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Exploring the Scenic Beauty of the Thousand Islands in Gananoque, ON, Canada

It is another long day on the road. I enjoy driving. It relaxes me and provides time to think, listen to music, and audiobooks. If there is good reception, it is a fantastic time to catch up with old and new friends.

My next destination is Gananoque, where I booked a boat tour for a scenic ride in the Thousand Islands area tomorrow morning.

For the first two hours, I drive through beautiful farmland with simple, charming houses and cows on lush green fields. It truly is a peaceful drive.

The rest is nothing exciting, just a highway passing by Toronto and the heavy traffic.

Last night, I sat with Janet to discuss my options for staying overnight near downtown Montréal before my hotel reservation.Basically, I need to find a place to call home for the next two nights.

Today, I plan to find a spot in Gananoque. Janet recommended taking Route 2 for a nicer drive in the last portion of the ride. To ensure I get off at the exit to Route 2, I find a local park I can use as a point of reference. It is also a good place to stop and have dinner before finding my place in Gananoque.

Around six in the evening, I turned into the street leading to Barriefield Rock Garden (Kingston, Ontario). I drive slowly, observing the area. At this point, my brain is in "survival mode."

After twenty months on the road, my thinking is so different from what it used to be. Every corner can be a good option for a safe place to park for the night. All my senses are on high alert. Gananoque is a small tourist town, so it might be challenging to find parking.

I pass a lady working on her garden bed across from her quaint house. I pass her and stop. I put my gear in reverse to go back and ask her a simple question.

Is it okay to park on her street? I know it is a safe place—I can feel it in my bones—but if I stop outside her house, I want to ensure she feels safe with me parking on her street.

Bernadette is a lovely older woman who enjoys gardening. Of course, I must ask if she read the book "Where'd You Go, Bernadette" (a comedy novel by Maria Semple). Yes, she did; what a great, funny book!

How beautiful that a five-minute conversation with a stranger made my day.

Yes, I can park next to her house, and if anyone asks, she says to tell them I am a guest of Bernadette. I thanked her and continued the short drive to the park.

Barriefield Rock Garden Park is a blooming garden this time of the year. Lucky me! The gentle smell in the air and the songs of the birds as the sun slowly falls off the horizon are a reminder of life's simple joys.

I decided to stay parked in the small lot, as no sign states "No Overnight Parking".

Waking up in a quiet neighborhood somewhere in Canada is exciting. By 6:30 a.m., I am strolling in the garden, moving my body while eating my yogurt. I will drive shortly to the nearest Tim Hortons for coffee and to wash up—my life is far from boring.

There's no better way to experience the Thousand Islands on the St. Lawrence River than with a boat tour.

I take the three-hour option, knowing I still have over two hours of driving today. So many islands fold behind each other, creating a dream-like landscape. Every time the boat passes near a small island with a little cabin, my heart skips a beat. That is a beautiful dream to dream.

The tour circled the famous Boldt Castle, and I learned more about Louise and George's love story.

From Google: At the turn of the century, George C. Boldt, millionaire proprietor of the world-famous Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City, set out to build a full-size Rhineland castle in Alexandria Bay, on picturesque Heart Island. The grandiose structure was to be a display of his love for his wife, Louise. In January 1904, tragedy struck. Boldt telegraphed the island and commanded the workers to immediately "stop all construction.". Louise had died suddenly. A brokenhearted Boldt could not imagine his dream castle without his beloved. Boldt never returned to the island, leaving behind the structure as a monument of his love.

That goes to show you money can't buy happiness...

I struggle to keep my Jackery (my power station, which powers my cooler or any other device that requires charging) full of charge. I am disappointed with how little power I get into it while driving. With all my driving, I expected to gain much more of a charge.

There are three ways to charge my power station: The fastest way is to plug it into an outlet (which is not always possible). The second is to take advantage of the sun and use my solar panels. The third is to let my car engine charge it while I drive.

For the next three days, I will not have the opportunity to use either way as I will be parking in Montréal. So here I am, parking at the visitor center of Thousand Islands National Park, cooking a late lunch while taking advantage of the sun. 

I have only an hour to give for this break. I still have another two hours to get closer to Montréal. Since Janet is familiar with Montréal, I took her advice and put two options for parking in the outskirts of Montréal.

One is in a mall's parking lot with a 24-hour fitness center. However, as I set Google Maps to that destination, I noticed that on weekends, it closes at eight. That is no problem. I will set Google Maps to take me to the hotel parking lot Janet is familiar with and thought that would be a good option.

However, when I get to the hotel and drive around looking for a far quiet corner, I pass a few cars with a lock on the wheel. I get the hint, so now I need to put in place plan C. I enter the fancy hotel to wash up for the night. I do deserve some luxury.

Okay, let's see what my next options are and what plan C will look like.

Just a few miles away, there is another hotel with a large parking lot. (It is important to me to respect the privilege of parking for a paying guest, so I look for hotels with large parking lots).

I found my corner...

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