Our first road-trip during COVID-19
Last week was Cathy and my first road-trip during COVID-19 and it feels really great to be back on the road. With Ontario in Stage 3 re-opening, it is still necessary to be ultra responsible with face masks and social distancing. From our cottage on Stoney Lake, we drove to Collingwood and camped for four nights at Craigleith Provincial Park on the shores of Georgian Bay. We found the pandemic protocols included no showers, masks in bathrooms, every second site empty and no evening programs. It was easy for us to stay in our bubble. From this base, we took two day trips, one to Kincardine and Sauble Beach on the Lake Huron shores, and the second to Lion’s Head and Tobermory in the Upper Bruce Peninsula. My brother and his dog Finn joined us for this 1100 km trip.
Camping at Craigleith Provincial Park
The park is just a few kilometres from Collingwood and all of the activities at the Blue Mountain resorts. Every camper brought bikes, kayaks and other toys. The shoreline is rocky however mostly flat shale, so it is easy to walk out into the water. With water levels high and a lot of wind, we were getting a lot of three and four foot waves breaking on the shore. I don’t have a kayak skirt as I normally paddle calm lakes. The waves quickly swamped me and so a short lived adventure. However another evening was calmer and we enjoyed an evening paddle. Very nice sunsets here as well.
The park in general and our site 133 specifically is close to the main highway and so there is vehicle noise. However this was the only site available when we reserved. Next time and given the option, we would book in the vicinity of site 38.
Beaches of Lake Huron
We have traveled all over North America and the world, however we had never visited this part of Ontario. Kincardine on a sunny day is a picture postcard place. The sand beach stretches for kilometres and surfers & swimmers were enjoying the Caribbean blue water. We indulged in some excellent burgers from the Rotary Club Snack Bar on the beach.
Sauble Beach is further north, another long sandy beach, however way more tourist beach town with a lot of folks enjoying the beach, souvenir shops and food stands. It was busy on a Wednesday, I can just imagine on a weekend.
Upper Bruce Peninsula
Our first stop was Lion’s Head. Most people bypass it as they hurry up the highway to Tobermory. We really enjoyed a few hours in Lion’s Head walking the harbor. Try the locally caught ‘white fish’ fish and chips at Cindy Lou’s.
We arrived in Tobermory mid afternoon and it was BUSY. Line-ups for restaurants and glass-bottom sight seeing boats that go out to Flowerpot Island and over the ancient ship wrecks on the off-shore reefs. After a short walk-around, we went over to the Bruce Peninsula National Park Visitor Center and hiked to a lookout over Georgian Bay. This was more to our liking, and we are going to join our daughter next month for a few days camping at the Cypress Lake Camp Ground in the National Park.