Sunday, September 25, 2011

Manitoulin escape and painting continues

We left the first week of September and drove for about 6 hours with a few stops along the way

It would be the longest drive ever for me and I decided to prepare myself and read a good 
book that I picked up at Walmart for $5.00. I have not read a book in years and 
forgot just how enjoyable it was.

I know he was excited as I was to get away with nothing to worry about for an entire week.

There are two ways to get onto the island, one is crossing onto the south side of the island from the tip of  Owen Sound to South Bay, Manitoulin on the Chi Cheeman (which means big canoe)
and it takes a couple of hours 

and the other is a longer drive further north  to cross this old swing bridge at Little Current.
We chose the bridge and drove south again to Manitowaning.

About 30 minutes later we arrived the small town of Manitowaning. Manitoulin does not have Tim's, Walmart or any chain stores or restaurants of any sort on the entire island which is what I loved the most about it.

We stayed in one of two cottages owned by Cheryl and Claude Begin.
They are the most wonderful people and we felt so comfortable staying there. I dragged all my
necessities such as a blender and salad spinner only to find that they had equipped the cottage with everything you could possibly need except your own bed linens.

I asked for Moon cottage because I couldn't wait to sit in front of  that beautiful fireplace with a roaring fire in front of me. I wish I had a better picture of it. 

They even had books and movies for us to enjoy including this great book 

which was a quick read!

and this was our view facing east out over the bay.

They even hung a hummingbird feeder for us to enjoy and I  could
not get over how darn cute they are. I am definitely getting one a feeder for our place next summer.

The first two days were cold and grey but we ventured back to a lookout site we passed on the way to the cottage and a nice lady offered to snap our picture for us.  

I thought the picnic tables were extra special

Wikwemikong  was a short drive to the only unceded Indian reserve in Canada which means they alone own their land not the government. They are very proud of this and we were thrilled to take a drive through the reserve.

and came across this stunning stone building

it was once a girls school that was built by the Anishinaabek people.

We were the only ones there and it felt very calming to stand inside this great building.
We heard from a resident that a theatre group uses it in the summer time and I would have loved 
to see that.

Everywhere you go on the island there are incredible views of the most pristine blue water of Georgian Bay and Lake Huron that we saw
each day when took a drive to a different town.
I did not touch this photo, the colours are real and remind me of the print in our bedroom.

Quaint villages 

There are many 100 year old lighthouses all over the island

and one of the prettiest sites is Bridal Veil Falls

Stunning lookout sites gave us plenty to drink in with our eyes.

we enjoyed this incredible key west whitefish lunch 

at this lakeside restaraunt in Gore Bay, the seasoning was the owners special blend
and he sold us some to take home to enjoy for ourselves. 

Janet Head light house was closed for the season but it was fun to walk around it just the same.

Not once but twice did we see deer eating grass on the lawns of peoples homes and they did not seem to care that we were there.

In the evening the water in front of the cottage was so clear and smooth

I loved this old shingle building

Although it was stressful getting ready for this vacation I don't remember the last time I felt well enough to enjoy myself fully and completely.

When we first arrived we did admit to wondering what all the hype was about Manitoulin 
but each day allowed us to sink into relax mode and enjoy each new place. The quietness and lack of desire to be busy calmed us and we could not help but let the island's spirit grow on us and take us over.

A cute little boat in one of my favourite colours.

We had watched in the cottage, a two hour DVD on the history of Manitoulin Island and it told a tale of Cup & Saucer and so we had to see it. 

The sign did not indicate how far the hike was along a rocky path

which I found visually intriguing

and came upon this rugged beauty

and ended up way up high to to get to see this

and Todd being braver stood on a rock edge like this to look further down at 
another breathtakingly beautiful rock cliff

coming back I stopped to take a snap of the hill we climbed to get there 

beautiful greens and greys defying gravity and the weather could not have been more perfect

not sure what happened here, don't ask me where his head went, we think an indian spirit took it!

one feels so small 

Now have you ever had the longest freshwater beach in north america practically to yourself?
 Being shy in a bathing suit, I was in heaven!
We couldn't believe it, maybe 4 other couples were there and that was it.

We packed a lunch, our lawn chairs, sunned, ate, read, swam for the day.

On the last evening the water was perfect for a canoe ride

and I captured from the canoe a view of Manitowaning Bay. The old steam ship used to be the old version of the Chi Cheeman and was bought for a buck by the town of Manitowaning to moore her in their  bay as a tourist attraction. I think it is just charming.

At this point I was tired and let myself be canoed while I let the cool water splash on my toes.

On the drive home we stopped saw some more beautiful places
like Whitefish Falls.

and a view of Le Cloche Mountains from the truck

We will not forget this wonderful time we had and will indeed return to Manitoulin again.

Now here is what is happening this weekend. The tail end of the kitchen painting. While everyone else seems to be enjoying one of the most fabulous fall days I am inside getting this done. 
I must be nuts!

Have a splendid weekend!

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