(Grahame says this is why we don’t have snakes in Ireland)
Following on from yesterday we travelled north of Barrie and came to French River where there was an interpretative centre with canoes, fur pelts and animal skeletons. French River was a transport corridor used by the Algonquian tribes and later by the French and English explorers and missionaries. Outside we crossed the snowmobile bridge. In winter the snowmobile club comes up here to navigate the park and in 2008 they built a bridge to cross the deep gorge.
(The snowmobile bridge)
We stopped for lunch in the city of Sudbury where there’s a nickel mining plant and a huge shiny nickel on top of a hill. At that point we were half-way to our destination. Four hours later we arrived at our hotel (a very nice Travelodge) in Sault Saint Marie. I was suffering a little from insect bites so Denis and I went across the road to the mall and got antihistamine, heavy-duty bug spray and tea tree oil for the itching and of course we went to visit Tim Hortons. That night we all had a lovely meal at Docks restaurant on the boardwalk looking out on to the International Bridge that joins Canada to the United States.
Next morning we were taking the Agawa Canyon Tour Train at 7.30am and we wanted to get a good seat (right hand side, middle of a window.) Grahame, Doris and Denis made a preparatory trip to Timmys and then we boarded the train with our provisions. Way back in the early 1900’s the railway was built to transport iron ore. We were taking a four-hour section (114 miles from Sault Saint Marie) to a beautiful scenic spot called Agawa Canyon, on the tour train – not any old commuter train.
The seats were plush, there was a screen with the drivers view of the track and we had guides (both on the screen and in person) who popped in from time to time to tell us some interesting facts and answer our questions. (There was also a lady whose sole jobs seemed to be checking the toilets – they were very clean.) Then there was a dining car with cooked breakfast – yummy, the boxed lunch and the souvenir shop.
But the most amazing thing about this trip was the view – huge forests and pretty lakes, and each time a particularly good view was coming up the guide on the screen would sound a whistle so we would have time to get our cameras ready.
When we arrived at the canyon we had ninety minutes to explore. There were walking trails, another souvenir shop (in an old boxcar) and more beautiful scenery.
(Made it to step 300)
We choose the Lookout trail – three hundred steps up to another amazing view.
(View from the top)
We had considered doing another trail after that but a rest was much more attractive… So we rested while the others explored for us.
Fresh air and wilderness – but no hens, Mairead.