August 14, 2013 Blog #4
After leaving Bell’s Point Beach in Sault Ste. Marie, we decided to shop and found a wonderful supermarket, Pino’s. We stocked up on fresh veggies and fresh meat, and left for the next leg of our journey, Starbucks’ latte in hand.
Here is how to park in a Mall. We only took up 6 spaces at Pino’s, but needed 12 here!
About 6:30 we pulled into White Lake Provincial Park. We had planned to go all the way to Pukaskwa, but no sites were available until the next day. White Lake is a wilderness Park, very rugged and treed. We had phoned ahead for a reservation, but decided not to fill the fresh water tank, [we had an eighth of a tank], until we reached the Provincial Park. As John was registering, the Ranger told him that there was a “boil water” advisory in the Park. Luckily we were staying only 1 night. We were VERY careful with water. But we learned that when we book, or call ahead, we need to check the potable water situation, AND always travel with at least a half tank of fresh water!
The landscape of the northern highway fascinated me- firs to the road, and rock cuts
Pukaskwa is a beautiful Wilderness Park. We have a site which was easy to back into, has a levelled, framed pea gravel driveway and a levelled, framed sandy bed [for a tent if we had one] behind the RV. We unhitched, and stored the hitch.
It was great to stay put for a few days, not have to get up, get ready to travel, and take off. Wifi is available at the Visitors’ Centre, so we have made it a point to come here each day. It works well, as long as the weather is clear! One day when it rained, we puttered around reorganizing the trailer, and doing some cleaning, then decided to spend a large portion of the afternoon at the Visitors’ Centre. However, wifi was spotty until it started to clear up, so we talked to other people who were doing the same thing and to Greg, who managed the Visitors’ Centre.
Hattie's Cove from the Visitors'Centre:
We went on at least one hike a day. Our first was on a Mushroom Hike with the “Artist in Residence”, Alexis. We found, and learned about more than a dozen different kinds of mushrooms. At the end we climbed a large flat glacier-striated rock to pick blueberries! Later we drove around Marathon and out to the Boat Launch- beside large flat rocks, characteristic of the area.
One day, there was a bit of drama, as we watched a Hercules circle the area for an hour or so, then saw the OPP and a diver who had parachuted in. We learned a couple of days later that a canoe had overturned at the mouth of the White River in the Park.
We hiked around an interior lake- up and over rocks, steps cut into or built on the side of a hill, and through lush underbrush. I got almost ½ way around, then came to a smooth rock ridge looming high above the lake that we had to walk along as part of the trail. I took one look and then several more. Between a ‘wonky’ knee and a dislike of heights, I decided that it wasn’t for me! So, I doubled back and John finished the circuit. I walked the Beaches trails, and John walked part of the Coastal Hiking trail. It was beautiful, but very rugged and difficult in places.
Thank goodness for our little ceramic space heater. The nights and mornings were really cool. One night we even left it on all night!
We met many really interesting people; Greg, who would like to travel in an Airstream as we are doing, a couple who had hiked in Baffin Island, Newfoundland and the arctic, and 2 fellows who had the cabs of ‘big rigs’ modified to tow their fifth wheels. Both got tired of buying trucks every few years. They pick up these off warranty [which is 800,000 km], have them modified and then classed as RV’s [as they have beds, refrigs, cupboards], with a disclaimer on the side saying ”RV not for Hire”. These rigs will go at least another 800,000 km., so no more buying trucks. When we asked how they were on the hills, Kevin replied, “In these there are no hills.”