Travels with the Bear: Northern Ontario

The Bear in downtown Wawa.   At 7:00 PM, Saturday night.

You could tell,  it was a  real happenin’ place.

This was the last pavement I saw for a week. (But more about my fishing trip later…).

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34 Comments on “Travels with the Bear: Northern Ontario”

  1. Karen JL Says:

    Woo Hoo! The Friar’s back in town!

    Hope it was full of awesome-ness. 🙂

  2. As my Mum (Mom) would say – when driving through the most unhappening places in the middle of nowhere in Australia (and there are lots of these places trust me) at least the place looks clean! Funnily enough all the places my Mum thought were dirty were happening places.

    Hope you find somewhere dirty real soon!

  3. Kelly Says:


    Bear looks like he’s having a nice, zen moment. Sometimes a sleepy town is just what a bear needs.

    Glad you’re back!



  4. Rita Says:


    Welcome home! So, do you have a new pet bear? The picture was adorable. I can’t wait to hear the fishing stories (did I just say that?).

    Well. nonetheless, good to have you back. Now I can sleep safely at night, knowing that some pirranha-like fish didn’t get the better of you. (NOT that I thought it would!)


    P.S. I did a contest while you were away, and had to CHANGE THE PRIZE because of you. How could I have a contest and offer the prize that YOU suggested without your ability to participate? Next contest…just please send me your fishing schedule in advance.

  5. Friar Says:


    Yep…it was awesome. I procrastianted, and took my time driving home (840 km) so I could squeeze the last few hours of vacation in. (I only got in around midnite last night..).

    I’ve been to Oz….and I’ve seen those small towns (especially as you get away from the coast). They make Wawa look like Downtown Toronto!

    (But no….Wawa wasnt’ dirty.) ….maybe if I had stopped int he Soo, though…:-)

    Notice I was able to stand in the middle of the road to take the photo (though I got some strange looks from a few chuckling seniors).

    Nice to get away from the big city…You should see some of the towns I drove through that were even SMALLER. (The birth place of Winnie-the-Pooh, for example). But that’s for another Bear Post….

    Oboy. 17 hours ago I was swimming on the North Eastern shore of Superior, and now I’m back at the office. Hard to believe. Lets hope I can maximize my Zen-like state of post-vacation relaxation as long as possible.

    I saw a REAL Bahr (eating garbage), but he looked too big, so I decided to let him go, and just stick with Junior Bear.

    Yes, I do have fish stories. (But I only got in at midnight last night…but I’ll be subjecting you guys to my adventures shortly).

    As for you contest…well, NOW you got me curious! 🙂

  6. Steph Says:

    SIGH. I’m glad you’re back. You were missed, and talked about quite a bit! 🙂 Love the pic. I always find those bear ones hilarious. Can’t wait to hear more about your trip!

    It’s tough to come back from being away. It took me almost as long as I was in Algonquin to get back into work mode. In one way, that’s a good sign. You really did leave work behind.

  7. Steph Says:

    Oh God. That picture is just too cute!!

  8. Friar Says:


    Yeah, I really did feel I left work behind. I lost track of what day of the week it was, and I feel like I’ve been gone for 3 weeks (instead of 10 days).

    It cost a small fortune, but WTF? What’s the point of working so hard at making Widgets, if you dont’ treat yourself once in a while?

    I’m already planning on coming back next year….I think this is something I can do again and again…for the next 20 years. 🙂

  9. Steph Says:


    And I agree. There is no point to hoarding all your hard-earned money (just some, in investments). 🙂

    You make money to live, and vacationing is the best part of living.

  10. Karen Swim Says:

    Yay! You’re back! You were missed! Um, gee could the place tone down all the raucous activity? LOL! Gee, I thought my neck of the woods was the most boring spot on the face of the earth, I was wrong. 🙂

  11. Friar Says:


    Well, this trip didn’t break the bank account, but it pretty much drained it. what? I regret NOTHING and I plan on doing this again next summer!

    Gee…all these comments that I was missed! I’m flattered. It was only 10 days that I was away.

    Downtown Wawa. Heh. I learned that it didn’t have road accesss until 1959. It was the last section of the TransCanada highway to be completed in 1960. The Russians and Americans were putting missiles into space, and in Canada, you still couldn’t drive around Lake Superior.

    Even today, it’s still small and isolated. (But it’s one of the bigger towns along the 400 miles between the Soo and Thunder Bay)

  12. Brett Legree Says:

    I have a picture just like that one of Splat Creek on the same night. Except it wasn’t even as happening, as there was no bear… 😦

  13. Cath Lawson Says:

    Hi Friar – wow – what a quaint little town. I love quiet places – I hope Canada will let me in.

  14. Brett Legree Says:


    If you’re willing to live in a quaint little town like that, there are many to choose from… about 95 percent of Canadians live less than 100 km from the border with the USA, so these little towns tend to stay little!

  15. Friar Says:

    Yeah….I think Wawa has restaurants that open earlier (and close later). There was even a Mac’s Milk that was open after 11:00 PM.

    It actually IS a happenin’ place (Compared to Splat Creek).


    Like Brett says, lots of “quaint” towns like that. Pretty much all of Northern Ontario north of the Soo is like that. Towns with a few thousand people, surrounded by hundreds of km of bush.

    It’s not bad, provided i) you can find decent employment and ii) like to hunt and fish.

  16. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Hey! I know that place! Wawa. That’s up there a ways.

    Bear looks happy. As usual.

    Did you do anything naughty? What kind of beer did you drink? Are you happy to be back at Splat Creek?

  17. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Hey, I got a new picture for my gravatar and it’s not showing. Hmmm.

  18. Brett Legree Says:


    Hey, I believe you – Wawa has a GIANT GOOSE, and Splat Creek has… (I’ll get back to you on that)

    Decent employment, a love for the outdoors, and good health (because the hospitals suck)

  19. Friar Says:


    Yeah, Wawa isn’t that far from Michigan (as the crow flies!).

    No, I didn’t do anything naughty. You don’t have time, when you’re fishing all day. I think fishing keeps men honest.

    I drank mostly Miller Genuine Draft, and some Molson Canadian. But not too much.

    Sigh. Not exactly THRILLED to be back here. Oh, I wanna go back up there again. I can’t wait for next year.

  20. Friar Says:


    Nope…I still see your pretty face on your old Gravitar.

    I always think it’s a bonus when a town has a giant “Anything”.

    What big thing should Splat Creek have…??

    Blackflies? Widgets? Hmmm….

  21. Brett Legree Says:

    Well, Splat Creek does have a bunch of GIANT DICKHEADS… but that’s not much of an attraction, is it….

  22. Friar Says:


    Hahahah! 🙂

    Somehow, I don’t think a huge fibreglass monument would go over too well.

  23. Brett Legree Says:


    And the other problem is, who would be the model? Two Cents? Big Brother? The Old Man who phoned you?

    Decisions, decisions… 🙂

    Ach, maybe a big GIANT WIDGET would be good enough.

  24. Friar Says:


    I have it…!!

    Maybe a giant Jack-Ass!


    (Either that, or a giant C-Rex).

  25. Ellen Wilson Says:

    Glad to pop in on the dick converstation. It would be good in Splatt Creek. They’re kind of like maypoles.

    Yeah, the giant goose. What’s up with that?

    I will have to get out my map and check it out. Wawa.

    I think Bear should have his own fishing rod.

  26. Wendi Kelly Says:

    Friar, I can’t believe it’s Thursday before I am at your own site to officially welcome you back. Sorry about that. I know I have been chatting with you elswhere. I wish I could subscribe to you but for some reason when I click on your button nothing comes up. I always have to click on you off of Kelly or Brett’s site when they post. And now that Brett is slacking off to one post a week, you are tagged on to Kelly. When I read Kelly and you comment, I click on you. Crazy system isn’t it?

    Anyhow, I’m SO glad you are back!

  27. Friar Says:


    OH NO!! You started the Maypole discussion again. (!!!). Don’t get Wendi started (Or Janice or Kelly!) 😉

    No idea what Wawa means. Maybe it’s an indian word for goose.

    But the town has three…count’ em…THREE…Giant Geese (One at a Trading Post, on at a Motel). That’s a disproportionate ammount, for a town of 3000.

    I got a Bear photo with the Biggest goose. That will be for another post in the near future.

    Thanks for the “official” welcome back, but awww, shucks. You and I have already been chattin’ all week.

    By the way, I saw your comment when you sent Steph to her room! (Hahahah!) 🙂

    By the way, I lose track of subscriptions….I do the same thing. I click on Brett or Kelly, and then I find everyone else.

  28. Kelly Says:

    Wendi, Friar,

    Thanks and hahaha, because (a) it’s nice that you use my posts and Brett’s as a watering hole to find others and (b) so do I. I subscribe to plenty, but I still jump off from my own comments because the comments sometimes get to me before I get to my subscriptions. 🙂



    P.S. Re: The Ad Contrarian—All the good clowns are *right here.* Well, except Bob, and I told him to get on over here.

  29. Hey Friar,
    Bear in Wawa. aww. Just want to hug him. Missed you Friar. But I know your eyes are all sparkly and your heart is fresh…course you probably smell a little fishy….:-)

  30. Friar Says:


    That vacation was the best damned thing I’ve done in the past 5 years (and I want to go back already!)

    Yes…lots of fishy smell (But I’ve had several showers since then, I assure you!) 🙂

  31. I knew it would be… I am so glad you went. Smiling for you here. Sounds like heaven.

  32. […] church, about six houses.    No gas station, no convenience store…nothin’!  It makes Wawa look like a bustling […]

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