Our adventure in Thunder Bay, on the northern shores of Lake Superior in the far westerly reaches of Ontario began with a couple Porter flights from Ottawa. With free tall cans of Ace Hill lager to ease my nerves as we flew through bad weather, I had both the time (and needed to be distracted) leading to my mind considering the geography of our current early September adventure.
When Muskoka is referred to as Northern Ontario, I always gawf. Northern as in north of Toronto, I suppose. But, Thunder Bay, a full 2 hour flight north of Toronto, and 1500kms north-west of Ottawa, held high hopes for fulfilling my imaginative conjurings of what adventures the wilds of Northern Ontario may hold. Granted, geographically, Thunder Bay is only half way up this ginormous province. However, as my friend, and also the coolest pilot I know will attest to, exploring much north of Thunder Bay, usually requires an aircraft. Therefore, I will consider, on my personally labeled map of Ontario, Thunder Bay to be the fabled 'North'. Shhh, it's ok. Don't bother arguing.
Our first time seeing Lake Superior, and the most west we've ever been in Ontario, I was super excited and made a list of exactly 3 things I wanted to do:
1. Sleeping Giant Provincial Park
2. Sleeping Giant Brewery
3. Dawson Trail Brewery
What can I say. I like beer and hiking. Throw a chocolatier in there and you have the key to my heart. I, in a very uncharacteristic move, didn't do much research for our long weekend in Thunder Bay. I knew our host Shelby would fill our remaining hours with fun, food and adventure. That's why we love her.