Sunday, June 3, 2018

Day 21 - Touring Thunder Bay

Oh this room at the Hampton Inn and Suites is so comfortable. I wake around 8:30 and we both lounge around watching tv, surfing the net, reading and just feeling a little "normal".  I can say that one thing about travelling this long is that we need to have some sort of normalcy.  Watching the news!   Having a bath!  Reading a book!   Not having an itinerary to get moving.  

Bea enjoys getting a whole bed to herself! 

This morning it is raining and our thoughts of hiking are passed by the side.

We are even so late getting ready that we miss the complimentary breakfast that is served until 10.  

We do head out at around 11 am and we decide to try a restaurant that had been recommended.  Hoito restaurant that is in the basement of a church and has been around for 100 years.  They are known for their Finnish food and especially their pancakes that are like crepes but a bit thicker.

When we get there it is busy, we wait for about ten minutes for a table.  We order right away as we know they are busy.  Then we wait, and wait, and wait - 45 minutes to get the food.  Then Bernie got eggs that were scrambled instead of sunny side up.  They did correct it right away though.  I ordered the pancakes with scrambled eggs and it looks yummy but it is just warm.  The butter on the pancake barely melted.  But it tasted very good.

I have a friend Heather who lives here in Thunder Bay.  I met her as we were both Discussion Leader Facilitators with our union.  I had not seen her in a long time.  We visited her at her work for a brief visit as the store was busy.  When we were in the car later I kicked myself, I should of gotten a picture of us together!  Sorry Heather.

I wanted to make a point of stopping to see the Terry Fox monument.  For those of you who do not know about Terry Fox (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981)  he was a Canadian athlete, humanitarian, and cancer research activist. 

In 1980, with one leg having been amputated, he embarked on an east to west cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Although the spread of his cancer eventually forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,373 kilometres (3,339 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his efforts resulted in a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$750 million has been raised in his name, as of January 2018.

Fox was a distance runner and basketball player for his Port Coquitlam (the town right beside where we lived) in British Columbia.

In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. He hoped to raise one dollar from each of Canada's 24 million people. He began with little fanfare from St. John's, Newfoundland, in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. 

Fox had become a national star by the time he reached Ontario; he made numerous public appearances with businessmen, athletes, and politicians in his efforts to raise money. He was forced to end his run outside Thunder Bay when the cancer spread to his lungs. His hopes of overcoming the disease and completing his marathon ended when he died nine months later.

In addition to being the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, Fox won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation's top sportsman and was named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, statues, roads, and parks named in his honour across the country.

I remember stopping here in 1982 when my Mom and I drove across the country and am so glad to stop here again. 

We then head out to Kakabeka Falls about 15 minutes outside of Thunder Bay.  

The falls is 40 m high and is the second largest falls in Ontario (Niagara is the first).  

It is only 4 pm but we are tired and return to the cabin - as Bernie keeps referring to our room. Maybe he has been at sea too often - NOT.

Tonight we will have a relaxing night and head out on the road early tomorrow for another long day of driving.

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