Welcome to the tip of Canada!

In the face of dwindling interest and awesome things overload for the kids, we had to throw the big guns at them: Point Pelee. The most southern tip of Canada and an Eco wonderland.

Point Pelee Provincial Park

The trip isn’t over yet but it is a constant battle to keep them focused. As soon as we arrived at the visitor’s centre, they were running around enjoying a really good interactive museum.  It was really well set up, everyone from Arthur (6) to Josie, almost 12, found something that excited them.  On the shuttle down to the tip of Canada, we discussed that perhaps this would be our last day, three of the five were very upset. Majority wins!  We reached the southern tip, and tried to keep Arthur from jumping into dangerous undertows. We found another beach and swam on a pebble shore with four foot waves. The kids were smiling and laughing and throwing themselves in the waves. A rating of 9 and 10 s for Point Pelee.

RUBY SAYS:

At Point Pellee the waves were massive.  i could go there all the time except you swallowed a bunch of water.

I don’t think they realize that they still have five weeks of summer after this, enough time to catch up on reruns and sleep.

Rod just bought an assortment of micro beers and fresh perch, so we are here for a while longer.  Back to Wheatley Provincial Park, a perfect place to rest for these two days.  The campground host came by to say hello and brought some colouring pages for the kids.  When we arrived from our little trip to Point Pelee, there were 7 eggs sitting on our picnic table.  Freaked us out, cause Rod had been searching for our four leftover eggs this morning, and all of a sudden there were 7, 1 for each of us, on the table.  We assume from our host and not some wild chicken in this amazing bird sanctuary.

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Catfish creek.

We are at Springwater Conservation area campground. A beautiful place within the catfish creek conservation authority. We are in a Carolinian Forest, a protected area that runs like a banana from grand Bend to Toronto down to the Carolinas. It contains over a third of all of Canada’s rare species of trees, birds, etc. Last night we heard new bird songs. Cool weird bugs like the albino caterpillar, a giant wasp thingie live here.

So Rod went to pay up for our site at the front gate. This is the conversation that was had between Rod and the teenage attendant:

ROD: Catfish creek eh? You got any catfish?

TEENAGER: I think they call us that cause we are right next to catfish creek.

ROD: Well if the river was full of pike, they wouldn’t call it catfish creek would they?

TEENAGER: I don’t know. I don’t fish.

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15 minutes before noon we realized that noon was check out time and not two. Everything was packed, we were enjoying a shady beer o’clock and the kids were just playing on the next site. Rod read the camp rules and we realized we have broken every campground rule in the last 18 hours! Matt walked with beer, we parked 2 cars on site, we were 9 not a maximum of 6 people per site, the dogs have not been on a 2 metre leash, we brought the dogs into the bathroom with us and we had a trailer and a tent on a site designed for one or the other.

GAMES the kids play.

Day 11 was a non eventful day. Yesterday was jammed pack and Matthew and Ginnie arrived to meet us. We have also allowed the kids to stay up too late too many nights in a row playing UNO. Fatigue has caught up, so we thought we would slow it down.

We also have a killer drive to Point Pellee tomorrow so we drove half way to break it up. We had a great spot at Rock point Provincial Park but the beach did not deliver so we left early for Point Burwell. Beach. The provincial park was full so we just went to the public beach. It was sandy and nice, extremely shallow. The water quality was unknown but we had a nice time. The great view from the beach were the 29 windmills on a point to the east.

I thought I would use this slow day as a post about the games the kids play.

Number one is UNO. A classic card game. Sadly they left the deck by the sink and the cards got wet and stuck together! They ended each day playing three rounds. It was so funny listening to them. One day they said, let’s play without saying a word! Their silence was the funniest of all!

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They also play funny make believe games at every campsite. Changing campsites allows the kids to create different worlds every night. They really are funny! They play town hall, and nail salon. I had to pick up all this play money they had made from scraps of paper at the site this morning. The other day they played some kind of Mystery Date game show where Arthur had to pick the best girl. As we made dinner tonight, I heard them on the next site opening a bar I think? Five bucks a beer.

Here is a picture of Josie “hypnotizing” Ruby with her new pocket watch.

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I love it! I just can not keep up with their imaginations.

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A great game, until they lost the ball, was HOT. Rod and I would sit in our chairs and marvel at the fact that our kids were happily playing ball!
Josie explains the game:
We all stand in a circle equally apart and pass the ball randomly to each other, or a bad throw. If someone misses the catch or throw they get a letter spelling hot. It is a game we like to play with Arthur when he is acting normal.

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My sincerest apologies……

Crawford Lake and Iroquois Village.

Rod here.  Yes, we did walk 2km around an incredible miromictic lake in a prehistoric no, primordial forest.  Iit was amazing and worth the effort to get here. We saw a pre-contact Iroquios village.  A real surprise. that shifted the day.  We have a picture of a man starting the fire from scratch.

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Our overall rating was 8 but Lily’s score was a 9, so I’m sure her day went way better than she expected.  Mine however was less than perfect. It started with the repairs on the tire, quick and cheap but a sign of things to come. Within a short distance we found ourselves headed to Rattlesnake point.  When we discovered the price for camping, we had to keep on trucking’. The only problem was we were on top of some mammoth escarpment and the road down may as well have been straight down. I was breaking so hard that the only thing slowing us down was tires skidding through serpentine curves with a steady chirp chirp chirp. At the bottom we could smell the break pads more than we could feel them, it took me 200 yards of flat ground to stop. The end of the road was blocked by an OPP cruiser and a clean-up crew dealing with a garbage scow foolish enough to try the same hill. I pulled over to the shoulder and my brand new heavy duty pads and disks had turned blue from heat. We killed the next 45 minutes there on the shoulder eating hotdogs cooked in the 7000 lb soon to be anchor. When the breaks had cooled we got moving again and thats when I realized we had only covered 40 km so far. En route to Crawford Lake as we bounced along county road whatever, we heard a fairly loud boom but didn’t worry too much because the truck and trailer looked fine and we had been slowed down by several dysfunctional destinations. After the amazing Crawford lake and Iroquois village we only had about 15 km to travel bringing our daily total to 84 km, a big letdown for me, but many of our spots are in this area and the kids were looking for shorter days. The campsite at Valens conservation area was great but I’m not sure what the focus of this conservation area is. It surely isn’t the semi-arid pond whose coliform count exceeded allowable levels and was closed to swimming. Anyway we needed a spot in the area and this is all we have. As we backed into the campsite, an act I’m getting fairly good at, we noticed an overwhelming smell of urine. Not just the site but inside the camper too. Upon inspection I discovered the source of the aroma. The loud boom we heard driving the country roads was the sound of 35 year old plastic giving out with the weight of 5 or 6 gallons of sewage. No need to dump this baby out any more, our bathroom had become an outhouse with a hole to the nether world. And so my title, some poor slob on some dirt road somewhere is driving through my 5 gallons of sewage. Sorry buddy shit happens.

Give a little, Get a little

Rod here.  I could tell these kids were about to pop, all we did was drive 250 km to see Belfountain park and the Cheltenham badlands and they acted like we took them on a 24 hour endurance race across the Sahara. I can’t remember what that’s called but i know it’s grueling.  We needed to find a campsite last night and stayed at Rockwood, which turned out to be an unusual site!  We went on a night hike and saw bats and these giant potholes.  They were about 12 feet around.  We were impressed and only realized that they were on the list this morning driving away!

Rockwood Potholes, although very impressive.

 

 

 

 

 

Anyway we had to give them a break if we were going to keep them in this so we decided to whimp out and hit Elora Gorge only an hour away. That better buy us some mileage later on.

Elora Quarry

We figured the hottest day of the year could be spent floating down the gorge on a tube and we told them so. Ooops, no sooner had we explained our plan to treat them to a relaxing drift in visual heaven we discovered that the drift would cost us 25$ a head plus extras. WOW, we were looking at 175$ plus registration charges plus 75$ per person deposit on the gear. At the end the kids were expected to haul a 4 foot truck tube back the 2 km to where we started. Man we just can’t get a break, you should have heard Arthur start balling(maybe you did we’re not that far away) as if his life had just been altered forever. Either way this just wasn’t going to happen, that kind of money can be spent much more wisely especially with Josie’s birthday right around the corner. So we cheaped out and hit the Elora quarry where we could swim for free and enjoy a beautiful limestone quarry likely a hundred feet deep. Ginette thought it was so cool to swim in a quarry, after seeing that huge Marmora Hole quarry a few days ago.

Rules, rules,rules, no floatation devices which aren’t CSA approved, really, is that what the CSA does? I thought they tested light fixtures for safety hazards. So we left a few floaties behind only to find that no one follows the rules here anyway. Not only were people floating around on any dollar store item that had an air pocket but the rule about not jumping from the cliffs seemed to be confusing all the teenagers.  Seemed they didn’t see the signs, so neither did I. I was the first one up in the group followed by Ruby the smallest.  Scared the crap out of me but I have a rep to uphold so off I went and Ruby came right behind me. Shortly thereafter, Lily and Ginette, but to my surprise Josie mustered the guts to follow along too. Nothing shocked me about the Davies jumping off cliffs, Ginette has been known to do it nude, but when my spawn actually pull off something like this I’m always impressed.  It’s usually Josie, she was so scared I could see her shaking from the water below.  These were only the smaller cliffs. The rangers let the public get away with it.  This nutso family started jumping off the 50 foot cliffs and they were booted out of the quarry.  Josie and Charlie stick by the rules.  This was a learning moment:  break the little rules if it is safe and fun, but push the limit and you get will get caught.

So that was our easy day of little driving and a little diving, more chicken for supper and perhaps an aperitif after, nothing hard of course, there’s an alcohol ban at this park. But they promised they wouldn’t search the trailer.

A few pics of just chill in on the campsite, in the intense heat.

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Lessons Learned

DAY 6

  • When things are getting really bad, just hang in there, cause something good is about to happen.

Barracks, Lakes and Birdhouses and no swimming.

We saw a record number of unusual spots today!  We toured gorgeous Picton today.

Camp Picton

Birdhouse City

Lake on the Mountain

We left Arthur behind with Auntie Mo for a little peace.  Things were calmer without him.  Things were easier, but in some ways he was missed.  I am his Mom, so I am a little biased.

Rod liked their IPA, Matt liked their Porter and Ginette liked Brown Ale.

It was a very successful day.  We managed to squeeze in a Beer tasting at Barley Days.

Brewery and County Cider Company. Barley Days makes a great craft beer in several flavours and County Cider is famous for their cider.


40 abandoned army barracks sitting on the top of the hill. Many locals don’t even know they are there!

All in all the kids liked every spot but each one left a little something to be desired.  The ghost town barracks at Camp Picton were really cool, but all the kids wanted to get out of the car and look inside which was not allowed for some silly reason.  Seeing the man piss off the porch was a highlight.

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Similarly Birdhouse City was a very unique place to visit with over a hundred cool handmade birdhouses but no birds.

Lastly, we made our way to the Lake on the Mountain.  Wow, it really is a lake 300 feet above lake Ontario, a very impressive sight except for the pretentious surroundings.  No place to picnic save a few crowded picnic tables in a miniature provincial park the size of a small parking lot.

Here is the view looking down from the road….

Turn around and here is the view of a huge lake sitting right there on top of the mountain. Very cool.  Matthew stands in for Arthur.

The rest is well marked private property and fancy restaurants and inns. No access to the water for a swim so we joined the hoy ploy in the parkette for a picnic on the ground then made our way back to the truck to search elsewhere for a beach. None to be found, we had let the day wear on too long and Prince Edward County has no free beaches anywhere and we weren’t about to pay 24$ for an hour of swimming at Sandbanks. I really felt bad for the regular folks of Belleville and Picton who don’t get to swim in the heat of the summer despite being surrounded by water.  Now back to our home base for a shower and a beer.

Happy Adams family picture.

Planning, planning, beer

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Who wants to spend a whole night planning a road trip? No one. Who’s doing it? Rod and mummy. Supplies: maps, maps, maps, a computer with google maps, a fan, a lot of talking, and beer. A lot of what ifs and a lot of different plans, A B C…SRYZ. How does the alphabet go? Can’t remember too many plans.
Ontario here we come!
By Lily:)