After everyone left, we did a little sightseeing and hiking on our last day. Nestor Falls is a lovely little town, pop. 290. It straddles a 25 foot drop from Lake Kakibikitchewan to Lake of the Woods. We met Shane a pilot with Northwest Flying Co.. He grew up here and went to the 2 room schoolhouse pictured below.
In high school he had to bus it 1.5 hours to Fort Francis and back each day. When we mentioned this to Scott our BnB host, he said that their son had to spend an additional hour each day boating to shore as they lived on an island at the time. He and his family eventually moved to shore to run Canadian Haven. Shane the pilot now lives with his family in Fort Francis. He flies for the Northwest Flying company which has 6 float planes and several bush camps that they fly people into. Business was slow this year of the Covid but Shane figures they would survive somehow.
We also had time for a great 90 minute hike up around a beaver pond at Caliper Lake before later relaxing by the fire one more time. Did you know that hunting beaver was the reason Canada was colonized in the first place? I had never thought of it this way before. This is the heart of beaver country, an important piece of Canadian history.
The next day we drove to Fort Francis and stayed the night in a lakefront motel. En route we stopped by a memorial to the injustice of the indigenous Residential Schools era. We loved Fort Francis, pop. 8500. They have developed their waterfront and you can walk for several km along the bank of Rainy Lake to where it flows into Rainy River. Minnesota is just across the water. Wow, we were really impressed with its beauty, peacefulness and spirit. They lost their pulp mill several years back but a huge gold mine has taken its economic place.
Next day we drove the 3 hours back to Thunder Bay and stopped at the beautiful Kakebeka Falls for a look see. Definitely worth the stop.
Our family bubble up trip was coming to an end. We had had a great time and had visited a beautiful part of Ontario that we would not likely have gone to if it wasn’t for Covid. Some good things are indeed coming out of these pandemic times, don’t you think? Stay safe everyone!