Day 5 – Monday, June 29 ( Camping at Sleeping Giant)

It was cooler and overcast most of the day and there were a few “ drizzles “ of rain, late in the day.

I slept well and after breakfast, I went to the rangers station and paid for a couple of nights stay, however, the ranger suggested that I move my tent to a site along the water and so she picked out a very nice spot for me, with a great view of the “ sleeping giant “, which is a landscape of an island in the water that looks like a sleeping giant and according to Indian Legend it is an Indian Chieftain.


With the new site selected, I decided to go for a hike on one of the many trails in the area. This ended up being more strenuous than I had hoped, but then it was my doing. The hike started out relatively easy with a 6.5 km walk in rolling terrain, until I got to Sawyer beach. I decided to take a different way back and go to a lookout point on the way back. I started the new route and it had a gradual climb to it, but then it suddenly went almost straight up for a kilometer. I had to watch my step because it was very steep and slippery. I took a few breaks on the way up, because my heart was running a lot faster and my breathing was heavier than normal.

I was only part way up when I noticed I was getting a cell signal, so I took care of my 14 emails and a voicemail from 11 pm the previous night.

The views at the top was spectacular. Unfortunately, the foggy mist was rolling in through the hills, just as I reached the top and the visibility was limited.



After I took the pictures, I walked back and forth along the top trying to find where the trail went but I couldn’t find it. It seemed to end at the lookout and the only way down from there was a sheer drop. That wasn’t in my plans, so I reluctantly decided to go back the way I came.

When I got back to the point where the trail had split off, I read the sign a little closer.


I had missed two “ small “ points. This was an “ extreme “ climb and it was a one-way trip!

I had heard the “ scurrying “ small animals as I hiked the trails but I was surprised that I didn’t see any larger animals. I only saw a deer and a rabbit along the trail and those I can see at home.

When I arrived at camp, there was a young deer that was feeding in the camp. That was not unusual, however, I got a picture of him standing on his hind legs to strip some branches from a tree. I knew they could do this, but I had never seen it in real life.


I had a good laugh as I was driving around the campground when I saw a young girl, about 5 years old, walk up to a puddle, stop and then jump as high as she could into the middle of the puddle. She was laughing as she continually jumped up and down in the puddle, just like tigger from Winnie the Pooh. My mother used to accuse me of doing the same thing but, of course, I don’t recall doing that.

I plan to pack up in the morning and stop at a recommended restaurant called “ Hoitos “ in Thunder Bay for “ Finnish “ pancakes, before leaving for Winnipeg. It should be an 8 hour drive.

Day 4 – Sunday, June 28 ( Drive to Thunder Bay)

It was a warm and sunny day most of the day as I drove from Elliott Lake to Thunder Bay. There were a few episodes of rain but nothing significant. The temperature varied from 14 C to 27 C ( 57-80F ) as I drove along the shores of the Great Lakes.

My morning started with an unexpected twist. After I got up, I tried to open my car with my remote and nothing happened. I opened the door with my key, put it in the ignition and, as I suspected, there was no response…not a single noise. Oops! It was at this point that I remembered that I had left the 12V cooler on all night and the battery was now completely dead. It was 7 am, so I decided to make breakfast and start packing until someone came by, so that I could ask for a boost. If not, I would ride my bicycle to the rangers station and ask them for help. Everything went as planned. By the time I had finished breakfast and packed up someone came by and gave me a boost. I finished my packing and I was on the road at 9:30 am, a little later than I had hoped, but I was on my way again.

I enjoy driving the northern highways. The scenery is spectacular, with the rolling hills of rocks covered in evergreen and birch trees and surrounded by endless lakes.


I was watching the sides of the road for animals, especially since there were so many signs warning drivers to watch out for moose and although I wasn’t expecting it, something caught my eye along the highway that I thought I recognized. Since no one was behind me, I came to a stop along the side of the road, took my camera and crossed the road to get a better look to have my suspicions confirmed. There was a bear not far from the road. It wasn’t until I looked at the picture later that I realized that there were 2 black bears.


I continued down the winding, rolling roads until I got to Wawa. Its a nice small town with a funny name and I decided to take a break, have lunch and publish my journal from the past 2 days, as well as make some minor adjustments to the first entry.

My destination was the “ Sleeping Giant “ provincial park, east of Thunder Bay and I knew I was going to be late and, since I didn’t have a reservation ( which is normal for me ), I was hoping that they rangers would still be there, however, when I finally got there at 9:30 pm, the rangers station was closed. They had posted a sign for latecomers to get a ticket from the machine to the right of the station, pick a site and return in the morning to pay if you wanted to stay longer. There were plenty of sites to choose from and I picked one close to the showers and the rangers station.

Yes, you read it correctly. They have hot showers. After I set up my tent, I took a nice warm shower to wash off the dirt, grime and the layers of musk oil and Deet, just so that I could start re-appling fresh layers of mosquito repellant. Its a vicious circle. The mosquitos aren’t that bad but its understandably worse than back home. I have very few mosquito bites, but then they don’t love me as much as other people…like Jim Culp! I like having Jim around.. The mosquitos love his aftershave, cologne and rare blood type. Come to think of it, I should have brought Jim along. He would have been better than all the musk oil and Deet for keeping the mosquitos away and if a bear comes around, I know that I can outrun him.

One of the things I noticed as soon as I got close to the campsite, was that there is very little or no cell reception in the area so I would have to wait until I left the area to continue publishing my journal.