We are slowly moving along the Trent-Severn Waterway to get to the Georgian Bay and North Channel, an area that we’ve been told again and again will be a highlight of our trip. Even the locals tell us that boating there takes their breath away every time they have the opportunity to do so. It’s been slow going this week, we’ve traveled 5 days but only 100 miles, there have been 30 locks we’ve had to go through which takes time – 15 more to go until we’re done with his part of the trip. Before I go further, let me tell you a little about the great experiences we’ve been having with the locals so far. Aside from the fact that they don’t believe in slowing down or stopping for crossing pedestrians (not kidding, more on that later) they have been incredibly welcoming and kind to us traveling boaters. From the students working for the summer on the locks to the other boaters and people who are walking through the towns where we’re tied up, they’re friendly, helpful and really happy to chat with American neighbors. Maybe they’re just so grateful that it’s summer, apparently it was a colder and longer winter than usual this year, but we’ve run into some super nice people. And the weather has been really beautiful.
We spent a couple of nights on a wall in the town of Campbellford with many other Loopers. It was a nice little town with some shops and restaurants, a great bakery, a chocolate factory and a beautiful area to walk, hike and swim to work off some of those baked goods and chocolate! Campbellford is where I was almost hit by a car backing up into the crosswalk that I was walking on with 9 other people – after telling the driver that I was going!! I banged on the rear window and yelled that I was there to avoid being run over and then she yelled that I was in her way!! A Canadian couple who are looping told us that crosswalks are really more of a suggestion than a law here, and joked that the reason drivers fly by pedestrians waiting to cross is so that they can quickly get out of our way! Crazy.
As we were getting ready to leave Campbellford an older couple told us about a friend who had a catamaran like ours being built in his front yard. When we arrived in the next town, Hastings, ON, the gentleman they told us about was literally waiting for us. His friends had told him we were heading that way and he wanted to take us by car to his house to see it. To be honest, neither of us really wanted to go, we’d just finished a long day, but I’m so glad we did. He was just so sweet, the boat was really cool, and I think he enjoyed showing it off as much as we enjoyed seeing it. I’ve thought about him every day since and hope he stays healthy and well.
After a quick overnight in Hastings we traveled to Peterborough, which is a fairly good sized city with shops, restaurants and a huge marina. We stayed two nights and celebrated our 8th anniversary at a steakhouse that was recommended. We also hosted docktails on our boat while in Peterborough – there were 14 people including me and Danny.
When we left Peterborough we had a long day of locks before arriving at our destination. The highlight was traveling through the Peterborough Lift Lock which brings you up 65’ in a “pan” of water to get to the next level. I was anxious about it when I read about it, but we rode our bikes over to watch it the day before we locked through which took away a lot of my fear. It was actually easier than most of the locks, you just tie your boat to a pole and take a ride up. It’s hard to really describe this engineering marvel and historic landmark, you can check it on line if you’re so inclined! Just google “Peterborough lift lock video” (I tried to attach a link but can’t!)
From Peterborough we traveled to Young’s Point and then to Buckhorn. We are trying to get to a town called Bobcaygeon which is a popular tourist destination but unfortunately there hasn’t been room for us on the town wall or in a marina over the weekend. So we spent two nights in Buckhorn and now we’re waiting out the weekenders at a beautiful anchorage. One of our buddy boats, TxAu (Texas Gold) is here with us, we’re hopeful we’ll be able to stay in town tonight before moving on. This area we’re in is referred to as Kawartha Lakes, it’s a very popular vacation spot for Canadians and there are tons of lakeside homes, cottages and many boaters. A lot of people rent houseboats for a week and travel through the canal and lakes. Interestingly, you don’t have to have anything more than a credit card to rent a houseboat so it’s been interesting watching some of them maneuver through small spots and into lakes. Makes us feel like we almost have some experience!
While at dock the other day I looked at my logs and did some calculations. As of Friday, we’ve been gone from home for 258 days (less about 35 that we’ve gone back home) and have only traveled on 98 of those days. We were in Fort Lauderdale for 6 weeks and Fort Myers for 4 weeks over the winter, so that brought the number of travel days down….but we’ve gone 3900 miles so far! I can’t count the people we’ve met or the memories we’ve made and look forward to more.
Thanks for letting me share our journey with you. Sending hugs.
Captain Dan & Cruise Director Jodi