trilliums

RVing Ontario’s Huron Shore

trilliumsI made up a weak story about field testing some prototype equipment and my cruel taskmaster Jim Hammill bought it, so I managed to escape for a few days from the Roadtrek factory where I have been confined for the past several weeks. Seeking open spaces and wanting to get away from the crowds, I headed west to the Lake Huron shoreline and followed it north as far as I could go on land, and I was richly rewarded with a fine selection of beaches with great views and hardly any people. Ontario’s population is concentrated along the southern edge, and the further north you go, the more elbow room you get.

Point Farms Provincial Park has the right ratio of waterfront to people - we saw maybe a dozen people all day.

Point Farms Provincial Park has the right ratio of waterfront to people – we saw maybe a dozen people all day.

I headed west from Kitchener, and hit the big water at Goderich, a beautiful town of maybe 8,000 people where the Maitland River empties into Lake Huron. There’s a provincial park less than five miles north of town, and a Walmart to spend night in, so we overnighted here on the way up and again on the way back. Grab a hot loaf of bread and other supplies when the grocery store opens, buy a day pass at Point Farms Provincial Park, and you have the makings of an excellent and very relaxing day. Day passes in these provincial parks are $10-$14, and it’s worth it for the solitude (and access to their water and dump station – they have camping there too).

At the upper end of the Bruce Peninsula near Tolbermory, the exposed rocks of the Niagara Escarpment poke out through the thin topsoil.

At the upper end of the Bruce Peninsula near Tobermory, the exposed rocks of the Niagara Escarpment poke out through the thin topsoil.

We headed north for variety, and drove all the way to where the Bruce Peninsula ends, at Tobermory. The gentle farmland gave way to grassland and eventually to stunted trees in a rocky landscape – we were following the Niagara Escarpment, a giant semicircular structure formed by coral on the rim of a long-lost tropical sea. We’re talking Silurian here – 430 million years ago.  Life on land had just been invented.

Niagara Escarpment, courtesy of Wikipedia

Niagara Escarpment, courtesy of Wikipedia

This formation stretches from western New York state, across its namesake waterfall, passes through Ontario and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and down into Wisconsin. Green Bay is formed by the gap between the escarpment and highlands to its west. At Tobermory, it get flooded by the current lake level, shows up again as the Manitoulin Islands, and forms the division between Lake Huron proper and its eastern section, Georgian Bay.

Inverhuron Provincial Park day stay area. We had an enjoyable day here.

Inverhuron Provincial Park day stay area. We had an enjoyable day here.

After a brief reconnoiter up at the top, frustrated by the lack of easy access to the water, we headed south again, overnighted in Port Elgin, and hit Inverhuron Provincial Park for another day on the lake. This was also nice and relaxed. Despite it being Sunday, we again only saw a couple dozen people or so. There are no cities up here, so you don’t get hammered with turistas the way you do further south.

Goderich bills itself as "Canada's prettiest town."  When the chestnuts are in bloom, it's hard to argue with this.

Goderich bills itself as “Canada’s prettiest town.” When the chestnuts are in bloom, it’s hard to argue with this.

Another night in the Walmart at Goderich, another lazy day at Point Farms, and we were ready to head back for more drudgery at the hands of the fiendish Jim Hammill. I pray for deliverance from this relentless man. He’s wrung all the information out of me that I have about these new RV systems to extend boondocking capabilities. You’d think he’d be satisfied and set me free, but NO… my torment continues. I just have to get my passport back somehow, and make a run for the border.


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