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Crossing Canada Day #13: Rainbow Falls Provincial Park

We continue our Chronicles of Crossing Canada. Welcome back!

After taking a cold-water bird bath in the lady’s washroom, we hit the general store for coffee and provisions. Our next destination was the magnificent Lake Superior region which we were both looking forward to.

Going up the Madawaska, (2022) Jaime Lee Lightle

Jaime Lee....

The drive through Dryden, Ignace and Upsala was smooth. We hit some construction in the heat of the afternoon sun. I wished I had toughed through the cold shower as I sweat through my t-shirt.

Somewhere after Raith Ontario, we needed to fuel up the truck and empty our bladders, so we stopped at the first small gas bar and convenience store we saw. As Jim pumped the gas, I went in to use the facilities and check out their snack selection. My curiosity was met with home-made pies, squares, cookies, and tarts. I grabbed some bevies and a pack of tarts and started chatting with the attendant who was wiping sweat from under her mask. We started to compare notes about the abolition of freedoms in our respective provinces as she pulled her mask down with a single exasperate movement, “I can’t wait to get rid of these!”

The gas pump stopped, and Jim entered the gas bar to use the facilities. I paid for the goodies and the gas and waited for Jim to finish up. When Jim was done, he met me at the counter, and we finished up commiserating with the gas attendant. Wishing we could stay longer to hear her story but knowing we had a few hours of driving left, I reluctantly turned towards the door, and bid adieu to our new friend. It was my turn to drive, so I made my way to the captain's seat.

Onward we made our way, the trans-Canada laid out in front of us. We continued our journey towards Lake Superior via Thunder Bay. Near Red Rock, we started to notice the colour of the granite cliffs change. Amethyst mines signs were enticing drivers to pull in and pick your own gems – Next time!

At approximately 4 PM we pulled into Rainbow Falls Provincial Park – Rossport Camp. There was no Ranger at the small office, so we drove in to search for our site. We backed the truck-house into our full service site that had a spectacular view of St.Ignace, Sampson, and Wilson Islands and of course, the mighty Lake Superior.

Lindsay Ontario (2022), Jaime Lee Lightle

Before we even had our posts down, Jim almost ran to the pebble beach across from our site. Seeing the white, pink rounded stones and the lapping waves of this great lake made me feel thankful to have found this place. To our right, the shore showed off her smooth, exposed granite stone, the edges softened by thousands of years of wind and water erosion. This plateau of rock jettied from the continent and plummeted below the depths of the lake so clear and blue that one can almost see the deep bottom. We felt refreshed, rejuvenated, alive!

After supper, we walked the beach inlets that were protected by smooth mounds of granite. We photograph the moody clouds hanging over the lake. Rain would be coming tomorrow. The coniferous trees are starting to change.

Truck-House parked on the shore of Lake Superior. Photo credit: Jaime Lee Lightle

Jim writing…

Well leaving Redden Camp early and the sun was shining. It was going to be a great drive. The lake of the woods faded away in the rear-view mirror. I want to come back here to do some fishing. The cliffs started to appear as we passed through Thunder Bay.

There is something stunningly beautiful about this part of Ontario. It is more raw, more hearty and more remote, than the south, yet strong in all its power. When we arrived at Rainbow Falls there was no park rangers and no firewood, so we called the rangers and they brought some down. The Lake which is Superior in name and in beauty drew me in. I just stood and watched the blue waves crash into the shore. It is only now that I can say that the blue waves of Hawaii can compete with these blue beauties. Geologically, this place is impressive, especially the way the Canadian shield, previously massive mountains scraped away by glaciers, slowly flows into Lake Superior. I felt like a kid again walking the beach of pebbles and stones.

James walking the beach. Photo credit Jaime Lee Lightle

As we set up truck house, another vehicle the size of bus pulled in and it was pulling a pontoon boat also as large as a bus. Low and behold, we were yet again one of the smallest camp set ups in the park. Yet the view, which was of the lake was just across from us.

We got the fire going and ate leftovers from our shopping experience at Redden Camp General Store. The fire roared into the night and as the moon came out and dangled over the lake, it changed the feeling of this Camp.

The shower facilities at Rainbow Falls Park were pretty good and it was nice to shower with constant flow of hot water.

I noticed that the closer we get to southern Ontario, the more my guts felt uneasy. I have so much family in Ontario, and I felt if I neglect to do the rounds of visiting, I’d be surely to hear about it. I decided that I will see how the traveling goes. Tomorrow we are heading to Sudbury. We need an oil change soon. The truck-house owes me nothing, but I owe it some nice oil service.

Evening moon over Lake Superior. Photo credit: James Lightle

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