Day 32 – Up in the air

While we were in the Soo, we were generously offered a float plane ride with White River Air. None of us had ever been on a float plane before, so we were entirely willing to get out of bed three hours earlier than usual to experience this traditional Northern Ontario mode of transportation.

And it totally blew our minds.

We’ve covered a lot of road on this trip, and we’re going to cover a lot more by the time we’re through. We have seen a lot of beautiful and amazing things. But the country itself can feel two dimensional from the road — even though there are hills and cliffs and trees and valleys and ponds and lakes all around us. It’s all different from the air.

The cabin of the tiny De Havilland Beaver, built in 1949 — serial number 47! — and lovingly maintained, shakes and growls with the propellers as we cruise down the lake on its floats, warming up the engine. And it doesn’t get much quieter once we’re in the air.

Ontario is so huge. So so so vast and deep. And seeing it from the air, flying low so that textures and topography are clear, it really becomes apparent how much of it we’re missing. How much is kept secret from the casual explorer, who sticks close to the roads and amenities (although we’ve got lots of gorgeous roads to explore too). The sturdy beaver dam in a murky tea-coloured river, the shores of a turquoise pond lined with fallen grey conifer trunks. The bald spots left by a recent jumping forest fire; green new growth from a not-so-recent one. Sun-spattered lichen on those big Shield rocks, great mounds of that same rock rising 50 metres out of the ground with ancient cedars clinging to the flanks. Trails of lazy lakes lie like drips from a paint brush, changing colour all the way to the horizon.

Needless to say, it was quite the experience.

Tomorrow — a boat trip out to the Slate Islands with Bluebird Charters!

For more information on motorcycle routes, accommodations, attractions and restaurants in Algoma Country check out

Photo by Alexandra Sawicki



  1. WOW!!

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