Treasure of the North

We drove past endless fields of golden wheat, vibrant greens, and bright yellow mustard seed. As we whizzed by, I could see line after line of crop, tracing backwards to infinity. The sky stretched from horizon to horizon, with no trees to block its blue canvas, upon which puffy white clouds had been spattered across its entire expanse. We were only 100 km north of Toronto but we could have been 1000.
After a few days of exploring the ancient shores of Georgian Bay, I’m convinced that one could spend a lifetime here and never discover every secret. Lighthouses, shipwrecks, pre-Cambrian rock formations littered with fossils, small towns, hidden coves and grottos. How can one place contain so much magic, so much beauty?

We anchored ourselves at the bottom of the bay, where we enjoyed a spectacular sunset the first night. We sat out at a point that looked westward across the bay, a small island with a lonely lighthouse in the distance, and towering, abandoned grain silos behind us, whose broken windows shown like golden mosaic tiles in the sun’s warm glow.

The next morning we ventured further north, up Bruce Peninsula, a stretch of land separating the bay from Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes. Its far end promised aquamarine seas and trails along the niagara escarpment. I knew we wouldn’t have enough hours in the day to see the islands dotting the waters beyond its coast, their picturesque beaches disguises for a more malign history of shipwrecks at their hands-now frozen works of art on the bay’s floor that can be viewed through glass bottom boats.
On the way up, we stopped at lions head, a tiny town on the peninsula’s bayside, where we got our first taste of the bay’s impossibly clear blue waters. We stood there, admiring the view at the place where the last lighthouse keeper on the Great Lakes locked up his lighthouse in 1991. I always wonder what that would have been like, being a lighthouse keeper. I probably over romanticize it, but still, I think it’s something I would have loved. I like being places where there is constantly a coming and a going, stories being unraveled.
We made our way up to cedar lake, where we caught a trail that led out to a grotto on the bay’s coast. The colors that awaited us were unreal. Cyprus greens on skeleton white bluffs, deep Aqua waters that faded to a marine blue as they drifted further out. Paradise. Not what people think of when they think Canada. I wanted to stay there for ever, the winding cliffs promising me a million secret coves. There were a lot of people upon the sun drenched dolomite limestone surrounding the cove, but I fantasized about returning one September, when I could have a quiet reunion with this new place that now had a lasting home in my heart.

Our last stop on the peninsula was a place called singing sands-a mystical name that caught my attention immediately. The remote beach bleeds into Lake Huron, and instead of aqua waters we found a much calmer blue, still clear as glass. While the beach itself wasn’t the light sand blowing in the wind I had pictured, as we walked out into the water, I noticed the stunningly intricate grooves that can only be scribed into the millions of grains of sand by Mother Nature. It felt like we could walk forever, an uninterrupted carpet of sand beneath our feet, always carved into different patterns, crystal clear beneath the lake’s sun lit surface.

I’ve already decided I love it here. It feels so far away from the rest of the world. Which is my favorite kind of place.


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