This past April, my roommate, Robyn, suggested we do something I have been wanting to do for a number of years: take a trip to Lion’s Head.
I did some research about motels, and found Lion’s Head Beach Motel.
The price was right, it was on the beach, and, after consulting my cousin who lives there, we decided this would be our choice. And it proved to be an excellent one. The housekeeping rooms are spacious, clean, bright, and have everything we needed and more: two double beds, a pull-out couch, fridge, stove, picnic table just outside our door as well as chairs and a BBQ.
Although the area around the bay is mostly rocky, there is a small sand beach in the village. I thought I had a picture of it, but cannot find it right now.
We definitely chose the right weekend to make our mini holiday. The Civic Holiday weekend (in Canada–the first Monday in August) is their weekend of celebrations. On Friday night (we arrived early Saturday afternoon), there was live music by the marina. Saturday afternoon we walked around the village and dropped in to the art show and quilt show as well as one of the stores I remember from my childhood. The store, part of a chain, is now owned by others now, but the upper floor is much as I remember it–gifts, souvenirs, etc. They still have the old sales counter though now you pay downstairs. Saturday night they held a street dance until the wee hours of the morning, but we did not join them. I took some of that time to visit my cousins. Then, after dark, we went down to the marina for stargazing. Several telescopes pointed either at the moon to magnify its craters, or at Saturn where the rings and a couple of the moons were visible.
Sunday morning we had a pancake breakfast on the beach: two large pancakes, sausage, scrambled eggs, home fries, fruit cocktail, orange juice and coffee. Mmm…it sure was tasty. And it started us off well on our trip to Tobermory at the tip of the Bruce Peninsula (about a half-hour drive from Lion’s Head). While we were gone, they had a horseshoe contest on the beach and a sand sculpture contest. I believe they held a BBQ as well. The Rotary Club put on these events.
Tobermory is a true tourist center, small but very busy. We wandered through the little stores until we caught the shuttle for the Blue Heron glass-bottom boat tour to Flowerpot Island.
You may be wondering whatever is Flowerpot Island. It is a rocky outcrop that looks a little like a flowerpot. Actually, there are two: Big Flowerpot, and Little Flowerpot. We went over old shipwrecks which, because the water is so clear, showed up well even in my photos.
I love to ride on a boat, so I enjoyed every moment of that beautiful sunny day. I did not bother to go downstairs to check out the glass bottom. I was content to sit on top and snap photos and soak up the sunshine. The two-hour trip took us past many islands, some uninhabitable, one, Devil’s Island, the breeding ground for cormorants and mergansers.
Many people take the ferry, the Chi-Cheemaun, to Manitoulin Island, where they can either tour the island, camp, return to Tobermory or take a shortcut to the mainland further north on the other side of the Georgian Bay. We did not have time for that. I remember as a child watching the ferry come and go and always wanted to ride on it. Maybe some day.
Robyn had never been in this part of Ontario before, but she loved it as I do. We are already booked for a whole week next summer. I can’t wait!
Watch for the next installment of photos. Thank you for visiting. I hope you enjoy these photos. Please leave a comment before you leave.
A holiday, at last!
I had been waiting for years for this weekend. And it was all I hoped for.
Memories of my childhood flooded into my mind as we drove into the little village.
As a child, we would spend two weeks each summer at the cottage my grandfather built when I was a baby. It was about three miles out of the village. Though there was little to do there, and the “beach” was nothing but rocks with icy water in the bay, I always loved it there. As children, we would venture into the water for short periods. We always wore shoes as the rocks are very slippery with moss and crayfish lived there, too. We often collected them for the neighbor who fished with them.
The above photo is a view from the marina in the village. About the middle of the cliff is where the lion’s head is supposed to be seen. I must admit, I cannot find it in this photo any more than I could just looking at the cliff. The binoculars on the observation deck did not help, either. If you can find it, please leave a comment and let me know. This view we could see from across the bay at the cottage.
I always had to take care not to get into the poison ivy which seemed to thrive there. Fortunately I learned at an early age to recognize the shiny triple-leaf structure and stayed clear of it.
The sound of the seagulls, though harsh to many, has always been welcome to my ears as a reminder of the times spent along that shore. To me, it is a comforting sound. I remember, after breakfast, lunch and dinner, we would put all the scraps on a plate, take it down by the water and scrape it off onto the rocks. First one gull would come, then another and another. Eventually, a whole flock noisily hovered until we moved away. The food disappeared quickly.
My favorite place to sit was down the shore from the cottage, at the point. You can see, just right of the center of the above photo, some very large rocks. The cottage was just beyond the left side of the picture. I would walk down the rocks until I reached the point, then would sit and listen to the water sloshing over the rocks and watch the sunlight dance on the surface of the bay. Whippoorwill Bay, it is called–part of Isthmus Bay. Though I never saw one, you could sometimes hear the whippoorwills at night. At dusk, we would sometimes see a loon skimming the surface of the water. All memories I cherish.
My curiosity tempted me to climb over those huge boulders, pieces fallen off the cliff many years before, just to see what was on the other side. But I knew it would be dangerous and never got far. Because I could not swim, I never attempted to go around, through the water. So that curiosity was never satisfied.
Every time we arrived at the top of this hill and I could see the bay, I knew we were getting close to the cottage. That sight always thrilled me, and still did this time. But today, buildings, huge homes, occupy space that back then was empty except for a few cottages and homes that were nothing like the size of some of the new ones. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, and had a hard time recognizing where I was. Even the narrow dirt lane–I could not call it a road–that led to the cottage, is now paved.
I will add more photos in my next post and tell you more about my holiday. Until then, I hope you enjoy this one and will come back again for the next installment. Have a wonderful week. And please, do leave a comment.