Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.


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Oh Canada!

What’s on Canada’s Lake Superior shore you may wonder. Well, I can’t show you everything, it’s a big lake, and a long shore after all, but I can show you a few of the things that caught my attention.

First of all, there are a lot of waterfalls, most of them huge. I liked the big vistas…

Kakabeka Falls, near Thunder Bay

…but I really enjoyed trying to capture some of the smaller details, like these shelves of rock with water pouring over.

Water cascading.

Some people enjoy seeing the water smoothed, other people like seeing the droplets.

Another view of cascading water.

I like waterfalls both ways.

Also near Thunder Bay is a memorial park honoring Terry Fox, the young man who was running a marathon a day, across Canada, to raise money for cancer research.

Looking out over Thunder Bay. Forever young.

The park marks the spot he had to stop, back in 1980 when his cancer returned.

One day we were driving through Thunder Bay when I noticed the sun on a red ship moored out in the bay.

Wondering if the sun will wake the gentle sleeping giant.

Only later, looking through images, did I realize that in the background I had accidentally captured the sleeping giant. Do you see him? I almost cut off his head!

Here’s another view of the sleeping giant. Way up there is where we watched the sun set one evening, you saw those images in an earlier post.

The giant sleeps on.

Not far from Thunder Bay we stopped at another fur trading post, Fort William, and learned more about how the fur trading business worked.

There was another huge information center.

Notice the porch pillar is a tree sitting on a rock.

With lots of beautiful art inside.

Wood carvings inside.

And then you could take the shuttle or walk through a beautiful woods to get to the fort.

A beautiful walk, though we took the bus back to our car after our long tour of the fort.

Once there we were taken on a guided tour.

Trading modern goods for valuable furs.

There was a hierarchy in the business, among the owners or stockholders, and those that went into the wild to trade pots and pans for furs, and those that worked in the post.

The dining room. Depending on your rank you got to sit in different areas of the room.

It was interesting to realize that, in the end, it was the fashion industry that drove all this activity. The furs were sent back East to be made into felted hats, to edge beautiful gowns, or to be made into coats for the wealthy and powerful.

After our official tour we were allowed to wander through the rest of the buildings inside the fort.

Canoe maintenance building.

Lots of interesting places to explore, all labeled in three languages, English, French and the Native American language of the Ojibwa.

Three ways to say the same thing.

After we left the Thunder Bay area we stopped at an amethyst mine. Apparently there’s a relatively small area of Canada that has amethyst.

Explaining how the stones grown in fissures in granite.

This family has owned the land for several decades and gives short tours to explain how amethyst grows. It was pretty.

Pretty in purple.

But I was just as attracted to the old trucks parked on the land.

These guys have paid their dues.

We still had a long way to go, so we moved on…back along the shore of Lake Superior, with it’s beautiful blue water and rocky or sandy beaches.

Miles of beach, endless water and sky.

Some of it is hilly, small mountains really, and along the way we came around a curve to see this:

It looked like a toy, the bright colors of the train against the green of the mountain and the brilliant blue of Lake Superior.

It looked like a toy train going around the mountain. Luckily there was a scenic overlook right there so I got to capture the sun glinting off all those cars of containers.

Oh, I can’t forget to show you the giant Canada goose…

Located at an information center. Make sure you stop in when you go by.

… and Sandy Beach where a group of seven artists used to paint.

A lovely spot to paint.

And the wild blueberry farm we drove through, the berry plants already turning red in preparation for fall.

The colors were gorgeous.

And of course I can’t forget to tell you about the pictographs in Lake Superior Provincial Park.

We figured a short walk down to the shore would be easy. We were wrong.

400 meters. A piece of cake. Unfortunately no one told us we’d start looking like the dog and return looking like the pictograph.

It was a very rocky, uneven trail. One way down went between these huge granite cliffs. It was sort of like walking down a natural stone staircase in a grand home.

Going down.

Once we finally got down to the shore, covered in huge slabs of slippery granite, we found a few pictographs.

Ancient images.

There were more, and some larger, further along the ledge, but we didn’t want to risk sliding into the cold lake, especially with no easy way of getting back out!

Not going any further than this!

Then we started the long trek back to the car, following the other path which was strewn with boulders.

It was a long, difficult climb back up to the car.

Maybe if the lake level is down this would be a fun thing to do again. Or not.

After that adventure we were ready to stop, but we kept driving until we got to Sault St. Marie, Onterio where we finally rested for our last night in Canada. We loved our trip around Lake Superior. Who knew that was a thing?

I’m sure I missed telling you about some of the sights, but that just means you’ll have to come on up and do it for yourself. I’m sure you’ll find even more delightful things on your adventure.

If nothing else, there will always be the waterfalls!

September is the perfect time to explore Ontario!

If I were you I’d put Ontario on your bucket list.


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Be brave

In the past two days, since we moved north and west from Duluth Minnosota, we’ve explored Canadian waterfalls…

Kakabeka Falls

…and a fur trading fort set in 1816.

Fort William

Tonight as I sort through those images there are plenty I’d like to show you. But you’ve all seen waterfall images (though even I think the falls up here are pretty spectacular) and I’ve shared lots of forts in past travel posts.

If you like, once I get home, I’ll post some of my favorite shots from those experiences. But this post will focus on our adventures last night, when we drove to the top of the Sleeping Giant mountain to watch the sun set.

There’s potential for a spectacular sunset.

The road up was almost 6 miles of bumpy, rutted dirt. When we got near the top the road disappeared into pure rock. We were driving on the top of the mountain! There’s a viewing deck up there, but not exactly what I expected.

Not quite the nice wide deck I was expecting.

It’s a metal walkway extending out from the side of the mountain, 100 meters above the lake shore below. The floor is made of wooden slates…

Ummmm…don’t look down.

…that you can see between. It’s a very long way down and it took me a few moments to stop feeling light headed enough to slowly creep my way out toward the end.

It helps if you hang on to the railing and concentrate on the horizon.

But when I finally did, the view was astounding.

Picture perfect.

And to my right the lowering sun made the cliff glow.

The light on the cliff against the dark clouds was breathtaking.

I couldn’t keep from feeling a thrill to be out there…

It was amazing! photo credit to my husband.

…even though there really wasn’t much of a sunset.

Just before the rain came.

It was scary, being so high above Thunder Bay, but I’m glad we went. If you’re ever nearby I recommend you venture out too!

Just don’t look down.

Good night sun!


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A little Montreal

Old City Montreal.

Old City Montreal.

I’m getting behind again, I can just feel it. So many photos, so little time. Let me try to give you the abbreviated version of what we saw in Montreal. You already saw two places in yesterday’s Wordless Wednesday; the Notre Dame church and the City Hall, both lit up during the night.

We enjoyed walking around the old city in the lovely warm night air, listening to musicians singing and playing instruments, the notes echoing from the beautiful buildings up into the starlit night.

As we wandered the narrow streets many restaurant and bar windows were open, the customers turning into advertisements for the fare inside.

Waiting for a table or just enjoying a drink?

Waiting for a table or just enjoying a drink?

Evening darkened the square in front of Notre Dame; a horse and buggy team stopped for a rest and a chat.

Break time.

Break time.

We had a wonderful dinner at this restaurant and I loved how the lights were glowing as we walked back out into the street.

Warm light on a warm evening.

Warm light on a warm evening.

Then we wandered down by the river, enjoying the lit buildings as we people watched the other tourists.

More lights.

More lights.

In the morning we walked one last time through the narrow streets. There weren’t so many people out and about as the night before.

Out for a morning stroll...or on their way to work?

Out for a morning stroll…or on their way to work?

We stopped to see the inside of the Notre Dame Church. It’s spectacular.

Awe inspiring.

Awe inspiring.

Then we headed over to the Biospehere, the old Expo 67 United States Pavalion which is now a museum discussing how humans have changed the world’s ecosystem.

Memories of 1967

Memories of 1967

It wasn’t all good news. There are several exhibits including one that snows and rains on you. Another one has designer clothes made out of material that had been headed for a landfill.

Wonder what's in that purse?

Wonder what’s in that purse?

For all my dog friends, this dress was made out of what appear to be doggie bags…and not the kind you get at a restaurant. If you know what I mean.

But the best part about visiting the Biosphere was sitting out on the deck up top and looking at the Montreal skyline through the structure of the sphere.

There's a nice cool breeze up here.

There’s a nice cool breeze up here.

The skyline was pretty….but soon enough we had to move on.

Quite the view.

Quite the view.

Gotta get some sleep. Tomorrow is Quebec.

Imported Photos 01905