May 28th – The North Shore

Great day today driving from Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay. I saw some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. The highway winds itself along the coast of Superior. It was truly spectacular, with nothing but sunshine all the way.

I saw a few interesting things today, including the exact spot where Terry Fox ended his Marathon of Hope. Speaking of marathons, I visited Marathon ON, home of David Guiliano a former Moderator of the United Church of Canada. I also stopped to take many pictures of the vistas and valleys, including a few shots of the Aguasabon River Gorge.

But of all that I saw, I think the most fascinating was found in a tiny, tiny village called White River. It is a dot on the map between Wawa and Marathon. It was so small I was going to drive through it and keep going, but I saw a banner with a picture of Winnie the Pooh and the words, “Where It All Began”. It peeked my curiosity, so I stopped (I kind of have a thing for the Winnie The Pooh stories). I discovered that it was in White River that Lieutenant Harry Colebourn was stationed on August 24th 1914. Lt. Colebourn was a veterinarian and was responsible for the welfare of the army horses that were arriving by steam train into White River. Imagine his surprise to find a man sitting on the train platform with an orphaned bear cub. Lt. Colebourn offered to buy the bear, and did so for the meagre sum of $20. Lt. Colebourn nursed it back to health and the bear became a mascot of his army troop. Eventually the bear ended up in a zoo in England. AA Milne, on a trip to the zoo with his son Christopher Robin, saw the bear whom his son named Winnie (after Winnipeg), and the rest, as they say, is history. It all began north of Superior!

The picture of the train station is below. Sorry its a bit blurry. My hands were sharing I was so excited.

Isn’t it so Canadian that we wouldn’t make a big deal of this place? There is no theme park on site, no cost of admission, and no museum. Just a plaque, a big model of the Winnie the Pooh, and the train station itself.

Tomorrow I’m going to check out Thunder Bay, including Fort William. Tonight I’m just going to bed early.  8.5 hours of driving knocked me out. Good night!!!!