Summer Vacation – Georgian Bay

Sunset over Georgian Bay

Summer Vacation – the Good, the Bad and the Icky

So August 20th was the last day of my internship and graduate school.  I’m done – as in graduated.  Sometime during the winter I decided I wanted to celebrate my feat by going on a vacation somewhere.  Because it was the end of a full year – read: three semesters – of school, I knew I would be pretty much broke so I thought about what I could do that was fun but also cheap.  Camping, of course!  I love camping and my absolute favourite place to go camping is Georgian Bay – somewhere near Pointe au Baril.  So I called my parents and asked them if they wanted to go camping with me at the end of my school year.  Plans were made and Bob’s your uncle, I headed home after school was done to go camping.

The Good

The weather gods were on our side for the most part, and we headed out Tuesday morning to sunshine and a mostly clear weather forecast.  Seven hours – and a couple of stops – later, we arrived at Wade Island – our camping location for the week.  Where is Wade Island?  Well, head out from Pointe au Baril station, go through the “Hole-in-the-Wall”, and keep heading toward open water.  It’s one of the last islands before the open.  Looking in one direction, we could see the McCoy’s (two islands); in another, the “Glass House”, a cottage owned by the Weston’s; and in another the “Gronkwa”, one of the many channels that thread through the hundreds (or rather thousands) of islands in northern Georgian Bay.  Wade Island was gorgeous – but a little flat which becomes an issue for bathroom breaks as there is little cover (and no facilities).  It was also an issue the first few nights as it  was super windy.  Why would the wind be an issue?  I was tenting – my parents slept on the boat – and tenting in high winds can be interesting.  Hence the use of not only all seven of the ropes that came the tent – with several rocks on each to ensure they weren’t going anywhere – but also three additional ropes that tied the tent to trees.  Hey, this wasn’t my first camping experience and having a tent collapse – or worse, a broken pole – in the middle of the night is not my idea of fun.  But all was well (thanks to my many ropes). And after the first couple of nights, I got used to the music my tent was playing in the wind!

Another notch on the good column was campfire food – burgers taste SO much better over an open fire.  I tried to cook galbi over the camp fire and it was tasty but a little burnt.  Plus there were roasted marshmallows and Jiffy-Pop 🙂

The third good item was the sunsets (and my parents say the sunrises too but I slept though all of them) and the scenery in general!

The Bad

It was a fab vacation for the most part but during the last two days, the wind completely died and the mosquitos came out.  Not fun.  Plus, 8 days in sunshine means even with SPF slathered on, I’m a lot darker than I want to be (I think sun and tan so I use sunscreen to limit my tanning rather than prevent burning).  The horrible part was the fish weren’t biting which sometimes happens during a heat wave which sucked as it meant no fish fry.  But the good totally outweighed the bad!

The Icky

Well, only one thing was truly icky… swimming with snakes.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of snakes but I really don’t want to be swimming with them.  The curious turtle that would come investigate was one thing but water snakes are just plain icky!

Wait until you see the pictures!  Next Post 🙂

Cindy Zimmer

Live life to the fullest everyday - this is a the philosophy I try to live by and it's taken me on many adventures. I write about Korean culture from a non-Korean perspective as the editor/founder of ATK Magazine and I'm the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto Korean Film Festival (TKFF). Previously, I ran a Korean-English language exchange group (in Toronto) for 3 years to stay connected to my three years living in Korea as an English teacher. I love music, film, food and sports and write about 3 of the 4.

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