Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Canada's Longest Suspension Foot Bridge...and Other Good Stuff!

What a great day!! The drive from Marathon to Thunder Bay was just beautiful. I had imagined it would be all woods, but it is gorgeous vistas all the way. This is just two of the many times that Jim stopped for pictures...


We stopped in Nipigon for lunch (at Subway....yes, Jared!). It was a small Subway combined with a convenience store, and had only a few tables. We asked a man if we could sit with him, and he said "Since you're from New Brunswick, sure!" He had seen our car license plates and it turns out he is originally from Campbellton. Small world, for sure! He told us the Nipigon area is basically a dying town since the mill closed and the plywood plant burned down this year. People are pretty much stuck there as they can't sell their houses. He was retired, and said it's really the people on pensions who are keeping the town alive. Like so many small towns along the way....

Jean and Alan, whom we met in the restaurant in Sault Ste. Marie, had recommended visiting Ouimet Canyon, so we turned off the road to go there and then saw this sign. Now this sounded pretty interesting...

We drive in and a young guy comes out to meet us and asks if we want to go across the bridge. I'm thinking "no, I just want to see it" but that isn't an option. You're in, or you're out! He and his father started this business 6 years ago. His father had purchased the land years ago, sight unseen, as a woodlot and then they decided to go into tourism. Very enterprising! They had a really nice gift shop and he said they get between 35,000 to 40,000 visitors a year. Next year, he says it's going to double as they are installing a zip line. I can't even imagine that!! So we pay our $18 each and head off into the woods to find the suspension bridges...and here is the first one....

You got it! Those aren't wires stretching across...that's the bridge. Right about now, I'm wondering if this is such a good idea, but there aren't a lot of people around (to hear me yell or jump on the bridge). So how bad can it be?

If there had been 20 people on that bridge you couldn't have got me on there for anything! So here's Jim on the first bridge, looking all happy....

And here's me, when he deliberately bounces on the bridge

We get across the first one (why do they start swaying right at the end?). The first bridge is 300 feet across and 125 feet high; and the second is 600 feet across and 152 feet high. Now you either have to go back across the first one or walk to the second one and go across. So we're on to bridge 2...

Here is the view from the second bridge. How beautiful is that? I don't mind heights and I didn't mind the bridge. But I don't like it swaying!!

That's a lo-o-ong walk!

Here's a view of the first bridge standing on the second one....

You can go back across the bridges, or take a long set of stairs down to the bottom of the canyon. Stairs for me!! Here we found a nifty place to set the camera and use the self-timer...

Back on the ground again looking up at the bridge. Crazy, I say!

That was a lot of fun! We got back on the highway heading into Thunder Bay and started to see the signs for the last stretch of the Terry Fox run.


Here is the Terry Fox memorial, set up close to where he had to give up the run. He made it through five provinces before he had to stop. It's hard to believe it's been 27 years since he passed away.

It really is hard to imagine a person (with one leg!) running a marathon every day. He was amazing...

It was an absolutely awesome day. Tomorrow we are going to make it to Kenora which is about 480 km. That will be our longest day in the car so hopefully our enthusiasm will last!!!

1 comment:

  1. You are braver than I am. I would have to get down on my hands and knees if the bridge was swaying. Looks like you are having an awsome time.!

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