Friday, August 8, 2008

Marathon, Ontario

On the way to Marathon, we passed through White River, Ontario, the birthplace of Winnie-the Pooh. The town has erected a statue honoring Winnie. Winnie was based on an actual black bear, purchased by a military man. It became the mascot for his unit, but when he went into battle, he left the bear at the London Zoo for keeping. This is where the author of Winnie-the Pooh, took his young son, Chris, and first saw Winnie. Winnie was named for the home town of his owner, Winnepeg, Canada. A.L. Milne, author, was intrigued with the bear and eventually wrote his stories, basing them on the bear and his young son.

At Marathon they have many items listed as "points of interest" and "places to visit while in Marathon". But when you try to find them, there are no signs, no indicators, nothing. You have to hunt and hunt to find these places. And when you do, you usually look around and say, "OK, what was special about that? " I guess every town wants some claim to fame. Well, out of all the spots around Marathon, Pebble Beach was interesting. No beach, but instead, the entire shore was covered with polished round rocks. As you can see, they were not small rocks either.

But just north of town, across from where we were parked, was Neys Provencial Park. We could bike 2 1/2 miles and reach the beach. This was only a few days after my disasterous 14 mile bike ride and those 2 1/2 miles back was all uphill. But I did it, with only a few spots where I had to walk the bike.

Inukshuit. Our scavenger hunt had us making one of these. Well, we didn't even know what one was. Finally we found some info. It is an Indian word, and basically is a trail marker. But it is usually made to look like a man (or some semblance thereof). Now people make these and leave them along the highways as a way to say "I was here!". We made ours and left it on Trans Canada 17, north of Marathon.

But by far, the best thing about Marathon was the visit to Pukaskwa National Park, Canada. Here we hiked for 4 1/2 miles to reach this suspension bridge. It was 90 feet across and 69 feet high over a raging gorge. But it was the most spectacular sight in all of my travels across Canada. And what fun. We bounced and bounced on this bridge and no one told us to stop!

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