Tuesday, October 29, 2019

We have begun....

Our Location: Brantford, Ontario

It’s been a busy few days since my last post. We pulled out of our summer spot on Saturday morning around 8 AM, taking our time down the long lane way and out the gates to begin our journey. A few stops including Dad’s for a quick coffee and goodbye, and another to say goodbye to sister Jan, having said our goodbyes to Rick & Barb the night before. From there we headed out. The warm weather, along with the brilliant sunshine and only a slight breeze kept us company all the way to Hamilton, Ontario. A few stops of course but we travelled well and were happy to make such a good distance in one day, especially a first day after sitting for a number of months. 
Strolling over the farm.

Someone else owns over past that gate.
We parked in the lot at Eastgate Square and were given the okay to stay for up to 72 hours. (Of course it depends on which security guard you speak to at any given time). We had a number of errands to accomplish and I can tell you that we did indeed manage to get them all accomplished. A trip to our storage facility to store and retrieve a few items, a trip to Indigo for Riley to purchase a Kobo, a stop at the bank to exchange some money for our winter travels and of course our final stop of the Bell store. We have been looking at various options for our travels with data always the question mark. I’m sure you all have the same issue and I’m also sure you’ve figured out what works for you. We have opted to try Bell only because it offers better coverage and available data all on the same bill. We liked our former plan with Freedom which included phone service in Canada as well as the USA but the coverage wasn’t always great and we found numerous areas with no coverage. We have now settled on a plan with Bell that allows us unlimited text and calling between Canada and the USA, 20 GB of data EACH and all for the wonderful price of $110 plus tax per month for each phone, so around $220 plus tax per month. We brought our old phones and numbers with us. No slow downs on the data, always high speed but if we go over there are significant overage charges. So that will be 40 GB between the two of us, I’m pretty certain we will be well able to stay within those lines. It took two trips to the Bell store to get it all straightened out but we finally managed.

The Sugar Shack where Rick & Dad make maple syprup.

Some still green ferns off in the bush.

A few calls had me finding us an appointment for the Igloo on Thursday afternoon at Pyette Springs for an assessment on the woes regarding the wear on the rear axle tires. I think we may have it narrowed down this time. A call from the Rheumatologist office had them slipping my appointment from Thursday morning to Friday morning. I’m not happy with that as we were planning on taking off first thing Friday but I guess one day won’t be too much of a delay.  I visit twice a year, answer the same few questions and leave with a new script and a new blood req form. He doesn’t do video conference and so I must journey twice a year to the office which is making me rethink keeping a doctor so far away. 
Rick's winter wood for next year.
Dad's winter wood for next year.
Due to the rain and high winds on Sunday we stayed in Hamilton and of course we had to make a second trip to the Bell store on Monday anyway. From there we pulled out heading toward Brantford. Our stay here is filled with family visits including meeting the newest addition to our family, baby Auston. Middle daughter Bradey and her partner David’s new bundle of joy. Auston was born on Sept 12 but this is our first chance to visit. He is truly a bundle of joy, gas and spit ups. There is nothing quite like a baby!!

Auston!! He's a cutie.
On our way back to the Igloo we found a spot to have the Dogsled receive a few new parts such as fuel filter and air filter, along with an oil change. These go nicely with the four new tires he got over the summer. I could have had my brother do this stuff as he gives the Dogsled the once over before we leave but didn’t want to ask to much of brother Rick!
New cradle posts for the farm fence.

Time to replace this one.
So there you have it, our catch up post. We will be here until Thursday morning when we will take ourselves the short trip back to the Hamilton area to Pyette’s and we will once again put down feet at Eastgate over night and I will attend to my new appointment on Friday morning in Hamilton but after that we will have the feet up and the Big Dog running along the 401 south bound!!! Until then I will not be posting as we are filling our days with the new baby, and reading.

We won't see this sign post until the spring.
Thanks for stopping by, until next time…take care, be safe,


Friday, October 25, 2019

Pulling out in the morning.....

Our Location: Summer Home, Tehkummah, Ontario

A change of weather has us changing our departure plans and so we are still waiting in our summer location for a few more days. Due to the high winds and the frequent rain that is blanketing most of our forecasted travel area we have decided to wait it out here, high and much drier than any where else we would be parking. The ground is firm, we are protected from most of the winds and the temperatures while not balmy, are about the same (within a degree or two) any where we are planning on going over the next number of days.  We have therefore decided to pull out Saturday or Sunday, miss Buttercup Ridge this trip, and head directly for Brantford, Ontario. We shall see how these plans work out. 

The Shoe Tree.

The wind has been buffeting much of the area for a number of days now, the once vibrant reds, oranges and yellows are now more of a sodden, dull fading carpet on the ground. Some hardy souls are hanging on by the merest of connections in all of this wind and will remain as stragglers long into the winter before finally falling off the branches and adding dashes of brown on the snow in the thickest days of winter. I’m glad I won’t be here to witness this final struggle but I know it will happen whether or not anyone sees.

Cold waves crashing.......

The ferry, M.S. Chi-Cheemaun has ceased it’s sailing for another season. The last sailing day was Oct 20th. It will soon be heading to it’s winter home near Owen Sound, Ontario where it will be tied for the winter months and all things mechanical will be repaired, replaced and polished. Things are now very quiet here on The Rock in Georgian Bay. Traffic is almost non existent and tourists are but a memory. Seasonal businesses have closed down and are in the process of being readied for the long winter ahead. Many of the seasonal workers are now finished or just finishing up as well. Most marinas are now free of boats in the water, but the little rascals have moved on to dry land, some docks have been removed for winter storage and all campgrounds have been closed down until next spring. Many lights are being turned off for the last time this year and locks being placed to hopefully keep things safe until the flowers bloom again in the spring. You can almost hear the collective sighs as things slow down once again.

Birch tree on my walk.

A Monday night robbery at the old local general store in the small hamlet of Tehkummah had the bad guys making off with a sizable amount of alcohol, cigarettes, the only cash register (including any money) and the keys to the gas pumps, among other things. The second such event since the store became an LCBO (Liquor Control Board of Ontario) outlet. Twice in two years, and never before in it’s 60 or so years has it ever been robbed. I do believe the LCBO brings in the bad guys. 

Getting ready for Halloween.
A few extra visits with family, a few nice days with some nice sunshine warming up the air even this late in the fall. We have been putzing around doing little things and are now ready to go in the morning. I can tell you it is a bittersweet moment when we say goodbye but a wonderful feeling to once again be heading out to warmer climes and joyous reunions with our friends.
Reflection on the cow pond.

So now that you are up to date with our happenings I’m going to sign off. I will be posting on a more regular basis starting in the next few days as we get the wheels turning and start our next adventure. 

Until next time….. take care, be safe, 

Morning over the bluff. 




Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Less than a week until we start our winter travels....

Our Location: Summer Home, Tehkummah, Ontario

I’ve been busy snapping photos with the phone on my morning walk to and from dad’s house for coffee. It’s dark now when I leave the Igloo (around 6:30 AM) and I carry a flashlight just in case but I don’t use it unless it’s necessary, preferring to walk in the dark. What would make it necessary you ask? I met a skunk coming up our lane while I was going down last year and so I feel that critters may make it necessary to flash a light beam now and then. Although this year has been quiet for critters, a fox and a porcupine being our only visitors except cows of course.
Sun and moon shots from our front yard.

Sunrise in the east sky.

We’ve had a glorious number of days these past couple of weeks with the day time temps climbing well into the ‘short sleeve’ temperatures. The leaves are turning quickly and the colour is amazing. We offered a while ago to work the weekends until our time comes to an end at work this fall and so our days off are always weekdays. It gives the other ladies a chance to enjoy their weekends until we leave. It seems the rain is partial to weekends here and so once again the weekend forecast is calling for some wet weather. I don’t mind but hope it holds off until after we finish work. Ah well, we cannot control the weather and since we aren’t made of sugar we won’t melt and therefore I’m pretty certain we will survive. While the past number of weeks have been wonderful the time ahead looks cold and damp, a sure sign the arrival of fall. 

Morning sunrise at our favourite swimming spot.

If you listen closely perhaps you'll hear the loon calling.
Belated Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Canadian friends out there. We hope this special time found  you wrapped in the arms of family and friends, enjoying good times, good food and making wonderful memories. For many snowbirds the weekend is the sign that says it is time to begin our preparations and our journeys southward to find the places with no snowy touches. It is the last chance to hug and kiss those we hold dear before we start scratching the hitch itch that attacks us all. We hope you enjoyed your time together.
Some of the sights we see at our summer location. Doesn't look much like a quarry, does it?

We joined our family here for Thanksgiving Dinner. We gathered with brother Rick’s family (minus Jason & Leah), along with sister Jan, her partner Rick and dad to celebrate the holiday. Barb is a wonderful cook and we enjoy every invitation to dinner. The tables seated 13 places this year, the youngest being Miss Hazel closing in on the 1 year old mark and Dad being the oldest at 82. Miss Hazel shares the same birthday as her Grandma Barb, Oct 26.

Can you see us up there in the trees? Either the Dogsled, the Igloo or both are in each photo.
The mornings are cool these days, hovering between the mid 40’s to the low 50’s ( 7 to 11 C) with the sunshine helping to raise the mercury during the day. As we are on a rock in Lake Huron there is of course always wind. Dead calm at 7 AM but by 8 AM the wind is starting to stir. Not at all like the desert winds but enough to let us know that fall has arrived and winter is barreling our way. A day or two this week the ferry had a bit of a time getting into the dock to tie up with the wind gusts making it difficult but not impossible. On Thanksgiving Sunday the ferry didn't sail the last trip (two sailings on Sundays in the fall) as the winds and waves made the trip rough. Always a bit more dramatic in the fall with the ferry and wind. 

Some fall views and colours within walking distance of the Igloo.

A belated birthday wish to our good friend Ron who celebrated a birthday (Oct 13) on our fine Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. Ron and his lovely wife Sharon are folks we have known a number of years and perhaps you’ll remember we met up with them last fall for a week on our journey homeward. We are hoping to once again catch up with them but this time on our journey westward. Happy Birthday Buddy!!!

Just to prove it is a quarry.

So there you have it folks, a quick post but the photos will let you see what we see every day. We will be pulling up our feet on Oct 21 with our first stop about a 1/4 mile away in Dad’s driveway for the night to check out a few things before we head out on the morning of Oct 22 for the first leg of journey. 

Some of the fall colour we see daily.
We hope all is well with our friends out here in blogger land. We will be catching up with our reading when we head out.

Our home in the colours.

Until next time… take care, be safe,


Wednesday, October 9, 2019

My summer catch up post.....

Our Location: Summer Home
Near Tehkummah, Ontario

It’s been a while since I’ve last post but time is winding down here in our summer home and we will soon be scratching our hitch itch. So I thought I’d drop a post or two to get me back into the swing of things and let you all know we survived another summer here on Manitoulin Island. 
When we arrived we waited for spring and it finally came. Ron and Sharon's gift of a cactus wind chime in the top right photo.

 Manitoulin Island is where I grew up and my siblings as well as my father still live here, along with numerous other relatives. Riley and I come back to the farm for our summers and enjoy the time we spend here. 

With morning comes dew and of course the sun rise.
 We park in an old quarry that no longer resembles a quarry as it’s grown over and now just seems like a great place to park for the months we are here. We are a few miles from the ferry dock at South Baymouth and can see the Chi-Cheemaun at dock from our favourite swimming place.
This is our favourite swimming spot. The grainy pic on the right shows the ferry dock in the middle of the photo, that tiny white spec but we get a better view with the naked eye.
A wee bit of history about Manitoulin Island for those that are interested. It is home to just over 10,000 winter residence and over twice that in the summer months. It is located 27 miles north from the tip of the Bruce Peninsula town of Tobermory. The island covers about 1050 square miles and is home to numerous reserves. The island was first visited in about 1650 by Jesuit priests but they didn’t remain long. The Odawa Natives were here at that time but came and went for centuries believing the island was inhabited by the great spirit Manitou. Some of the natives believed he lived in an underwater cave near the current town of Manitowaning (Man-i-to-wan-ing) which means Cave of the Spirit. A loose translation of Manitoulin Island means Island of the Great Spirit. Around 1830 the island became the Administration Center where the British Government doled out gifts to the natives who came from many, many miles around. In the 1920 and 30’s the island was supported by the sheep, turkey, logging and fishing industries. Except for the fishing the other industries have slowly declined until recreation/tourism became the main industry. 
This is the road we take to reach home. The road follows the pictures from left to right.
Manitoulin Island boasts of being the largest fresh water island in the world and has three inland lakes which also contain islands. It is located in one of the 5 great lakes, our lake being Lake Huron and more specifically the waters of Georgian Bay. We have proof of life dating back to between 10,000 BC to 20,000 BC. Manitoulin also has the biggest unceded reserve covering the entire eastern shoreline of the island. The island is still home to First Nations, including Odawa and Ojibway.
Some towns on the Island.
There are two ways which you can access the island during the months from late April to mid October. One of course being the Chi-Cheemaun (Chee- chee- mon) which means Big Canoe. It makes the 27 mile crossing from Tobermory to South Baymouth during those months, twice daily, spring and fall, and 4 times daily during July and August. The one constant access point is on the northern part of the island at Little Current where the swing bridge allows passage of autos year round and marine traffic during the spring, summer and fall. 
Some of the roads we travel on a somewhat regular basis.
A riot of colours grace the country side at this time of the year and the fiery reds of the sugar maples seem to lure the visitors from far and near. Truly a painters delight at this time of the year. Thus ends our little information blurb of the island.

Some of the views we see on our travels. The bottom left photo is the swing bridge, the only permanent access year round.  The bottom right photo was taken on a morning walk as I head toward the double gate on the road in the above photo.
We took a trip to Toronto and Brantford on the long weekend in August to visit both daughters Courtney and Bradey. The rest of our summer found us enjoying the peace and quiet but also longing for more of a purpose to our days. We found ourselves a little part time job in late August and have enjoyed ourselves greatly. We look forward to returning to our labours in the spring.
Auston Richard Peter.
A first child for middle daughter Bradey and her partner David arrived on Sept 12, Weighing in at 7 lbs 1 oz, 20 inches long. A healthy little boy, Auston Richard Peter arrived at 7:21 AM. Auston is a first grandchild for me and a first nephew for daughters Riley and Courtney.

Taken early in the spring as you can see no leaves, small leaves and the lovely fresh colour of new leaves.
I’m including a number of photos I’ve accumulated over our time here, forgive the fuzziness as they were all shot with my phone.

Before the sun hits the leaves on my walk home from morning coffee this morning.
We plan on pulling up the feet and beginning our southerly journey on or about October 21 or 22. I’ll keep you posted. 
First we had a little hail, then more and more on a rainy day in September.
We hope everyone had a great summer and we are looking forward to catching up on our reading when we head out on the road.

Various sunrises throughout the summer.
Until next time…take care, be safe,
Sunrise this morning over the Igloo and our back yard fire pit. That is the calm waters of South Bay you can see off there in the distance. The Igloo is down and to the left.