Connie is the friend of my nephew, Allan. She met Allan on cruise ships where she was a nurse and he was the ship's doctor. I last saw her at Katy and John's wedding in Minnesota when she invited me to stop and see her should I get near Toronto.
I couldn't wait for the opportunity.
She lives in Collingwood, just a few hours west of Toronto and right on Georgian Bay.
Immediately she showed me the turtle sanctuary where a mama turtle dug a hole, deposited dozens of eggs, then skipped town. (Not exactly Mom of the Year). Now Connie is the surrogate.
But here is a far better parent, Betty, who also lives in Collingwood. We spent a little time visiting her--Connie, you are very lucky to have your Mom so close.
Connie's townhouse backs up to this lovely wooded area....
....where the birds, squirrels and critters are a constant source of entertainment.
Some of these acrobats even defy gravity.
Her home is lovely and so very relaxing. We spent a lot of time talking and ...
...playing Mexican Train.
The absolute best was when she grilled some of Allen's game--wild goose and elk. Oh my, was it ever good--a reminder of the days Roger and I lived in Colorado.
The flowers everywhere I have traveled have been beautiful.
The growing season is very short but the flowers all seem to make up for the limited warm weather.
There is so much to do around Collingwood--starting with the shore. Connie showed me at least 5 or 6 places suitable for parking for the night with the water right out my window. I opted for a night at a state park where this beach was located.
These are fossils in the stones along the beach. Trilobites, tiny mussels, clams, etc.
Did I mention the wildflowers?
There are dozens of walking and hiking trails throughout the area--many more than could be covered in one short visit.
But this was one that I am glad we took.
The turtles seem quite happy with this area.
Georgian Bay is enormous--a bay that is an adjunct to Lake Huron. It features more than 30,000 islands and 2000 kilometers of shoreline. It was beautifully calm while I was there but that is not always the case.
THE SINKING OF THE 'MARY WARD'
On the night of November 24, 1872 the steamer Mary Ward ran aground on Milligan's Reef, two kilometers off shore. The vessel was making the trip from Sarnia to the port of Collingwood, with twenty-seven aboard when the accident occurred. The first lifeboat safely reached shore, then a fierce gale sprang up, delaying rescue operations. After a perilous journey, the second lifeboat succeeded in landing but the third capsized and all eight aboard drowned.
Here were those balancing rocks again though much larger than the ones I had observed as I drove the Trans Canada highway.
A human-made stone landmark or cairn used by the Inuit Kalaallit, Yupik and other peoples of the Arctic regions of North America.
Inukshuk means "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the First Nations for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "You are on the right path."
One more reminder that this is a rough and rugged area for most of the year.