The Last Leg of the Long Way Across NW Ontario: Hwy. 71

Great weather and amazing landscapes have blessed me for weeks, which can’t last forever; however, like I do with all gifts that have been pushed upon me during my walk, I accept it and be thankful.  My foray across the forested and bedrock landscape of Ontario is coming to an end, and this will be my last embrace of the marsh, fen, bog, and lake dominated landscapes before I enter the level agricultural and prairie landscapes of Manitoba in a week or so; luckily, a few small lakes and wetlands will still be around for a small section of eastern Manitoba.

After my encounter with the most disagreeable of human conditions in Emo, ON, I now enter Highway 71 and the small community of Findland, Ontario where I encountered a small roadside restaurant run by two older ladies.  After a brief discussion about what my previous job was, and career is, the one lady corrected me about what I actually did: engineers do all the work in reclaimation, and all work regarding the clean up the contaminated soil, water, and wetlands within the oil sands region.  She was an authority on this, since she worked in some capacity within the region for over 10 years before the downturn!  The discussion was as light as can be expected, but in the end, she told me in a very grandiose and poetic like gesture and tone that she worked with some of the most magnificiant and smart engineers, and that scientist of consulting firms take things to an unneeded, ridiculous, and complex level.  No reply was needed after that, since I cannot change the opinions of people.  I agreed with her, then swallowed the oestrich size egg in my throat, and left to setup my tent at a location I spotted across the now vacant roadway — after asking the owner of the property beforehand.

Oddly, the last few nights have been cold, with temperature at or below freezing, which is strartling and causing me to realize that the fun of this summer is ending, and that I will be walking into fall shortly.

After a day of walking, the agricultural land surrounding the Emo region changed to forests, wetlands and beautiful lakes, where I was blessed after a day of walking with the Ontario side of Lake of the Woods.

Above.  Just a few minutes walk from the restaurant in Emo, ON where I encountered that man who intelligently stated his opinions, thoughts, and analysis on a topic he knew nothing about.

The small community of Nestor Falls was only a short walk from Emo, ON, and where I spent a great night!

My stay at Nestor Falls was highlighted by meeting an awesome duo at a Municipal Lakeside park I decided I would camp for the night.  The duo, Shane and Shannon from Ottawa, just finished RV’ing from Ottawa to Vancouver Island this summer.  After Shane asked if I was walking across Canada, which I sorta am, we talked for a short time over a beer he brought over, and they both told me that I should check out this great local bar in Nestor Falls: Green’s Restaurant, which I already walked past earlier in the day.  Shannon’s friend worked there, and they were going there for the night, so I tagged along.  We all ate, drank, and had a great time — thank’s for picking up dinner Shane!  A few hours later we hung out in Gord’s cabin nearby — Shannon’s friend, where I listened to a great jam session on a comfy recliner, which I never get to enjoy these days!  Later that night, I left Gord’s cabin, due to my tiredness from a day of walking, and wandered  back to the R.V. site to setup my tent to sleep hard.

Above.  Shannon and her cool little R.V.

Above.  Green’s Restaurant.  Great burger and fries.

Above.  The gang (myself, Shane, Gord, and Shannon) seeing me off in the morning.

Well, it finally rained after walking under cloudy skies for the last few days.  My departure from Nestor Falls was rain soaked, but it was one of those days where it rained off and on for a few hours.  Eventually, the rain passed, and the sun came out to dry me out.  In the evening I walked past Sioux Narrows, where I found a rocky hill overlooking a lake to eat dinner ontop of.  I setup my tent at the toe of the rocky hill on the edge of forest stand.

Above.  Sitting ontop of the hill overlooking a small lake, and waiting for dinner to finish cooking.

Above.  The small lake.

Above.  Another beautiful small lake along the way.

Above.  Beautiful wetland scenery common to this landscape.

There haven’t been many times during my walk where I stopped mid-day because of a spot that was just too good to walk past; however, the Bunny Lake rest area — aptly named Hunny Bunny Lake by someone with a marker, was complete with a few stone picnic tables overlooking the lake!  What really made this place fantastic was the pathway leading down to Bunny Lake, and the finger shaped rock outcrop pointing into the lake: the perfect place to sit during the day, and to let the mind comfortably wander over the lake.

I reached the end of Hwy 71, and I am only a few hours walk from Kenora, which is the gateway to Manitoba!

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