Canada’s First Capital
When travelling it is difficult to not be kept up to date about ‘home’ be it your home base, region or the country. About a week after I left the idyllic island of Victoria the news out of the interior of my province, BC, was that forest fires had forced the evacuation of 100 Mile House – my SIL’s parent live near there and are on alert. Things did not get much better over the ensuing weeks, homes were lost, people, pets and livestock on the move in several areas. Scary situation.
With my excellent K-Pass through 1000 Islands Tours I decided it was time to go on an Ontario Lake cruise. A taped history of the area plays for much of the time, I was glad for the breaks. There are some lovely lakefront properties for sale along the route. One had a 6000sq ft house with a houseboat, winch to lift said boats, and a sweeping lawn downs to the lake. All for a mere 2 million – expensive in Kingston expensive but a song compared to where I live. There seemed to be a theme of homesickness threaded through the day when I went back to read my notes.
There really are many, many islands – 1864 (some research shows 1865) of them. An agreement in 1793 was reached that no island would be split in two. This explains why the boundary between the U.S. and Canada follows a zigzag line. Canada has 1000of the islands while the US has the larger islands. Acreage wise it is roughly the same amount of land.
Wolfe Island is the exception to that arrangement. Under European rule (French then British) since around 1675, the island for is a lovely spot for anyone wanting to work in Kingston while retaining a quiet island life. Pipes built under the lake that emit air bubbles keeps the route of the ferry, considered a section of the highway, to Wolfe Island free of ice. The ferry is free to all vehicles and passengers, takes about 20 minutes to cross, and is a fabulous way to spend a nice day at one of the beaches or have a meal at one of the very few restaurants. In the distance is the ’wind farm’, 86 wind turbines that provide electricity in Kingston for about 76,000 residents. No mention as to how it gets there. More pipes under the lake?
I usually visit Kingston in the harsh cold of winter when there is not much to do other than huddle under a blanket weeping iclcles. However, summer is a time for celebrating the vast outdoor recreation. A major draw for dive enthusiasts, there are at least ten wrecks for divers to check out.
The Royal Military College (RMC) has summer sea cadets attend camps where they learn all sorts of sailing and water skills. I think they were still at the beginning of safety and etiquette. As we were approaching a right of way (although sailboats tend to have the right of way it is often not possible for large vessels to easily maneuver away from smaller crafts) the small Lazer crafts the cadets were attempting to master were directly in our path. Our captain had to make a sharp about turn to avoid several leaving passengers with a bare waterside view of the Pen and completely missing a view of the asylum. Fortunately no frantic SOS, flares, or cries of dismay (I doubt they were even aware of how precarious their situation was and should have had a stern lecture upon returning to RMC – they were quite far out) as we motored on our merry way to the pier. It was a glorious day to be on the water with the wind whipping through my hair. We HAD a military college in Victoria, with its very own, bonafide castle. It is now Royal Roads University and the castle is still there.
As if a boat tour was not enough for the day I went on another trolley tour. In one day I had seen the college and Fort Henry from both sides now. Only as far as the ramparts for the Fort, I was saving the inside for another day. Lake Ontario was still high enough to be lapping at the toes of the cadets – sandbags are not usually laid out so late in the summer. That would be good work for all those budding sailors.
To allow sailboats and various craft access to the Rideau Canal there is a lift bridge – which was obligingly lifted for a sailboat – we were too far back to see but, like RMC, we HAD one in Victoria until the city decided to build a new one and made damn sure the old could never be used again by selling it for scrap! I remain hopeful that Kingston will not do something as similar considering our new bridge is behind schedule and rising in cost. Someone needs to explain it is the bridge we want raised, not our taxes. Oops, letting politics sneak in.
Dinner was at the popular local Battersea Creekside Bar & Grill. You know a place has great food when they bring the wrong meal and you do not notice! Or I was just very hungry.
It was supposed to be an enchilada. What I got was 3 Mexican chicken wraps and nachos. Very good and probably far less stuffing. (When we went another time I found out this was indeed their version of enchiladas- my SIL pointed out we are not anywhere near Mexico!)
After that full day I spent the next in the country. Then another day dealing mainly with a possible hacker. They were unsuccessful. It took a good part of my day to get everything figured out to be on the safe side. Despite spending much of the day hanging out with my D at her office (I need a job like hers) I managed to put in well over the figure below. For anyone who wants to write about their adventures losing the use of a keyboard is catastrophic!
The numbers: daughter bought dinner. I hate to think how much I weight with all this eating out!2.50 coffee; 2.50 Wolfe Island Bakery apple turnover (so flaky!) 13,000 steps (this is how I manage eating out – within reason)
More numbers: 10.00 breakfast; 2.25 Sipps coffee; 2.50 Wolfe Island pretzel ( I did not even have to swim); 8.00 fresh squeaky cheese (the only kind for Poutine – which I do not eat) and Hagan-Dazs ice cream bar (I know, I know) 13,500 step – not sure how many when phone inexplicably shut down. Perhaps another 2500-3000.