Wpg-TO Day Two

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June 25th 2014
Published: June 26th 2014
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Wpg-TO Day Two - Part I

Thunder Bay to Sault Ste. Marie.

Additional maps: Wpg-TO Day Two-Part II | Wpg-TO Day Two - Part III

Hillcrest Park PlaqueHillcrest Park PlaqueHillcrest Park Plaque

Hillcrest Park is located on High Street in Thunder Bay and Yes, it's just the place to view the Sleeping Giant. The Park was dedicated to the Lake Superior Regiment following WWII. Not very big, but a gorgeous view of town, the harbour and of course, the Sleeping Giant.
Slept until 06:00 hr...retirement habits are hard to break. Up and unplugging all the batteries that were charging overnight...quick breakfast with another couple from Emo, ON, in town for some surgery.....also a military type, but not so talkative. Checked out and in the car by 08:00 (757.3 km). Rm cost....$120.23, booked through Trivago.

Wanted to get pictures of Sleeping Giant, so checked out maps to find highest point....Hillcrest Park, which happens to be on the way out of town....bonus. Out the back of the parking lot is High Street, and about 2 km up the road is Hillcrest Park.....arrived at 08:12 hr (758.9 km)....dedicated to honour the Lake Superior Regiment. Beautiful view of the harbour and the Sleeping Giant (see pics). Took many pictures of the surrounding area and the Giant, as well as some of the park and neighbourhood.

Back on Hwy 17 by 08:42 hr (763.0 km)...stopped at Terry Fox Memorial for pictures...very nice park and memorial, not to mention great view of lake/harbour/city. Back on the road at 09:03 hr (on time!)....travelling East on Hwy 11/17 and was stopped by OPP heading West in the East-bound lanes....waved me to turn around, which I did and followed
Cenotaph at Hillcrest ParkCenotaph at Hillcrest ParkCenotaph at Hillcrest Park

Nice memorial honouring the Regiment and the plaques on both sides of the monument list the names of all who sacrificed their lives in the second World War.
him to nearest intersection where he set up to stop all traffic. Got out an asked what was going on...crash in the early morning hours had the highway closed until further notice...he estimated another four hours and asked me to return to Thunder Bay, which I did. http://www.tbnewswatch.com/news/344334/Crash-kills-three Stopped at Terry Fox Memorial again for directions to Mount MacKay...thought I'd take in a hike and get some good pictures of TBay.

Headed for Mt MacKay with directions from nice ladies at the information centre at the Memorial....they said to take Hwy 11/17 through town and turn left at City Road. Drove through town, quite a ways and over the river, where City Road should be but found Chippewa Road instead. Continued further down the highway looking for City Road...doesn't exist. Turned back around and eventually turned down Chippewa Road, which is the new name for City Road. Either they need better signage or they need to tell the ladies at the info centre that it's been renamed!

Drove down Chippewa Road and saw an old sign saying City Road...at least I'm on the right street. Only one sign that mentions the Mt. MacKay lookout and it says to
Sleeping Giant from Hillcrest ParkSleeping Giant from Hillcrest ParkSleeping Giant from Hillcrest Park

A view down the cannon in Hillcrest Park with the Sleeping Giant in the background.
turn on Mission Road, which would have been OK if they had road signs to tell you what the roads were called. Drove another kilometer and wondered if I had missed it and just then noticed a sign that mentioned Mission Road. Nothing about it being the route to the lookout, but I did turn and headed another kilometer or so South. Came to a fork in the road...so I took it....because it seemed to be heading up the mountain. No signs or directions....not unusual for the reserve, I suppose, but not good for tourists or business.

Just inside the gates was an info booth where they collected a $5.00 admission fee....10:42 hr (865.6 km). Drove to the lower level lookout, parked and took some photos of the city. Good view. Big raise walkway to hold many visitors....had it all to myself. I guess I'm early for tourist season. Large area for parking, special events, etc....took pictures of the features at the lookout (chapel, eagle sculpture, two women sculptures and culture signs). Decided that I had time to spare, so decided to try the hike to the top of the mountain...drove to the parking lot at the base of
Hillcrest Park MapHillcrest Park MapHillcrest Park Map

For those of us challenged by maps and where you are, this one is pretty good. Not only does it tell you where you are, but also what you're looking at. Almost Ukrainian proof!
the hike.

Supposed to be 20 - 40 minute hike and moderate effort....they lied! Left at 11:17 hr and back at 12:16 hr, but I did spend some time taking pictures at the top, so it probably was a 20 minute hike, but it took a little more than "moderate effort", at least for an old guy! Outside temp was only 16 C but worked up quite a sweat...had to stop a few times to catch my breath....the Chilkoot can't be this tough?!!! Clipped my new Garmin to my belt to monitor route and evaluate elevation change...total ascent = 167 m (parking lot elevation, 331 m)....lots of pics at the top, beautiful view. If you go to Mount MacKay, you can't just go to the lookout...you have to do the hike and see the view from the very top....well worth it.

Decided to head back to the Highway and check in at the Memorial to see if highway was open....stopped at 12:56 hr to get gas at Shell (891.0 km), 43.822 L @ $1.449/L = $63.50. Looked at onboard computer for gas economy and it leveled off at 8.8 L/100 km...not bad. Stopped at McD's for lunch and
Lakehead Grain Terminal PlaqueLakehead Grain Terminal PlaqueLakehead Grain Terminal Plaque

A plaque in Hillcrest Park celebrating the grain elevators at the waterfront. May seem simple enough, but quite an engineering feat to build these things so big.
left at 13:05 hr (891.4 km)...back on Hwy 11/17. Didn't stop at Memorial because large highway sign said road was open....traveled to 942.7 km where traffic was stopped...very long lineup so I got out to find out what was holding things up and take a picture. This was the site of yesterday's crash and a cleanup crew was still working on the wreck. Stopped at 13:40 hr and moving again at 13:43 hr, so not such an inconvenience....crash at 943.5 km.

Nipigon by 14:25 hr (1000 km)...15:44 hr (1106.2 km) stopped to stretch and get out of the van....Aguasabon River Gorge....took some pics, nice waterfall but much smaller than Kakabeca. Back on the road by 15:58 hr (1107.7 km). In Wawa by 18:49 hr (1373.2 km)...stopped for a stretch and pics...tourist info centre closed...took pics of Wawa Goose. Dropped in to Tim Hortons for a bathroom break and picked up an ice-cap and a couple of donuts....back on the road at 19:14 hr (1374.3 km). 20:09 hr (1459.1 km) stopped at turnout to take photos of pretty scenery near Algoma.

Roughly the last half hour or 60 kms or so into Sault Ste. Marie drove through light rain...in
Lakehead Grain ElevatorsLakehead Grain ElevatorsLakehead Grain Elevators

And here's a view of the real things....grain elevators at the waterfront. Enormous and quite a complex once you get up close and see how big the site really is. On the left of the horizon is Mt. Mackay, which I hiked up later in the day.
Sault Ste. Marie by 21:36 hr (roughly 1600 km...forgot to note!). Checked in at Comfort Inn & Suites... excellent room (Rm 5597) at the back of the hotel/convention centre....quite, overlooking parking lot so I could keep an eye on the van....fridge, big TV, sofa and King bed....excellent. Talked to Teri and plugged everything in again. Could re-freeze all the ice packs I brought...bonus. Too dark and rainy to take pictures. Wanted to call Randy Warren to say "HI", but much too late and in bed by midnight...very tired.

Additional photos below
Photos: 85, Displayed: 26


The Sleeping GiantThe Sleeping Giant
The Sleeping Giant

The Sleeping Giant...close-upThe Sleeping Giant...close-up
The Sleeping Giant...close-up

He's still sleeping....shhhhhhh....
High Street HomesHigh Street Homes
High Street Homes

Just thought I'd show a view of the "average" neighbourhood homes that are across the street from Hillcrest Park and share the most impressive view of Lake Superior, the harbour and of course, the Sleeping Giant. Very nice homes and very well kept!
Terry Fox Plaque at Hillcrest ParkTerry Fox Plaque at Hillcrest Park
Terry Fox Plaque at Hillcrest Park

A plaque honouring Terry Fox in the park. More pictures of the Terry Fox Memorial on Hwy 17 to follow.
Terry Fox MemorialTerry Fox Memorial
Terry Fox Memorial

Just outside (East) of Thunder Bay, on the North side of Hwy 17/11 is a memorial park to Terry Fox. His epic journey to cross Canada ended just a stone's throw East of this site. I wanted to stop and take a picture of the highway sign marking the point at which his run ended, but it was in the middle of a construction zone and not very safe. This memorial is very well done and the entire site is quite impressive.
Terry Fox MemorialTerry Fox Memorial
Terry Fox Memorial

Inscription on one side of the Terry Fox Memorial....top third.
Terry Fox MemorialTerry Fox Memorial
Terry Fox Memorial

Inscription on one side of the Terry Fox Memorial...middle.
Terry Fox MemorialTerry Fox Memorial
Terry Fox Memorial

Inscription on one side of the Terry Fox Memorial...bottom third.
Sleeping Giant ....Sleeping Giant ....
Sleeping Giant ....

...from Terry Fox Memorial.
Thunder Bay Harbour....Thunder Bay Harbour....
Thunder Bay Harbour....

...from Terry Fox Memorial. Note the three ships in the harbour and again, on the horizon is Mt. MacKay.
View from Mt. MacKay LookoutView from Mt. MacKay Lookout
View from Mt. MacKay Lookout

After being turned around due to a crash on Hwy 17/11, I decided to visit Mt. MacKay and try to get a different view of Thunder Bay. This is a shot of town and the harbour from the lookout at about the middle of Mt. MacKay
Mt. MacKay ChapelMt. MacKay Chapel
Mt. MacKay Chapel

Not very big....I guess you pray one at a time up there....but very quaint.

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