Day 49 – Happy birthday, Casque-Roux!

We woke Alexe up today with a tinny serenade of NKOTB singing Happy Birthday through the miniature speakers of my phone. Her first act of the day was to slow dance with Mike around the picnic table. Then it became a lazy morning of gifts and breakfasting on crepes in the campground, and a mid-morning swim off the dock.

We spent an hour or two in the early afternoon exploring the random mysteries and treasures of the Up Top Sports Shop in Mindemoya — Episode Nine, coming soon, has a full report — and it is a shopping experience not to be missed! We then headed to Gore Bay to poke around in the shops and enjoy the delicious ginger frozen yogurt at the newly renovated Island Pantry.

Next stop was the “prettiest village in Ontario,” the lovely Kagawong, to sample the wares of the artisan Manitoulin Chocolate Works. With our treats in hand — handmade chocolates, from mint melts to white chocolate truffles, peanut brittle, and chocolate covered liquorice! — we opened the cooler for a quiet picnic on the beach, then explored the art galleries and studios of the Old Mill Heritage Centre.

Always the best part of any trip to Kagawong, which translates from Anishinaabemowin¬†as ‘Mists Rising from Falling Water’, we pulled on our bathing suits and leapt through the lacy cascades of Bridal Veil Falls to swim in the pool below. Lake Kagawong flows over the limestone bluff and down the Kagawong River to empty in Mudge Bay on the North Channel. The water is quite shallow this year, allowing swimmers to walk back under the thundering sheets of water instead of swimming ferociously against the strong current. The low water levels are not good news for the spawning Atlantic salmon and trout, however, as there’s not enough room over the rocks of the river to allow them upstream.

After we were thoroughly swummed out, it was back to Mindemoya and MCC for a boisterous game of softball in the field. Declaring baseball a ‘fat-man’s sport,’ Mike cracked a hearty grand slam all the way to the cookout deck, and ran all the little kids home. Although the weekly games often end with a tie, this week the Beavers triumphed by one point, thanks to the new Babe Ruth of the Internets.

Then it was off to the antique interior of the Old Schoolhouse Restaurant in Providence Bay for fine birthday dining, Pernod and caesars, candles and homemade bread, mussels and steak, and antique schoolhouse paraphernalia. Their famous bread pudding and creme brulee finished the meal, and back home at MCC, the Thursday night bonfire completed our day with a classic rock singalong and roasted marshmallows under a starry sky.

A perfect Manitoulin day.

Tomorrow — Mike and Boggie are going off-roading with the Ride Manitoulin boys!

Photo by Alexandra Sawicki


  1. perfect, indeed!

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