Kagawong, ON

After the beauty of Baie Fine we made our way to Little Current.  We had been in some pretty remote areas since we left Midland and needed to get some groceries to tide us over until we got back to the US.  We took a quick walk around the small town and walked to the grocery store to stock up.  Little Current has a nice waterfront path and while we were there a large cruise ship pulled in.  That was a sight to see in such a small town.  After some time running around outside we had a quiet night on the boat.  The next morning brought clouds and rain followed by fog.  Around 2 PM I thought we could see well enough.  It was still a bit foggy but we could see to the other side of the channel which was a good distance.  Kagawong was only about 14 miles away and I figured we would at least make a little progress.  Ben agreed so we got underway.

Kagawong is home to Bridal Veil Falls.  Another beauty created by Mother Nature.  As we were making our way there the fog lifted, the sun came out, and it turned into an incredible afternoon.  We pulled into the very small marina.  The harbor master was a little hard to get a hold of but said he’d meet us at the dock at 4:30 or so when we arrived.  We got there and this nice man was waiting to catch our lines and help us get settled.  He thinks we are the biggest boat he’s had in there.  We know of Loopers earlier this summer with boats in the 50s and other Looper friends from last summer the same so we figured we’d make it work.  The marina is all but shut down for the season.  He was so good to us.  First he told Ben he wouldn’t take any money for the night.  Then he asked if the girls wanted ice cream.  He’s trying to clear out the ships store.  He had four waffle cones left. He loaded all four of them up for us with the local dairy ice cream we’d heard about.  We’ve had so much Kawartha Dairy and I miss it lots, but this was pretty good too.  Then he said no money for that either. We insisted on giving him something!  Then he said how about chips?  Do you want chips?  Take a bag of chips!  So we did.  Then ice…take ice!  We didn’t take any ice, although he said he’d just gotten a shipment he needed to get rid of before the shut down.

It was so sunny and lovely and hot that we thought we might try the hike to Bridal Veil Falls that night.  But then I decided I couldn’t take the bugs at that time of night.  Plus the girls were begging to go to the beach.  The beach was basically in the marina and had a twisty slide in the water.  We ran over to the beach and let them play for a while.  Once the bugs started to drive Ben and I nuts we headed back for the night.

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The forecast for the next day was storms and lots of them. Storms all night, a two hour window with possibly no rain in the morning, followed by storms all afternoon.  Blah.  All we could do was wait and see.  Turns out it didn’t really storm overnight.  And I woke up the next morning to bright sunshine.  We put school on hold and hustled out the door.  Swimming suits on.  Water and some towels packed.  The hike up to Bridal Veil Falls was beautiful.  We hiked along a the riverbed.  The harbor master told us it was salmon season and we may see them jumping in the river.

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As pretty as the river was, the real beauty was at the top.  The falls were magical to watch.  Ben and I have seen a lot of waterfalls in Hawaii and have told the girls all about them.  It was fun to be able to show them one.  The girls immediately ran down the stone steps to the bottom of the falls and skipped out on the rocks.  Next we climbed the very steep staircase to the top of the falls.  What an amazing view.

 

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Bridal Veil Falls

 

Back down the stairs to walk out on the rocks and underneath the falls.  The spray felt great after our hike.  This is another natural pool that is filled with people during the summer that we had all to ourselves.  The pool was filled with salmon, some living, some dead.  Molly got halfway in the water and decided that the dead fish were not something she wanted to swim with.  I saw a few of them jumping in the falls.  We didn’t see any come over the top thankfully.

After we were done playing, we hiked to the top again and walked up a very steep hill to a cute cafe the marina had advertised.  It did not disappoint.  We filled up on breakfast sandwiches and some baked goods and headed back down the hill.  By that time the parking lot at the top of the falls was full.  Apparently a lot of people just drive to the top and park.  I’m glad we did the hike!  It was warming up and still not storming.  I suppose it would have been warmer to do the hike and falls later in the morning but I’m glad we went early.  It was a perfect temperature and I love having places all to ourselves.  And with the dead salmon we wouldn’t have done a lot of swimming anyway.  Another must see in the Northern Channel checked off the list.

Back on the boat I got started on school for the girls and we headed on towards the Benjamin Islands.  The Benjamin Islands are supposed to be amazing to see, made out of pink granite.  As we were out on the water headed that way Ben was really conflicted on what to do.  We were again the only boat out heading that direction and the Benjamins are full of submerged rocks surrounded by 80+ feet deep water.  The reviews of how to get into the anchorage we needed (due to current wind direction) had us passing through an area where a local ship had crashed into a submerged rock years ago.  Again, not worth the risk this late in our trip with no boats around and no one to call for help.  We turned and headed towards Gore Bay.  The Benjamins will be first on my list for next summer when we come back up north.  I completely understood not taking the risk but was sad to miss them.  We headed towards Gore Bay and found out the marina had closed for the season earlier in the week.  We could have still pulled in and tied up for the night but decided to just go to Meldrum Bay instead.  That put us pretty close to Drummond Island and crossing back into the US the following day.

We pulled into Meldrum Bay and got tied up just before dinner.  We had read about the Inn that serves a great meal.  The harbor master told us it was closed to the public for the season.  Ben could see lights on so he called and asked.  The lady working said they are open only for guests of the Inn but asked how many of us there were and said she’d ask her husband if they could cook for us.  She quickly called us back with what dinner options they had.  She knew right away we were the boat that had pulled in and said they would be happy to have us.  Town is up on a hill and everyone can see anyone who pulls in from the water – especially when you are the only boat on the water!

The girls had never been in a Bed and Breakfast and were fascinated that it was a big house.  Ben got the history on when it was built.  The owner was so nice to us and we had a fabulous meal.  The fresh white fish is amazing in the Great Lakes.  And Ben had a really good steak for the first time in Canada!  A couple staying at the Inn also saw us pull in as they were sitting up on the rooftop patio.  They live in Midland and keep their boat in Penetanguishene.  We spent our entire time there talking to them about our trip and the Georgian Bay and North Channel stops.  The previous owner of their marina just left for the Loop a few weeks ago in a boat he fully customized for his wheelchair.  Impressive!  This couple is hoping to do some more traveling by boat next summer.  They were on a quick little road trip scoping out places to visit next summer on the water.  They had also been to Bridal Veil Falls that morning, shortly after we left, and had stopped in Gore Bay for lunch.  They loved Gore Bay so maybe we’ll check that out as well next summer.

We had a wonderful evening to end our time in Canada.

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