Kakabeka Falls

I had a bad night’s sleep. For some reason my body has broken out in a serious rash of heat bumps. They cover my head, neck, arms and legs and they itch like mad. Having kept me awake most of the night I am not really in good condition for today’s drive.

We left at half past seven in the morning before the sun got up. The temperature overnight caused a light dew and is a very welcome break for me. The heat bumps do not itch if they are kept cool, and so at least the first phase of the drive should be OK.

We took Highway 1 east from Winnipeg and eventually joined Highway 17 to Thunder Bay. The scenery is an improvement over the previous drive, with pines and even small hills breaking up the horizon. Then we arrived into Lakeland, there are hundreds if not thousands of lakes everywhere. I would love to find one of the ‘glassy’ ones to park Bridget beside and get a photograph of her and her reflection but it is not possible to get close enough.

During the day we stopped at Longbow Lake to re-fuel and Carlton Dent, overhearing what I was telling an inquisitive passer-by about our adventure, said the fuel was on him as his donation to the UNICEF fund. I was thrilled that someone with so little information about our adventure would put his hand so deep into his pocket to support us.

The days drive was a little less than five hundred miles and Bridget seemed as fresh when we arrived as she was at the start. She was certainly running as well as she ever has since I bought her.

Ten miles short of our destination we crossed a bridge over the Kaministiquia River. I looked to my left and realised from the view that there was a fairly substantial waterfall. It transpired that it was the Kakabeka Falls which are just beautiful.

When we arrived in Thunder Bay I found a high pressure hose car wash and cleaned off all the dust that had accumulated over the past ten days. We received an e-mail from New Zealand requesting a radio interview about the journey which was nice as we hadn’t even been there. Bridget is becoming an International Star!

My heat bumps were just too much and I decided after another bad night that I was not in a fit state to drive. I thought if I had one day in the hotel, which is air conditioned and cool, that my body would recover. I caught up on my e-mail, magazine articles and general administration.

Sunday morning and I feel as if I am a day late and have to keep reminding myself “A day late for what?” On top of that my phone alarm was an hour late so instead of getting up at six o’clock it was seven o’clock. However it was a misty morning again and when we left Thunder Bay it was cool.

My body seemed to have responded to the day’s rest and Bridget appeared to be performing well. I did not set a specific location to reach that day so I wouldn’t be disappointed.

The scenery was improving all the time. The pine forests spread out on both sides and as we drove through MacKenzie I got my first good look at Lake Superior. It was much the same as looking out to sea but you need to remember this is a fresh water lake.

Bridget was still consistently getting attention as we made our way along the highway and we were constantly approached by curious strangers at service stations and viewpoints.

I decided to stop for the night at Sault Sainte Marie after some 450 miles. This put us two days from Ottawa and I had now been contacted by the local MG club there. I promised we would let them know where we were staying and for how long. I was also contacted by Mediaworks New Zealand owners of a number of radio stations who want a telephone interview. I found this surprising as of course we hadn’t been to New Zealand even though I know we have a regular group of supporters checking out our website. Anyway when we get to Ottawa I will give them the hotel phone number and see what happens.

Our next destination on route was North Bay. The road followed the north coast of Lake Superior through the towns of Marathon and Wawa, and The Pukaskwa National Park. The scenery was now just beautiful as some of the trees had started to turn colour so that in addition to the greens there were now yellow, gold, orange and red leaves.

From North Bay we drove on to Ottawa arriving so quickly I was taken by surprise. The countryside on this leg of the journey was far more agricultural and less forested. However I saw an antelope of some description making its way through a wheat field but it was too far away to get a photograph.

Bridget is now running so consistently well it’s almost becoming boring. Checks over the last three days show that we are averaging 60mph and her fuel consumption is now 34 miles to the gallon.

I spent the afternoon catching up with my administration and e-mailing and in the evening I was entertained by the Ottawa Austin Healey Car Club! They are a good crew and as usual have a mixture of cars with many owners having MG’s as well. This raises the conundrum of whether they are MG’ers or Austin Healey people?

The city of Ottawa is of course the country’s capital and there are a number of interesting historical Parliamentary buildings. It is a pleasant city which you can walk around easily and also has a good public transport system.

In the evening around a dozen members of the Ottawa MG Car Club gathered in the hotel and we commandeered the lounge for an impromptu MG meeting. It was all very convivial but we had to conclude early as I was scheduled to do the radio interview.

There is now only one thousand miles left to drive before arriving at Halifax to ship home to England and I am struggling with the idea that it is almost over. Still I have Montreal, Quebec and Nova Scotia to look forward to on route.

Leave a Reply