How time flies when you are having fun. Two weeks since my last post and now another massive picture upload to catch up on. In the past 2 weeks we have only managed to put in about 285 kilometers (as the crow flies) but our circuitous route (still a miserly 540) has taken us north to Orillia and Huntsville, then east to Algonquin Park and Bancroft and then southeast to Kingston.
DD burdened me with over 350 photos taken over this time and although I did manage to remove over half of these from the collection there are far too many for one post so will be doing 2 posts to cover these 2 weeks.
This post will run from June 7th to June 16th and could have conceivably been called the “Call of the Casinos”.
One last day in Newmarket (June 7, 2016) with a hike along the Tom Taylor Trail for good measure before hitting the road. LL claimed he needed a day of rest before the gruelling daily drives we would undertake in the next couple of weeks. If this hectic pace keeps up we may have to put LL on a Geritol infused diet.
DISCLAIMER – DD advises that she has not been retained to edit this blog post and hereby accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever for the contents herin.
Georgian Downs – June 8, 9, 2016
Definitely as a precursor to the next 2 weeks was the 90 minute morning jaunt to Georgina Downs Casino which set out a gruelling standard we will be hard pressed to maintain. After a much needed afternoon nap to recover the refreshed travellers headed to the Casino for an evening of high stakes gambling where we were joined by DD’s brother Jim and wife Anna. Their trip was in vain however as on this evening only LL escaped unscathed from the evil electronic eviscerating slot machines.
LL was also the recipient of a sizable scalp wound during our stay here. Although there was one witness to the “accident” the witness (BBB) may also have been the causative factor and as a US citizen she quickly plead the 5th so the whole truth may never be known. Pictures of the wound have been deemed too graphic for some audiences so have not been reproduced herein.
In aid of recovery the next day a bicycle trip from the Casino down to DD’s Cookstown and back was on order. One would think that the fresh air would have brought us to our senses but alas no as a second round that night also went to the Casino.
Casino Rama – June 10, 11, 12, 2016
So let’s try to figure out this logic. Lose money at Casino 1; so we’ll just move on to Casino 2 and everything will be just fine. Well maybe not!! However the real reason for moving to Casino Rama was to catch a concert by the legendary Eric Burdon and some very much younger Animals. A great, albeit short show, that we really enjoyed even though it didn’t start until well past our normal 9:00 pm bedtime. Thanks to Mario (DD’s brother in law) for the tickets.
Once again the slots were generous to LL and while the Captain did manage to break even DD’s seems to be having some slot machine ISSUES lately.
We tried to enjoy a hike along the shore of Lake Couchiching in Orillia the next day but were set upon by gale force winds and cold temperatures that made short work of this venture. Along the trail we did discover a sculpture honouring Orillia’s own son and Canadian folk singer legend Gordon Lightfoot. Given the weather the additional tribute to Lightfoot’s Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald seemed quite fitting.
Huntsville – June 13, 2016
Another short drive this time to Huntsville. Not really sure why we decided to go to Huntsville but we did. It is a beautiful area in the midst of cottage country but one would need the time to do some fishing or boating to really take advantage of the area. Enjoyed a walking tour of the old downtown area.
Bancroft – June 14, 15, 16, 2016
Leaving Huntsville we would endure our longest day of travel as we made our way towards Bancroft. Bancroft would be our trail head for a few days of sightseeing and in particular a visit to world renowned Algonquin Park. We broke down here and ponied up for an overnight stay in a private RV Park on Marble Lake and the opportunity to fill and empty our tanks and to and enjoy the relative luxury of a real shower. While DD and BBB caught up on laundry duty the Captain and LL set out to locate a more modest campsite (no Walmart in Bancroft). Several hours of driving dusty back roads netted little success. Where Crown land was available for free camping it was overly occupied by what appeared to be permanent squatters despite the posted 21 day limit. Not to be deterred lodging was found in the parking lot of the local Foodland grocery store.
With dreams of magnificent pieces of quartz dancing in our heads the group headed out in search of the abandoned MacDonald Quartz Mine. The Captains usually reliable sense of direction failed miserably on this day as he piloted the group through miles and miles of back country despite DD’s insistence we headed in the wrong direction. A Google search quickly confirmed this and what might have been a short outing turned into a somewhat lengthy excursion. We ultimately did find the trail into the mine however the entrances had been sealed in 2013 and there was little to show for our efforts other than a few small pieces of quartz and of course the opportunity for DD to say I told you so. DD and the Captain had visited the mine in 2011 when the entrances were still open and were quite disappointed that LL and BBB missed out.
Another repeat adventure for DD and CC was the climb to the Eagles Nest Lookout over Bancroft.
We headed out early for a full day trip to Algonquin Park. Breakfast at Timmies and we were on our way. A quick pit stop at Del-Mar Cottages at Lake St. Peter on the way to the Park. The same cottages where the Coach and Aud One took the Cowell Kids on summer vacation over 50 years ago still stand and are in use to this day. The Cowell Clan had rented 2 of the cottages in 2011 for a mini family reunion as seen in the pictures below.
We drove the Park from east to west and back again with numerous stops along the way. BBB had been led to believe that she was guaranteed to see her favourite animal (the moose) during a visit to the park but sadly the moose must have been playing shy as none were sighted. We ate our lunch in the same picnic area at Lake of Two Rivers the Captain remembers form his childhood.
June just may not be the best time of the year to visit the park unless you really, really like black flies and mosquitoes. Seems BBB, LL, and DD don’t but the little pests certainly enjoyed their fill from these three. One good thing about June though is that the tourist hordes haven’t arrived yet which makes for leisurely viewing of the sites and exhibits.