Tobermory

We decided to make our way to the South shore of Lake Superior via Ontario’s Bruce Peninsula, taking the Chi-Cheemaun ferry to Manitoulin Island and on to Sault Ste. Marie. Tobermory, a harbor town at the tip of the peninsula, is named after the similar Tobermory in the West of Scotland. It is a pleasant tourist spot and was busy readying for Victoria Day weekend, marking the opening of the Summer season. We toured the town, found a spot to eat, Tobermory Brew Inn and retired to our campsite at the National Park. On the way to Tobermory we found a street bearing our name. Canada is home to a large number of Scottish immigrants.

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  • Tobermory

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    Tobermory

  • Bruce Peninsula

    Indian Head Cove

    The Grotto

    Lying between Georgian Bay and Lake Huron, the Bruce Peninsula is a rocky, forested area with many parks and hiking opportunities. The water in Georgian Bay is a beautiful ‘aquamarine’ color, turning blue in the distance. We took two hikes, one from our campsite in the National Park at Cyprus Lake to Indian Head and the Grotto. The other to Halfway Log Dump and along the Bruce Trail for a short way along the shore. We met a fun couple with their husky ‘Hudson’, very tired after clambering over the rocky shore.

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  • Bruce Peninsula

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    Bruce Peninsula National Park

  • Manitoulin Island

    Taking the Chi-Cheemaun Ferry to Manitoulin Island was a 2 hour crossing over a still sea, with Georgian Bay on one side and Lake Huron on the other. Lots of people travel with their canines and the ferry allows them on 2 ‘doggie decks’, where Cheryl spent most of her time distributing treats. We are staying at a campground at Honora Bay which appears to be run and populated by hippies, so we’re quite at home here. Our campsite is located in a forest on the edge of a lake and we decided to take a vacation from our vacation. We’re chilling out for a few days, walking, playing music, reading, and contemplating what a wonderful life we have! We’re also catching up on a few of our customer requests. See Colin playing his pipes by the lake (video at the end of the post).

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  • Manitoulin Island

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    Honors Bay, Manitoulin Island

  • Niagara Falls


    Happily, we visited both the US and the Canadian sides of Niagara Falls, and neither were so busy as to be oppressive. The Canadian side is by far, the more gorgeous side of Niagara for several reasons. The views are spectacular, and the public parks continue along the water’s edge for miles and miles of beautiful walking, picnic, and bicycle paths. Such a better balance between commercialism and public benefit. We had fun hearing the roar of the immense amount of water coming down into the falls, but we wanted to get up high to see it in perspective. We had the choice of the  800 ft high Skylon Tower or the SkyWheel. We chose the Tower because it was closer to Horseshoe Falls and was a lot higher. Although the wind was ‘bloody cold’ and knocking us about, we managed to get some views that would not have been available any other way (a drone or helicopter was not part of our plan). Because this is one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, it is one of the most photographed locations. By the way the water is really green because of dissolved salts from Lake Erie. Colin found orientation difficult until he remembered (again?) that water flows North in this area from Lake Erie to Lake Ontario.

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    Niagara River Gorge


    After the water leaves the Falls, it tumbles down into the Niagara River Gorge. It’s like a baby Grand Canyon, where the walls tell the story of time while the amazing green water rushes past us. The rocks represent 410 million years of history exposed by the obvious power of the water. This part of the river is classified as the most difficult level of rapids to navigate (Class 6), and very few have completed it. Many sightseers and adventurers have lost their lives in accidents in this area. The river travels at 40 mph with waves typically 10 to 16 feet high.

    Side Story: While taking photos and videos, a group of 40 young ladies surrounded us. They were from a Brooklyn Yeshiva, were part of a chorus, and the trip that included the Gorge was their Senior Year Event (bus trip). While heading back to street level, the ladies started singing four part harmonies, in hebrew. Cheryl started a conversation with them, we took videos, and exchanged emails. Unfortunately, none of the photos or videos turned out. Cheryl was particularly heartbroken that she couldn’t have shared the experience with the blog or the young ladies. We have to experience things in the here and now, and appreciate the special moments that happen serendipitously.

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    Niagara Falls Video (Colin)

    Niagara Falls Video (Cheryl)
    Niagara River Gorge (Colin)
  • Niagara Falls, Canada

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    Niagara Falls

  • Visiting Old Friends

    IMG_1538The first step of our adventure touring North America was a short journey to Lancaster, PA to visit our friends who we met through the Medical Imaging business. Lon was the CEO of a start-up company in Newport News developing a new imaging device for early detection of breast cancer. Colin consulted for and then  worked for the company for several years. Cheryl also contributed through her Nuclear Medicine and writing skills of operator’s manuals. We became friends and were very happy to visit, dine and catch up with news from Lon and Mary. We were treated like royalty, even provided with a free overnight RV site, their driveway. We vowed not to leave it so long until our next meeting.

    Journey North

    ‘Hobbit House’ in PA

    Weather conditions and temperatures were not very ‘Spring-like’ but we pushed on, found some sunshine on our journey and settled into our campsite at Allegany State Park, NY for the night. Even though it was a weekend, the park was almost empty (although we did find a group occupying our campsite). P5140207A small flock of Canadian geese were staying at Red House Lake, looked like they were apprehensive about returning to their homeland while the weather was cold.and wet. The park is beautiful, a mixture of hills, forests and lakes and  a historic ‘Tudor Lodge’ administration building where we brunched overlooking the lake. If we’d had more time and the weather had cooperated, we would have enjoyed staying a few more days.

    Four Mile Creek on Lake Ontario

    We had decided to make this NY State Park our home for a few days so that we could take a look around Niagara on the Lake and explore the Niagara Falls area (a subject of a future post). Our site was about 100 yards from the Lake so within easy reach for some sunrise photos and next to the creek where Colin found a couple of families of Canadian Geese, staying while their goslings learned to fly. It was peaceful (apart from a grass mower that has been following us around all the way from Florida) still very chilly, windy and only sunny our last day. It was a great place to stay so we didn’t have to compete with the crowds around the Niagara Falls area.

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    Niagara on the Lake

    Thanks goes to Verena Thoma and Christine and Richard Olsenius for helping plan part of our road trip in areas in which they were familiar. Verena and Heinz lived in Canada for many years, and Christine and Richard originally hail from Minnesota, but have traveled this area extensively. We felt fortunate for their guidance, we’re really enjoying the places they suggested. This town, Niagara on the Lake, has a very high cute factor! We toured around and walked through the town finding everything quaint and beautiful, particularly because of all the planted tulips. Ontario’s spring is just starting and we got to see forsythia, red buds, and cherry trees come out en force. The trees, on the other hand, have not quite leafed yet. While on main street, we happened upon a store called, The Shiny Company (very New Age) and started speaking with the English owner, Stuart Constable. While chatting, Colin found the perfect bag for Cheryl: Peace signs matching an already purchased peace sign jacket. Can’t take the 60’s out of the California Girl. Niagara-on -the Lake has featured a well-known George Bernard Shaw Festival since 1962 which is why you see his name and statue appearing over town.

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  • Niagara-on-the-Lake

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    Niagara-on-the-Lake