded to the tribe.

I’ve seen quite a few seaplanes in the neighbourhood. It is obviously the only way to travel in this land of few roads and many lakes.


I was blithely driving along thinking about where I might stop for the night, when all of a sudden the traffic in front of me came to a halt. I had quite forgotten that today had been proclaimed as a day of protest by various native tribes across Ontario, to indicate their displeasure with the government regarding treaties. Not all tribes were participating, but I realized right away that I had come across a blockade that might last for hours. There was a rented RV in front of me, and a German fellow came back to ask me about where to camp for the night. I explained to him about the blockade and suggested that he might have to wait for several hours before moving on. After standing still for about half an hour, I decided to turn around and head back to a picnic site that I had noticed just a mile or two back along the road, beside the Serpent River.

The picnic site was very attractive, shady and led down to the rocks along the Serpent River, where I had lunch. I noticed a sign for the Kennebec Trail, so Ripley and I headed off for a hike for about a kilometer, through blossoming trees along a gravel trail.

I was happy to see the gravel because it meant that I could make a crunching noise to alert any bears in the vicinity. Black bears generally do not attack people unless they are startled or are protecting young, but I was concerned about Ripley. In any event, we didn’t meet any bears but I did enjoy listening to the various birdsongs in the trees around us and looking at the wildflowers. And I did hear the call of a crane nearby but didn’t see it.

It was a very pleasant spot and I would have enjoyed boondocking there that night, but there were several signs forbidding overnight camping. I suppose I could have risked staying, but didn’t feel like being rousted in the middle of the night by an OPP official telling me to move on.


Instead, I headed back down the road, past where the blockade had taken place, and noticed a sign for Mitchell’s Camp in nearby Spanish. This seemed as likely as spot as any to stop and I’m glad I did. This is another campground not in the Ontario Directory and is on the shore of the mouth of the river leading into Lake Huron. It is used as a boat launch and because of the breeze, there were no black flies or mosquitoes in the grassy campsites. In the office, Mary Mitchell greeted me and for $25 I had water and electricity and shade. I noticed that there were two Norval Morrisseau paintings on the wall. He is a native from Manitoulin Island who has become quite famous locally, whereas at one time he couldn’t even give his paintings away. It seems that her husband used to work on Manitoulin Island and bought these two paintings from Morrisseau himself.

Don Mitchell noticed that my bike was not secured properly and offered to fix it for me. He and his neighbour shortly came around with tools, straightened out my bike carrier and re-positioned my bike more securely on to the frame.

The camp has wi fi but the signal is too weak for me to pick it up at my site. Tomorrow I will ask if I can sit in the office to get a stronger signal.

In the meantime, Ripley and I walked along the shore where I could hear cranes calling on the island just offshore.

FRIDAY, MAY 30, 2008

This is a very pleasant spot and I’ve decided to spend one more day here, after sleeping in and having a delicious breakfast of bacon, eggs, English crumpets and coffee.

Mary had mentioned that there was a trail winding along the shore past some of the houses and that it was okay for me to walk along there, so Ripley and I headed out there, in the hopes of seeing some waterfowl or even cranes offshore. There were none there, but I enjoyed looking at the flowering wildflowers amongst the rocks.

As we headed back along the docks, I came across a single blue-winged teal swimming in the shallows and much to my surprise, Ripley headed into the water towards it. She generally has shied away from getting wet, but she was quite prepared to swim out to the bird when I stopped her. The bird simply moved a little further away.

We continued on to the pier where I encountered three fishermen who had just returned from a successful fishing expedition, and just before the rain started. They were happily cleaning their catch of pickerel (limit of four each) when I stopped by to watch and admire. I mentioned that my father had been an avid fisherman, and wondered if they were retired so that they could be out on a Friday. One fellow explained that they worked shift work and got 3-4 days off at a time. After chatting for a few minutes, he generously gave me a filleted and cleaned fish and that made my day! I am looking forward to fresh baked fish tonight for supper.

I headed back to my RV before the rain came down too heavily, and read for awhile. Today I am reading The Fifth Angel by Tim Green, about a vigilante who is killing sexual predators, after obtaining their name and address from the Sex Offenders List.

Mary allowed me to set up my laptop in the office, but my wi fi is incompatible with Sympatico, it seems. So she very kindly invited me into her house to hook up directly to their satellite connection, and I happily caught up on my blog and emails for a couple of hours.

Since they were getting ready for supper, I headed back to my RV, and Don offered to let me use their barbecue when he was finished. I wrapped up my prize pickerel in tinfoil, along with some onions but take advantage of this offer, and enjoyed a wonderful repast of barbecued fish, onions, rice and corn for supper.

The people in the North really are friendly and generous, and Don and Mary are good examples of this generosity. Their brochure has a poem on it by an unknown author, and I would like to share it with you.


You tell me you’re a stranger
From lands that lie afar,
You ask me where the North begins
And what its boundaries are.

The North is not an area
It’s not a piece of land
The North’s a spirit and a life
Which you must understand.

Up where the handclasp’s stronger,
Far from the city dins,
Up where the smile lasts longer,
That’s where the North begins.

Up where the sun shines brighter,
Where worries easily end,
Up where the snow lies whiter,
You’re in the North, my friend.

Where every man’s a fighter,
And no one quits the game,
Where the bond of friendship’s tighter
And honor’s more than fame.

Where you feel the fresh wind blowing
From pine woods clean and pure,
Where you find the trout-streams flowing,
You’re in the North, for sure.

Where fewer hearts are aching,
And fewer men walk broke,
Where the world’s still in the making
And all hearts carry hope.

Where fellows don’t mind giving,
And we ask no creed or name,
Where the fun of life is living,
For life is worth the game.

Have you left the camp at daylight,
As dawn was breaking forth,
Carried back your deer at twilight?
Then you’ve really known the North.

Have you smelled the bacon frying,
By streams where the big trout swims,
Made friends without half trying?
That’s where the North beings.

For the North is not a country,
Measured by terms of land,
The real North is a spirit,
Which you must understand.


Spirit Walker said...

For more information on Norval Morrisseau and his Legacy go to:

Meegwetch, Spirit Walker

Raven said...

The most respected Morrisseau Blog on the Net:

No fake paintings here!!

Anonymous said...

It is remarkable, very valuable idea

Anonymous said...

I always motivated by you, your thoughts and way of thinking, again, thanks for this nice post.

- Norman