Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Rainbow Falls to White River and Winnie the Pooh

Lake Superior is stunning.  
It is numbingly cold: if you dip your hands in the 40 F degree water they will turn pink pretty quickly.  

The Lake is clear, with visibilities ranging up to 60 feet.  It is deep, at one point dropping to more than 1333 feet, far more than the height of a 100-story building.

Lush forests push right to the water's edge.

Lake Superior holds a lot of water, more than all the other four Great Lakes combined, or about 10 percent of the fresh water in the world.

Just outside of a little town called Nipigon I found another long staircase leading to...

...Rainbow Falls.

The staircases were not so daunting but I was never able to get a good photo of the falls...

...and after descending more than 100 steps, with more still ahead of me...

...I decided to turn around and climb back up.  I am sure I'll see more waterfalls along the way.

I spent a night in Terrace Bay parked on a cliff overlooking the Lake.   The town has a small park without a "no camping" sign so I thought I would risk it.  Even the town sheriff pulled in about sundown to admire the view then he drove away to leave me alone with the Spirits of the lake.

My next stop was White River,  the birthplace of Winnie the Pooh!

The story of Winnie the Pooh. (Did you know that Pooh was a 'she'?)

She became an orphan when a hunter killed her mother.  She was found by a trapper who brought her into White River.
White River was an important respite for the troop trains and during the First World War they would stop there for five or six hours while the horses were exercised and watered and the troops were rested.
It was during one of these stops that the trapper sold the bear cub to a young soldier named Harry Colebourn who was headed first to Quebec and then on to England.  Lt. Colebourn had lived in Winnipeg for some time and chose to name the cub 'Winnipeg' after his hometown.  
She became a pet for the soldiers in the brigade and was nicknamed 'Winnie'.  She slept under her master's bunk even after they reached Salisbury Plains in England but when Harry received orders to ship out to France he made arrangements for Winnie to stay in the London Zoo.  Winnie became the favorite attraction.  People would knock on her door and she would open it and come out.  She would allow children to ride on her back and she would eat from their hands.  The keepers would state that Winnie was completely trustworthy.  Colebourn visited Winnie when he was on leave but when he saw how popular she had become with the children he decided to officially donate her to the zoo. 
The bear captured the hearts of A.A. Milne and his son Christopher Robin Milne when they visited the zoo and it was Christopher who added "Pooh" to Winnie's name.  
A.A. Milne started writing stories in 1926  about a lovable bear based on the bear at the zoo. 
Winnie lived until she was 20 years old and when she died the London newspaper ran her obituary. 
There is a bronze statue of Captain Colebourn and Winnie in the children's section at the London Zoo. 


  1. I didn't know the story of Winnie. But why did "she" have to become a "he?"

  2. Excellent question. It might be the same reasoning used by the Walmart I visited a week or so ago. There were 4 aisles of toys, and gigantic banners were hanging from the rafters over the aisles designating which ones were 'BOY'S TOYS' and which were 'GIRL'S TOYS'. Where would they put a "Winnie the Pooh" book?