August 31 - September 6, 2005 - Thunder Bay, ON

On August 31 we drove the 126 miles to Happy Land campground on the far eastern side of Thunder Bay, ON and settled in for a week.  We would have had to change sites to hope to get our internet dish working.  They had good free Wi-Fi by the office so we lugged the notebook computers to the office to handle internet. 

Here is our campsite:

We had decided to stay put for the Labour Day weekend (Canadian spelling) since we thought Thunder Bay would have enough to offer and would be busy for the weekend.  Turns out Thunder Bay is too far from most people for a long weekend so we had nothing to worry about.  We stayed busy.

Thunder Bay is about 100,000 people and is the largest city on Lake Superior, both Duluth, MN and Sault Ste. Marie, ON have less population.  We were set with multiple restaurants and a Canadian Superstore to buy groceries.  We did watch gas prices rise quickly from 93.9C per liter to 128.9C per liter during the holiday weekend.

We met the couple from St Louis who we talked with in Winnipeg. We also met Henry and Inez doing email, who we would see again in January.  One day two Newmar motorhomes, a Dutch Star and an Essex, came in and as soon as they were setup Ed and Steve came to see if they knew us.  We would see Ed and Steve again in Michigan

On the holiday weekend we went to the Hymers Fall Fair at the small town of Hymers.  It was a country fair with livestock, contests, vendors and such, lots of fun.  We ended up buying a rug for the motorhome entrance that has been wonderful.  The website is (website added here October 2006).

Another day we drove east to the Amethyst Mine and found out we would have to pay a day fee even to visit the gift shop.  They also had a shop in Thunder Bay and the prices were the same.  Here are some pictures from the road to the mine of the Sleeping Giant (a Provincial Park) and Lake Superior:

On the way back we stopped at the Terry Fox memorial, honoring a cancer victim who attempted to walk from coast to coast and was defeated by cancer close to Thunder Bay:

The locals really felt for Terry and though he was unable to complete his journey and died from cancer, his effort caused a lot of contributions to cancer research.

Then we drove up to Mount McKay, which is run by local First Nations.  They were having some kind of celebration at the top so it was a free trip, it normally costs an entry fee.  You can see for a long ways as these pictures show:

The top of Mount McKay was behind us:

We also visited the local cheesemaker Thunder Oak Cheese Farm, who mostly make Goudas and they were good.  We bought a bunch of cheese and ate it for a while.

One day we stopped by the Thunder Bay Elks lodge and had a good visit.  If we were in Thunder Bay for just a few days we would stay at the Elks lodge, they are a good group of people and the lodge is convenient to much of the city.

We drove many of the country roads in the area, it's a nice place when it is not winter.  Winters are very cold here.

We found a tea shop that sold nice teas, Steepers, and bought some.  They were planning on web sales someday, including to the U.S.

We did look at amethyst jewelry and figurines but the prices were higher than we had a need to spend. 

Just up the road from the campground was Kakabeka Falls, which many drive a long ways to see. 

Our Kakabeka Falls webpage from our visit on September 3.

One of the most advertised local attractions is Old Fort William, .  Locals told us it was well worth going to so we did on September 4 and they were right.

Our Fort William webpage.

We enjoyed visiting Thunder Bay.

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