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Our Trip of 2003

Ontario to Treeline, NWT

We crossed into Canada and headed West toward Thunder Bay, OT, on Sunday, 10 August 2003.

Note: Additions will be made to include multiple pictures of several stops. Click on a picture for more

There were two Amethyst mines along the highway. We stopped at the first and "mined" a few stones. Actually, we picked up some rocks from a bulldozed area that is the mine.
 
  Old Fort Williams Historical Park in Thunder Bay is not a fort, but is a trading post. Again, actors in costume are present. A great place.
We made a detour from the major highway west and visited Fireside Lodge. It is near Sioux Lookout, OT.  Next was a stop at the Mennonite Heritage Village at Steinbach, MB. This is a bench seat that converts to a bed. There were several of these in the village.
At Winnipeg we took a riverboat tour to Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, The best part of this tour was the trip through the locks on the Winnipeg river. This was our third fort this trip. After Winnipeg we visited Riding Mountain National Park. It is known for its large number of black bears. We did see a couple of bears, but not long enough for a picture. We did see beautiful scenery, flowers, and several types of wildlife, including a herd of plains bison.
 Our next stop on Sunday evening was at Thompson, MB, as far North as the pavement goes in Manitoba. We stopped at Pisew Falls provincial park on the way to see this beautiful waterfall. Inco has one of the worlds largest nickel mining and processing facilities at Thompson. They have tours, but not on Sunday or Monday.
 After a trip on Highway 55 in Eastern Saskatchewan, the worst gravel road I have ever seen, we stopped at Cut Knife to see the Worlds Largest Tomahawk. We next stopped at Vegreville, AB, to see the Worlds Largest Pysanka. It looked like an Easter Egg to us.
 Next stop was Edmonton and the Worlds Largest Shopping Mall. Just outside Edmonton is the Elk Island National Park.  It has both plains and wood bison. The two types are in separate fenced areas of the park, with the wood bison less accessable and more difficult to approach for pictures.
We called and arranged for a tour of the oil sands operation at Fort McMurray, AB. We called because they require all arrangements for access be made a day ahead for security reasons. In calling, we were offered a discount package deal that included two nights at a motel and a tour of the Syncrude operation. With the package, you basically pay for the motel and get a free tour.

Oil is obtained from the oil sands by mining with huge machinery instead of by drilling a well.

 
After Fort McMurray, we headed on toward Yellowknife in  the Northwest Territories. On the way we stopped at Twin Falls Gorge and saw two beautiful waterfalls. After crossing the Mackenzie River on the ferry, you are at the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary, home to  huge wood bison. They are commonly seen along the highway.
Yellowknife is small by most standards, but is by far the largest town in the NWT. It has an interesting history, and lots of interesting places to see. This rock painting is near the float plane basin. We expected to leave Yellowknife on a float plane, but instead had the comfort of a larger, land-based plane for our flight to Treeline. We did return to Yellowknife on a float plane. 
We were part of a group of eight people for a three night stay at Treeline. We were guided by Titus, an Inuit, or Eskimo, who seemed to know about everything in the artic. We fished some, and spent considerable time viewing wildlife, mostly caribou and wolves. Blueberries, crowberries, lingonberries, and cloud berries were all over the ground. All are good to eat.  This caribou had a broken rear leg. The previous day, this caribou was seen across the lake with a wolf in the area. It had to swim about a half mile to cross the lake. A wolf is a good motivator. 

Go to page 1, Earl Park to Mackinac Island.

Go to page 3, Yellowknife to Las Vegas.

Go to page 4, Utah Canyons to Home.

Go to Lewie's Travel Web.