Back Roads Road Trip


I had an amazing weekend.  My brother is getting married next weekend so his fiancee’s bachelorette party was this weekend at a spa called Scandinave at Blue Mountain near Collingwood.  I was very excited to go hang out with the girl who’ll be my sister in now less than a week, and the other friends she’s chosen as her bridesmaids.  I was also very excited because, since it’s a 3 hour drive back to my home in South Central Ontario from Collingwood, I opted to crash for the night with a friend in Wasaga Beach.  I haven’t been to Collingwood since I was in Junior High (and it was in February!), and I’ve never been to Wasaga Beach, so it was an exciting opportunity!

Now, most normal people would plug their destination into Google Maps and take the route they’re given.  I’m admittedly not that normal.  I plugged my destination in, and laughed when it said the best way to go would be to take the 403 to the 407 to the 410 to 10 and then hit some county roads.  But that’s not how I roll.  When it’s this nice outside (it was 24 degrees today and 23 yesterday), I prefer not to sit in traffic.  I’d rather take abandoned county roads that I hardly have to share than a 400 series highway.

If I hadn’t taken said abandoned back roads, the pictures you’ll see in a minute wouldn’t have been possible.  It’s a lot easier to pull over to take pictures of fall foliage on Nottawasaga County Road 10 than it is on the 410.

As I drove through 6 counties (Brant, Waterloo, Wellington, Dufferin, Grey, and Simcoe) and switched through 4 radio stations, I had time to reflect on some amazing sights.

Saturday morning, I woke up at 5:50 am, knowing I wanted to be in Collingwood at 9.  It has been a really long time since I’ve seen the sun rise.  Yesterday morning, it took my breath away.  Does this get old?  Those of you who regularly watch the sun come up… do you get used to it?  Because I don’t know if I could.  Watching the sun crest the horizon of gently colouring fall trees then kiss the tassles on the top of stalks of corn, while the fog burns off with the coming heat, I couldn’t help but wonder if I regret that I don’t see this more often.  But… would it get old?  Would I get used to it and just not think about it anymore?  I guess I don’t know.

As I drove through windmill country near Shelburne, I shook my head at the intrusion into the scenery but then found my brain wandering toward whether they’re beneficial or not.  There are also signs all over wanting the wind farms to stop.

As I belted country songs out at the top of my lungs while I drove, Jason Aldean’s song “Fly Over States” came on the radio and I identified so much with it because… well…. how many people miss this view because they can’t handle the extra half hour it takes to avoid the 400-series-highways?

So things like the fog, the corn fields, the colourful fall trees… those are memory markers for this weekend.  Things like birds flying through the bright blue sky on Melancthon Side Road 30 as Grey County welcomed me…. priceless.  Things like the pictures taken from pulled over on Nottawasaga County Road 10, County Road 124, and Tenth Line (I pulled over for all of these pictures)…. they’ll stick.  Things like cresting hills with colourful trees and a stunning view of Georgian Bay on a hazy afternoon will take your breath away.

After a phenomenal day relaxing in the Scandinavian Baths at Scandinave Spa (can’t say enough good things about this place, by the way — want to enjoy a day of relaxing?  Take a book and go to Collingwood.  Fantastic.  I bet it’d be best in the winter, but who knows?)  the bridesmaids and I went for dinner right in Collingwood.  We laughed, we ate, we laughed some more.  We ate until we couldn’t eat anymore.  Then I headed for Wasaga Beach.

Ps I’m super thankful for GPS devices after this weekend…. I’d never have found my friend’s house in Wasaga without my phone.

As you arrive in Wasaga Beach, all you smell is Campfire.  To me, that’s what Wasaga Beach will always smell like.  That, and Georgian Bay.  But that comes later.

I had such a fantastic weekend, I just don’t think I could put it into words… I’ve been trying… I may have lost you by now…. but I digress.

When I arrived at my friend’s, we chatted, we bonded, we had refreshments… I met my roommate (a gecko named Lee), and it was just so nice to see her.

Today we headed down to the beach with her paddle boards to Georgian Bay and set out.  We both ended up swimming, me fully clothed, because when Georgian Bay beckons…. I wound up having to drive home in my bathing suit and the shorts I slept in because I wore my only shorts and tshirt in the water.  I couldn’t get over how, even at 20ish feet over our heads (we were pretty sure there were whales out there), you could still see the bottom.  Growing up camping on Lake Erie, I’m not used to seeing the bottom of the water I’m swimming in.  It was so calm and so beautiful… but the water was so cold.  I mean, it is Georgian Bay… but… it was still an amazing beach day.

As I drove out of Wasaga Beach headed for home this afternoon, I noticed that all the flags on the lamp posts said “The Beach is Just the Beginning” on them.  And I think they’re right.

This whole weekend, all I could think of is …. if we’d just slow down and drive the back way, what wouldn’t we miss?

 

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