Monday, May 28, 2012

The Manitoulin Island

Ok, so the cottages we stayed in took "rustic" to a whole new level. And by "whole new level," I mean that the floors were anything but level. Walking around the sloping floor in the dark gave me the sense that I was drunk and couldn't keep a straight line. To emphasize how off this place was: Our door was about an inch closer to the wall at the top than it was at the bottom. The bedrooms were small, with about 12 inches at the foot of the double bed and maybe 18 inches on one side. But we're not on the island to spend time inside.

The dock gives you an idea of the condition of the cottages.

I took a lot of pictures during the trip, mostly with my daughter in them. Actually, I think there is only one photo that doesn't have my daughter or her cousin in them. Anyways, my father-in-law is from the island, and the whole family visited the cemetery where his parents and other relatives are buried.
Cemeteries can be great places  for quiet contemplation.
We also went for a walk at Misery Bay...because Misery loves company? That's actually the advertising slogan they use to encourage visits to the nature center there.
Hiking to through the woods.

Rock Hopping at Misery Bay
Another place we visited was on the far west of the island, a place called Meldrum Bay. We apparently hit it on a day when the weather was quite pleasant. Last time (2010), it was cold and windy. The drive out to the Bay was kind of ridiculous, as we got stuck behind an RV on a long dirt road. I guess I also should have mentioned we were the second car in a convoy, so our visibility was almost zero with the amount of dust kicked up. Fortunately, the RV pulled over and let us pass. After taking our family photo on the rocks and eating lunch, we got back in our convoy and nearly got stuck behind the RV who was also leaving. They pulled over at the same point as last time, which kept the dust down on the drive home.
Throwing rocks into Meldrum Bay
We also made a stop at Bridal Veil Falls, where you can actually walk behind the falls on a little trail. As you'd expect, it's wet, windy and loud back there. There are also lots of rocks for throwing into the water (which my daughter apparently loves doing). 
Her hand's covering the entrance to the path behind the falls.
After the falls, we went to Lake Kagawong, which is shallow enough for little kids to run out quite far from the shoreline.
Splash heaven!
The next day we went up on a hill that overlooked the island, and it was pretty windy up there. Fortunately, there were chains for the little ones to hold on to.
So windy!
Since there were so many family members from all across Canada and the US, we ended up staying in sevarl cabins nearby. One of the other families had a cabin just down the road and much closer to the lake. Their dock, unlike ours, actually extended out into the water.


Plenty of places to hide!
And lastly, we left the island aboard the Chi - Cheemaun (Ojibwe for "Big Canoe") ferry back to the mainland. I think my daughter's expression captures how big it seems:
That's a cattle trailer you see out the side window there.

The drive back to Toronto was pretty uneventful. I think it cost us $140-$160 to fill up the tank of the Chevy Suburban. But the highlight of the drive was seeing a camel at a farm. Sorry, no picture of that, as I was driving and just barely saw it before it vanished behind an embankment.

And now, back to sunny Florida!
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