Now in Sauble Beach
Wednesday, July 13, 2005 - As planned, today Sandra and I pulled up stakes and moved 60 miles south of Tobermory to Sauble Beach, which is still on the Bruce Peninsula but at the southern end of it and on the shores of Lake Huron, one of North America's Great Lakes.
Since it was to be a short move, we took our time this morning getting things stowed away and drove out of Tobermory at 10:22am. The most difficult part of the drive was getting the RV out of our campsite since it involved a very tight turn. But the rig made it with a couple inches to spare before the RV would have smacked into the back of the truck.
No problemo. Could have used the sliding mechanism on the hitch for the first time to get the clearance, but didn't need to.
We arrived in Sauble Beach a little over an hour later, found the campground, got signed in, RV positioned and leveled on a nice pull-through site with a clear view of our internet satellite, everything hooked up, and the satellite system setup and pointed properly, all by 1:52pm.
Then it was make the very short drive into town to check that out, and the beach as well.
It is fairly typical of a small beach town, with the requisite array of shops selling the usual array of beach goods and myriad young folks on the beach and walking around the town by the beach and since it is very hot, wearing very little but their swimsuits.
We can only stay here til Monday and I expect by then we'll be ready to move on.
We Cruise Georgian Bay
Tuesday, July 12, 2005 - Tomorrow we leave Tobermory to move a bit further south and not being satisfied to pretend our tour excursion to nearby Flowerpot Island last Friday was a cruise, Sandra and I decided to spend part of our last full day here by going on something this morning that actually was more like a cruise - we took the Chi-Cheemaun, a ferry that runs between Tobermory and Manitoulin Island, over to the island and back. Round trip takes four hours and as you can see in the photo here that I took yesterday, the ferry not only looks much like a cruise ship, but has a large cafeteria, a couple lounges, and a 'boatique' souvenir/gift shop.
It is also fascinating to me how its bow is hinged and raises to allow vehicles to enter. This might be common for large ferries but I've never seen it before. Brings to mind a huge whale that feeds on motor vehicles. And to complete that picture, the vehicles that enter by the front, exit out the rear.
Nor does the size of the motor vehicle matter. The ship appears capable of taking anything that can travel the road. I saw it swallow a tandem log truck without so much as a burp, so it would have had no trouble accommodating our RV and truck had we been so inclined.
Anyway, we just walked on since we had no plans to get off the ship at Manitoulin Island because it is only there for 15 minutes before heading back to Tobermory and wouldn't be back for 4 hours, longer than we wanted to spend there on foot. So, we went just for the ride, not the destination.
Photo is Sandra at one of the ship's railings as we were leaving Tobermory.
Tomorrow we are pulling up stakes and moving an hour south to the Sauble Beach Resort Camp located in Sauble Beach at the southern end of the Bruce Peninsula, which will put us from being in a fairly remote area (I mean there isn't even a MacDonald's or Wendy's Restaurant around here) to a vacation hotspot with beach, amusement park, golf, and all the usual holiday trappings most people seem to enjoy.
Sunday, July 10, 2005 - This morning Sandra and I treated ourselves to a breakfast out in Tobermory (which means Virgin Mary in Gaelic, by the way), the first time we've eaten out since we were in Lindsay.
With several restaurants in the area to choose from we decided to dine on the patio at the FDR Restaurant (no idea what the FDR stands for) which overlooks part of the harbor. So while we ate our bacon and eggs, we listened to the gulls and watched a parade of tour boats and half million dollar yachts leave the harbor, heading out for the day or parts unknown. The photo shows Sandra at our table. As always, clicking on the photos shows a larger image.
We had originally planned on moving tomorrow, relocating to somewhere at the southern end of Bruce Peninsula so we could see that area, but at breakfast we decided to stay here at the northern end for two more days. Still got places to go and things to see.
A Strenuous Stroll
Yesterday I got up well before dawn with the intent of going over to Bruce Peninsula National Park to see the sunrise over Georgian Bay and taking the longer trail that goes to a more interesting section of the shoreline than what Sandra and I saw on Tuesday via the shorter trail. While I did do this, I didn't get as early a start as I'd planned on.
However, it turned out just as well since the sunrise wasn't all that spectacular. Here's a photo of one scene I saw. I also viewed the Natural Arch, Grotto, and Overhanging Point.
Unfortunately, the shot I most wanted of the Grotto, unknown to me before I left, involved climbing down a cliff face and while it looked feasible once I got there, it also looked more difficult than I was willing to risk life, limb, and camera for, especially since I was hiking alone.
So, from the Grotto I continued to hike westward along the very scenic but equally difficult Bruce Trail that parallels the shore but it became so arduous that once I reached the Overhanging Point I declared that as enough exercise and photos for one day and turned back. My feet still hurt, but it was fun.
We Cruise the Islands
Friday, July 8, 2005 - Not nearly as grandiose as the Caribbean cruises Sandra and I used to take to escape the Canadian winter for a short time, but this morning we cruised through some of the islands offshore from Tobermory on our way to see Flowerpot Island, probably the most publicized of the attractions around here for its flowerpot geological formations (as seen in the photo here - click on it for a larger view).
We sailed on the Blue Heron V tour boat and took the earliest tour they offered, 9am, in order to get the earliest morning light I could since early morning and late evening generally have the best light for photographs. When we signed up we took the option that allowed us to get off the ship so we could walk on the island a bit and get an up-close look at the formations.
Since we left the dog behind in the RV we didn't stay long on the island, having a little over an hour, but it was enough, both of us being tired after we hiked around the flowerpots, not to mention the memory cards for my digital camera were all full by that time.
Doings in Tobermory
Thursday, July 7, 2005 - Sandra and I have been quite busy the last couple days having fun in and around Tobermory, to the point we've declared today more or less a day of rest.
Tuesday, July 5
Two days ago, the day after our arrival here, we explored a bit and discovered Dorcas Bay on Lake Huron at the western side of the Bruce Peninsula National Park, where a number of people were flying a variety of kites.
We then bought a Canadian National Parks pass at the Cypress Lake park office, since we'll be visiting a lot of these parks before we cross the border this autumn.
Next we explored a bit of the eastern side of the park and took a hiking trail to the shore of Georgian Bay. The photo above shows a bit of what we saw. Those points of land jutting into the water are cliffs along the Niagara Escarpment.
Also, you can see a battle for the sky between nasty hot humid southern air from the US versus clean clear wonderful Canadian air. This time Canadian air won and we've had beautiful weather the last couple days.
We left the national park after the hike and drove into town where we tracked down the Big Tub Lighthouse, which was quite interesting, and after dinner back in the RV I returned to Dorcas Bay where I'd hoped to photograph a spectacular sunset, but unfortunately the sun set over trees rather than the bay as I'd hoped, so while I got a few interesting photos they weren't what I'd wanted. Afterward, I dashed into town to see how the lighthouse and harbor looked in the twilight.
Wednesday, July 6
Yesterday, I was up before the sun broke the horizon because I wanted to take sunrise photos of Big Tub Lighthouse, which turned out well, then went into town and took photos of the Manitoulin Island ferry (named the Chi-Cheemaun and is about as large as a cruise ship) as it loaded up and set sail, which was interesting, went back home and around noon returned to town with Sandra as she wanted to hit the shops around the harbor.
Then after dinner, since we had clear skies, I decided I wanted to make the 30 mile drive down to Ferndale to photograph the wind turbine we saw there on our arrival to Bruce Peninsula. As you can see in the photo above on the right, the turbine is quite large and can be seen for miles around. it is the first of three turbines planned, each generating 1.8 megawatts and will supply the power needs for about 2/3 of the Bruce Peninsula. The tower the turbine sits on is 80 meters (262 feet) high or about the same height as a 26 story building. It dwarfs everything around it. Click on the photo to see this better.
From there we drove over to nearby Lion's Head on the Georgian Bay coast and arrived just as the sun was setting, but still enough good evening light remained for a series of photos there of Lion's Head Lighthouse and Lion's Head Point itself.
So we've been busy and are fairly worn out today from all this fun we've been having.
Photos & Plans
I've started a gallery for my photos of Bruce Peninsula and these can be viewed by clicking here. I'll be adding to this gallery daily as I shoot and process new photos, so check there often during our stay here.
Later today we are going into town and reserve a place for tomorrow on one of the tour boats that cruise around the islands just offshore from Tobermory, one of which is well-known for its 'flowerpot' geological formations.
Coming to You From Tobermory, Ontario
Monday, July 4, 2005 - As planned, we spent the morning of this year's Fourth of July on the road, moving to Tobermory, Ontario, at the northern tip of the scenic Bruce Peninsula, which separates Georgian Bay from Lake Huron, two large bodies of water, as can be seen on the map below (click on it for a larger view). The purple line shows our route from Lindsay, more or less.
However, the move wasn't what I'd call the smoothest one we've done, since nearly all of its 210 miles was two lane road that went through a couple small cities and seemingly countless towns and villages, plus we made a wrong turn in one of the cities that cost us the better part of an hour and required calling up the GPS to see where we were. Then we encountered a long stretch of road construction that not only backed up traffic but forced us onto a detour as well and someone almost pulled out in front of us, which would have been very interesting, so what should have been something around a four hour easy drive ended up being five and a half strenuous hours.
But we arrived safely and otherwise without incident, and that's all that really matters. We left Lindsay at 7:30am and arrived here at 1pm.
From the little we've seen of it so far, the Tobermory Village Campground looks to be a nice place and appears to be run by Mennonites or a sect that dresses similar to them and since all of them I've ever met were nice folks I don't expect these to be any different.
You can see our internet satellite antenna on the right side of the photo above. This was the first time we've set it up completely by ourselves and it went fairly painlessly. Our site in Lindsay was close enough to where the antenna was setup in our training class that I didn't have to change any of the settings. This time though we had to do everything from scratch and pretty much nailed it on the first try with only very minor tweaking.
So that's it from Tobermory for now. We're both tired and it's cloudy so we might drive into town later (3 km away) or we might not.
The Holiday Weekend
Sunday, July 3, 2005 - How about a photo of a couple bow-ridin' boat babes? That's Betty on the left and Sandra on her right in Garth's boat as they are departing the campground's boat dock after dropping me off to look after the dog (click on the photo for a closer look at them).
We'd just come via water from Garth's cottage where we had been treated to a holiday weekend lunch. It was pleasantly cool out on the lake.
Otherwise, we've done little of note this weekend except relax and today beginning preparations for moving out early tomorrow, heading for Tobermory, Ontario, about 215 miles west of here.
Happy Canada Day & Happy Independence Day
Friday, July 1, 2005 - Best of the Canada Day and American Independence Day holiday weekend to everyone.
Sandra and I spent a very quiet Canada Day holiday at home today, doing little more than relaxing for Canada's 138th birthday and watching the wind blow as a cold front moved through, dropping the temperature in half from 30°C (86°F) to 15°C (59°F) over the course of the day. It rode in on very stiff winds, but our tie-down straps on the awning and satellite antenna all held.
We then drove into town around sundown, but didn't stay for the fireworks as neither of us felt like fighting the crowd that was rapidly forming at Lindsay's Wilson Fields where the show was to be held.
The photo here is one I took a week or two ago in downtown Lindsay and thought it visually represented the holiday weekend pretty well.
For the Fourth of July on Monday, we'll be on the road, moving to Tobermory, Ontario, our next location.
For Older News
To read details of our previous stops and camps, visit the News Archives.
Updated Saturday, July 16, 2005
Copyright © 2005 by Gordon L Wolford .
All rights reserved.