Northern Ontario – still – it’s a big province

Day 7

YEAH, I got my map working for this blog, finally.  Maybe it isn’t perfect but it does what I want.  I will put some sort of map image on the site about where we are and clicking it will take you to a version of Google Maps showing our trip to date.  Mike W. you had asked about being able to follow us and this should work.

This is where I plead my ignorance.  When people told me that they travelled the Trans Canada highway I always assumed that meant that I could look at a map and plot their route.  I had no idea that in parts of the country the Trans Canada splits and eventually comes back together.  It turns out that both the North and South route to Thunder Bay are Trans Canada highways.

Mike had commented in the morning that he didn’t think the north route was quite as pretty as the southern route we took many years ago.  We happened to talk with a trucker later in the day.  He was saying that most tourists take the southern route but the truckers like the northern one because the roads are much flatter and straighter.  It is surprising how much difference a few hills and curves make to your appreciation of the scenery.  That said this entire part of the world is lovely.  What isn’t lovely are the mosquitoes and flies.  The campground had a sign “Squitos Free.  Take one home with you.”.  When they told me that the mosquitos hadn’t been really bad recently and that the black flies were almost gone I decided that a walk at dusk wasn’t for me.   Have a look at the picture – even golfers need protection.

This area has had a tough time economically.  The gold mines closed in the 70s, The workers moved to the sawmills and lumber plants which have now closed down.  Life is tough.  We were told in one town that some strip mining for gold might be starting up again.  We went for a walk on ground that had once been all gold tailings.  They had done a wonderful job of turning it back to nature and removing anything poisonous from it.  In lots of places arsenic was used to extract the gold.  It made me think about the oil sands and the bad press they get for the tailings.  Something can obviously be done if the incentive is there.

Mike and I are both enjoying the chance to see this part of the country.  We will probably get to Thunder Bay this evening.

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