Thursday, September 19, 2013

Chippewa Falls

Our next stop on Allen's Waterfall Tour was Chippewa Falls. The Trans-Canadian Highway crosses right over the Chippewa River, so the falls are visible from the road. And, they were totally worth our time to stop and explore. 

The rocks in this part of Canada are mainly granite - much of it being a beautiful orangey-red color. It's amazing to me that the rocks are so different from the gray limestone of the Straits of Mackinac - just an hour or two south. 

  The trails along the side of the falls were absolutely breathtaking; like something out of a movie. Plus, it was sprinkling the afternoon we were there, so everything had an greenish ethereal glow.


The falls were lovely as well. I had fun playing with the shutter speed on my camera.

In a few spots we were able to walk out into the rocks. My daughter was very frustrated that we wouldn't let her swim, but was happier when her father walked her out into some of the slower moving water. Luckily she didn't see the folks jumping off rocks into one of the pools upstream. We wondered how they knew how deep it was. At each of the falls we visited there were signs warning visitors about how quickly the flow rates of the falls can change. Apparently, many of the falls are used by hydro-electric plants to generate electricity, and if they open up the gates, the amount of water flowing over that falls can increase dramatically in the blink of an eye.

Such a beautiful spot... 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Ours to Discover

The license plates in Ontario, Canada say, "Yours to Discover," and that's just what we did this Labor Day weekend.  The Provence of Ontario is about four times bigger than the state of Michigan, so while we really only got to discover one tiny corner of it, we loved what we saw.  Allen made sure to point out the geography of the Eastern Upper Peninsula to the kids as we drove through so they could better appreciate the different geography they'd see in Canada. (Yeah, I know... we're geeky.)

We spent the night in the Canadian Soo so we could get an early start on Saturday morning. Our first stop was Kinsman Park just a few miles away from our hotel. The park is home to miles of hiking / ski trails and a beautiful waterfall.

The falls were magnificent.
We hiked right along side them.

In a few spots the river widened into small pools.
We didn't even think about stopping for a swim!

Down below Crystal Falls, the river opens up
into a small lake. 

Of course, the great frog hunt began,

though they stopped long enough to enjoy the teeter totters. (Sadly most parks we've visited in the US have removed them. Bummer - they're so good for teaching physics.)

We ate breakfast in the back of the van, used the outhouse, and then headed on our way - wondering where Allen was taking us next. He completely organized this trip - from the itinerary to the reservations and meals.