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Published: July 30th 2017
We left Ottawa at 8:24 and 66 degrees and steered the car west toward Huntsville, Ontario. Being on the west side of the city, it was an easy drive out. Soon we were riding through Renfrew, the birthplace of the NHL, back in 1909. The downtown area looks like small-town America, reminding me of my hometown in Maine. It is old, but charming with businesses lining the downtown streets, housed in 2 or 3 story buildings built in the early part of the last century. And the town seemed to be thriving, for we saw no empty storefronts.
We drove through miles of farmlands teeming with golden wheat ready for harvest, young wheat striving to turn from green to yellow, soybean plants hugging the ground in lush leafy carpets of dark green and off, away from the road, were brick-red barns, some thirsty for a coat of paint.
In the Madawaska Valley, we passed many lakes hiding in heavily forested areas, some with tiny cottages nested between the water and the road, on narrow slivers of land that provided not a square foot of area to spare. The roadways were lined with tall, mature trees…light green pine, deep greenish-blue
spruce and the canopy was speared by the thin and willowy trunks of white birch trees, their delicate leaves fluttering in the breeze. Soft ferns provided a lush carpet, buffering the tree stands from the pavement of the highway and interrupted only by occasional angular rock faces budging out from the trees. Small billboards popped up occasionally, advertising local businesses…campgrounds, cottages for rent, and local restaurants. It seems that Ontario has no ban on billboards, however, they are quite small and stand low to the ground, so their impact on the scenery is minimal.
We drove through Algonquin Provincial Park for many miles before arriving in Huntsville, a thriving small town with a bustling downtown area, resting on the edge of one of many lakes. We surprised Pat and Robin by arriving about 2 hours early (Pat does not read her texts or her email). And this put us in a little piece of heaven at their cottage on Fox Lake, much like Bob and Gloria’s in Poland Springs.
Over the next two days we relaxed by the lake, participated in the daily evening wine cruise around the lake on their pontoon boat, picking up and letting off
some of their friends as we circled around. Beamer was always the first to board the boat and the first to disembark. And we ended each evening eating a fine meal prepared by Pat.
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