We could have easily spent more time exploring and making memories in Northern Ontario and it will always hold a special place in my heart when reminiscing about this road trip. It was an area that we thoroughly enjoyed, but now, we had some difficult decisions to make in terms of our routes.
You see, Ben really wanted to go to Bobcaygeon to see the constellations reveal themselves, one star at a time. And it didn’t sound like a bad idea. Except that the time crunch was beginning to weigh a bit. At our final destination in Petit-de-Grat, Nova Scotia, my parents, namely my Mom, sat on the edge of her chair wondering when we would arrive. The distance between our homes meant that visits with the kids were precious and always too short. Usually, we head to Cape-Breton for three to four weeks when we fly, so we were chewing into that time and I could just imagine her waving her finger at me and scolding me while using all three of my names…en français-acadien!
So by the lake in Superior, Ben and I looked at the map and discussed the time it would take to head down to Bobcaygeon. We discussed that if he really, really, really wanted to go, we would probably have to take other things out of the trip to do it.
He didn’t love the idea of missing out. However, he was gaining a true appreciation for the expansiveness of Canada’s land. That night in Superior, he still wasn’t convinced it couldn’t be done, “But Mom, we could just drive long days. I want to go to Bobcaygeon and I really want to go to Kingston too and see if maybe we can visit Gord Downie. Maybe we’ll see him on the street or something.”
The decision was on hold for the time being. How could I disappoint an eight year old who had a music obsession with a band that I loved too? Whenever I started the van, Ben never failed to remind me, “The first track on my playlist, Mom!”
Everyday, we started that way.
The first song that played in the van whenever we climbed into it was, “Looking for a Place to Happen (making stops along the way).” Very fitting don’t you think? One might ask, “How could you not make the drive to Bobcaygeon to see the constellations reveal themselves, and then, how could you not go on a hunt for Gord on the streets of Kingston?”
I know right?
Not an easy call.
And I wasn’t ready to make the call. Clearly, neither was Ben. I wasn’t about to ruin our perfect night with a perfect sunset, by calling off the perfect place to have a ‘Hip’ moment.
The final decision was on hold.
We would drive for now and make the call at the Y in the fork.
So we drove from Superior Provincial Park and headed toward Sudbury. When we got there, I ignored the east exits to North Bay and Ottawa, and instead took the southern route toward Toronto that would lead me toward Bobcaygeon. It was getting late in the day, so we pulled into Grundy Provincial Park to see if they had a site.
Sure enough, they did!
This flying by the seat of my pants thingy was going well so far! Some of the sites weren’t the cream of the crop, but we had a place to park it and that was victory. To top it off, Grundy Lake Provincial Park was a real treat.
But not at first.
By the time we rolled in, it was late and the kids were hungry. Our site wasn’t ideal because it was sloped and it didn’t have a great spot for the tent. We managed to pitch the cabin and I started to make dinner. Dusk turned to night quickly, and though I had most of dinner cleaned, soon I would need my headlamp to finish up. I was making laps from the van, up the hill to the picnic table, then scrambling to the tent to put the kids to bed, all while swatting at the pesky mosquitoes.
I was putting the dish bin back into the van when I heard a rustling over my shoulder. I turned to a giant raccoon destroying my garbage bag. I shooed it away but not before there was trash all over the site. The kids, who’d been neatly tucked in (well as neat as you can be camping), were up again, their faces pressed against the tent screen door worried that the raccoon was a bear.
Ugh, it wasn’t turning into an ideal evening.
By the time I snuggled into my sleeping bag, I was tired. Just as I was dozing off, it dawned on me to use the floodlights that Matt had installed at the top of Black Betty. Why didn’t I think of that sooner? Ugh.
It didn’t take me long to drift off to sleep.