Day 30 – July 6 – North Bay, ON to Pembroke, ON

We started our day in North Bay doing a couple of fun things. We went to the Heritage Railway and Carousel and had a ride on each.

They use a diesel engine to pull the train. Replacement cost would be $450,000. They also have in this shed an eletric engine and a gas engine. The train and the carousel are operated and maintained completely by volunteers.

Local carvers made, and local artists painted, all the horses on the carousel. When they had finished this one they started on a smaller one that is made of northern Canada animals. It was not open and operating but there were pictures of all the animals they had made. Moose, fox, lynx, deer, elk, raccoon, etc. They were adorable.

This was my lovely steed.

John rode the buckskin beside me.

When we had finished our rides we crossed the street and walked along the waterfront marina.

There was a beautiful sandy beach and a large playground beside the marina.

Then we drove over to Wing 22 CFB North Bay where the Canadian Aerospace Defense Museum was located. I did not know there was a Canadian Forces base in North Bay. They are a unique airbase because they have no airplanes. They used to, but now they just do airspace reconnaissance, checking on all flights over Canada – domestic, foreign, and military.

They had a much smaller museum than Cold Lake but since North Bay was part of the same radar control system there was some overlap. They had displays on the wartime battles of WWI and WWII since both of those engagements led up to the airspace control measures now in place all around the world.

As usual I took tons of pictures of all the information signs and things that interested me. I have tried to not bore you by posting too many.

I have heard so much about the WWII Battle of Britain with the German bombing night after night that I forgot that the Germans also sent huge zepplins across the English Channel to bomb Britain in WWI. The British did not even have an air force at the time. But in a very few months after declaring war on Germany they did. Many pilots were from Canada, and half of the takedowns of 12 of Germany’s big Zepplins were done by Canadians; some with British crew.

The number one ace of WWI was Canadian Billy Bishop who logged an astonishing 72 confirmed kills. He did not fly against the zepplins though. There were write-ups on all the Canadian flyboys who did destroy them. One of them got two. He was the only pilot to do so.

The image below goes alongside the one above.

Although the pilots attacked the huge zepplin airships, their bullets did not penetrate all the layers to do much damage. It wasn’t until they created incendiary bullets that went through to the gas that the zepplins could be destroyed. Up until then all they did really was harrass them.

The WWII section also included a good short film about the bombing of Britain.

The most surprising thing to me was the model of the underground complex at North Bay. It is no longer in use. They moved everything above ground in 2006 but the installation is still there and maintained. The military has not yet figured out how to decommission it and until that is done it is a military base and must be maintained even though it is empty of all equipment and furnishings, etc.

The little car looks like it is on a gradual slope but in reality that road is on a 10% grade. The North Tunnel entrance is on the base.

It was three o’clock by the time we drove out of the base. After that it was just a drive past trees, rocks, water and some farm land to Petawawa where we had dinner and then drove to Pembroke for the night. The two communities are spread out along the shore of the Ottawa River and just run from one town right into the other.

Tomorrow we reach Ottawa. John has cousins there and we will be visiting them and touring around the city. I have a whole list of things to see even though we have been there several times. We are staying four nights at rooms on the Universtity campus. $100 per night as opposed to all the hotels that are between $180 and $250.

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