SOUTH BAYMOUTH HARBOR ABOUT NOON TODAY ON MANITOULIN ISLAND
Quiet night but we were both awake from about 3 a.m. on for some reason. Nice early morning with 50F outside. Said to Kelly this will probably be our mildest night time temperature until we get down into Utah later. Vehicles started rolling into the pre-boarding parking lot about 6:30 a.m. One semi-truck cab & a pick-up had come in around 3:30. Right at 7 a fellow showed up to measure us & get everyone organized for boarding. Half hour later we were all moved to a lower parking lot & lined up in rows. It was here we paid the $216.00 upcoming ferry ride fee for the Motorhome & Jeep. I was in the company of logging trucks while Kelly was at the head of the line in another lane.
RE-ASSURING PHEEBS THE BOAT RIDE WILL BE JUST FINE
ALL LINED UP FOR THE FERRY & READY TO GO…KELLY’S AT THE HEAD OF HER LINE
CLOSE QUARTERS BUT IT GETS EVEN CLOSER ON THE FERRY
We had nearly an hour before boarding so took us for a wee walk around Little Tub harbor. Too bad about the heavy cloud cover but that’s the way it was.
THIS FELLOW WAS FEELING AS SOUR ABOUT THE WEATHER AS WE WERE
We were all back in our vehicles by 8:20 & a few minutes later the boarding process commenced. I saw Kelly & the Jeep heading for the boat. A minute later our line began to move & Pheebs & I were soon swallowed up inside the big whale as well.
KELLY HEADS FOR THE BOAT RAMP WITH PHEEBS & I ABOUT A MINUTE BEHIND
Not a lot of room between vehicles & the key to getting it right is paying attention to the fellow’s hand signals who is directing you into your spot. I did that & we had no problems. I didn’t know where Kelly was but hoped she didn’t have to drive up one of those narrow steep ramps. She didn’t. Said good-bye to a very sad faced Pheebs & headed for a nearby stairwell to an upper deck. Took me about 10 minutes of looking to find Kelly who had just taken about 10 minutes looking for me.
IMPORTANT TO PAY ATTENTION TO DIRECTIVE HAND SIGNALS
THIS CHI-CHEEMAUN MODEL SHOWS HOW VEHICLES ARE PARKED ON THE BOAT DECK
Standing outside just under the bridge we watched as the big canoe slowly backed away from it’s mooring while lowering the large 50 ton bow. We swung around & were soon on our way. Had a stiff breeze blowing & the water was a bit choppy. Could feel a slight rolling action but not enough to toss up our cookies. There was also a slight mist in the air so the view was not the best. Even the Islands we passed heading out were mere dark objects. Had the sun been out we could have seen those Islands ablaze in their Fall colors.
THE CHI-CHEEMAUN BACKS AWAY FROM HER BERTH, SWINGS AROUND & HEADS FOR THE OPEN WATERS OF LAKE HURON & GEORGIAN BAY
LOOKING BACK TO WHERE WE’VE BEEN & LOOKING AHEAD TO WHERE WE’RE GOING
CAFETERIA & LOUNGE…WE SAT IN THEM BOTH
Spent some time on different outside deck levels both fore & aft before finally retreating inside where it was warmer. I wasn’t hungry until we walked into the cafeteria & minutes later I had a plate of scrambled eggs with sausages, home fries toast & coffee. And the price was even cheaper than most of the restaurants around Bayfield & Goderich.
A MIGHTY BIG BLUE SMOKE STACK
A CREW MEMBER HOSES DOWN THE DECK…WE WERE TOLD THIS WHOLE CHI CHEEMAUN CREW ARE NEWFOUNDLANDERS
ME & MY TOQUE…WE WERE DRESSED FOR A COLD DAMP WINDY CROSSING BUT IT WASN’T TOO BAD
The crossing is less that 2 hours & before long sitting in the lounge behind the bow I could make out a long dark object ahead on the distant horizon. The mist had lifted & it was Manitoulin Island.
MANITOULIN ISLAND DEAD AHEAD
A ladies voice finally came on the intercom telling people to head below decks & proceed to their vehicles for disembarking. Luckily I remembered my stairwell & found the Big EEE right off. A lot of people weren’t so fortunate as I saw many wandering about with puzzled looks on their faces trying to find their vehicles.
TIGHT QUARTERS & WE BEGIN TO ROLL OUT…KEEP IN MIND I AM USING A WIDE ANGLE LENS SO THAT EXIT POINT IS NOT AS FAR AWAY AS IT LOOKS
KELLY WAVES TO PHEEBS & I AS WE RUMBLE BY
Pheebe was absolutely ecstatic when I opened the rig’s door. Her tail was wagging so fast it almost knocked all our furniture right out of the rig. She had been just fine in the rig & nothing was asunder. Wasn’t long & I saw daylight flooding in ahead. The big stern door was open & we were soon moving. Kelly gave me a big wave as Pheebs & I off the big canoe before she did. Now, where were we going to find each other ashore??
HERE SHE COMES, SHE FOUND ME
Luckily I spotted a big parking area about 30 seconds after driving ashore so pulled in hoping Kelly would see the rig when she disembarked. She did. Hooked up the Jeep & took a walk back to-wards the Chi-Cheemaun for a few photos of the stern entrance plus a few photos around the harbor. Despite the inclement weather we decided to head for Meldrum Bay anyway. Forests were ablaze with un-lit subdued color. Oh if it had only been sunny what a wonderland of candied colors we would have seen.
I’M GUESSING AT SAND HILL CRANES HERE
Highway 542 is very winding with a lot of curves & old pavement plus gravel sections. We averaged 40 mph. Took a drive into Providence Bay thinking we might stay there but drove right out again & went on to Gore Bay.
SLIPPING ON DOWN INTO GORE BAY
By the time we reached Gore Bay around two I was tired & my legs were bothering me. Luckily we found a little spot near the water to pull in & stop. Didn’t see any signs saying no overnight camping so decided to hunker down here for the night.
GORE BAY MARINA OVER YONDER
THIS IS BEFORE THE COLD WET RAINS BEGAN
About 3 o’clock a camper van pulled in beside us & man got out. Figured oh-oh we’re going to have to move. But no………this man was a long time Bayfield Bunch reader. Reading my Sunday night post his wife Joan knew we were in the area & while driving (him & his wife live here) around he spotted us down by the water. Dave Parker is one of those Senior semi jolly type Englishmen with that great English accent as well. Said he & his wife have been reading my blog for years. They go to Coyote Howls in Why Arizona for the winter so we had a lot in common to talk about. Boy what a small world sometimes. Just after Dave left to pick up his wife & bring her back the skies opened up & down came the rains. They never made it back & I don’t blame anyone for not going out in a cold pouring rain. Checking weather maps & channels it looks like the rains are here to stay for awhile. Doesn’t look like we are going to head for Meldrum Bay now. Not wanting to sit for days in the rig we’ll probably head out in the morning for Little Current, drive off the Island up through Espanola & continue our journey westward.
DAVE POINTS OUT A FEW FEATURES IN OUR RIG SIMILAR TO HIS CLASS C TIOGA WHICH HE KEEPS IN WHY ARIZONA
And ‘OH-NO’ what is this we have just heard about a fire Sunday night on the set of where CORNER GAS was filmed in Rouleau Saskatchewan. That Corner Gas site is one of the main reasons we are where we are right now. That was our last Canadian destination before heading south across the border. Ivan sent us an email informing us of the fire. Several readers have since sent emails knowing that is where we were headed. Kelly has been showing me pictures of the Foo Mart building that burned & it does not look like the Store between the Ruby & the Corner Gas building. I’m thinking now that is not where the fire took place. We will stay on this story to make sure it is not the location I want to see. If it was it would mean we could be in for a major shift in the direction of our travel plans. A major shift indeed!! As I am set to post this tonight it is pouring rain, cold, & windy. I have a feeling we will be heading for the main land first thing in the morning…………….
THANKS FOR TODAY’S GREAT MEMORIES MS CHI-CHEEMAUN
GROANER’S CORNER:(( A man showed some friends his apartment. One guest asked "What's that big brass basin for?" "That's the talking clock," answered the man. He gave it an ear shattering pound with a hammer. Suddenly, a voice on the other side of the wall screamed, "Knock it off, it's 2 a.m., you idiot!"