My Last Day Exploring Moosonee And Moose Factory Ontario

My Last Day Exploring Moosonee And Moose Factory Ontario

Mooseonee Canada afternoon hike June 5 2023 (3 of 50)
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It was a cloudy, cool and windy Monday morning, my last day in remote Moosonee, Ontario. Temperatures were in the low 40’s.  I left my hotel in Moosonee and drove back out on the old Quarry Road. It would be my last hike in this northern boreal forest and so far I hadn’t seen any of the large critters I had hoped to see on my visit here. This would be my last chance. 

And, as I drove the dusty, rutted road I saw a black bear!!   It was a small one, a second year I think. Unfortunately I reached for my camera, had to change the settings, and the bear was gone. It ran into the woods. I should have just grabbed my iPhone and took a photo. Well, I can’t share a photo , but it was still a wonderful experience. I have bears visit my back yard and on my hikes near my home in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I love seeing this beautiful, and usually shy, creatures.

I drove out the dirt road a few miles and parked where the road becomes even more rutted and swampy. Here I  walked the same route I had on the two pervious. As noted in my prior blogs,  the woodlands in northern Ontario are mostly black spruce, some white spruce and balsam popular. 

It was cold and there was a strong northerly wind blowing I wish I had dressed warmer. The birds must have  minded the cold too, there was a lot less bird activity on my hike. But I still saw a few birds, including this red-eyed vireo,

a warbling vireo,

and a few swamp sparrows. 

I walked out to the wetlands again, hoping to see another bear or at least some  more species of birds but it was quiet, probably because of the wind and cold. 

So I walked back to the Jeep. A few common ravens flew overhead in the gray skies.   As I was driving back to the hotel I saw a well used trail leading into the woods.  I stopped and decided to follow it. I knew, from the maps, there was a stream not to far from the road. 

I walked into the forest and found the grounds was spongy. I had never experienced this type of soil before. It wasn’t wet, jut moist and spongy. 

I walked in a short distance and found this abandoned building. 

I investigated the debris and, found another cabin, this one had smoke coming from a chimney. I wasn’t going to introduce myself to the folks living out on this remote road and trail so I walked back to my Jeep.

I had to get back anyway. I had to check out of my hotel by 11 a.m. and then had to get my Jeep to the train station by 11:30 a.m. I drove back on the rutted road. and when I got back to my room I packed, showered and ate the left overs form the meal I prepared the night before. It was even better then when I first made it.  Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos from my morning hike. Moosonee Ontario morning hike June 5 2023 

I checked out of the hotel, leaving my luggage at the desk, and drove  the few blocks to the train station. 

I left my Jeep to be loaded on the train for the 200 mile ride back to Cochrane. 

The train departed at 5 p.m. so I had some time to explore. 

I walked through the dusty, unpaved streets of Moosonee,

past the only supermarket in town and also the Pizza Hut and KFC the only restaurants. , and 

across from the supermarket, next to my hotel was this Catholic  church 

The skies had cleared and the  strong June sun warmed it up. It was near noon when I  had walked to the docks and waited for a “water  taxi”. I had decided to visit the town of Moose Factory located on island in the Moose River a few miles from Moosonee. Moose Factory has a population of about 2500, most of them members of the Moose Cree First Nation.  Moose Factory began as a  the second Hudson Bay Company fur trading post in the 17th century.  It was the first English speaking settlement in Ontario. It  was operated by the Hudson Bay Company for over 200 years, until it was returned to the Native Cree in the early 1900’s. The town gets it’s name from the word factor  which was  agent for the fur company. Their headquarters was called a factory hence Moose Factory. 

After the short ride across the Moose River, 

I was left off at the boat dock  on the Moose Factory island .

I walked up the dirt road and  past the modern local hospital. 

I roamed  the streets of the small town, observing the local homes and gardens.

I made my way to the original Hudson Bay trading posts, It wasn’t opened so,

I walked past the local gas station  and grocery store which also has the only restaurants on the island. a Pizza Hut and KFC. I wasn’t going to eat here. 

After investigating  the small grocery store I walked over to a cemetery. I love reading the inscriptions of gravestones and reflecting on the lives of the folks who are buried here. 

In the cemetery I saw a familiar bird, this American robin, and

a first sighting of this bird, a Lincoln sparrow, 

I next visited a small area of exhibits,

and some of the original homes of the  inhabitants of Moose Factory,

when it served as a fur trading post, 

I had now walked about two miles and was getting a little tired. I had hike  over five miles in the morning., so, reluctantly I decided to head back, following a road along the Moose River. 

Here I walked past two small  churches. 

One had a large cemetery next to it and I again visited some graves. 

I walked along the Moose River  enjoying , it was peaceful here and  I saw this black and white warbler, 

and this least flycatcher perched  and singing high in a tree top

I finished my four mile hike through the streets of Moose Factory and took a crowded  boat ride back to Moosonee

It was now near 2 p.m. . My train ride on the Polar Bear Express  back to Cochrane departed at5 p.m. and so I spent a few hours in the lobby of my hotel editing photos,,

and enjoying the paintings depicting local scenes. I boarded a very crowded  train around 4;30 and we  left the remote town of Moosonee. on time at 5 p.m. Here is a link to a gallery with some more  photos from my visit to Moose Factory. Moosonee Ontario afternoon June 5 2023. 

It was a quiet and uneventful  five hour ride back to Cochrane.

Well, except for there was no dining car. The only food being served was chips, cookies and sandwiches by two young girls on a cart. . I had a very small egg salad sandwich and some cookies which did not fill me up. When the  cart came around again the sandwiches were gone. I decided not to have any more cookies and I was hoping there would be a store open in Cochrane.  We arrived on time at 10 p.m. but I had to wait about 40 minutes to get my Jeep. I checked into the hotel and found no food available It was 11 p.m. and I was told there would be no place to get food at this hour. The only food the woman at the desk was able to find me was some Frosted Flakes and a pint of milk. I found my room, ate my Frosted Flakes and was soon sound asleep, looking forward to another day of exploring in northern Ontario  

“Only when the last tree has been cut down, the last fish been caught, and the last stream poisoned, will we realize we cannot eat money.”―  First Nation Cree  Prophecy

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