Canadian Odyssey – Part Eleven

Southwest Ontario — mile after mile of cornfields and wind generators.

Southwest Ontario — mile upon mile of cornfields and wind generators. (And some cool old barns.)

On the road again. After more than a week of traveling 3 mph in a canoe, highway speeds seemed incredibly fast.

After leaving Algonquin Provincial Park, Ken, Steve and I made our obligatory stop at Algonquin Outfitters. As if we hadn’t tortured ourselves enough for the past eight days — trudging for miles on hellish portages, weathering torrential rainstorms and listening to Ken’s jokes — now we had to go to a canoe outfitting store and look at shelf after shelf of things we couldn’t afford.

That was followed by another form or torture, stopping at Weber’s on Highway 11 and not eating.

Sunrise at the Kinsville, Ontario, dock. Right church, wrong pew. After returning from breakfast, I’d learn that the ferry for Pelee Island wasn’t leaving from there.

Sunrise at the Kinsgville, Ontario, dock. Right church, wrong pew. After returning from breakfast, I’d learn that the ferry for Pelee Island wasn’t leaving from there.

We parted company at Algonquin Outfitters. Ken and Steve headed back to the U.S. and I set out across uncharted territory — southwest Ontario. I had hoped to stop for lunch at Weber’s, an Ontario landmark and a great burger joint. However, it was Friday and, when I got there, the lines were out the door and half-way across the parking lot. So I peed and left.

I resigned myself to still another form of torture, lunch at Tim Horton’s.

The Canoebaru, in line and ready to board the ferry for Pelee Island.

The Canoebaru, in line and ready to board the ferry for Pelee Island.

I had until 9 a.m. the next day to be at the ferry terminal in Kingsville, so I had plenty of time to kill. I stopped at a Tim Horton’s on Highway 401 and attempted to log onto the Internet with my iPad mini. Suffering from 60/60 syndrome, being over 60 and having grown up in the ’60s, I couldn’t figure out how to log on.

This almost proved to be my undoing. Had I managed to log on and check my email, I would have seen a message from Owen Sound Transportation Company telling me the Kingsville dock was out of commission. All departures for Pelee Island had been moved to Leamington.

I suspect the ferry operator posted this sign for Michael Jackson’s benefit.

I suspect the ferry operator posted this sign for Michael Jackson’s benefit.

I arrived at Kingsville after dark and slept in my car in the parking lot. In the morning, I continued my torture regimen, eating at still another Tim Hortons. I returned to the dock at about 8:20 a.m. The parking lot was empty. This seemed odd because the ferry was scheduled to begin boarding at 9 a.m.

I walked up to the front door. A sign was posted there advising that all departures had been moved to the Leamington dock. I’d later learn that there had been an issue with dredging the Kingsville harbor, i.e. no one got around to doing it.

So I drove up the road to Leamington — about a 20-minute drive — and arrived in plenty of time to make the ferry. Much to my delight there was not a Tim Hortons on the boat.

Next: Pelee at last!

 

 

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