Sunday, September 12, 2010 (Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Thunder Bay, ON)

Well...finally some sunshine! But windy...very, very windy! So much for taking the boat out and doing a little fishing. Oh well, we’ll explore this park, maybe hike a trail or 2 and then see what it’s like later on this afternoon.

We drove further down the peninsula to the village of Silver Islet. There is actual Silver Islet (island) about one kilometre offshore that was a silver mine in the early 1800’s. The community now consists of privately owned cottages that they refer to as “camps”. Many of the camps are original mining buildings that have been modified for summer residences. Unfortunately the General Store did not open until noon...and it was only 10:00 a.m. so we didn’t get a chance to take a look in it. Too bad...I bet it is pretty cool inside.

After a bit of a walk around and a few pictures, we headed to a trailhead...we were going to hike the Ravine Lake Trail. Once parked and ready to go, we walked up to the information kiosk...there is a $14 day-use permit required...ummm...nope...nadda...not going to pay we’ve said before...Ontario Parks are pretty darned expensive. But we decided to do the hike off we went. We got .5 km down the trail to a junction where about 3 different trails go off in different mention of Ravine Lake trail. So back we go to the information kiosk and the map. Ravine Trail was on the map but we just couldn’t figure out where it started....then I noticed a trail marker way down at the other end of the parking lot...ah...ha! We had forgotten our newly acquired hiking paraphernalia so after a stop at the truck, we headed out...complete with our walking sticks and bear bell.

The trail is 1.5 km (one way) and climbs steadily to a lookout over the peninsula’s south incredible view...

From there the trail descends to the shore of Ravine Lake...

The return trip takes you through a shaded cedar grove. It was a nice little hike...we really enjoyed it.

After exploring another road or 2, we drove back to the campground. Deciding that it would be really nice to have a campfire tonight, we stopped at the gatehouse to buy some firewood...$6 for a bag containing 6 split pieces of wood...what a rip-off!! So, we bought 2 bags...

While buying the firewood, we asked the girl about a picture that was hanging on the had been taken at the Sea Lion Trail. The trailhead for that hike was back where we had just been and not wanting to drive all the way back there, she suggested we go to the Thunder Bay Lookout. She said the view was incredible and on a fairly clear day like it was today, it would be awesome! Okay...we’ll go there.

The turnoff to the lookout ended up being quite a drive back down the road and then it was a 9 km drive on a fairly rough gravel road up to the top. So it was slow going...especially in the truck. But we eventually made it to the top...where the road and parking area had turned into sheets of glacier scraped bare rock...that’s when you know you are on top of a mountain! As our luck would have it...just after we pulled in, a Parks Ontario truck came in to check for park permits...of course, we hadn’t purchased one. But he waved as he drove by us...on the way in...and then on the way out, as we sat in the truck looking like typical tourists reading up about the area.

She had been right...the view was incredible! And the lookout was a platform that jutted out over the cliff...yikes!! The colour of Lake Superior’s water was a beautiful shade of greeny blue...just gorgeous!  Of course, the pictures just don't do it justice.   But it was oh so windy! There were major whitecaps on the water!

Back at the campground, we stopped at the gatehouse again to see what time it opened in the morning. We wanted to get an early start and didn’t want to have to wait around for the gatehouse to open so we could return the extension cords and get the $200 deposit back. As it turned out, they don’t open until 10:00 a.m. so that meant we would have to return them now...and they close at 3:00 p.m....and it was almost 2:30, so we had better get crackin’!

After dropping the cords off, we went to the Visitor’s Centre to take a look. It’s a very cool log building and has quite an interpretive display of the park. We wandered through both floors and then headed back to our campsite.

It was still very windy out, but we managed to find a sheltered spot for the chairs. Steve got a campfire going and we sat around the fire and roasted hot dogs for dinner...after over 2 months, this is the first time we have roasted wieners over the campfire!

It was Sunday evening...time for our weekly call to the kids...YAY! I really look forward to hearing their voices! All is fine back home.

It was just after 8:00 p.m. and with the firewood all gone, it was time to put the chairs away and head inside. The end to another good day!

No comments:

Post a Comment