Today dawned grey, but rain-free. It took us a while to get ourselves rolling after what felt like a long time resting in Duluth, but we finally did so. Getting out of Duluth proved to be pretty easy, and soon we were heading northeast along the shore of Lake Superior. The lake would have looked a lot better under a sunny, blue sky, but that was about the only thing we had to complain about. The road was in good condition with a nice shoulder, and it periodically made close contact with the lake. Every once in a while we’d pass small towns with boutique coffee houses, smoked fish shops, and hotel/resorts overlooking the lake. In between there were well-kept houses presumably owned by well-to-do Duluthians. It was all very pleasant and civilized feeling, in great contrast with the places we’d been passing through lately. It also reminded us of the roads around the Finger Lakes back home, and home was one thing we were looking forward to at this point. Not that we weren’t enjoying things despite the heat, rain, etc., but it’s only natural with 5 days left in a 6-week trip to look a little bit towards the end.
We continued up along Superior to the Canadian border, past which the road unfortunately left the lake and headed through a somewhat rough, tree-filled inland: typical Canada from my (limited) experience. This lasted for about an hour until we hit the city of Thunder Bay, along with drizzling rain. We stopped to check the radar and found it was slated to continue for a couple of hours and around a hundred miles east of us. This proved enough to discourage us from camping, and we found a motel in town.
Thunder Bay seemed a bit beat up, but there was a nice park near us that I went for a run in, and the Seattle-like weather was perfect for that. Sometimes happiness lies in a pair of sneakers.
On a different note, Thunder Bay was supposedly home to over 14,000 Finnish immigrants – the highest concentration in Canada, but we didn’t run into any. Maybe we were in the wrong section of town. We did see a lot of folks who seemed to be of Eskimo descent, however, which surprised me – I didn’t think we were that far north. Some examination of maps confirmed this thought, but it turned out there just weren’t that many other cities north of here, probably none of any significant size.