Lake of the Woods Family Bubble Up – Preamble

[Our Mediterranean Cruise series of posts is taking a short hiatus as we write about our recent family get together during this year of the Covid.]
We decided to meet our son and his family in Nestor Falls on Lake of the Woods in NW Ontario. They live in Winnipeg and we in Arnprior. This way we could avoid the need to self-isolate in Manitoba during this Covid 19 pandemic year. Manitoba is bubbled up with NW Ontario for travel purposes. We flew to Thunder Bay and rented a car. They drove directly from Winnipeg, about a 3.5 hour drive. So what’s it like flying during Covid? In a nutshell, calm. There are no line ups to drop off your baggage or at security. You are screened before boarding about any Covid related symptoms. They take your temperature at the gate. You have to drop your mask momentarily so they can verify it’s you with your photo ID. On board they give you a plastic bag that contains a bottle of water, head phones, gloves, mask, hand sanitizer and pack of pretzels. Everyone is masked. We were surprised that 3 of the 4 flights on this trip were completely full. However we were on smaller planes only 4 seats wide with an aisle in between. Everyone was calm and relaxed. Mostly young people and not many seniors were flying we noted. The only incident was that we could not land in Thunder Bay due to fog and had to return to Toronto to refuel and then fly back again lol.
Great walking path next to our hotel in Thunder Bay

NW Ontario is billed as Sunset Country
It is about a 4.5 hour drive from Thunder Bay to Nestor Falls. Just after the change to central time zone, we stopped briefly in Shebandowan an hour west of TB, for a little reminiscing. Way back in ’67, Dave spent the summer here in the Ontario Junior Forest Ranger program. Many fond memories of clearing bush, planting seedlings, eating cherry pies and steak and lots of laughs with 25 other teenage boys from all over Ontario. The government camp is now long gone, but not those fond memories. We continued on Highway 11 (Yonge Street north) and found a nice quiet spot to stop for a picnic lunch.

Lake of the Woods is over 100 km long and wide with 15,000 islands and over 100,000 km of coastline. It is located between Ontario, Minnesota and Manitoba and lined with First Nation communities, predominantly Ojibway who are also known as Chippewa. Nestor Falls is located on a long inlet on its north east side. We arrived first and were warmly greeted by our Canadian Haven (AirBNB) host Scott. Our lakefront cabin was a 3 bedroom, 1.5 bathroom cedar A frame complete with 6 beds, wifi, a/c and satellite TV – we were not going to rough it! Originally established to host mostly men on fishing trips (some of the best fishing in North America), the demographic is rapidly changing as more and more families opt to vacation here. Normally filled with Americans, this year was a quieter one but they were doing OK Scott explained. His wife Ruth who is disabled, does all the bookings and greeted us warmly too. Scott dropped off a pack of frozen Northern Pike and invited us to pick some tomatoes, cucumber and red peppers from their garden (yum). He pointed to the amble fire wood supply and wheel barrow.

So we are all ready for our Lake of the Woods family bubble up! :)😎😍:D:D;)

Anticipating the family’s imminent arrival

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