Stranded, Day 4:

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Happy Labrador Day!

2017-09-04 Happy Labrador Day

Yes, it is Labor Day.  Everything is closed.  Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Craft Breweries, Car Dealers… We did find a pharmacy open to buy ice, then we headed out to see the Kakabeka Falls.

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Kakabeka Falls is a waterfall on the Kaministiquia River, located beside the village of Kakabeka Falls in the municipality of Oliver Paipoonge, Ontario, 19 miles west of the city of Thunder Bay.

The falls have a drop of 130 ft, cascading into a gorge carved out by ancient glaciers. Because of its size and ease of access, it has been nicknamed “the Niagara of the North”, although people who compare these falls to Niagara have obviously never seen Niagara Falls…

The rock face of the falls and the gorge are composed primarily of unstable shale, and are continually eroding.  These rocks host sensitive flora, and contain some of the oldest fossils in existence, some 1.6 billion years of age.  It is astounding how plants, from grasses to giant trees, grow right out of the rock!

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The name “Kakabeka” comes from the Ojibwe word gakaabikaa, meaning “water falling over a cliff”.  Duh!

The falls are beautiful, and the layers of rock are amazing.  I love how the ledges and slabs of slate and shale animate these falls.  There are many areas from which to photograph the falls, from many angles, allowing many contrasting images…

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After viewing the falls, this being Labor Day and all, we needed to have hamburgers for lunch.  Luckily, CJ Restaurant was open:

2017-09-04 Kakabeka Falls Lunch

After lunch we decided to try another recommendation from the staff at Bistro One: Boulevard Lake.  This is a man-made lake just north of downtown Thunder Bay.  It is surrounded by a 650 acre park, with a walking path 5.31 km long.  (I have no idea how long that is in real dimensions; they said there would be no math in retirement…).

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The lake is fed by the North Current River.  A fish ladder was added to the dam in 1991 to allow fish (mostly Salmon) to swim up-stream to spawn.  Apparently there is a power generation station downstream from here and its operators are not happy with the fish ladder and how it affects the flow of water into the generator; they have sued the City of Thunder Bay for breach of contract…

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No matter; the weather was nice and we had a lovely walk;

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Happy Hours ensued.  Just because we are stranded doesn’t mean we don’t need happy hours…

A not-too-awful time was had by all…