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  • Writer's pictureSandra

Only those who cross borders will discover new horizons

published 30 of june, 2022

On the 17th of June we drove over the Mackinac Bridge towards the Canadian border. This is also known as "Mighty Mac" or "Big Mac" and is a total of eight kilometers long, four-lane road bridge. In 1957, the bridge provided the first direct, fixed link between the mainland of Michigan and its upper peninsula.

From there it was a little over 80 km to the Canadian border Sault Ste. Marie, which we still wanted to pass that day. Shortly before the border, we suddenly remembered that we would have to announce our arrival via “ArriveCan” again. The problem was we had no reception. Our salvation was the duty-free shop in front of the border bridge. Luckily there was WiFi there and we were able to update our data in the app. This time (compared to the 1st Canada trip - see blog post "Canada we are coming") we had a traffic jam. So enough time to wash dishes

or to go to the toilet.

Erneut war der Grenzübertritt sehr unkompliziert

and at my request we also got a stamp in our passports. Since the registration of entry has been done electronically, the stamps seem to be just an old relic and passports are rarely stamped. About 40 km behind the border we parked for the night in a small bay at Harmony Beach, in Ontario on Lake Superior.

Time to finally open my Canada envelope. With loving attention to detail, Paddy (heart friend and 1st chairman of the mission adventure fan club) had prepared this and 6 others for a wide variety of situations. It was called "Open when you're in Canada".

Unfortunately - when we went to Niagara Falls - I didn't have the envelope on my screen. Now, however, I was really keen to finally open it. Included were various mindset cards, a travel diary (diary) and a to-do list for Canada. ❤️

I was happy that I had already completed the first item on this list without knowing it. With the second point, I was annoyed that I had not read the letter beforehand. Unfortunately, the 3rd and 4th point was not feasible due to the route. First of all: I'm still working on the rest!

The next morning we drove onto the Trans-Canada Highway. With a length of 8,030 km, this highway is the only federal highway in Canada that begins in Victoria (British Columbia) and ends in St. John's (Newfoundland). Unexpectedly, our journey began on this road roughly halfway between the east and west coasts. We only found out because I wanted to have a coffee at the "Chippewa River" and the people there were very willing to provide information.

They told us that a few meters away there was a corresponding marker and also a small waterfall. Of course we had to see that.

Although the falls were not remotely comparable to Niagara Falls, they were still a nice start. Because the next 2 hours (approx. 160 km) nothing came, no restaurant or similar, no gas station, simply nothing but forest to the right and left. Luckily we still had a full tank of gas in the US, so we were prepared. On the way I noticed street names with the word "if" again and again. I just couldn't drive past the street name "Mission Falls".

Once there, another cute waterfall awaited us.

That's what I like about Canada, you find great locations totally unexpected. That day we drove a total of 315 km to our destination, the Pukaskwa National Park, also on Lake Superior.

Unfortunately, it was more difficult there than in the many other parks we have been to before, because most of the trails started with stairs or individual steps that were not feasible for me. Too bad, I was a bit disappointed. The campground and parking space weren't that great either, and parking wasn't easy.

The next morning we wanted to rent a canoe and paddle across the lake, but the weather didn't play, it was raining and it was really cold. We decided to continue west; it was 241 km that day. We stayed overnight on a gravel road in the middle of nowhere because we absolutely couldn't find anything better and wanted to be at our next destination early the next morning. The next day, at 10 a.m., we were already standing in front of the “Eagle Canyon Adventures” barrier.

Among other things, they advertise that they have the longest, highest and fastest zipline in Canada. Unfortunately, they are currently not allowed to operate the zipline due to COVID regulations. However, we already knew that because we had phoned the operator in advance. The longest suspension bridge in Canada (at least according to the operator) was open and I didn't want to miss it. Because I can't walk the trail to the bridge, the owner drove us in a buggy; the journey alone was an adventure. The path was steep and muddy and it was a challenge to hold on to myself and Lennox, who of course couldn't find a foothold on the narrow bench next to me. Sebastian sat on the back seat and held my wheelchair that was on the loading area. After dropping us off at the top he left us alone and we were able to inspect the bridge - only like 3. That was mega. Although he didn't really feel comfortable with it, Lennox was so brave and trotted along.

You could look down between the wooden boards and when Sebastian walked on them, the "Suspension Bridge" swayed below us. When I wanted to turn the wheelchair on the bridge, my tire suddenly slipped between the boards and got stuck 😬.. whoops! Seb' had to free me. Stupid feeling Otherwise, I didn't mind the height and I enjoyed the view.

Because the zipline was closed, I was even allowed to fly my drone. Unfortunately, I was once again poorly prepared and the battery was already empty after a few minutes. Nevertheless, I was able to take at least a few nice shots.

We then drove to Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park, which was very close by and which I had scouted out 2 days earlier. The simple forest paths to the viewpoints were a bit bumpy with the Segway due to the roots and some passages were very steep, but definitely more strenuous on foot. Only a small step almost blocked my view, but thanks to Seb's idea to put a branch in front of it, I was able to climb the step.

After successfully admiring the canyon

we continued our way towards Thunder Bay. Just before the "Mission Island Marsh Conservation Area" we could observe this "predator feeding".🥰

The small park itself was not the mega highlight but quite nice except for the mosquitoes. A nice end to a successful day.

So that you know where we have been, here is our rough route in the period described

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