After great nights sleep, and hot shower. And the breakfast special in a hotel in Waterloo we hit the road again. We made it almost a mile down the road when a Walmart appeared and knowing there were a few empty corners in the car we were compelled to stop and buy just a few more things. Leaving Waterloo we stopped for ice and gas..$1.05 Canadian per liter . . what ever the hell that means. Then we headed north. Most of the day was spent on Ontario Route 6 which cuts straight up the Bruce Peninsula. The sad thing is that we didn’t realized until after we had made reservations that we would pass so close to our Canadian relatives. We passed within 30 miles. Damn. Carol tried to call but got no answer..we thought maybe we could just stop by for a quick hug..but we moved on. We did talk with other relatives while on the road and got a bit caught up, all is well. I love the Ontario landscape. The Canadian houses, mostly brick, are always neat and tidy, farms look like they came out of a children’s book and the gently rolling landscape is somewhat reminiscent of Illinois where I grew up. This is farm country and as we passed through so many little towns we saw Farm Supply stores, John Deere dealerships, feed and grain stores while tractors and combines moving from field to field sometimes slowed travel. We also saw many Amish or Mennonites traveling the roadways in their horse and buggies.
At some point along route 6, I think just north of Owen Sound, we must have passed through some sort of science fiction portal because suddenly and abruptly all evidence of farmland was gone. The landscape had been replaced with forest. White birch, cottonwood, oak and pine lined the roadside without any sign of farming or any other civilized endeavor for that matter. It was beautiful. Although the road is relative straight and flat, gentle rolling hills came and went. Somewhere along the route we pulled off onto a side road into a wooded area just to stretch and have a bottle of water. Carol cut some fresh wildflowers for the vase she has mounted on the dash and I grabbed my camera.
Refreshed we drove the rest of the way into Tobermory, where we had reservations on the Chi-Cheemaun, A ferry that got from Tobermory at the northern tip of the Bruce Peninsula to South Baymouth on the southern end of Manitoulin Island. Manitoulin Island is the largest island in fresh water in the world. We arrived in Tobermory at about 4 in the afternoon and our ferry reservations were for the 8:00 sailing. Let's explore. Of course one of the first places we found was the ice cream place… very good locally made ice cream. I had Bruce Trail Mix, which is banana ice cream with trail mix mixed in and Carol had a Denali flavor . We sat on the porch overlooking the harbor and enjoyed our treat.
We walked along the waterfront and popped in and out of shops and reminisced about the time we were here once before. Back in 1999 we were here by boat, thinking that we could anchor in the little but well protected harbor. We had been traveling up Lake Huron and the wind was out of the west and we thought we could find shelter here for the night. But this is a very small and very deep harbor with no anchoring allowed. We had to press on and about three or four miles north of here on some small island we found Tecumseh Cove which turned out to be one of our favorite anchorages of our entire trip. The water up here is so crystal clear and we watched raccoons and deer along the shore that night and the stars were unbelievable. Oops, I got sidetracked... hey, it happens. Back to this century, Carol and I visited just about every little business and I was on a mission to find a Tobermory sticker for the box on top of the car. Found one at the bookstore! While chatting with a local artist at his gallery we learned that the parking cop is a ‘Nazi’ and we had better move our car, or else! We drove around all over town, which took all of five minutes and arrived back where we started, but parked in a different spot and found a local pub for supper. Carol had the local beer and we both had fish and chips, made with locally caught ‘white fish’. It was all very good, and we had great seats, once again on an outdoor porch overlooking the harbor. Running in and out of the harbor are a lot of glass bottomed tour boats. There are a lot of shipwrecks in the area and Flower Pot Island is a destination because of the unusual rock formations resembling flower pots..we saw these from the comfort of our own boat so long ago. At 7:00 PM we queued up for the ferry. Boarding began promptly at 7:30 and we simply drove right on board.
The ferry can hold 240 autos and 630 passengers..this is a big ferry! Just as we left the dock rain moved in, a proper squall at times, but we were snug and protected from the elements in the lounge watching the world go by. I did some sketching and exercised my camera a bit and we explored the boat. As the rain subsided just before sunset we saw a most spectacular double rainbow and knew that someone must be looking out after us. As we docked in South Baymouth at 9:45 the sky was still light and as we were just about the last to board the ferry we were just about the first off the ferry. We now needed to drive to Little Current on the north side of the island, Route 6 continues from the ferry to Little Current and we were car number 5 in line with nothing ahead of car 1 for as far as you can see, behind us was all of the other cars for as far as you can see. It was almost 11 when we arrived at the Hawberry Hotel in Little Current..we got checked in and, well, that is the end of todays post. Below is a gallery of pictures from the day. Click on any image for a larger view.