The boys wanted to start the day with a quick swim before we left. I figured I should go in at least once - nearly killed me, I don't know how Ryan could spend nearly 40 minutes in there waiting for Kirsten to come and shoot the scene.
After packing up, we stopped at the Park's interpretive centre, which was very worth the visit. Lots of information about the area's history, including a fascinating video about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Other exhibits depicted the area's geology and early settlement, and also highlighted the Group of Seven, several of whom painted in nearby. Graham bought a book of Ontario Ghost Stories, which kept him enthralled for the next several days.
We stopped again, mid-afternoon, at Katherine Cove picnic area, and later in Neys Provincial Park, where all but me went for another swim (I had had my fill of cold water, and besides, there were warblers in all the trees...Neys had the most extraordinary rocks I think I've ever seen - they looked like great slabs of molded and sculpted bronze embedded in the sand, as if a Museum of Modern Art had been shipwrecked there. Very cool indeed.
All these stops were murder on our travel time though. We stopped for a break at the Terry Fox Monument outside Thunder Bay around 7:00. It has great blocks of amethyst in its base, and marks the furthest point Terry reached in his great run. Dinner in Thunder Bay at the Wendy's around 9:00. Then we made a questionable decision - to push on to Sandbar Provincial Park, which lay 11km north of Ignace, nearly two hours further east. It would make for a long day, but it would shorten the drive to Winnipeg substantially.
Unfortunately, none of the kids could sleep well, it was very rainy, and there were many tears, lamentations, and eventually recriminations before we reached Ignace around 11:00. Worse, we could not find the campground. The sign said 11km north; we passed a roadside sign announcing the park, but there were no turnoffs thereafter. We drove back into town, and found all of the motels closed. Kirsten was so fed up she was prepared to drive to Dryden, another hour or two east, but we went back up the road for one more look. Sure enough, we had turned back only a few dozen metres short on our first effort; around the next bend was a brightly illuminated park entrance. We set up camp around midnight, very cold and windy but thankfully dry.