Thursday, July 8, 2010

Lake Superior, Ontario

For the past few days we have been exploring the northern side of Lake Superior in Ontario. I am happy to say that we have now spent time at all 5 Great Lakes! Lake Superior is amazing - it holds 10% of the world's surface freshwater. It takes 200 years for water to circulate out of the Lake Superior compared to a 3 year circulation time for Lake Erie and 6 years for Lake Ontario. Needless to say, the lake is vast, and the wilderness that surround it's north shore is comparable. The northern edge of the lake is full of islands, and the mainland is full of smaller lakes. Interesting opposite landforms! Several great adventures here.

We visited Pukaskwa National Park, which seemed to be completely run by Natives - all of whom were incredibly friendly. We rented a canoe for the morning and explored a cove of Lake Superior. We followed a creek upstream and portaged over several beaver dams (one of which held back about 4 vertical feet of water) and found a huge beaver lodge. During this adventure I also found a leach attached to my foot - YUK!

We hiked through "the bush" of this National Park to reach beautiful vistas from rocky points and sandy beaches full of bleached driftwood (great firewood). The forest that we walked through was covered in dense moss. All surfaces, even the nearly vertical rock faces, were covered in deep layers of moss. We plunged our fingers into the moss, and all but our palms were lost. Every step we took was springy underfoot. Adalaya stated that this was her favorite place so far on our trip, and George enjoyed the insulated silence of this forest.

This area is so beautiful that many Provincial Parks abound. We stopped at Rainbow Falls Provincial Park for the afternoon. There is an inland lake here which drains into Lake Superior by way of Rainbow Falls - a beautiful series of cascades over pink granite which is spotted with green and gray lichen. After our hike we went for a swim in the Park's lake. This was my first lake swim on this trip and it felt great! Soothing to the soul!

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