A slight breeze blows the 18-foot cedar strip boat past a rocky point that juts into the dark waters of Wabatongushi Lake. Virtually every cast towards the steeply sloping shoreline is answered with the sharp pull of walleye. Any worries about my wife Connie enjoying a wilderness holiday evaporate like the mist of this sun-draped Northern Ontario morning. That’s when I spot the moose; a mother and two calves feeding in the shallows amidst a clump of pencil reeds some200 yards away. Connie quietly reaches down for her camera while I drop the four-stroke outboard into gear and idle towards the ungainly animals. It isn’t until we’re a stone’s throw away that mother nudges her calves for theshore and the trio disappear into the spruce and cedar. ‘Wow’ is all my wife can say as she looks backwith wide-eyed amazement.
Once we board the train at The Algoma Central station in Sault Ste. Marie the pressures of the cityall seem to fade away as we sink into the comfortable seatsof the passenger car. The ribbon of steel snakes past rivers, lakes and wetlands cradled by the undulating landscape of the Canadian Shield. There’s no better example of the dramatic Shield country than where the tracks follow the rapid-strewn Agawa River in its descent into Agawa Canyon, where both tracks and river are funnelled between steep walls of granite.