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Bruce Peninsula National Park, ON, Canada

I don't take for granted, not even for a second, my incredible journey on the open road. Every day, my eyes are blessed with stunning views, and my heart is joyful.

If you have been following my journey, you know that what I have come to appreciate the most are the beautiful souls that enter my life.

In early February, I received an email from Janet, who follows my story on Substack and is a member of one of the Facebook groups where I post.

Her email was sweet and inviting. She would love to host me at her place when I come to Canada and show me around her area. She also mentioned Bruce Peninsula National Park, which is three hours away. I appreciated her invitation and reached out to thank her. We learned we share an interest in the same kind of books (Brené Brown, Pema Chödrön, Neale Donald Walsch, Bessel van der Kolk), and a new friendship began to flourish.

Her location is off my path of travel, but after I made my reservation at Bruce Peninsula Park, I extended an invitation for her to join me. She will join me on my second day.

Knowing I would need to find a place to stay the night before my campground reservation, Janet connected me with Tamara, who offers overnight parking on her driveway.

The Facebook Group Road Trip Her (a women-only group) has a map on which members offer a safe place to stop for the night. I have used this map several times and found it helpful (Thank you, Jess).

I arrived at Tamara's in the early evening and joined her in walking her dogs while I got another chance to see Lake Huron. I enjoyed Tamara's sense of humor and learning about her travels and the lessons she has learned from the challenges she encountered.

Wonderful! For the next few days, the weather will be in my favor: sunny and cool.

My research on Bruce Peninsula National Park led me to learn about Flowerpot Island. (From Google: Flowerpot Island is an island in Georgian Bay, in the Canadian province of Ontario, and is a part of Fathom Five National Marine Park).

So, first thing this morning, I got my ticket for the Glass Bottom Tour of the Shipwreck, which includes a drop-off at the island. It is pretty cool to see the remains of the ships (The Sweepstakes, which sank in 1885, and The City of Grand Rapids, which sank in 1907) at the bottom of the lake. The water is so clear that I can see many details clearly. It feels like time has stopped.

The island is small, and you can hike the entire perimeter in two hours. The island is named after the two rock pillars, which look like flower pots. It is worth a visit—a perfect trip for anyone.

Since the beginning of the boat ride and all through the island, I have been bumping into the same couple. We make quick, small jokes about it and go our way.

I take the early boat ride back since I still plan to hike part of the Bruce Trail to the Grotto. Here again are Lorraine and Glenn. Are they following me, or am I following them?

Yes, as we ride back on the gentle waves of Georgian Bay, a fun and relaxed conversation about traveling binds us.

Glenn wants to know my reaction after I hike to the Grotto because he was a bit disappointed. I give them my campsite number if they want to find out my perspective.

I set up camp, made lunch, put on my hiking boots, and off I went. I am looking forward to seeing with my own eyes the pictures that captured my curiosity.

I set AllTrails to show me the way to Horse Lake, the Grotto, and Marr Lake. The loop is only about three miles long, and it combines flat terrain in the woods with rugged bouldering along Georgian Bay.

When a color makes me happy, my whole being is full of happy songs.

The Georgian Bay watercolor is a rich, deep blue, with a band of turquoise at its shores. It has the same blend of colors that Lake Huron gifted me yesterday. I am in love!

I continue my hike in search of the Grotto. As I get closer, I lose my solitude, and the sound of the crowd takes over the gentle waves. I am not ready to share the rocky beach area with others. Not yet, anyway. So, I walk in the opposite direction along the ridge and get closer to the edge. Since I fear heights, I lay on my stomach and move myself to the edge to enjoy looking down into the turquoise water, mesmerized by the gentle ripples below me.

The hike on the boulders is challenging. I enjoy the puzzle of finding my way from rock to rock. I get to the Grotto and hope Glenn and Lorraine will come to find out what I think about this hike.

Finally, the weather allows me to take my time and cook dinner in the open air. I love cooking outdoors. I swear the food tastes better! Even the stubborn raccoon agrees with me.

This morning, I am on a mission. I put on a few layers to protect me from the cold. I am returning to the Grotto area to have it all to myself. This time, I am hiking the fastest and easiest trail, the Georgian Bay Trail.

The early bird gets the worm.

The water is incredible!!! It’s such a clean, pure blue with a gentle turquoise. Turquoise is a sensitive color; its beautiful, peaceful mood is controlled by the soft undertone of green or blue.

This morning, Georgian Bay is rough and passionate. The sound of the waves crashing into the cliffs is exciting and relaxing at the same time. I love how the water splatters, adding a white color to this beautiful scheme of colors.

I am back at my campsite, laying my yoga mat on the picnic table to stretch my body and soul before Janet arrives.

I am unsure what it is or how to explain it, but it feels natural to meet face-to-face with the women I have connected with online.

Janet and I are on the same path regarding our journey with our trauma. We are both concentrating on the healing journey of it. We don't even go into details to share our story; there is a mutual understanding that our direction is forward.

Yesterday, I hiked north on the Bruce Trail. Today, Janet and I are heading south on the trail. Tamara recommended hiking to Storm Heaven.

WOW! It is undoubtedly a piece of Heaven! I love it here! The rugged, dark shoreline and stunning watercolor are out of this world. I don't want to leave, but it is time to return to our campsite. We still want time to get dinner going and drive to Singing Sands for sunset.

As we sit to eat dinner, two people on scooters enter our site. It takes me a second to recognize them. Lorraine and Glenn stopped by to say hi and to hear my report.

Lorraine and Glenn missed the path to the Grotto. From their point of view, the place seemed overrated, and I can understand that. It took me a while to find my way down to the Grotto area, and I can see how they missed the path and the beauty of the Grotto area.

Good morning, my sunshine!

It is time to pack up camp—my last day at Bruce Peninsula National Park.

I would love to return to some of the places I have visited; Bruce Peninsula National Park is one of those places.

Today, Janet and I are hiking to the High Dump Side Trail, another section of the Bruce Trail. The trail goes right into the woods. Two miles into our hike, we decided to turn around. It is a great trail, but we prefer hiking along the shoreline.

The hike in the silence of the woods lets us continue our conversation on trauma and the many tools available today to find a safe way out to a loving heart. I have yet to give up on my vision of creating a community place to empower women to understand their responsibility in the progress of healing and provide tools and support in their journey.

We find our way back to the water to sit on the rocky shore and enjoy the waves crashing with beautiful energy into the rocks. I take my boots off and roll my pants up. I stand in the freezing water until my feet get numb. I love this feeling of the rocks underneath my feet and the little girl in me coming out to stroll on the rocks until the teasing waves crashing next to me soak me with their love.

It is a perfect place to do yoga and stretch. (Alice, your voice of encouragement is always with me).

I don't want to leave. This place has absolutely stolen my heart. However, we still have an hour's drive back to Tamara's, where we will stay for the next two nights. We want to treat Tamara to dinner. I also need to take a shower, and do laundry.

My travels have given me many magical moments. We are three women with our own life stories and different backgrounds, bound by our love of the outdoors. Yes, magic indeed!

Good morning, rain. I need a rainy day. Rainy days are writing days.

It is time to say goodbye to Janet. These moments of goodbye are tough on my heart. I hope to cross paths again with each new connection, but it may not happen. So for a day, or a few, I take what I get from each beautiful soul to give and receive love and joy.

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