Kenora to Jack Fish Lake (East of Terrace Bay) Ontario Aug 9 2014

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Our view for much of the day

Our view for much of the day

We opted for a Tim Horton’s breakfast today. Our hotel didn’t have a complimentary breakfast so we thought we’d see what we could find down the road.  I have often regretted not getting the navigation system when I bought my car, but I knew if we were to use my car for this trip, I would need one. I got a Garmin GPS recommended by the manager at our local London Drug and so far we have been very happy with it. They are doing sewer line replacements by the marina and near our hotel and several roads are blocked. The GPS was very helpful in getting us to the hotel and onto the highway this morning.

Prior to leaving Kenora this morning we stopped at Safeway to buy some ginger ale and bottled watered. One of the suggested tips I found prior to this trip, was to bring your own pop/soda into the hotel to avoid buying them from the vending machine. It was also suggested to stick with water at meals and save the $3.00 cola cost.  I have done this since we started the trip and I believe we are saving $10 at day. This saving is very helpful considering today we paid $1.45 for a litre of gas. We stopped at the Wayfarer Restaurant in Ignace Ontario for lunch today. We felt we got a bargain at lunch.

Brian's $7 lunch

Brian’s $7 lunch

Brian had a hot beef sandwich and I got a bacon cheeseburger. The bill including tax….$14.95.

We have definitely said good bye to the prairies with the landscape now forest and rocks…mostly granite. The highways have signs everywhere warning of moose on the road. About a 1/2 mile in front of us a huge deer decided to lope across the highway.  Fortunately there was little traffic.  The traffic comes in spurts and that is for a reason. As soon as we entered Ontario we noticed a huge improvement in the road surface. The amount of road construction / reconstruction is like nothing I have ever seen.  There were times you couldn’t get up to speed when you hit another construction zone.  I lost count after 20. The Trans Canada Highway is two lane traffic with passing lanes few and far between and the posted speed is 90.

Another road construction stop! One of many today

Another road construction stop! One of many today

As a result, in the construction zones they close one lane so you sit and wait for on coming traffic then you get your turn. I figure I would hit at least once where we didn’t have to come to a full stop…never happened. When I was planning our trip I knew today would be a long haul but though we would arrive at 4 or 5 this afternoon.  It was 7 when we got to our destination.  I had not planned for the loss of an hour ( time change), the slow posted speed and the road construction.

The GSP took us around Thunder Bay so we didn’t get to see the grain terminals and only occasionally got glimpses of Lake Superior.  We finally did come to a” look out” and got a real look at this huge lake.  I stopped for a couple of photos.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior

The Highway has gravel shoulders for the most part so it is not easy to stop for photos.  I had hoped to get a photo of the sign that says “Moose on the Loose.”  We have seen  a couple of them, but each time I was driving when we came across them.

If you check a map of Highway 1 around Superior you are not going to find many major places to stop.  I have been checking Trip Advisor more often when looking for lodging and I kept coming back to this one, east of Terrace Bay. The motel is called the Coach House Motel and it’s across the Highway from Jack Fish Lake.  It’s a Mom and Dad motel but on trip advisor it had a solid 5 star rating.  I had to phone to book the room as they didn’t have internet reservation capabilities. When I knew we were running late I phoned to let them know.  I think they have two other rooms booked besides ours.

Our motel for the night Coach House Motel Terrace Bay Ontario

Our motel for the night
Coach House Motel
Terrace Bay Ontario

The hosts were waiting for us and took our dinner order so it could be ready once we put our stuff in the room. Obviously they menu is limited but it’s all homemade including the bread.  The choices were spaghetti, chili, stew and several soup choices as well as a salad. In talking to the owner she makes the food in batches and freezes it separately so when she gets an order, she would cook the spaghetti and heat the frozen sauce.  We opted for a bowl of soup and it came with a mini load of bread. Brian was able to finish his, I was not. Having sat in the car from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. I was ready to move.  I walked up the highway to the lake turnoff and strolled down to the beach. Unfortunately the mosquitoes were waiting so I didn’t dally long.  There are lots of wild flowers in bloom and some of the smells were heavenly. 
Jackfish Lake

Jackfish Lake

The owners have Hummingbird feeders and we watched them outside the window while eating our dinner.Our hotel room is a good size ( with double beds) the bathroom has been renovated with sparkling new fixtures and the room is clean and spotless. The TV is pretty old…I had to pull out the button for Brian ( I think he has forgotten how to do that.)  We have no air conditioning but have three windows that open and it’s dark and cool out there now.  The truck traffic noise may be an issue but for 1/2 the price of last night, who is complaining.

Aside from the small towns(rare) one doesn't see many buildings. Loved the look of this old church.

Aside from the small towns(rare) one doesn’t see many buildings. Loved the look of this old church.

This guy seems to be everywhere

This guy seems to be everywhere

Terrace Bay to Sault Ste Marie Ontario August 10,2014

Lake Superior - we saw people enjoying the occasional beach, playing in the water, fishing and boating. A calm day on the lake.

Lake Superior – we saw people enjoying the occasional beach, playing in the water, fishing and boating. A calm day on the lake.

Our little motel didn’t have air conditioning so we left windows open.  The room was very fresh and cool upon arising this morning.  Our hosts made breakfast to order for us and we both relished it.  They knew we would be there when they opened and when we walked in, the table was set and they were waiting for us.  As well as a great breakfast we had a delightful conversation.  The owners are well versed about the area and filled us in on the economy, the mines and the connection to Canada’s Group of 7. We could have spent the morning visiting but we had several miles to go.

I may have mentioned in an earlier blog the many many signs warning of moose, calling them a night hazard.  It seems the moose don’t read the signs

This sign tells a fib. They come out in the day as well!

This sign tells a fib. They come out in the day as well!

and can’t tell the time of day.  We were approaching a small slope and something came up onto the side of the road…A BIG MOOSE.  I jammed on the brakes and came to a full stop about 150’ away from the moose who at this point was still on the side of the road.  I guess he knew he had the right of way ( who was going to argue) so leisurely loped across the road. My camera was in the back seat and inaccessible so no photo.  We later saw a dead one on the side of the road. My plastic front end and likely the car would be gone if we hit one.  A little further down the road, the coyote leisurely walked on the shoulder coming towards us as we passed. He wasn’t the least concerned.

We have seen several signs telling of the speed limit and the fines imposed for breaking the limit.  The speed limit is 90 yet the fines don’t start until 110 KM. You can tell the Ontario drivers, when you are travelling  100KM they pass you like you are standing still.

Speed limit is 90Km. Fines start at 110Km. Only in Ontario?

Speed limit is 90Km. Fines start at 110Km. Only in Ontario?

The road is becoming tiring and we had to stop several times today to take a break.  We both wanted to take a nap. We stopped at Wawa for lunch.  The town was hopping as they had the drags races on. I wished we could have stayed awhile to watch them.

We arrived in Sault Ste Marie around 3 pm.  I am glad we are taking a day off the road tomorrow. We have a day long train trip booked for tomorrow. We are taking the Agawa Canyon Tour. We will be travelling by train 114 miles north of the city over trestles, along the lakes and river, past granite formations and through forests. This is the landscape that inspired the Group of 7. We will descend into a canyon where we will have a break so we can walk and take in the scenery. It’s a full day from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Looking forward to taking a break from driving.  It seems when I close my eyes, the scenery is rushing past me.  Time to give my senses a change.

We paid $139.9 today. First time I've ever paid over $60 for a fill

We paid $139.9 today. First time I’ve ever paid over $60 for a fill