The Tale of Omett

Ouimet Canyon

Leaving Thunder Bay, Ontario we drove the RV along the northern perimeter of Lake Superior for 40 miles and made a stop in Ouimet Canyon Provincial Park. We can’t drive the RV and tow car up the twisty road to the top of the park, so we disconnect the car in the lower lot, pack a lunch and drive the car up to the viewing areas. The sheer walled canyon opens out toward Lake Superior. The  brochures and signs had all kinds of explanations about how the canyon was formed involving either advancing or receding glaciers.  I like the First Nation’s explanation of how Ouimet Canyon came to be better:

A long time ago, there was a giant Omett. He helped Nanabijou make mountains and lakes. Omett fell in love with Nanabijou’s daughter Naiomi. One day, Omett was moving a mountain when part of it fell off and killed Naiomi. Omett quickly hid Naiomi. Nanabijou desperately looked for his daughter. When he sensed something underground, he sent a thunderbolt to split open the ground which created a canyon and he discovered his daughter at its bottom. He buried her there and to punish Omett he turned him into stone and put him on the canyon walls to watch Naiomi’s grave forever.

We didn’t see Omett on the canyon wall but we enjoyed the park. We continued on to Rainbow Falls Provincial Park. On the way, between construction delays (the bane of road travel) and plodding logging trucks, we had great views of Nipigon Bay and Lake Superior. We are getting to see this lake from all sides.

Nipigon Bay Lake Superior

This is our first stay in a Canadian Provincial Park. They are akin to State Parks in the US. It’s very pretty and heavily wooded. We have no sewer or water hook ups, just electric, so we have to watch our water usage or we’ll have to drive to the dump site to empty our grey water tanks.  Another of the small details of life you need to manage when you live your life on the red roads.

Part of Rainbow Falls

We got settled and decided to hike up to see the falls.  We walked to the various viewing pods and enjoyed the cool spray and the sound of water pounding against rock. There was another trail up to an overlook which Hubby opted not to take, I proceeded on. The trail was steep and winding. I kept thinking I must be nearing the end, but it kept going on and on. I hated to turn around and then find out I was right near the summit. I finally arrived at an overlook, took some photos and headed back down. I wasn’t sure the view was worth the hike. We discovered that this far north sunset is well after 10 PM, so we have lots of daylight to fish the lake and explore the park.

Do you think it was worth the hike up here?

Unfortunately, returning to our site, we also rediscovered one of the pitfalls of public campgrounds. Our neighbors across the way are six twenty-somethings who are well into partying the night away. The loud music and shouting continued all night. When they finally settled in around 4:30 AM their dog started howling.  You don’t get that in private RV parks. I restrained myself from giving them a 6 AM reveille call. Although the evenings were cool, we kept the windows closed and the air conditioner running for the rest of the weekend and managed to get some sleep. No one said road life was perfect, just pretty darn good.

About JudithC99

Wanderer. Writer. Artist. Photographer. Learner. Traveler of the Red Roads


  1. What a stunning vista!! ♥

  2. reneesylvie

    Wow, beautiful pictures!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  3. Loved the story of Omett. Getting stuck in traffic paid off in great photos!

  4. I’d have sounded those trumpets with glee. 😉 Glad you were able to salvage the rest of your trip. Your photos (as usual) are gorgeous!

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