Sunday, November 9, 2008

A walk in the woods

Last weekend, Presqu'ile Provincial Park sparkled under bright sunshine and balmy fall temperatures. Unable to resist, we decided to head out for a bit of a stroll. For company, we took along Amy's mom and her small, um, dog.

Aim contemplates the future as Lake Ontario sparkles in the background. Yep, the conditions were so perfect that even I could take a picture like this one.

The chilly waters of Lake Ontario roll up on the rocky shore of Presqu'ile Point. Unlike much of Lake Erie, many of the beaches on this part of Lake Ontario consist of long, rocky shelves. This can be deceptive. More than once I've driven my kayak up on what looks to be a sandy beach only to hear the sickening crunch of my hull grinding up against solid rock. In 1804, this area's most famous shipwreck, that of the schooner Speedy, occurred in a similar way, it is thought, when the Speedy's captain, Lieutenant Thomas Paxton, made a navigational error in the midst of a raging storm and smacked into an isolated rock near the mouth of Presqu'ile Bay. The results were fatal for the more than 20 passengers, many of whom made up the elite of Upper Canadian society. (You can read more about the wreck of the Speedy here.)

The day was so lovely that Amy's mom suddenly broke into a jubilant skip and chased her unsuspecting terrier halfway down the beach. To everyone's relief, the lake claimed neither dog nor lady.

After a couple of hours of well-enjoyed fresh air, and narrowly avoiding being pulled into a bustling Christmas craft show that was going on at Presqu'ile (the line is sometimes so long, it is said, that Santa's elves serve candies and other treats to the gathered masses), we decided to head back home for a much-deserved bowl of soup and a lovely afternoon nap.

Today in Toronto, it looks like it really could snow. And that perfect sunny day at Presqu'ile couldn't feel further away.

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