I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Derek loves fireworks, and he has become quite an accomplished
pyrotechnist. His firework shows have become very popular among his
family, and he always puts on a spectacular Canada Day show at the
family cottage outside Thunder Bay. Since we were visiting, we
received an invite to the event this year. In fact although we had
intended to head home sooner, we were told in no uncertain terms that
we HAD to stay for the Canada Day show.
The weather has been pretty good for
the entire trip, and although there has been some rainy days, they
really haven't spoiled our vacation. However, the weather forecast
for the Canada Day weekend did not look promising, with rain
predicted for most of the weekend. Determined to have a good
fireworks show, Derek decided he would set them off on Saturday if it
was a good day rather then waiting for Sunday and hoping for a break
in the forecast rain.
Arriving at the cottage with a car full
of fireworks and a table built especially to safely mount the various
rockets, cherry bombs and massive firework cakes on a floating dock
out in the lake, Derek was informed that the show was scheduled for
Sunday, because guests had been invited and could not come on
Saturday. When he expressed concern about the rain, his father
assured Derek that the forecast called for rain all afternoon, but
clearing by 5:00 pm. Now coming from Nova Scotia where even Cindy Day
rarely gets the forecast that accurate, I had to share Derek's
concern, but his dad was confident.
Sunday dawned with cloud and dark skies
on the horizon, and by noon it was raining; “See, just like the
forecast said.” was Derek's dad, David's optimistic response.
The Fireworks Table
By 2:00 pm, it was no longer raining,
it was pouring, but David checked his phone and reassured us that it
was still supposed to clear by 6:00 pm.
At 4:00 pm, the driveway was washing
away, the downspouts could not longer handle the deluge of rain, and
you needed both a raincoat and an umbrella to go outside. “Don't
worry”, David assured us, “The weather forecast is saying it will
clear by 7:00 pm.”
It was still raining at 6:00 pm, but
not so hard, and perhaps the skies to the west might be a bit
brighter. “Yup, we're good, clearing is expected by 8:00 pm”
David claimed when everyone pointed out the continuing rain.
Well, David was right. By 8:00 pm, the
rain had stopped, and Derek hurried outside to quickly get everything
organized and set up. By 9:00 pm, there was actually some blue skies,
and they towed the now almost prepared floating dock out into the
lake for Derek to complete final preparations.
At precisely 10:00 pm, under a
beautiful darkening blue sky, Derek set off an amazing 20 minute
firework show. Everyone agreed that it was his best show ever, and
David's optimism proved as accurate as the weather forecast.
An inuksuk is a simple statue made from
stone, placed in a spot for others to see. Originally they were used
a a navigation aid in the north to indicate a route through the
barren northern landscape. Sometimes they were simply erected to
indicate that “I have been here”. Some were simply a stack of
stones placed in a way that they would not naturally appear so that
others might notice them. Increasingly however a unique form of the
Inukshuk in a roughly human form has grown popular. These are two
piles of stones (legs) with a larger stone on top (Arms) and another
on top (a head).
As I drove highway 11/17 north along
Lake Superior on our way to Lac Seul to visit Alisha, I started
noticing Inuksuit placed on rocks along the roadway. Although as you
may recall, the drive up to Thunder Bay was through rain and fog, I
still started noticing increasing numbers of these Inuksuit. Knowing
I was coming back the same route, I decided to look for them on the
way home and take some photographs and write about them. I noticed
that they continued right through to Sioux Lookout and beyond on the
route to Alisha's. I started watching for them, and once you start
looking, it was amazing how many of these little statues there were.
On some sections of highway, there was one on every rock along the
way. Apparently a journalist for a newspaper in the region counted 98
on just the TransCanada 69 from Sudbury to Toronto, so there must be
hundreds on the entire route we followed.
They were always placed on rocks beside
the highway, and usually were high up. Some would have taken some
rock climbing skill just to get where they were placed. I then
started noticing that some were knocked down and now were just piles
of stones. Obviously some people electing not to climb to the top of
the highest rocks, had built their Inuksuk on low rocks. Easier to
build, but these were devastated in the winter by the passing
snowplows throwing the tons of northern Ontario snow off the
On the way back down to Toronto I again
looked for the many Inuksuits, and again noticed them for over 1000
kilometres. On this trip I could actually see them clearly, and
stopped to take a picture for you. That route is not exactly the most
exciting, with mostly trees and rocks . . . . so the little statues
are a welcome addition to the landscape.