After my morning stroll, it was time to break-up camp and drive to the next destination. I arrived in Thunder Bay in early afternoon, but couldn’t check-in to my AirBnB until after 5:30pm, which meant I had some time to kill. The day was overcast and cool, so after a short drive around and not seeing anything interesting to do or see, I decided to go to Starbucks to logon to the Internet and do some blogging. I was in the Starbucks for about 15-20 minutes before retrieving to the back seat of my car with Little Man. The noise, commotion, and people inside were too much. I wanted back to the serenity of the last few days. I hung out in the back of my car until I could go check-in.
I settled in to my AirBnB and called it an early night. I woke-up to a rainy day and didn’t do much except find a gym to workout. Thankfully, the following day, the sun was shining and it was time to go check-out the Sleeping Giant. Sleeping Giant is one of Ontario’s Provincial Parks and it surrounds/overlooks Lake Superior.
I purchased a National Park pass ($67 Canadian dollars and it’s good for two years) at Pukaskwa National Park…only to discover that Provincial parks aren’t included. Anyway, be sure to pay your park passes…I’ve seen people get tickets.
My goal for the day was to make it on top of the Giant. What I really liked about this hike was that I could bike the beginning of the trail (Kabeyun Trail). Honestly, I would have hated hiking the start of the trail since it was basically flat and in the woods. You save a lot of time biking it. Do bring a lock because eventually you link up with Talus Lake trail and the Top of the Giant trail which has to be done on foot. There’s even a bike rack to accommodate bikers.
It’s a semi-steep hike with some decent views along the way…but the best view by far is at the top. Well, let me correct myself. Once you get to the top, you still have to hike an additional two kilometers to get to awe-worthy view. Total was 16k biking, 10k hiking.
I was once again impressed by the immense size of Lake Superior. I hung out at the top taking in the view and ate my lunch. I even did some yoga…
On the way back to the parking lot where my car was parked…I had my first encounter with a mama bear and her cub. I was speeding along on my bike, pedaling my heart out, going through puddles getting quite dirty, passing poor souls who I’d seen coming down as I was hiking up, when in the distance, I saw a black bear coming down the trail. I stopped. She saw me. She raised her head, looked my way, and continued to walk down the trail. As she came towards me, I saw the cub behind her.
She didn’t appear concerned with me, but she was on the path to my exit. I back tracked about a 100 yards, enough that she was now out of view and waited to see if they would get off the trail. They didn’t. They kept walking down the path. I rode further back until I linked up with two guys and their dog. After explaining the bears on the trail to them, we waited to see if they were still coming our way. They were. We made a bunch of noise trying to get them off the trail, but it didn’t work. So now, all three of us and the dog, back tracked until we met up with a larger group.
Thankfully, the larger group finally did the trick. Mama bear and cub went into the woods and I rode on.
Not entirely sure what I would have done…had I been on my own. I would’ve had to wait them out in the woods, hoping they passed me without bothering with me.
There was more I would have liked to see around Thunder Bay, like Kakabeka Falls, but it was time to move on. Next stop: Winnipeg