Today we drove the greatest mileage of the tour in one day, just over 430 miles. We have now entered our fifth province, Ontario and our third time zone, Eastern Standard Time (GMT -5).
Having decided to drive directly to Thunder Bay in one day rather than the originally planned two day trip via Fort Frances, we left Winnipeg a bit earlier than usual, at 8.15am. It was gloriously sunny and the first 100kms was on wide dual carriageway across flat farming land.
We entered the area known as the Lake of the Woods. Thousands of beautiful lakes with islands. The region is a favourite place for fishing and hiking.
We went through two reasonably large towns. The first Kenora and then Dryden which had a colossal paper mill in the centre of the town.
The drive continued on single carriageway road for the remainder of the road to Thunder Bay. As there was so little traffic it was never a problem to overtake the occasional truck that we came upon, even when they were heavily laden with logs.
Before anyone asks, no I didn't attempt to overtake until the oncoming truck had passed!
About two hours after crossing into Ontario we came to the 90th Longitude, the beginning of Eastern Standard Time and we had to put our clocks forward an hour.
There were many signs warning you of animals crossing the road and this one we thought was particularly apt.
We arrived in Thunder Bay at about 5pm, an eight hour drive from Winnipeg. Our hotel the Prince Albert Waterfront overlooks Lake Superior.
We unpacked and then went on a short drive around the city. Thunder Bay is a major port on the lake and not far from our hotel is huge grain terminal where the grain from the Canadian prairies is loaded onto ships.
We drove up to Hillcrest Park from where we had wonderful views down over the city and the lake. Offshore is an island known as the Sleeping Giant because it has the shape of a reclining giant.
In the park was this monument to those who had served in The Lake Superior Regiment (Motor) and had died in World War II. I have never seen such strange tracked vehicle with a machine gun mounted at the front. It was far too small to accommodate anyone inside it and anyone riding on top of it would be a 'sitting duck'!
We ended the day by eating in our hotel and talked about the next two days of driving around Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world