Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Near North

Near North, that's the nickname for this region of Ontario.  I was raised in Ottawa, but had never been anywhere west of Huntsville. I'm glad I rectified the situation.
Before leaving the campground on Lake Huron, Cole and I charged around like we owned the place. Apart from a few permanent residents (you know...those camper trailers with wooden decks and gardens), it was just us. After our run, I busied myself doing my Ike workout sans Ike or gym.
Bicep curls.
The dreaded planks. Plus HIIT training, high intensity interval training. Really glad no one drove up in an ambulance to drag me back to the psychiatric hospital.
At noon, we were queued up for the ferry to Manitoulin Island. Well, the car was queued, we were touring.
The vessel has been in service since 1973. It can hold something like 144 cars in the belly of the ship on two decks. A behemoth. I was a little concerned when I observed workers unable to stop water flooding out was what was supposed to be a drain. All that was forgotten when we set sail and nausea set in. No one is permitted to remain in their cars and dogs aren't permitted in any of the lounges. We were steerage class, two seats in a corner, no windows.

Three foot waves had both our breakfasts wanting to make an appearance. The only other place I could sit was outside in the cold wind.
Two hours...gorgeous scenery and the waters calmed near the end (go figure).
Manitoulin Island is rugged and beautiful, but its remoteness has decimated the economy. It seems like every third property is for sale...or worse.
On a hiking trail, I found this abandoned farmstead. Across the way was a historical plaque describing how the Jesuits had abandoned the island in 1750. This place has bad karma. But it does have one great organic food store in the town of Little Current. Happy, happy, joy, joy.
The plan had been to stay in the vicinity of Espanola overnight. But this power plant was belching out noxious fumes. 
Moving right along, I spotted a rail to trail section from the road. We ditched the car in a quarry and got in another hike before sunset.

Mother Nature at her best.
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.". Edward Abbey

Raspberries. Food is also a necessity and I have a knack for finding it.
While I was pigging out, Cole was freaking out.
He was probably trying to tell me:  Bear, big, you in its berry patch.
But, my favorite has always been those mottled with green.
Back on the road, the Trans Canada, comparable to an American interstate highway except for its width. Two lane!
For the night, I chose to take a room in order of spread out some stuff to dry. Cole approved.
Two big beds and he wants to be stuck like glue to me.
Suits me too.