Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Canadian Cottage Country

These past few days I've been away at a family gathering to celebrate my Dad's 65th Birthday.

We went up on Friday to their cottage near Huntsville, Ontario. Unfortunately this was over the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend so traffic to the Great White North was jammed to say the least, and it was a 9 hour drive in traffic extravaganza, complete with a constant chilly and drizzling rain.

The kids loved spending time with their Papa and Bubbie and playing with their cousins and the cottage was packed with seven adults and seven kids. We all had a great time and it was nice to catch up and to celebrate his birthday.

On Saturday, after breakfast, we went to Dorset, about 40km away from the cottage to climb the scenic lookout tower. It turned out lots of other cottage-goers had the same idea to see the beautiful fall colors of the area so there was a decent wait before we could get in to the park and head to the tower.

The scenic tower, 30 meters / 100 feet high is on the site of the historic fire watch tower that was used from 1922-1961 where rangers would constantly view the forest for potential fires and Yogi Bear. The manning of the towers as fire watches ended in 1961 when aircraft replaced eyes on the ground in this role.

Interestingly, the tower is not the original fire watch tower but was placed in this spot in 1967. This replacement tower has an interesting history all of its own - it is a surplus DEW Line Radar Tower that used to house a radar to warn of Soviet bomber attack.

The view from the tower is quite simply spectacular:

Did I mention it is 128 steps up to the top, and 128 steps down, all performed by yours truly while holding a squirming 35 pound 3 year old who is busy hanging on for dear life to at various times one's neck, shirt, jacket, arm and shoulder? The quads and supporting arms reminded me for a solid day afterward, however she enjoyed it and was never in any danger of being dropped.

The next day of course it decided to snow, a wet slushy snow that was quite cold. We hardy few bundled up and went out for a walk, then into town and once back the snow had stopped so we played some street soccer with the kids and of course the little kids won. We then watched a Toronto Maple Leafs game that ended in their crushing defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On Monday we drove to Toronto to celebrate my niece's birthday and a good time was had by all.

Today we drove home, made decent time except for a very long delay at the border.

It seemed this was inspect everybody very thoroughly day and we had a very enthusiastic Border Patrol officer and she asked us a ton of questions about where we were, asked the kids who the people were in the van (correct answer given - Mommy and Daddy) and she looked inside the van, and saw Leah sleeping and remarked how cute she was. No big deal but certainly one of the most enthusiastic and thorough questionings we've ever gone through. This had Abby very worried and she even talked about it before going to bed tonight as she was concerned the "Police Officer" might take her toys away. I explained to her that her toys were fine and ok to bring back to the US and no one was going to take them away and the officer was doing a good job making sure no one brought in anything that was unsafe and that everyone was who they said they were.

So now I'm back and normal blogging will resume shortly.

1 comment:

Sergeant Krupke said...
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