Little Cove

We decided to take it easier today and headed over to Singing Sands to check out the trails and the beach. Next time we’ll have to come back in the spring so we can see the orchids blooming along the paths. We also drove down to Little Cove and checked out the rock beach.

The Bruce Pennisula is home to rock barrens or alvars.

An interesting plant.

Zaph enjoying Little Cove.

The "End of the Bruce Trail"



The Grotto

We were told one of the most beautiful hikes along the Bruce Trail is the section from Halfway Log Dump to the Grotto. As the trail takes you up along the cliffs for spectacular views and back down to the bay it is also considered reasonably difficult but it was worth every step. I think we walk between 10 and 12 km during the course of the afternoon.

The waves attacking Zaph

Looking down at the bay from one of the cliff view points

Near the grotto. The grotto is in the national park so it is easily accessed.

Another hiker told Ed about this cave.

Emmett Lake --- this lake is a short drive from the trailhead.

Sunset in Tobermory

Zaph checking out the harbour at night



Swimming with little kids .... that’s the best!

Zaph thought today was a great day. This morning we hiked out to Burnt Point stopping at several view points along the way where he got to swim. This afternoon we drove out to Dunks Bay with it’s sand beach where Zaph got to go swimming again. The best part was playing with several kids. He spent almost 2 hours playing with two boys aged 7 and 9 and then spent a bit of time with two little girls aged 1 and ½ and 3 (the girls mom helped with the ball throwing!). After dinner we headed over to Singing Sands ... no swimming for Zaph there as he was still water logged from the afternoon swim.

One of the view points on the way to Burnt Point

Another view point.

There were lots of view points!

Zaph's favourite view point ... there was a ledge in the water than a drop off which made for good swimming.

A lake freighter out by Flower Pot Island

Zaph and his new friends

Zaph has decided to start training them young.



Flowerpot Island

As the admission to the national park covers two days we decided to take advantage of it and visit Flowerpot island (part of Fathom Five National Marine Park) while our ticket was still good. The Blue Heron Company offers a couple of alternatives to aid in your visit to Flowerpot island. You can either take a cruise with a stop at the island or take the zodiac shuttle to the island. We opted for the shuttle as dogs were allowed on the zodiacs and Zaph wanted to come. The island was named for the “flowerpot” shaped rock formations found on it’s shoreline.

This is one for “Isn’t the world a small place”. On Sunday an Titanium trailer (same year and model as ours) pulled in 2 spaces away from us and Ed noticed that they were missing a hub cap. From personal experience he knows that the manufacturer will replace the hubcap and give you new wheel nuts so he decided that if he saw the people he would stop and tell them. After his run on Monday morning he noticed that the people were outside so he stopped. The small world part is Wayne (from the other Titanium) grew up in the same neighbourhood as I did and was actually in the same year at the same high school though we were in different streams.

The zodiac boat we took over to Flowerpot Island.

One of the ship wrecks we went over on the way to Flowerpot Island.

A second shipwreck.

People snorkling over on of the shipwrecks.

Big Tub Light

One of the Flowerpots

Part of the shoreline.

The big flowerpot.

Another view of the shoreline.

The buildings near the lighthouse. Volunteers live here during the summer.

This little guy demaned to see Zaph and give him some pets.



Beautiful Cove

By noon the early morning fog and clouds had cleared and the sun was shining brightly. Only one item was purchased as we wandered around the shops in Tobermory .... we all show great restraint. The Bruce Peninsula National Park Visitor Centre was our next stop. We watched a moving about the park, hiked a trail to a wonderful lookout and climb the observation tower.

The harbour at Tobermory.

Another view of the harbour.

The beautiful cove at the end of the hike.

Another view of the cover.

Zaph wishing he could go swimming.



Cabot’s Head

It was overcast Saturday morning but didn't start raining till mid afternoon. That gave us time to check out Big Tub Light, drive to Cabot's Head and hike around the lighthouse. Due to the rain we couldn't enjoy a camp fire but we did enjoy playing some games.

Jack and Lori enjoying the scenery near Big Tub Light.

The MS Chi-Cheemaun leaving the ferry dock.

Lor, Zaph (sitting on my lap) and me by Big Tub Light.

Divers heading into the water. Tobermory is the diving capital of Canada.

The shoreline is layers of rock. Zaph is keeping a close eye on Jack.

We stopped for lunch on the way to Cabot's head and watched a man and his golden retriever playing in the waves. The sat on the rock and let the waves push them in. Zaph wanted to try this but none of us wanted to get wet!

The lighthouse at Cabot's Head.

The view from the top of the lighthouse.

Zaph met a black lab puppy on the trail by the lighthouse.



The End of the Bruce Trail

August 23 to August 25

Time to leave Midland and head to Tobermory where we are meeting Jack and Lori for the weekend. We have had some beautiful weather but unfortunately the weather man is predicting a rainy weekend. Tobermory is another cute harbour town but the layout is different than any of the other towns we have visited this summer — the town is very small and the downtown is like a horseshoe around the harbour. Tobermory is known as the end of the Bruce Trail and the home of 2 National Parks — Fathom Five National Marine Park and Bruce Peninsula National Park. Ed, Zaph and I have walked the last couple kilometres of the trail so now we just have to walk the other 800 plus kilometres!

An old boat at Tobermory.

The MS Chi-Cheemaun at the ferry dock. The front hatch is open to allow vehicles on and off.

The harbour.

Enjoying the campfire and listening to Jack.



Miss Midland .... the ship not the beauty queen!

One of the tourist highlights in Midland is to take a cruise on the Miss Midland. The trip takes you up through the 30,000 islands, around Beausoleil Island and past Honey Harbour. Ed had an interesting experience on the ship. Due to the camera and lenses Ed carries around, he looks like he knows what to do with a camera so a lot of people tend to ask him to use their camera to take a picture of them. On the Miss Midland there was a young woman (she looked Japanese) who not only asked Ed to take her picture for her but told him how she wanted the photo to look. She even had him retake one of the pictures when it wasn’t exactly what she wanted. She had him take several photos and some video. She won’t have to worry about people not believing was in Midland!

Miss Midland

One of many beautiful homes we passed while on the cruise.

The drawback when you live on a small island ..... you have to barge everything over.

Cruising on the upper deck.

A view from the ship.

The hotel at Honey Harbour

I guess the islandwasn't too small for a cottage.

That looks like fun.

A metal sculture of a trumpeter swan by the harbour in Midland.



Mmmmm..... good french fries

August 20 to August 21

Zaph decided that we needed to go for a walk so we followed him through the RV park, past the lawn bowling club and through the woods ending up in Little Lake park. The park is home to the regular park things (swings, trails, skateboard park, etc) as well as a not so little lake, the Y, the arena, the curling club, a museum and a small restaurant advertising the “World’s best fries”. Zaph, Ed and I agree that the fries were wonderful .... maybe even the “world’s best”.

An old friend of Ed’s retired to the Midland area a few years ago, so we decided to give him a call. Niall and Rosemary have a beautiful home that looks west across the Nottawasaga Bay towards Thornbury. The view is so beautiful I could stand at the kitchen sink doing dishes all day ..... though I would rather be sitting on the deck! Zaph, of course loved it there (beach, water, 3 soccer balls for the dogs to play with) and wasn’t really interested in getting in the truck to head back to the trailer.

The ship at Discovery Harbour at Penetanguishene

Zaph checking out the cannon at Discovery Harbour.



That Ship Makes One Big Cottage

August 17 to August 19

We left the Kawarthas and drove west to Midland where we are staying for a week. The campground is right in Midland — only a 20 minute walk to the downtown and harbour area.

About 5 minutes drive from the campground is the Wye Marsh Wildlife Centre. During our hike through the park we spotted a couple of snakes and many frogs but unfortunately not the trumpeter swans — maybe next time.

The town of Penetanguishene is less than 10 minutes drive from Midland so we decided to check it out. At the harbour we walked along the pier and started chatting with some folks on a boat moored there. This wasn’t just any boat — it was the boat used in the television series “Adventure Inc.” that was filmed in Toronto. The boat was built as a ice breaker/research vessel for the Canadian Coastguard in 1959 and is now owned by a family and used as a “cottage”.
Ed spend some time down in the engine room looking at a problem with the diesel electric drive system, as well as taking a good look around the inside of the ship.

Some details of the boat are:

The Cutter “Still Watch”

134 ft long, 28 ft beam, Draft 10 ft, 390 Tons
Cat. 2 Ice breaker/Research and survey ship
Power: Two Fairbanks 640 HP diesel engines with twin 500 HP electric motors driving the props

Burns 80 L/hr of diesel fuel, at 8 kts. (max speed 11.2 kts)

1959 Built by Russel Brothers, Owen sound
1960-1984 Canadian Coast Guard “Ville Marie”
1984-1995 owned by a religious organization and named “Heavenbound”
1995- present registered as “Still Watch” by current owners; Tom and Ann Marshal
2002-2003 temporarily named “Vast Explorer” for TV series ‘Adventure Inc.”

more photos and info

Downtown Midland

One of the murals you can see in downtown Midland.

Miss Midland --- she offers cruises around the 30,000 islands

Another mural.

A Northern Water Snake at the Wye Marsh

Some of the boardwalk at the marsh.

An interesting colletion fungus

Zaph says he's never seen a TeePee like this.

The harbour at Penetanguishene
Still Watch

A collage of the past lives of Still Watch.

Zaph visiting with Captain Tom, Anne and Justin

The Bridge

Ed leaving Still Watch after his tour of the ship.

Ed and Zaph




Petroglyphs Provincial Parks is about 30 minutes east of Buckhorn and is the home to the largest known concentration of aboriginal rock carvings in Canada.. The large marble rock face has 900 petroglyphs depicting turtles, snakes, birds, humans and other images carved into it. In 1984 a building was constructed around the petroglyphs to preserve them by protecting them from the weather. As the site is considered a sacred location for many aboriginal tribes, visitors are asked to refrain from taking pictures. The park also has several hiking trails and small lakes.

The petroglyphs are know as the "teaching rocks". The above is one of the teachings.

As Ed couldn't take pictures of the petroglyphs he took a picture of a picture.

Zaph found a lake along one of the trails.

Zaph and I enjoying the view.

The lake.

That's a beaver swimming underwater. We could see him from the rock we were sitting on.

Water pouring out of the dam at Buckhorn.



Now These Are Home Movies

August 14 to August 15

About 20 minutes east in the small town of Kinmount is the Highland Movie Theatre. The five screen theatre complex is in Keith Stata’s home ..... yep that’s right .... in his home along with The Theatre Museum. There are more seats in the theatre complex than the number of people living in Kinmount. It’s cottage owners and visitors to the area that boost the audience numbers enabling the Highland Theatre to show first run movies. Ed and I saw “Pirates of the Carribean, Dead Man’s Chest”. The museum is in the maze of hallways between the theatres and in some small rooms. It is an unbelievable mixture of old movie projectors and memorabilia dating as far back as 1900 — you really have to see it to believe it.

Zaph walking down the granite roadway near the campground.

Near the campground

The theatre is an addition behind the house.

The entrance.

The front lobby.

One of the hallways.

A couple of the memorabilia cabinets.



Another Lock

August 12 to August 13

When we arrived at the current park, we were given some tourist maps of the area and after examining them we determined that we were near some friends that were staying in the Beaverton area for a month. Happily, we spent Saturday visiting them.

On Sunday we decided to it was time to visit another lock. The Kirkfield lock is a hydraulic lift which means there are two big trays of water that move boats much like a teeter totter, using only the weight of the water to raise and lower the boats.

The Kirkfield Lock

The lock in action. The left side is bringing boats down.

An "art shot" near the lock maintenance yard.

Channel markers in the maintenance yard.



Going down....

August 10 to August 11

Leaving the Bracebridge area we drove south (about 50 km) to Head Lake. We plan on exploring the western side of the Kawartha Lakes and the eastern side of Lake Simcoe from this campground. Todays outing took us to Fenelon Falls — a quaint town on Cameron Lake and the Trent Canal. There is an interesting little museum in town that is worth a visit, while the lock, of course, is the biggest draw for visitors.

Nothing like a nap with a good buddy.

An out of service swing bridge.

Zaph and the girls.

A local cruise ship getting ready to go through the lock.

The captain did say the "ship was going down".

He really meant it ... all you can see is a tiny bit of the roof.

A view looking up from the walkway along the canal.

Zaph getting pets from a passing boat.

A view down the canal.



Another Great Swimming Spot

August 6 to August 9

Our friends Dorothy and Tom have a cottage about 25 km east of Bracebridge and the campground near their cottage was to be our next stop. As this was the area hit badly by the storm last week we called to see if they were there and what their status was. Dorothy answered the phone and said there was no electric power to the cottage yet, but they were there and planning to stay. The campground was also open for business, running generators several times a day to provide water. It was an interesting drive into the campground as Ed had to watch for low hanging wires, with some trees and wires laying on the road. Luckily, the campground was on a turn off before the cottage as there was no way we could have gotten the trailer past some of the leaning poles and hanging tree limbs we encountered on the way to the cottage. Even without storm damage the trailer wouldn’t have made it down the final stretch of road to the cottage as the road was a narrow winding path through the trees with a large living tree leaning over the road. Power was restored to the campground Tuesday evening and the cottage finally got power Wednesday afternoon — the 7th day without power. Zaph, of course, didn’t care about the lack of power as the cottage was on a lake and had its own beach. As ice was needed for the fridge, Ed, Dorth and I made a trip into Bracebridge. Ed and I did the tourist thing while Dorothy did some errands.

The first power generating station was in Bracebridge.

Interesting girders --- art shot.

A train crossed the bridge while we were under it.

The waterfalls.

The river below the falls.

Just below the falls is this water wheel.

One of the damaged trees hanging over the road --- the truck got by but the trailer wouldn't have made it.

The beach at Dorothy's cottage. Ed used the paddle boat to take the raft out into the bay to reset it's anchor. Zaph and a new friend were out for a swim.




August 3 to August 5

Leaving Kincardine we drove about 50 km east to the town of Hanover and stopped at a campground on the Saugeen River. This campground had the most amazing gardens around some of the seasonal sites. As it was the August long weekend we weren’t surprised to see a lot of people arriving with tents ...sure.... We were a little surprised when they tried to set up on already occupied sites where trailers were parked. A neighbour told us that around 300 people were expected from the “Mississauga Filipino Athletic Association” and that they liked to be near electric outlets. When we went to bed Friday night we figured there were about 50 people from the association there. When we woke Saturday morning (around 7:30 am) there were at least a hundred more people with more cars arriving every few minutes and electric cords running from every outlet. Shortly after 8 am, Ed and I decided we better get a move on if we wanted to be able to get the trailer out of the site. As soon as we started packing up, people started hovering around our site like vultures — one group had picked up their tent and was putting it on our site before Ed had even started moving the trailer. As we drove out our wake was filled in by a sea of tents. Somehow Ed managed to miss the trees (1 foot tall), the plastic rollers from the electric cords, the cars and the tent (by a foot) — I did have to close the doors of one van so we wouldn’t remove them.

The next stop was the Hanover airport — where we were parking our trailer by our friends (Anne and Victor) hanger. The airport was blissfully quiet and peaceful after the campground — even with planes landing and taking off. Victor has been working on rebuilding his vintage Navion aeroplane for the past fifteen years and hopes it will fly later this fall- if nothing else it will be the most perfectly assembled and painted aeroplane in the country.

The campground in Hanover.

Victor, Anne, Lou, Gino and the airplane.

Look how clean the engine is -- the entire plane is a work of art.

An air ambulance getting fuel before heading to London.



Still Enjoying the Beach

July 26 to August 2

The Bruce Power Station is the main employer in the area and being a nuclear power plant they have a visitor centre which is quite interesting. Bruce Power is publicly owned with one of the owners being OMERS (pension plan for many municipal employees including me).

One of the tourist attractions in Kincardine is the “Phantom Piper”. The piper climbs to the top of the lighthouse and “pipes the sun down”. This happens every evening in the summer except on Saturdays. Zaph found this a worthwhile event as three children spent about a half hour petting him.

Now you’re probably wondering why they don’t have a “Phantom Piper” on Saturdays. That’s simple really — all of the pipers are busy Saturday evening at the parade downtown. The local pipe band meets in the park, forms into a marching band and plays as they march down the main street several blocks to a plaza. Many of the people who have turned out to watch, walk behind the band. We figure there were at least a thousand people there. After a brief break, the band turns around and marches back to the park where they play a short concert. The band is made up of people of all ages — I think the youngest is a 6 years old drummer. Zaph wasn’t big on the drums ... the low rumble as they start sounds too much like thunder and walking in the middle of a big group isn’t his thing either... he prefers to lead the group. He did manage however, to get enough pets to make it worth his while. While we were at the plaza waiting for the band to head back to the park a fellow standing next to us sat down on the curb. Zaph not wanting to miss any petting opportunities quickly turned around and sat between the fellow legs in petting position. Luckily the fellow liked Zaph and obliged. Many other people also succumbed to Zaph many charms and he received lots of pets that night.

If you ever visit Kincardine, the Bruce Bar and Grill is a worthwhile stop for a meal especially if you sit out back on the patio. Mom and David drove out one day and we had lunch there while enjoying a great view of the harbour before we went for a walk down the beach.

Ontario has been experiencing a heat wave this past week and what better way is there of staying cool then sitting in a lake. Even Ed and I went in the water. Zaph whole heartedly agrees especially when there are a couple of young girls (I think around 10) to play with you. Ed and I thought it was great that someone else was entertaining Zaph for a change. Throwing his water Kong for over an hour can get pretty monotonous.

The wind vanes at the Bruce Power Station.

My brother David, myself and Zaph on the main beach in Kincardine.

Entrance to the beach.

The Kincardine harbour

Now that's a fun way to cool off.

Zaph meets Nestle (yup a chocolate lab puppy)

Nestle --- he's a real cutie.

Point Clark lighthouse.

Canoeists off of Point Clark.

Mennonites driving down the road.

Stacking hay the old fashion way.

Rows of hay.

Cutting the hay. There were 3 teams of horse cutting the field.

The "phantom piper"

Zaph and his new friends.

The sunset

The harbour as the sun sets.

The lighthouse in South Hampton.

Port Elgin has a beautiful park and walkway by the harbour.

The Port Elgin train. It's a "small" train that drives through the park taking visitors for a ride.

Now that's a interesting use for a canon. Victoria Park in Kincardine.

Victoria Park, Kincardine. People are starting to gather for the parade.

The pipe band.

The crowd following the band.

Zaph settling in for a pet.

The drummers.

The concert.

The drummer boy ... that's the drum stick blurring in front of his face.

A view of the harbour from a park on the main street.

The peace garden. Kincardine has some amazing gardens that volunteers plant and take care of.

I don't know what it is called but I think it is a pretty flower.

Zaph was a little warm so he settled down in a stream for a drink.

Another sunset. Unfortunately we didn't see any of the spectacular sunsets that Kincardine is famous for.

Monday market in Victoria Park. A combination of new stuff, old stuff and vegetables for sale. You could even have your taro cards read or get a temporary tatoo.

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