HIKE NUMBER THREE
This hike was at Kakabeka Falls up near Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The morning was gloomy and foggy. But as a Minnesotan, I always have hope it will clear up. But just in case this time, I packed two raincoats. I also packed trail mix and water.
I encourage everyone to take the drive from Hovland, MN., where I stayed, to Thunder Bay. It is spectacular! I felt like I was in Colorado. There are huge hills, cliffs and a winding road. Then you come to an agricultural farming area. Kakabeka Falls is a bit outside of Thunder Bay. When my friend dropped me off , it was pouring. I wasn’t sure what do because there isn’t much of a visitor’s center, so I ran into the outhouse and put on two raincoats. The Nike tag line – JUST DO IT — came into my head. Then off I went!
From the visitor’s center, I walked over a bridge to look down at the falls. The falls are absolutely beautiful, loud and scary looking. I hoped a crazed maniac wouldn’t come out of the woods and push me over. I was safe; however, it looked like I was the only crazed person out on this rainy morning!
I continued on to hike the , which is very easy, full of Canadian history and with multiple views of the falls. The trail also loops into the forest for some quiet time. That hike was short so I added the Little Falls Loop, but it was slippery and rocky. I decided to hike another trail called Poplar Point Trail that was also a ski trail with rolling hills and beautiful forests along the way.
Stuff to think about
As I hiked, I thought about many things, thus I missed a few signs. As you follow my hikes, you will see this happens to me a lot. I get lost because maps really don’t make sense to me!
After wandering around a bit, I finally found The Whispering Pines campsites, which are very private and look like a great place to camp. I checked my map and headed in the direction I thought was back to the visitor’s center. Turns out, I was going the opposite way. My thanks to the couple wearing western outfits who turned me around to the right direction. I got back in time to hike the short, but gorgeous route along The Village Trail with the best views of the falls.
A carload of bills
My mind really wandered during this hike, although I tried to focus on my new mantra — JUST DO IT. By this, I mean taking control of the financial disaster I am currently in. A year ago, I was up in Grand Marais, MN., with a carload of bills, files and tons paperwork that my son Mike and I took from Barry’s office after sending him on a fake errand. I realized things were out of control; Barry did not seem able to figure it out. He also wasn’t willing — or able — to share any details about our financial situation with me. A lawyer friend recommended collecting all the paperwork I could find in order to figure out what was going on. My goal on the last night of that trip Up North was to try to understand where we stood financially. But one beer into it, I couldn’t do anything more. Maybe it will just go away, I thought. But that is magical thinking. It won’t go away!
Now it’s a year later, and I am still trying to JUST DO IT. Every day I tell myself that today will be the day I call Sallie Mae about the student loans or Visa or MasterCard. Some days I do make calls! Some days I just draw. I have made some progress in this past year, all the while shaking in my boots. I have visited with IRS agents, who did not yell at me for unpaid taxes. I have visited banks where we owe money, and filed for bankruptcy on Barry’s behalf. I am kind of JUST DOING IT — but at my own pace!
After I finished the day’s hike, my ride back to the states was waiting to pick me up. We went to Agostino’s Deli in Thunder Bay. It serves the best sandwich I have ever eaten. As we headed back to Minnesota eating our sandwiches in the car, I thought about how much fun eating is and how much fun I had hiking in the rain.
Things I saw
A fox, people in western wear, lots of wild flowers, Kakabeka Falls Generating Station, some newlyweds, Thunder Bay and Loch Lohman Ski area.
For more information go to falls: ontarioparks.com/english/kaka.html
Ski area: lochlomond.ca/