20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Arrowhead Provincial Park

While we were in North Bay John heard about a skating trail through the bush. He's skated the Rideau Canal and thought this sounded like fun.

So, with a few days between housesitting assignments on Sunday we headed to the Arrowhead Provincial Park. It's just north of Huntsville, Ontario. 

A day pass costs $14.00 Cdn. and the park opens at 8:30 AM and closes at 5:00 PM. Being the first to arrive on Monday and with his pass in his hot little hand, John headed straight for the 1.3 km skating trail. 

Noticing the park attendants had just finished grooming the trail, he was stoked. In his enthusiasm to be the first person on the ice, he didn't realize they'd not yet replaced the barricades to keep vehicles off the trail. Before you could say, "Holy-Moly-I've-got-the-freaking-skating-trail-all-to-myself" John's driven onto the trail.

He tours around once as if it's the thing to do. Then parks the van, grabs his skates, and runs like hell before the park rangers return. He said skated 8 or 9 times around the circuit before trading in his skates for snowshoes to "get warmed up", but I think he was just wanted to evade the authorities. 

The snowshoe trail is 3 km in length, but unlike the skating trail it has many ups and downs and scenic vistas. These steps lead to Stubbs Falls.

By now it's past noon, so he returned to the Tulip Inn (a great place to stay, btw) to have lunch with me. Then, he headed back to the Park to go cross-country skiing on the 12 km East River Loop.

Having crossed off another item on his bucket list we'd hoped to visit with friends in southwestern Ontario today, but the blizzard nixed that idea. It also played havoc with our alternative plan to stay east of the storm and drive to Peterborough. 

By the time we reached Bracebridge we were in the middle of a full-fledge blizzard. The whiteout conditions caused problems for many motorists, their cars, pick-ups and even transport trucks were in ditches and buried in snowdrifts. We were lucky to make it to Gravenhurst in one piece. It wasn't a difficult decision to find some place warm to hunker down and wait out the storm. 

Although, I imagine we'll have to dig the van out in the morning. Winter. Don't you just love it?

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