Adventures

Adventure Time: Ouimet Canyon/Eagle Canyon Adventures

Date: June 6, 2017

Adventure: Ouimet Canyon/Eagle Canyon Adventures

Ouimet Canyon is probably the most unexpected thing Northern Ontario has but also makes so much sense at the same time…

Wikipedia tells me that Ouimet Canyon was most likely formed when a “diabase sill” (I kept that linked because I have no idea what it means) dating from a billion years earlier was split open, either by the weight of advancing glaciers or the large volumes of water released during their retreat. Erosion by wind and rain continued the formation of the canyon. Thus the canyon was born!

Aerial View of the canyon

The canyon features the privately owned and operated Eagle Canyon Adventures (website linked here). The park features two suspension bridges – one of which is Canada’s longest bridge, measuring at 600 feet (~183 m) – and a zip line, about 0.5 mile long and moves up to 45 mph (~72 km/h). There is an entrance fee of $20per adult and $10 per child (children under 4 are free!) A separate fee of $50 must be paid to zip line.

Directions:

  • Travel northeast from The City of Thunder Bay on the Trans Canada Highway/Thunder Bay Expressway
  • You will reach Dorian, Ontario
  • Turn left onto Ouimet Canyon Rd
  • You will approach a fork in the road and should keep right (unless you want to take an adventure of your own)
  • You will reach the parks parking lot
  • Let your adventure begin!

The drive is nice! It’s super easy because there are signs along the highway and it is about an hour long away from Dawson Rd. However, it doesn’t feel that long… especially when you’re accompanied by two of your best friends

My friends, Catherine and Adam, and I took on this adventure head on! It was the nicest day that we’ve had all summer (so far) and none of us were working… so we did what any sane person would do: GO ADVENTURING!

Adventuring and really just driving with friends is always the best, especially when you and your friends share different tastes in music or other things. The three of us all have different music preferences but all appreciate music for what it’s worth. This “road trip” consisted of 2000s Pop, Rock & Roll, Country, Folk, Indie, Alternative and so much more! (Thank you to DJ Cat Cat for the sick beats!)

As we were approaching the canyon it was very odd scenery. I expected a more hill like area but to my surprise it was very flat. A canyon in the middle of what looked like a prairie land is essentially what and where Ouimet Canyon is!

We approached the parking lot and because it was a Tuesday in the middle of the day the park was not busy whatsoever (so if you freak out because of heights, you can freak out with your loved ones)

The bridges honestly don’t seem big or scary like how I thought they would. They are very safe and secure. I’ve been on other suspension bridges just outside of Quebec, Quebec and those were shaky and scary… but I pushed through! These bridges don’t shake whatsoever and I kinda wanted them to, it did seem very suspension like.


Being at Ouimet Canyon is a different experience! It doesn’t feel like you’re in the same old Thunder Bay district. It feels as though you’re in a different province, country or even continent! It goes to show you that the area of Thunder Bay, ON is something special because it has all these unexpected places to experience.

To finish off our trip we stopped at one of those greasy roadside diners you see on TV as a kid but never in person. This day trip is one of my favourite memories I now created up in beautiful Thunder Bay… I can’t wait to create so many more!

Here’s to checking another item off my list and cheers to your adventuring!

-Vince

Adventures

Adventure Time: Rabbit Mountain

Date: Wednesday May 25, 2017

Adventure: Rabbit Mountain

Rabbit Mountain is a fairly easy adventure. It’s a drive up John Street Road, left turn onto Belrose Road and right into a “parking lot” on Marlwood Road. Following your park job, it’s a short “hike” (I think of it as more of a walk) up the road to the top of the Mountain where you get the most beautiful view of the North end of Thunder Bay (Port Arthur) and a wonderful view of The Sleeping Giant, a view that doesn’t make it look so giant.

Hiking Superior has other directions about the Rabbit Mountain Lookout Loop linked here.

Due to how easy the trek up Rabbit Mountain is I’m not going to go too in depth with it. I brought water, hot tea, flip flops, a sweater and a flashlight (because it was sunset). I find it to be more of a place you go to relax than a place to hike and such.

For me, my experience at Rabbit Mount is always calming. I walk or drive there with my dog, on my own, with friends. I’m an avid visitor of the mountain.

However, this time felt very different. I went with a friend who I had met during my time back in Thunder Bay during reading week. He’s very intelligent and passionate about nature, specifically plants… he’s also an artist!

Plant expert and artist on the left there! (follow @naturalworks3 on Instagram)

This trip to Rabbit Mountain had more of a learning experience tied to it. Not totally about plants though because I forgot all the information within 5 minutes of learning it. The learning was more about myself. This short drive with green tea and apple cider to sip on, plus the great great company got me thinking. I am exactly where I need to be in my life right now and I am happy. This really clicked for me while I was laying down parallel to The Sleeping Giant. My mind was racing at a million miles a minute. Then I took a deep breath looked at over at The City of Thunder Bay and the surrounding area and thought: “There’s so much of this small city I have yet to discover and THAT is all I need to do right now!”

Sure the life I’m going to start building in Toronto will be AMAZING but I’m living for the moment and right now my heart and mind are in the lovely little city I call home.

Until next time!

-Vince

Gotta stretch the toes!

 

Photo my friend took of me

 

 

 

Ps. I’m sorry I’ve been a shitty blogger the last month!

Adventures

Adventure Time: Sliver Falls

The time has finally arrived! Thursday May 11, 2017 is the day that Thunder Bay finally got adventure worthy weather! To start off the adventure season, I made my way over to Silver Falls, about a 45 minute drive North West of Thunder Bay, ON. Oddly enough, this adventure wasn’t on my original list (but it’s on there now and it feels damn good to cross it off!). That just goes to show you how plans change.

You might be asking how I came across this gem of a spot? Well… I’m here to tell you and give you some tips to having a good hike up at Silver Falls!

I found Silver Falls through an Instagram post a few days ago and it looked beautiful! So like anyone would do, I added the destination to the list. It turns out Silver Falls is actually a Provincial Park and very easy to get to.

You travel up Dawson Rd. and turn right onto Silver Falls and follow that road until either the Ontario Power Plant (which is where the hiking trail is) or until the end of the road where there is a camping ground (you can guess what else has been added to the list). A more detailed description will be attached here.

In terms of the hike it’s fairly easy! The hardest part for me was walking up the road where the path divides because I was baking in the sun, without a water bottle and the road is fairly steep! Although, as soon as you get on the path again it feels good. A few things I recommend if you’re going on this hike:

  1. Bring a backpack! This is important because you have to carry all your stuff.
  2. A journal is a must! I stopped at a few places to write and observe. The hike and path reminded me a lot of a hike I went on in Arizona and I drew inspiration from it (tune in next week… maybe sooner).
  3. Water bottle… you gotta stay hydrated kids! (In other words: Do as I say not as I do! I’m writing this blog to help you on your adventures.)
  4. Extra socks because it’s a pretty muddy trail (especially this time of the year because the snow is just melting). My socks and shoes were black after this hike! 

    They got a lot worse…
  5. When it’s actually summer time the river is pretty clean and calm in many places… that means great for swimming! I suggest bring some swim gear (or don’t, skinny dipping might be your thing).
  6. A camera or GoPro is a must! Although, try to remember to live in the moment and take in your surroundings. Don’t try to focus on that perfect shot, all you’ll be doing is hiding behind technology. Go out and explore nature!

I took the hike on my own. I needed a day of personal reflection, where I focused on myself. I found that on the drive out there my mind was wondering, thinking about nonsense. The hike offered me a lot of time to reflect on all my relationships in life, my school year, my job situation, my future and so much more. As soon as I got to the falls I was at easy. There’s something about a body of water that just takes over me and makes me feel at home (that’s one reason why I tattooed Poseidon’s symbol on my wrist). I was able to write in my journal, observe nature and my favourite: listen to the roar of the rapids and falls. On the drive back I was calm, cool, collected. I didn’t have thoughts running in and out of my head, I was at easy.

This hike is perfect if you need a day trip for yourself and focus on you! Just make sure someone knows where you are and when you should be returning because you could get lost and there isn’t cell coverage out there. I do suggest going with friends during the summer months! It’s a smooth drive out there, great hike and a fun place to chill by the water and swim a bit. Really, this path works for both introverts and extraverts. Also, if you want to swim but don’t want to hike, the Silver Falls Provincial Park campgrounds has a nice beach area that you just drive up to.DCIM100GOPROG0010061.JPGIf I had to grade this experience, I’d give it an A.

Happy adventuring!

Check out other adventures I’ll be taking or get to them before me in the About section!

Adventures

Weather Permitting

I have officially been home for one week and it sure has be interesting…

Unfortunately, the weather has put a damper on my adventures. I was hopeful over the weekend though! I took the hard roof off my car, replaced it with a soft top and then this ice storm happened! The weather back here has been the typical weather that Thunder Bay has… completely unpredictable!

Now mark this day in your calendars (April 26, 2017)… Thunder Bay, ON looks the way Arendelle did when Elsa ran away and “Let it Go” in Frozen!  

I mean I sound surprised but a freak snowstorm is normal here. I remember snow days happening the last week of April for like 3 (now 4) years in a row. This weather is temporary but sucks because it was 20C like two weeks ago! I’m a little bitter you can say.

Besides the weather, the hardest transition back home has been getting into a routine. I was hoping to have a job interview or even a second job by now but there’s nothing as of right now… just sticking to the TR grind for now. Then I also feel like I have all this free time on my hands! There’s nothing to study for, no essays to write, what am I supposed to do?!?! Plus, I’m waking up early to drive my younger brother to school so I can have the car for the day. All this time and the weather isn’t cooperating but I am doing the finer things in life. I’ve been reading books I own but never started. I’ve been going to cute coffee shops, getting gelato (on the one nice day) and walking my dog.

In order to enjoy this weather I suggest cozying up in bed, lighting a candle, drinking some tea, and burry yourself in a good book or a dramatic movie. It’s a treat yourself kinda week and right now you have no responsibilities except to take care of yourself.

On the upside, things are about to get a lot less dull! Squad is coming home and will be reunited Saturday. Seeing my best friends and driving around with no aim except to just be together is all I need to start off my adventures.

Hopefully the sun starts shining and warmer weather comes soon.

Until next time,

VP