Day 5: Moving across Northern Ontario by land and sea

IMG_0709 2Day 5 began at 6 AM.  I thought that would give me plenty of time to make it to my 8:50 AM ferry across Lake Huron, but I may have underestimated the time it took me to de-camp.  Yup.  I did.

I had to be there by 7:50, in order to guarantee a spot on the full ferry.  But I was comfortable with the knowledge that I had a reservation, plus, really?  A whole hour?  I was thinking of my little ferry from Cape May to Lewes, where so long as you show up by the time it leaves, you’ll get on.  Well, not here.  When they said an hour before, they meant it.

After packing up my campsite and throwing stuff into the car (mess again!) I drove off to the ferry slip, arriving a few minutes after 8.  At this point, I was told that I was now on “Stand by” since I was 10 minutes late!  Holy crap.  The thought of having to backtrack thru farmlands to then find my way back up the coast would have taken me 10 hours.  So, I started to “pray” to whomever and whatever could possibly help me get on that ferry.  I called Tom and Ginny who said, ask Julia O’Neil – Ginny’s departed mom and grantor of parking spots.  I did, and thank you Julia, it worked!  I got on.  The LAST car on.  Phew.

Now, I settled back for a two hour boat trip across the stunning beauty of Lake Huron.   We passed by small, uninhabited islands and multitudes of unseen shipwrecks.

According to Tobermory’s historic signs in town, there are over 19 shipwrecks along the Bruce Peninsula alone, dating back to the 1700’s and thru the 20th century.  These are dangerous waters.  Swift winds, icy winters, and hidden rocks make for difficult passage.  The people of the First Nations had it right:  use a canoe.

After disembarking the ferry in South Baymouth on Manatoulin Island, I headed up the coastal road towards Sault St. Marie.  But due to my hasty packing, I hadn’t secured my Thule rack well enough and thankfully, a nice couple in a pick-up truck passed me on the road franticly gesturing that it was open!  I pulled over and shut it again and locked it down.  That could have been a disaster.  Thank you, couple in the pick-up!

The road to Sault is pretty lonely.  Lots of pine trees and a few small towns along the way.  I stopped in at Chutes Provincial Park for a look-see and it was pretty with a lovely waterfall, but I was thankful that I had made the decision to by-pass this stop and head on to Sault.

I arrived here around 5 PM and checked into a sweet Airbnb apartment (complete apartment for only $50!) and headed into town in search of some local trout.  I found a converted paper mill, now a fine eating restaurant called The Mill, and ate a delicious meal of seared trout, mashed potatoes, and grilled veg.  A nice glass of Chardonnay and I was happy.  The shower earlier at the Airbnb was also pure bliss.  I felt human again.

Went to bed at 9:30 and got a great night’s sleep.  Now, off to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  IMG_0694

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