Roadtrip: Cottage Country

My summer vacation this year was spent travelling in northern Ontario. It seems when I've said to people that this is what I was going to do, they think I mean the Great North, as in Algonquin park, but no, I mean just a little bit north. The Kawarthas, the Muskokas, and the In-betweens.

The journey included 3 nights at 2 family cottages and a three night RV rental. It included Kinmount, Minden, Orillia, Barrie, Port Severn, Haliburton, Bobcaygeon and more. The RV didn't make this journey though! Better than the sort you have to drive from place to place, this RV was parked, had a nice deck and bbq, and all the things you need. It was centrally located as a home base for our adventures. We just showed up with food, ice, beer and a deck of cards. From here we managed to fit in stops in at a number of interesting sites, and of course we fit in some swimming, sunning and sleeping.

Kinmount Ontario is home to the Highlands Cinema, a thirty-three year old cinema in a house on a hill on the outskirts of town. According to this article, there are more seats in the five-screen theatre than there are people in Kinmount.

Wide-eyed in the spooky cinema museum.

After you buy your ticket, you can walk through a film history museum with hundreds of projectors, film ephemera, and other neat oddities, which kills time before your show starts. It's definitely a must-do if you are in the Haliburton or Kawartha area for a few days.

While in Kinmount, it's not a bad idea to stop at Chatty Kelly's Chip Stand, and try their fries. Some say they are the best they've had since highschool.

Bobcaygeon, which we visited for an afternoon, has a quaint downtown, but is home to a number of awesome stores is you're looking to shop for a very exciting bathing suit. One of the most famous is Bigley's Shoes, which is much more than a shoe store. Though the urge to look like Lady Gaga while I swim lingered, I was more interested in some Kawartha Dairy ice cream and a watching the boats go through the locks and the swing bridge open and close a few times.

A trip to Haliburton took us along winding roads, that ended up at the Haliburton Sculpture Forest. Located near the Sir Sanford Fleming Haliburton campus, home to the Haliburton School of Arts, the forest is an outdoor collection of sculptures by Canadian and international artists.

Me with Pan
A map to the forest was available at the entrance. It was a drizzly day, but a fun walk through where any turn could reveal an unexpected sight. Notable works included were from artists such as Mary Ann Barkhouse and William Lishman. I liked Shelter Shift  by Phillip Vander Weg, which was a large structure of a house, but colourful and slightly askew, as if a child had drafted the architectural plans.
View of Head Lake from Haliburton Village Rotary Park.

After the walk through the forest, we spent time in Haliburton Village, pondering the purchase of tshirts with wolves on them (with "Haliburton, Ontario" screened in below the main image) and large canvasses with bright red canoes.

My idea of a classic car might be different than yours.
In Barrie, we visited the downtown, walked down to Kempenfelt Bay where a local show and shine was happening with classic cars. Afterwards, we went to the Sunset Barrie Drive-in Theatre, to see a terrible movie I won't even link to out of protest.

Though the movie was terrible, we enjoyed the retro styling of the concession stand, and the short cartoon they played before the film that was lifted straight from the golden era of drive-ins.

While contemplating if people still go into drive-ins with people in the trunk of their car to avoid paying full price, a truck pulled up beside us with 4 people hidden in the back under a tonneau cover. So that answers that question: Yes, they do.

Road trips are classic adventures and lead to great conversations, interesting animal spotting (our week included Turkeys, Herons, Ducks, Groundhogs, Deer and more!) and great roadside discoveries. I can't wait for my next road trip, which is already planned for the fall.

Happy Summer!

No comments: