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The Thompsons have found no shortage of adventure in Algoma (11 photos)

She's from southern Ontario and he's from Nova Scotia, but the husband and wife team have made up for lost time when it comes to exploring the area's outdoors

While COVID-19 has meant many of us are spending unprecedented amounts of time indoors, that doesn't mean we can't relive our past adventures. In a series of articles SooToday is speaking with Saultites who have shared the sights and stories of their trips into the Algoma wilderness and beyond

"Algoma is the perfect place for people who enjoy the wilderness. Looking back on these photos inspires me to go again," says Tanya Thompson.

She and her husband Michael made Sault Ste. Marie their home after they were married. Both have forestry backgrounds. Tanya, a transplant from Southern Ontario, and Michael from Nova Scotia enjoy fishing and hunting.

In May 1996, they took the train up the Agawa River together with their traveling companions, packing all their camping gear and canoes with them. The black flies were no match for their enthusiasm. 

"I enjoyed the ride but the fall was the best time with all the colours in full bloom," Thompson recalls. "You can see the inspiration for the group of seven artists. I would recommend that to anyone visiting the area."

"I flipped the canoe multiple times on that trip. I just remember being wet all the time and used every piece of my dry clothes," she said.

On another May long weekend occasion, they drove to Tunnel Lake at the invite of friends, camped in a tent and fished for pickerel. The fish were plentiful and the air crisp, especially at night.

"My husband had the lucky line, catching lots. I was amused at my friend getting angry at him because nobody else was catching anything. I was happy because we had a feast of fish." 

A lot of time was spent in Lake Superior Provincial Park canoeing and hiking, the smooth water was sometimes deceiving and requiring expert paddling skills. They once canoed on Lake Superior from Gargantua Harbour to Warp Bay, paddling hard against the waves on the way back.

"It felt spooky because there is so much history there. So many travellers had come before us. Years ago it was a bustling fishing village. Maybe spirits still linger," Thompson said.

"We also hiked the trails and camped on the interior sites. One night, we sat on the shore at dusk just enjoying the sunset. We experienced a show of bats feeding on all the flying insects. It was so cool. I will never forget that. Swarms of bats everywhere silhouetted against the sky. I believe it was at Chalfant Cove,"  she recalled.

"My favourite activity is hunting for grouse in the fall and using my kayak in the summer. My husband surprised me last July with one as a birthday gift. He has just purchased one for himself, so we will be continuing our adventures together. 

"Both of us turn 50 this year. We love exploring Algoma. It is so beautiful and inspiring with hills of Maple and clean water everywhere. You don’t have to go far from the Sault to be into nature at its finest. That’s why we’ve made it our home."

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About the Author: Violet Aubertin

Violet Aubertin is a photograher and writer with an interest in Sault Ste. Marie and Algoma's great outdoors
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