After we had left Ouiment Canyon, we made the 200 plus kilometer journey down highway 17 to Neys Provincial Park. The weather was the constant theme of our two week journey to Northern Ontario. Clouds, rain and cool weather followed us wherever we went, only on one occasion the temperature went above 20 degrees and it dropped as cold as 5 degrees over night. Lake Superior is a temperamental beast, much like a teenager with raging hormones it does not know what it will do next. It could rain, it would snow or a heatwave could emerge, anything was possible. At Neys this was no exception… We arrived on a heavy overcast morning to our beach side campsite. We were greeted by a nearly empty park on a lazy July Wednesday, only one other cite in our section was occupied. Our site was as close as we could be to the driftwood beach at Neys, hidden under tall tree’s a short trail lead to our very own access point on the beach. Pristine place for photography as you can see below.
The weather reports called for rain, nothing unusual. Much of the trip had been myriad and harassed by the unpredictable nature of the greatest lake. So in turn, the campsite was tarped up and tied down in the ever eager anticipation of the foul weather that was to come. The rain arrived at it was steady but paced, the site was dry and there was even a fire going in the firepit. Things were looking good, but not for long. Before I knew it the skies had opened up and in a matter of seconds a raging torrent of water had flowed downhill from above us filling the firepit. The logs, some still on fire began floating down the trail towards the lake. The torrent had turned into a small river that flowed directly beneath our tent, digging a sizable trench in the process. Luckily the tents waterproofed floor held well, no leaks were had but some water did get in form over the sides. The traps were heavily swamped but held. I on the other hand got soaked while trying to re-enforce the traps. Sadly I didn’t have the foresight to take some pictures of the storm damage as it occurred, it was an impressive sight.
The foul weather ate away at some precious time at Neys, but that is the nature of the beast that is camping. Once the weather allowed, the park showed its true beauty. Neys possesses magnificent driftwood beaches that stretched for miles and startling rock formations of the Coldwell Complex, a remnant of a long extinguished volcano. The beauty of this scenery was only magnified but the power of the great lake on which it lies. The mighty inland sea, kicks and molests the coast at every turn, carving stone and devouring trees.
Finally I couldn’t leave without mentioning the sunsets, Neys doesn’t fail to deliver in this department. With the beach just steps away from our tent, we didn’t have to go far to be treated to a spectacular show. The sun danced across the sky, painting the landscape in unforgettable fashion until it finally descended behind the hills to the west. Once the sun dissipated from view, the moon appeared to illuminate the lake with its glow. The driftwood beach made for a spectacular location to witness this spectacle as you can see above. More photo’s can be seen on my flickr account.