I sit on a beautiful beach on the North East shore of Lake Superior contemplating whether or not I should jump into the glacial waters. The sun is beginning to warm the land after a frigid night in the van. We arrived here last night after staying in Bruce Mines, on the Northern coast of Georgian Bay. The drive from Sault Ste. Marie was truly one of the nicest drives I have ever done in Canada. At times I felt I was in the towering mountains of BC, and others I felt like I was driving the Cabot Trail. Thick forest and Canadian Shield were cut through by the Trans Canada HWY. Cliffs of pink and grey granite covered in regal white pine rise out of the ocean-like lake, creating amazing views as we flash past in our Golden Steed. Sitting on this beach feels like we are on the verge of wilderness. A loon fishes for breakfast in her very own secluded little bay. Ravens scream at each other while a Bald Eagle flies across the lake. Last night after dinner, as we sat on the beach watching the sun vanish behind the rolling hills across the bay, admiring the pink-orange sky, a fox gracefully trotted by not making a sound.
There is a coolness in the air here, like spring has not yet passed. As we climb North, the chill grows stronger. In the very recent past we were baking in the sun on the Inverhuron Beach. Now, I sit in the sun wearing a sweater and pants. I am trying to warm myself enough to brave the cold water before me. I have never swam in Lake Superior and I intend on plunging into all the great lakes we visit.
Looking at a map, we realize we are sitting on the edge of one of the largest tracts of unbroken, untainted wilderness in the world. Forest stretches North from here to Hudson Bay with few people, fewer roads and only the laws of nature to govern it. That excites me. A neon yellow butterfly floats around us. I imagine that he, too, is trying to warm himself against the crisp air. A monstrous, pesky horsefly torments us as we write. It is quiet here and I like this place.
Across the bay, a large peninsula reaches out southward into the lake and large tree covered hills roll on behind it, like colossal green waves. The coast has been very rugged for the most part here. Granite rocky shorelines are the norm, yet somehow we serendipitously found a nice little beach; infinite tiny rocks of pink, black, green and grey are soft underfoot, but fall off of our wet bodies, too heavy to stick to us like sand. We turned toward the lake when we saw Michipicoten Bay signs. We know of this place from an old Canadian Geographic magazine that had a feature called "Superior Views" in which the writer conveys the rugged beauty of the stretch of land between "The Sault" and Michipicoten Bay. The author stayed at the small adventure camp, Rock Island Lodge, directly to our left.
We have now left Michipicoten Bay and have continued along the Lake Superior shore. The beauty of the landscape has continued to impress us as the highway seems to rise and fall as if we are surfing a monstrous wave of rock and asphalt. Each time the roadway crests a natural vista is laid out before us of towering cliffs and raging rivers plunging into the largest fresh water lake in the world. The wild ruggedness of the land beckons us to continue our long journey of discovery. After all, the core of man's spirit comes from new experiences.