Adventures in the Villa


Lake Superior

2017-09-09 Westbound; Stranded, but escaped from, Thunder Bay, Day 9…

Today we return to Thunder Bay; we had a great time in Wisconsin, even though we were living in cheap motels and not the Villa; we were also driving a cheap rental car, not the Silverado, so no satellite radio, no navigation system, no wifi, and no 110v electrical outlet to charge our devices.  On the other hand, we could park in regular parking stalls like normal human beings…

We left early, stopped at Starbucks, headed northwest.  It was an uneventful drive. Eventually we passed through Duluth, into Minnesota. Finally we stopped for lunch at the Ledge Rock Grill:

2017-09-09 Ledge Rock Grill

This is a nice full-service lodge, right on the shore of Lake Superior; after lunch I needed a little nap:

2017-09-09 North Shore 05

We drove on; we stopped at Brighten Beach and once again walked along the shore:

2017-09-09 North Shore 03

2017-09-09 North Shore 01

2017-09-09 North Shore 02

A few miles short of the border is the little town of Temperance; of course we had to stop at the liquor store:

2017-09-09 Temperance

We crossed the border with no hassles, and returned to the Villa in Thunder Bay;

We unpacked and cleaned the Villa; then, because it is Saturday, we went looking for a Sports Bar to watch the USC-Stanfurd football game.

We failed.  Apparently Sports Bars in Canada only show hockey and curling.  No college football.  We returned to the Villa and powered up my iPad with Sling Box. We were able to watch the first quarter of the game before Verizon cut off my band width…

Never the less, Happy Hours ensued; an enjoyable time was had by all…

(PS:  Stanfurd lost.  Yay!)




2017-08-31 Westbound; A day in and around Thunder Bay…

We slept late, took long, hot showers, and acted as if we were on vacation.  Then we set out to see what we could see of Thunder Bay…

We drove to town, but were not impressed… So we headed out to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park.  However, the best view of the Sleeping Giant is right here in Thunder Bay:

2017-08-31 Sleeping Giant PP

There he is, flat on his back, frozen in time, because of some dastardly deed he committed…

It was a long slow drive to the tip of the peninsula, but when we arrived we found that the best thing wasn’t in the park at all:

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 06

Silver Islet is a hamlet at the tip of this peninsula; Silver Islet is also a tiny islet in the lake, which contained Canada’s largest silver mine.  Today, just this cluster of vacation houses remain. There is a tiny marina and a general store, but the store closed for the season last week…

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 08

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 07

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 05

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 04

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 03

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 02

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 01

Not all the houses are in great shape:

2017-08-31 Silver Islet 09

It was a lovely walk, and we did see a bald eagle flying overhead…

Back at the RV Park, they are getting prepared for Halloween!

2017-08-31 Thunder Bay KOA Haloween

Another interesting note:  As we drove here from Wawa, we passed several mines just outside of Thunder Bay.  It turns out that these are Amethyst mines.  The RV Park had a few odd rocks laying about in the yard:

2017-08-31 Thunder Bay 02 Amethyst

2017-08-31 Thunder Bay 01 Amethyst

The entire surface of these giant boulders is covered in Amethyst…!  Amazing!

We adjourned for Happy Hours; we return to the USA via Duluth tomorrow!




2017-08-30 Westbound; From Wawa to Thunder Bay…

A long drive again today, but we are not in a hurry. The roads are smooth (when we are not in a construction zone…)***  Weather was good, with a little rain sometimes, but nothing out of the ordinary; the truck performed flawlessly – with cruise control, exhaust brake, and automatic down shifting we go up and down hills effortlessly and very quietly.  There is no better truck in the world!

***We are ALWAYS in a construction zone…

After driving for about an hour we started to look for a place to stop and stretch our legs. Areas for stopping are few and far between (or is it far and few between???). We finally found just what I was looking for:

2017-08-30 A and W

I think the last time I had an A&W Root Beer Float was in Canada at Niagara Falls in 1961. I even bought the “frosty mug”!  Today, however, they serve it in a plastic cup…

Driving further, we stopped at the town of Marathon; we parked at Canadian Tire (which, by the way, sells WAY more than tires…), and walked about one mile to the Pebble Beach:

2017-08-30 Marathon Pebble Beach 07


2017-08-30 Marathon Pebble Beach 06

2017-08-30 Marathon Pebble Beach 03

2017-08-30 Marathon Pebble Beach 02

2017-08-30 Marathon Pebble Beach 01

Walking back, we noticed that all the houses we very similar: very boxy, almost cubes. We saw street after street of them…

2017-08-30 Marathon Houses

Our drive the rest of the day consisted of very nice roads, cutting through shear cliffs of granite; trees and grass growing right out of the top of the granite:

2017-08-30 Granite

We arrived at Thunder Bay KOA and settled into our first full-hook-up site in many days! Happy Hours were many, and an enjoyable time was had by all…





2017-08-29 Westbound; Lunch in the Soo, Lake Superior, Marathon, Katherines’s Cove, and Wawa…

This morning, before we left the campground, we once again walked to the Serpent River:

2017-08-29 Spragge 03

2017-08-29 Spragge 02

Amazing how quiet it is in the early morning…

But we must press on; we pull out of the RV park and continue traveling west, along the northern shore of Lake Huron…

After checking our maps we see that we might stop in Sault Ste. Marie for lunch.  Sault Ste. Marie is at the junction of Lakes Huron and Superior, and the locks between the two lakes are here. There are actually two cities named Sault Ste. Marie – one in Michegan and one in Ontario…

The bridge and one of the locks:

2017-08-29 Sault Ste Marie 04 Locks

We had parked in the lot at a shopping mall right in downtown Sault Ste. Marie:

2017-08-29 Sault Ste Marie 03

We walked along the waterfront and enjoyed the sights.  Eventually we found ourselves at Solo Trattoria, a nice Italian restaurant; it appears to be a favorite of “Ladies who Lunch”…

And, like the ladies, we lunched:

2017-08-29 Sault Ste Marie 02 Lunch


2017-08-29 Sault Ste Marie 01 Lunch

The mussels were delicious!

Back on the road we came to Katherine’s Cove – recommended by our waitress at Solo. We pulled off the highway, then realized there was no turn-around; however, being adept at 3-5-7-9 point turns with the Villa, I soon had us parked neatly in a “No Parking” zone, and we headed for the beach.  This is Lake Superior, or Lake Gitche Gumee, according to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Hiawatha; Gordon Lightfoot also sang about it… the Edmund Fitzgerald sank not far from here in 1975….

(An aside here:  a few years ago TCA (my former architecture firm) did an apartment project for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company; they were the owners of the Edmund Fitzgerald; in fact, it was named after the president of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company… It was their flagship freighter, and it was a huge hit to company morale for many years, so I’ve been told…)

Anyway, Katherine’s Cove is a lovely beach…

2017-08-29 Katherines Cove 06

2017-08-29 Katherines Cove 07

2017-08-29 Katherines Cove 02

2017-08-29 Katherines Cove 01

2017-08-29 Katherines Cove 05

After enjoying Katherine’s Cove as long as we could we headed to our final stop of the day: Wawa RV Park:

2017-08-29 Wawa 2

It has a river, too:

2017-08-29 Wawa 3

We readied Happy Hours and an enjoyable time was had by all…

2017-08-29 Wawa 1








































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