Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Deerhurst Ontario - Algonquin Park and Pool Day

We started the day with a late breakfast buffet at the Eclipse Restaurant on site. The food was good, although the price was pretty steep. The best part was the Eclipse Gallery in the hallway outside. They had beautiful paintings with regional themes in a variety of media, as well as sculptures out of limestone, soapstone and various other materials. I did not see the sign asking that photographs not be taken. Oops!!

Learning about Tom Thomson and the Group Of Seven

Oh yeah, this place will probably be lively in a few weeks when Beerhurst gets underway. I figure that by not drinking beer, I must be missing out on some of the greatest things in life....

Looking out from the front doors of the lobby

The plan this morning was to pick up Voltaren (Sandy is still feeling the effects of the walk) and Polysporin (For the blister on her toe - I did not pack any of my three tubes). Then we would drive through Algonquin Park to the Visitor Centre, which was the only park facility open during the winter. After that, skating on the lake here or at Arrowhead Provincial Park followed by pool time.

The pharmacy pickups were done at the Huntsville WalMart. The kids also got an adjustable pencil sharpener.

Wally World - Huntsville

Just before noon, we headed east on Highway 60. The Algonquin Park Visitor Centre lay about 50 miles ahead of us, well through the park. The road was clear and the traffic was light, so it was a pleasant drive. An added bonus was seeing a pair of moose browsing in the trees near the highway.

Those are big moose signs

Highway 60 is a nice motorcycle road in the summer

It is picturesque in the winter

Moose in winter

Two of them

Enjoying the low snow levels

Not a track on the lake

We arrived at the Visitor Centre just after 1:00 PM where I bought a day pass to display on the dashboard. Sandy and I had never been here before and were pleasantly surprised. There were some nice dioramas and historical exhibits about the wildlife and park history.

Early rangers

Train station

Rangers cabin

There was more on Tom Thomson, a quintessential Canadian artist, who died near here back in 1917. He captured the spirit of the park and the Ontario wilderness it represented.

Do any of my Canadian friends remember the kids show The Forest Ranger back in the 1960's? The uniform below made me think of it.

The temperature had gotten up to the mid 40's and snow was melting everywhere. It was a gorgeous spring T-shirt kind of day accidentally placed in February. We had no complaints until we found skating had been shut down at Arrowhead Park due to the soft ice conditions.

The drive back to Deerhurst was uneventful. The ice on the lake was too soft for skating, just like Arrowhead had been. We decided to put any skating off until tomorrow morning after the ice had a chance to set in the cooler overnight temperatures.

The ice on the rink was almost slush

Winter attire

Giant Muskoka (like Adirondack) chair

Since skating was a bust, we headed right on to the pool.

After a couple of hours and wrinkled fingers, we headed back to the room. I had found the Fitness Room and planned to go back later. It was 6:00 PM, time for supper (the second meal of the day since breakfast had been so late).

It turned out that there was a Chuck's Roadhouse here in Huntsville. Our Cambridge experience had been so good that we tried it again. I had another steak, 10 oz NY with a Caesar salad. I have paid three times what Chuck's charged for a steak that was not half as good so I went away happy. Robyn and Sandy split chicken fingers while Jolene had fish.

While waiting for the meal, I was sitting with my water glass in hand when it looked like Jolene was going to spill her Coke. It was hard to figure how my move to grab her glass ended up with my water all over the table and all over me as well. I think I twitched or jerked or something. Manual dexterity has never been my long suit.

The three ladies split a concoction called a Chuck's Buckaroo for dessert.

We got back to the resort about 8:00 PM. The car temperature readout said it was still above freezing. I worked on the blog and never did get back to the Fitness Room. This night, Jolene slept on the fold out bed, Robyn took the couch cushions on the floor and Sandy and I took the double beds in the bedroom.

Today's Route (113 Equinox miles):

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Cambridge Ontario to Deerhurst Ontario

Sandy and I checked out of the Travelodge, but booked the same room for our return on Wednesday.

Looking for something different for breakfast, we went across the road to the Sunset Grill. It was almost empty when we arrived at 8:30 but was packed when we left 45 minutes later. The food looked good and I had what they called a "Protein Plate", a nod to the no carb customers. It was three eggs, a 7 oz steak and a salad. Next time, I would just ask for some tomatoes instead of the whole salad, but I enjoyed it. Sandy made do with a strawberry covered waffle.

After arriving at Kim and Mike's, we loaded Jolene and Robyn's luggage in the back of the Equinox. It fit. Barely.

With the car loaded, we went to church with the family in their van. It is a rare day that sees me inside a house of worship, but their congregation were good folks and, so far, I had not been struck by lightning. Besides, the coffee urns after the service were labeled "Decaf", "Regular" and "Strong". Kim and Mike thanked the assembled multitudes for supporting Coldest Night (the CCC team was in 3rd place with over $2,800 raised) and Pastor Dan gave a lesson that suggested he might have a future in stand up comedy.

This made me think of Narnia...

After church, we had lunch at a Chuck's Roadhouse (thanks, Mike). The chain was new to me but seemed to be expanding all across southern Ontario. The prices were quite reasonable and the selections looked tasty. Another 7 oz top sirloin and a Caesar salad kept me within my dietary guidelines. I would patronize a Chuck's again in a moment. Sudbury needs one.

We were back at the house and ready to hit the road about 1:30. It was Sunday so I headed towards Toronto on the 401. As we got closer to the city and the traffic got heavier, I lost my nerve and took the 407 ETR toll road around the busiest part. Terrible rates but great for getting around Hogtown quickly.

Road trippers...

Rider on the 401 near Milton

I know he is smiling under that mask

Blue skies, clear roads, good driving

More construction in Milton and Halton

And a Maserati SUV - economy must be better than I thought

North of Toronto on Highway 400, there was still very little snow. We stopped at the On Route service centre in Barrie for a bathroom break and refreshments.

Holland Marsh is virtually snow free

It was well over 40 F when we arrived at Deerhurst Resort. The one bedroom suites are located in the five Summit Lodges. They had us booked into 55, the farthest from the main building (pool, restaurants, fitness room) but the young lady on the desk moved us to the closest one. The last minute change threw housekeeping off a bit but they put a priority on getting our new room ready.

Summit Lodge 51 - Deerhurst Resort

Suite 51-203

Luggage unloaded, we took a walk around The Pavilion (main building) and checked out the pool.

Then we drove into town and got some snacks (not many, Kim) at a grocery store. Then I looked on my phone and saw there was a Kelsey's Roadhouse for supper. The phone Google Map had it located on Hanes Road, a mile or so away. Lucky I looked around because it was actually right in front of us in the same parking lot.

We ate reasonably, with Robyn splitting the cookie that came with her kid's meal with her sister.

OK, it was a BIG cookie covered with ice cream and chocolate drizzle. Hot, too.

We got back to the resort around 7:45 and unpacked. The bedroom had two double beds instead of queen size, so Sandy and I let the girls each have a bed and we took the fold out couch in the living room.

Looking at the pool from our balcony

After watching the season 2 premier of The Island Of Bryan, we all went to bed.

Today's Route (186 Equinox miles):