It rained overnight. Pretty hard with thunder in the distance. We get up and head south from Berry Creek toward Fort Frances, the Canadian city that is across the Rainy River from International Falls, Minnesota. This was the first city in Canada west of the Great Lakes. Trapper and hide business again.
We stop at a boat launch on Crow Lake. You can see the van down near the lake. The bay here expands into a large lake that swings around west and connects to the huge Rainy Lake at Fort Frances. We take a walk down a deserted road and headed south again.
The road turns east here and heads toward Thunder Bay. Our destination. You can see from this screenshot that this is the land of lakes. OMG. So much water. The road is like a ribbon threading it’s way between these large and small water basins.

Screen Shot 2016-09-04 at 8.32.19 AMLake map
As we get close to Thunder Bay I stopped to look for places to stay. Thought there was a possibility on an island just before town. Just before the bridge there was a parking area and a hiking path. We took it out to the lake. Not what I was hoping for, but it got us out for a 30 minute walk we both needed. Crossing the bridge this sculpture was at the high point. I thought it was a good omen.
The island was mostly industrial. Very disappointing. I found the road I that will take us out to the coast. It was a very pot-holed gravel road along an abandoned industrial site. Not for us…
As I’m driving back toward the city, I think, “Let’s see if I can find a dog-friendly motel for under $75. Find three. One is a Best Western, whom I’ve heard and read have the best dog friendly reputation. I make a reservation online through a dog-friendly search site and head straight there.
Driving into the city I smell a familiar smell, but can’t quite place it. Then the brain finds the reference. Paper Mill… When I lived in Savannah, there were paper mills down the river. When the wind was right, the sulphery smell came up the river and we had runny eyes and closed throats for awhile. I can’t imagine working there in the midst of that toxicity. I worked in a woolen mill for 3 hours when I first moved to New Hampshire. I had such a head ache, was nauseous and dizzy. I quit. That short experience created such empathy for the people in town who had worked there full time for decades. No wonder so many of them were sick… As we get into town the smell disappears.
We arrive at the motel and are told the reservation came through as a normal room. All the dog rooms are gone. He recommends another motel that’s about $140. Nope.
Goody! We’re sleeping at Walmart again. There’s a super store nearby. I pull in and discover a quiet side of the lot on a small road where some RVs are already parked. I find an area that will be quiet.
I’m ready to finish my van window covering project. I cut the window covering to fit the back window and put velcro strips on the 4 corners of each panel and window. They stay in place all night. Yea!