Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Lake Superior Circle Tour-Day 4 to Wawa, Ontario, Canada

Leaving the B & B and continuing on our journey was a beautiful drive.  There are so many gorgeous lakes and forests.  Every 25 or 30 miles we saw a Moose crossing sign.  Most of them said night danger, but I was hoping to see one.   I carefully looked for a moose along the shore of every lake we passed.    I didn't see one moose.  In fact, I didn't see any eagles either.  I see them all the time around our area, but I thought I would see more in Canada.

Our first stop on our fourth day was Terrace Bay.  It was the stop for our fourth stamp.  Nearby was Aguasabon Falls.  The falls are part of a hydroelectric power plant which has been operating since 1948.  Kakabeka Falls, which we saw yesterday began producing power in 1906.  The Aquasabon generating station can produce enough power for 45,000 homes.

We left Aquasabon Falls and continued to White River.  There was more beautiful scenery along the way.

When we arrived in White River it looked like it was pre-tourist season.  None of the planters were filled with flowers, and the park was overgrown with weeds.  It appeared that spring had barely arrived.  The photos we had seen of this town had it all decked out.  They celebrate a Winnie the Pooh festival every summer, but it doesn't happen until the third week in August so I guess they have time to clean up.  As the story goes, an Army veterinarian named Lt. Harry Colebourn was assigned to take care of Army horses.  These horses arrived by steam train on August 24, 1914.  He noticed an orphaned black bear cub for sale on the train platform  He bought the 6 month old bear cub for $20.  He formed a bond with the bear and named her Winnipeg after his home town.  He called her Winnie for short.  Winnie became Harry's pet.  When Harry was called to England, Winnie went along.  She went to live in the London zoo when Harry was sent to serve in France.  Winnie was very tame and gentle.  She was the most popular animal in the zoo.  Five years later Harry gave Winnie to the zoo permanently.  She lived for 20 years.  The author A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne loved visiting the bear.  In 1926 A.A. Milne wrote the famous children's book Winnie the Pooh based on Harry Colebourn's black bear named Winnie.  We read that if you see a black bear in the area it is probably a descendent of Winnie.  From now on, the black bear we saw near Rossport, Ontario, Canada will also be called Winnie.

Entrance sign to the park
In 1992 this sculpture was donated to the community of White River.

We left White River and arrived in Wawa, Ontario in the early afternoon.  We couldn't get into our motel room for a couple hours, so we spent time looking around.  We went to the Wawa tourist information center for our fifth stamp.  There was a lot to look at there.  It was informational as well as having beautiful views.

There is a big Wild Goose statue at the tourist center.  The famous Wawa goose looks out over the Trans Canada Highway.  Wawa was probably named after an Ojibway name for goose.  The name for snow goose was wewe and the name for "clear water springs" was wawagonk.  At some point they came up with Wawa.  There was a time when the community tried to change the name, but it wasn't successful.

It wasn't until 1960 that the final link of the Lake Superior section of the Trans Canada Highway opened.  Early people traveled by railroad or steamship, then a rough road was cut but it was difficult to travel on.  I imagine the highway opening was very welcomed and opened up the area.

After visiting the travel center, we still had time to fill.  I had seen a lot of waterfalls, but we decided to see another.  It was the Scenic High Falls of the Magpie river.  We followed the signs and had to travel about 1.5 miles on a gravel road.  It had rained before we got there so the potholes were filled with water.  By the time we arrived, our car was really dirty.  You couldn't even see the damage from our fender bender a couple days earlier.

The area near Wawa and probably this whole area north of Lake Superior was based on the natural resources available.  Animal fur, fish, iron, gold and logging.  Workers would log out the forests and float the logs down the rivers.  Sometimes the logs would jam at the dams and waterfalls.  Even now you can see piles of old logs accumulated nearby.

The last place we visited before we settled in for the evening was Young's General Store.  Needless to say, I didn't use the restroom (or washroom as the Canadians call it).  I had seen enough of disgusting facilities along the waysides.  I love nature and the outdoors, but I'm an indoor plumbing kind of girl.

I did see my first moose at this general store.  It was not alive, but it is probably the closest I will ever get to one.

After a bite to eat, we finally settled in for the night.  In the morning we ate breakfast at an interesting restaurant.  We met some people who were from North Carolina.  They had driven to Vancouver and were heading across Canada to New Hampshire.  They had put on more than 7000 miles so far.  It made our little trip kind of puny.  That was a huge undertaking I wouldn't have been up to.

We are off to Sault Ste Marie-Canada.

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