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Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 17 and 18: Lovely Lake of the Woods

...So here's the deal. Quetico Provincial Park which spills across the US border is stunning, but on the evening of July 4th, it wasn't fireworks that filled the air...It was the sound of a thousand star-spangled mosquitos. Sorry to harp on about them, but they were pretty bad. Somehow, they worked out how to get inside Carmella even with all the obvious hatches battened down. You know those hot sticky summer nights where all you hear is a certain buzzing around your head followed by a sudden silence? Yes, well, that was this night. Our lakeside site, perched as it was on a natural rocky terrace, was so beautiful that the requisite sunset photos had to be taken and a fire built and a midnight swim taken. But the next day we were out of there fast, fast, fast...And heading along MOM's highway en route for the much fabled Lake of the Woods.

The causeway at Fort Francis, which borders Minnesota, provides excellent views of lakeside cottage country living. Summer was in the air, boats were gliding across the shimmering water, and the fish were a'jumpin. Just past Emo, we headed north up route 71. After the twisting turning mountain roads we had been on since hitting Algonquin, this dead-straight strip of flat highway was a joy to a novice RVer's eyes. You could almost hear our tough little Ruby sigh with relief too...We coasted through the very scenic and tastefully touristy Nestor Falls and about half an hour later, drew into Sioux Narrows Provincial Park campground nestled on Lake of the Woods.

It was stinking hot, but an amazing breeze was coming off the lake. We unhitched Carmella, set up the bug tent, waited for the onslaught...No mosquitos!!! Down to the sandy beach for a swim, then a hike up to the lookout to watch the sun setting...No mosquitos!!! Dinner cooked outdoors on the portable propane stove and then down to the dock with a thermos of coffee to look at the stars...No mosquitos!!! Ahhhhh...life is good.

It was raining on Friday morning as we packed up and hitched up and headed for Kenora. It continued to rain as we unhitched and unpacked and set ourselves up at The Willows RV park and campground just an hour or so later. Yet more rain as we drew into the 'capital' of the Lake of the Woods area and started to explore this busy little town with its lakeside boardwalk and steady traffic of pleasure crafts and houseboats and incoming bi-planes.

By mid-afternoon, the sun had returned. Rona contemplated a haircut. Linnet wanted to join that bear in the Eagle's Nest Lounge. In the end, we settled on a nice cold beer on the terrace at Haps Bar and Grill - enjoying the chance to catch up with the blog after so many days off the grid whilst feasting on excellent Lake of the Woods walleye.

Whilst in Kenora we picked up some stick-on letters and that evening, back at the campground, we transformed Carmella's rear end into a (subtle) traveling billboard for the roadshow. And would you believe it?...We are just shy of having driven 3000 kilometers and we are STILL in Ontario! Tomorrow we strike out on the 17 for the last time and cross the border into Manitoba.