Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Blue Lake and Back in the States!

I saw enough of Canada to realize it's a vast mostly uninhabited wilderness that I'd love to explore more if I ever get the chance again, and  hopefully I will and at a more leisure pace, like an entire summer?  But is there ever really enough time? If you spend days and days in one area you miss out on another area, my goal is to see as much as I can in the allotted time! Leaving Kakabeka Falls was hard I really wanted to just hang out there...but off I went!  From Kakabeka Falls to Blue Lake Provincial Park driving on the Trans Canada Highway its approximately 382 KM it's near the town of Vermillion Bay.  That's about 230 give or take miles, so half before lunch the rest after puts me in my camp at about the time of day I'm ready to stop which is 3 pm. 

thru the dirty windshield

And it was 5 days from closing for the it was basically empty! There are some rustic looking cabins that sit right by the lake that one can rent...

the lake is large and it is a beauty! It was quiet the night I spent there.  I enjoyed the tree stumps/chainsaw art on the this Eagle coming in for a landing.

and this heron 

...even tho it was cool and breezy that day I spent some time walking along the shoreline and enjoyed the tranquility of the north woods, and next morning after breakfast I broke camp and took off for our last day of sightseeing in Canada,  the squirrels had obviously had a picnic on my table and didn't bother to clean up!
I would be re-entering the US at International Falls, MN.  

I stopped at a cemetery and was able to find one grave that had not been photo'd for the F.A. Grave website, and there was a Black Billed Magpie in the tree...he caught me off guard but I snapped this shot of him..I've only seen these guys way out west before, so I can add him to my Canadian Birds List. 

After the cemetery I decided to do a little off road trip.  There was a 19 mile "shortcut" to leave Blue Lake and then get back to highway and along this route was many "lodges". Many of these are rustic lodges for visitors. SO the road I took is Blue Lake Road. It was an awesome scenic drive.  For the most part the road was easy a few spots were sketchy...but I had no problem getting thru. 

The Aspens were starting to turn in this area...

after crossing this bridge over Red Story Lake I came up this sign of course I was curious so I stopped...

There was no sign of what this memorial was about, I found that out later via the internet.  

there's a few old buildings there too...

I found out that this school was run by the Catholic Church from 1925-1969.  It was a way to try and assimilate the Aboriginal people of Canada!  These were residential schools.  They tried to completely eradicate the spirit and belief system of the Indian people who were forced to go to these schools...Only recently did the Govt of Canada Issue an apology after the summary of the final report by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). The report is a culmination of a six year study into the church run and government funded schools that existed in Canada for over 100 years.  People were tortured, abused, humiliated, and died!! It was an atrocity!  

stones and gifts left at the memorial
People living today were affected by this as it is ingrained in their family history...I did not know there was an overgrown cemetery near the location. I certainly would have paid my respects...I was able to at least reflect upon the fact that something had happened in this location and it seemed like a sad place...
As I continued on down the road I came upon this pretty beaver pond...complete with lodge.

A few more miles on the Trans Canada Hwy and then I crossed the border into International Falls.  I stopped to exchange my currency at one of the duty free shops.

International Falls Mural

...then secured my lodging at Wooden Frog, a Campground near Voyageurs N.P. A nice view of Lake Kabetogama is right by the campground. The sun went down pretty fast that night...I went to watch the sunset and admire this tall aspen a beaver has decided to cut  down!!  No way he could drag this away...

Voyageurs is a park of water, islands, trees, rivers and lakes! Not the best time of year to go there Summer would def be better if one wished to kayak or to go boating even house boats are available for rent...
More of Voyageurs in my next post. 

Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.


  1. That's just like our magpies, very clever birds and can be taught to speak. When I was young there was often someone nearby who had a tame magpie. Taming birds like this though is a lifetime commitment. If you take away the expansiveness, this area is very similar to parts of rural Wales.

    1. Magpies are so intelligent! I have heard of crows or jackdaws being tamed as well.

  2. The magpie is so reagal looking sitting up there in the tree. Another great adventure you had and let us join in on.
    How sad about the school, I had no idea Canada also tried to convert these beautiful people away from their beliefs as did the America's so sad very sad.

    1. Religion was the downfall of the native people, and YET our Constitution was based on Religious Freedom?

  3. Welcome back. I've enjoyed your Canadian trip.

  4. I feel your pain in the first paragraph -- that was our dilemma as full-time RVers -- so many places, so little time -- and less and less of it every day :(

    Beautiful area that you did see, with some sad reminders of history as happens too often. (We had some similar schools in the Western USA too, government sponsored I think, rather than church, but with the same sad goals -- and as you said so well, it has become ingrained into the culture.)

    I have to go back and look at the magpies we saw in Alaska to see if they were blackbilled and if that is different from the ones we used to see all the time in Eastern Washington.


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