Driving from Timmins to Sault Ste Marie was a longer drive than we had expected (about 6.5 hours). There were not a lot of stops along the way but we did manage to stop at the Watershed Drainage Divide this time (after missing it on the way north). It is pretty awesome to think that rivers and lakes north of this line feed the Arctic Ocean as opposed to the Great Lakes.
Other interesting sights along the way include a population of white moose near Foleyet. They are not albino – they just carry a recessive gene that makes them very light in colour. I kept my eyes peeled thinking that white moose might be easier to spot than brown ones. I had no luck with white ones either.
We drove through the childhood home of my friend Kandice, a tiny hamlet called Wharncliffe and we were reminded just how small of a place it is -wow. The drive’s highlight for the kids was the Big Loonie right outside Sault Ste Marie.
The “Soo” has always been a place where Michael’s relatives spoiled him with elaborate Italian meals – this was no exception. Michael’s aunt Silvana made a delicious homemade pasta with meatballs and sausage. Luckily the kids had swum in Sil and Ernie’s pool before dinner because, afterwards, we were all in a food coma!
After getting new haircuts the next morning, we visited the Sault Ste Marie Locks which is a National Historic Site. The Historical site was partially closed but the kids still managed to find a tent with National Parks workers and collect their first “dog tags”. We suspect that they will collect many more of these as we continue west.
Whitefish Island is also nearby which is an island with a unique location between Lakes Huron and Superior. There is a rich fishery at the St. Mary’s Rapids and we even saw fishermen standing on the breakwater casting into the rapids. This island has an unfortunate history whereby it was taken from the Frist Nations who had treaty rights to the island and was only returned to their ownership quite recently. The hike around the island was full of birds and animals but we had to turn around when the boardwalk was flooded -causing lots of excitement.
We finished our time in the Soo with a meal at Auroras and some movie watching with aunt Sil. The girls also loved watching cousin Aly put on her make-up each morning we were there. Now we have at least 5 camping days ahead of us so I guess we’ll test out all the gear and hopefully we did not forget anything important. Also, let homeschooling begin!