Side quests

As work on the house is keeping us busy, we haven’t had a lot of time to explore our the area much. Strathroy is the closest city (about 25 minutes away) and we know that pretty well because it has all the big chain stores – Walmart, Canadian Tire, Rona, etc. To the north of us, there’s a tiny town called Watford – we like it because it’s the closest (seven minute drive), and has a very nice Home Hardware Building Centre where we can get drywall and paint and other fun things. To the south (12 minute drive) is another tiny town called Glencoe. It has No Frills, the cheapest place to get groceries, and a Godfather’s pizza to satisfy Dave’s panzarotti cravings.

But other than that, we haven’t checked out much more.

However, the other day, we ended up taking a little road trip to Lambton Shores, a township about 40 minutes to the north, so Dave could get a mitre saw off someone on Kijiji. (We are going to have A LOT of baseboard to cut at some point!)

We ended up in the area about 30 minutes before our agreed upon meeting time, so I told Dave we were going on a side quest. He couldn’t tell because there were houses in the way, but I knew where we were – and that on the other side of those houses was a big blue lake!

We drove down the road a little until we came to one of the inevitable little parks you always find along the big blue lakes in Ontario. When Dave realized where we were, he got very excited.

That, my friends, is Lake Huron – the second largest of the five Great Lakes. Both Dave and I have grown up on Lake Ontario. Dave’s family cottage is on Long Point on Lake Erie, and used to work in Port Colborne, which is also on Lake Erie. My brother and I spent many summer days swimming in Lake Huron (much further north from here). I even got to see Lake Michigan when work sent me to Chicago. (Though it was February, which is a very… unfortunate… time to see Lake Michigan.) The only one of the Great Lakes I’ve never seen is Lake Superior.

But back to our side quest…

Because Dave’s never lived more than a five minute drive from a Great Lake, he’s been feeling very weird about where we live now. The Syndeham River does meander on by the town, but otherwise, there’s not much water around. I knew he’d be happy to see a big lake.

The little parkette we stopped at was actually at the top of a large, sandy cliff – I’m guessing about 200 feet high. Except for one spot (seen above in the last picture) we couldn’t even see the shoreline. In fact, we could only hear the water lapping the shore at that one spot too. The trees and shrubs on the cliff were just that dense. There’s no way we were able to get down to the water’s edge.

We didn’t stay very long – it was horribly hot (30C/87F) with crazy high humidity (felt like 40C/104F). Dave was melting in minutes. While he headed to the truck and its ice cold a/c, I skipped over to something that had caught my eye in the field across from the parkette.

Some pretty yellow Coneflowers! One had an unidentified beetle on it, and another had a little periwinkle snail hiding out from the sun! The flowers were mostly done, so I snagged a few spent heads for the seeds. I don’t have yellow cone flowers for my garden yet!

In the end, I got back in the truck, and we headed back to get the saw. (We also got a drill press and both were a crazy good deal).

On the way home, we drove through the town of Petrolia looking for a drive-thru for some road sustenance. I have to say, that town has the prettiest little downtown. We agreed that we’d do a day trip this fall when the weather is much more tolerable. We’re going to walk the whole downtown, then stop at a little Chip Wagon and explore a park that was full of geese. So that’s something to look forward to soon!

15 thoughts on “Side quests

  1. Sounds like a fun adventure and sharing it together makes it even better. My husband has been out of sorts for a very long time. There’s no where near for him to fish and the lakes that are fairly close are always crammed packed with people. Some day we hope move, and I want to be close to water so he can once again fish. Beautiful photos!


  2. Patty Andrews

    What a fun road trip, I miss seeing large bodies of water. I grew up in MN and there are lakes everywhere! Many trips to Lake Superior, which to me, looks like an ocean. I now live in Northern IL and it’s pretty empty of water. We do have a large river running thru the city but I miss the big lakes of MN!
    Thank you for showing me your day trip. Felt like I was on your adventure too!


  3. Araignee

    What a beautiful area! We woke up to cool temps this morning and I am beyond elated. Ida might have done a lot of damage but she did bring in some better weather. Seeing all the damage this morning is so sad. We had a giant tornado go right up nearby highway and tear everything up all the way to Annapolis. How lucky are we. Although I have to say it looks like a tornado hit my kitchen this morning. Ugh.


  4. Finding new places is the fun part of moving. I’m sure you’ll have fun exploring once the house work is done.

    I have to say ……………….I MISS the water. We lived right on the St. Johns River when we were in Jacksonville. I loved watching the water from our balcony. Even when we were in Orlando, it was just a short drive to the ocean.

    Here? I have to make do with Lake Galena (which is nice, but usually very crowded) and the small creeks that run just about everywhere. Sadly ……….no place that you can actually swim.


  5. Isn’t it fun to be a tourist in your own area/community! I love discovering things that I often overlook because I’m too distracted by keeping a schedule or going to an appointment. The snail is so sweet.


    1. Dave, being a big city boy, feels like we are in the middle of no where, but in truth, there are dozens of little towns that surround us, and we are no more than an hour from three different major cities.

      If it wasn’t for the heat, we would have stopped and checked out Petrolia that day. The humidity has finally broken, so I’m hoping we can enjoy some more outside time.



  6. Shirley Elliott

    What fun you guys will have exploring your new area. With fall weather on the horizon, it should be perfect for outings in between your home improvement projects. The humidity has relented here and it is an absolutely glorious day. There is a cool breeze and it’s too pretty to stay inside. I totally expected you to find some flowers at the park.


  7. And I thought that Michigan was the second-largest lake!
    Stumbling a a beautiful lake is about as good as it gets.
    I have to say that Superior is my favorite. The North Shore of Minnesota, which lies along the lake’s western edge, is just gorgeous. Not only is the shore beautiful, but there are tons of waterfalls.
    If you keep driving north, you end up in Thunder Bay, which is an interesting city. There is a great podcast called “Thunder Bay,” which goes into the crime and corruption that plague this city. On the upside, we saw amazing Inuit art and enjoyed the city’s Persian Rolls.


  8. So, if you two kept driving to Sarnia, then you’d be 30 minutes north of where we live!
    Looking on a map of Lake Huron, down at the bottom the lake becomes a river, then it opens into a heart-shaped lake call Lake Saint Clair.
    Over on the American side of Lake Saint Clair, you can see a sort of hook sticking out into the water…take that hook straight inland a few miles, et voila!
    There aren’t too many placed in America that are NORTH of Canada, but we are…a little bit.
    Hope to explore that part of Ontario when this pandemic is over. As a kid, we would drive across Ontario to visit our relatives near Niagara Falls, because to go around the bottom of Lake Erie would make the trip twice as long.


  9. How wonderful! Little explorations like this are just what you both needed! I’ve see all of the Great Lakes but Lake Superior, too! What beautiful photos and you have some seeds to sow which is a perfect souvenir!


  10. Pingback: Wind in the willows – Wandering Cat Studio

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