Wild Northerner Magazine Summer 2018 - Page 77

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We also spent a good two hours checking out the bridge over the Little Pic River. Arielle had to deal with a satellite radio issue with our truck. We ended up acting like a family of trolls and went under the bridge. It was actually neat. We stood on the beams and when transport trucks roared across the bridge it sounded louder than thunder and the beams shook and swayed. We all got a big kick out of the sensation.

We then headed for the crown jewel of our road trip-camping trip – the legendary Pukaskwa National Park. I had never been to this park. We got there on a Sunday and that seemed like a good day to arrive as we had about 10 sites to select from. One site was absolutely horrible and the worst case of human stupidity I’ve ever seen in any park. The campers who left the day before left this one site a disgrace with mounds of used toilet paper all along the treeline of the campsite along with piles of human solid waste.

These campers literally defecated 10 feet from their tent, over and over again, wiped their butts and threw it on the ground.

It was disgusting and when I told the parks staff, they were horrified. Some people should just stay in the city.

We found a nice site for ourselves and set up shop for four days. We took it easy the first day and enjoyed swimming on the beaches and looking at endless pieces of driftwood. We swam to a small island off a point and upon investigating it, we found a geocache box for Parks Canada, without knowing it was there at all.

On our second day at Pukaskwa, we hiked to the suspension bridge over the White River and a nice view of Chigamiwinigum Falls. This was unreal. We left our campsite at 7 am after a hardy breakfast. This was one of the best hikes I’ve ever done. The suspension bridge was worth marching through the +30 heat. It took us about 3 hours to reach the gorge. My youngest, Teeryn was the first one on the bridge. She sprinted out onto it without hesitation. I joined her quickly. We had a lot of fun crossing the bridge back and forth. My oldest kid, Hunter and Arielle didn’t like the heights as much. Hunter spent a lot of time on the bridge crawling. We poked some good fun at her. Arielle didn’t make it past the point where the bridge doesn’t have land underneath it LOL. We all still had fun. We saw some neat biodiversity and were fortunate to see a lot of ruffed grouse and toads along the way. We also bumped into a couple – Joe and Trisha – from our hometown of Lively a few hours into the trail. It was neat that the only people we saw that day were from the same place we were. We shared some good laughs and stories.

In total, we hiked 20.53-km that day in seven hours. Needless to say, we were exhausted and chilled out the rest of the remaining days at Pukaskwa. Our last day at Pukaskwa saw a massive thunderstorm roll in and send four-foot waves crashing into the shoreline. It all cleared by the evening and everyone was treated to a spectacular sunset filled with various breaking formations of clouds and a range of bright colours.

We headed to Ivanhoe Provincial Park for our last two days. It was an awesome drive for wildlife as we saw quite a few bears, moose, eagles and cranes. We made a pit stop at Potholes Provincial Park. This day-use park was a fun-filled side experience. There were blueberries the size of golf balls there and clumps and clumps of them everywhere. The potholes rock formations and waterfalls were unique and interesting to see up close.

At Ivanhoe, we had two camper vans pull in on both sides of our camp site to other sites and out poured 10 people. We didn’t know what to think. It turns out it was a big family from the Netherlands and they were over here on their own road trip-camping trip.

It was freaking amazing!

Thankful for us, they spoke English and our two families were able to connect right away. They had five kids, and two of them were the same ages as our kids. I got to know the one dad, Daniel, quite fast. We were kindred spirits as we shared a lot of interests like fishing, exploring, knives, having fun and being good family men. Our kids played for hours together. Daniel and I went fishing. We finished the night by sharing food and drinks together. We stayed up until about 3 am enjoying whiskey and a campfire with the people from Netherlands. We connected so well, Daniel and I made plans to meet in Europe, hopefully, in less than two years.

It was unexpected and easily my highlight of the trip to meet these people from across the world and their love for northern Ontario.

This trip hit all the highs and rarely a low. I loved every moment. From the white-knuckling driving of the big hills by Lake Superior north of the Soo with dense fog to eating lunch at the A&W in White River with a group of locals who were salt of the earth people.

If we saw a place and wanted to investigate it, we did. This was the whole meaning of this trip. We stopped at every general store or trading post, engaging the people about what they have seen in life in these parts. We enjoyed our share of roadside chip wagon fries and ice cream from small town shops.

We all wanted to keep it going. To me and for me, this is the single most important element in all of this. Everyone had so much fun they didn’t want it to stop despite the fact we were beat up with bruises and cuts from falls, covered with bug bites from mosquitos, aching from a dozen hikes and several long paddling sessions and kind of dirty LOL.

When it hurts and you want more, you know you’ve been on a damn good road trip-camping trip.

Have fun on one this summer.

A combination for endless summer fun

We also spent a good two hours checking out the bridge over the Little Pic River. Arielle had to deal with a satellite radio issue with our truck. We ended up acting like a family of trolls and went under the bridge. It was actually neat. We stood on the beams and when transport trucks roared across the bridge it sounded louder than thunder and the beams shook and swayed. We all got a big kick out of the sensation.

We then headed for the crown jewel of our road trip-camping trip – the legendary Pukaskwa National Park. I had never been to this park. We got there on a Sunday and that seemed like a good day to arrive as we had about 10 sites to select from. One site was absolutely horrible and the worst case of human stupidity I’ve ever seen in any park. The campers who left the day before left this one site a disgrace with mounds of used toilet paper all along the treeline of the campsite along with piles of human solid waste.

These campers literally defecated 10 feet from their tent, over and over again, wiped their butts and threw it on the ground.

It was disgusting and when I told the parks staff, they were horrified. Some people should just stay in the city.

We found a nice site for ourselves and set up shop for four days. We took it easy the first day and enjoyed swimming on the beaches and looking at endless pieces of driftwood. We swam to a small island off a point and upon investigating it, we found a geocache box for Parks Canada, without knowing it was there at all.