Sunday, August 19, 2012

Canadian Vacation

The Canadas played host to our family summer vacation this year, from which we returned early this morning. I grew up up near the border, and Fort Erie, Ontario, Niagara Falls and Toronto were frequent destinations for family day trips. In college, I lived close enough to bike or even walk across the Peace Bridge, but this was the first time I had a chance to explore the remoter (for an American) places.

Our first destination was Upper Canada's Bruce Peninsula National Park, which was every bit as beautiful as I had imagined watching Quest for Fire (1981) as a kid (minus Rae Dawn Chong). Cyprus Lake still must look much as it did 10,000 years ago. From there, we drove almost ten hours to the capital and her Canadian Museum of Civilization, one of the best I've ever visited.

I shamefully confess to not having ever known much about the country next to which I grew up, except of course that they were such nice people, and this museum did much to educate me. I never really fully contemplated the fact Canada as we know it never really existed as an English-speaking country until the French and Indian War and the desertion of American Loyalists.

This bit of history gave me an intensified respect as we crossed into Lower Canada and entered the Francophone, driving another five hours or so, through little towns dominated by beautiful Catholic churches that give each a center and a name, to our destination, La Mauricie National Park. It was there that the best day of our vacation occurred, canoeing on the pristine Lac Wapizagonke. I think I've never felt farther away.

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2 Comments:

Blogger J.K. Baltzersen said...

Did you get to see any Loyalist sites or museums, sir?

I can imagine that a Loyalist tour of Canada, seeing lots of Loyalist sites and museums, would be a nice project to do.

I know that Fredericton, New Brunswick, Kingston, Ontario, and Williamstown, Ontario could be on the itinerary for such a project.

August 23, 2012 at 3:12 PM  
Blogger Iosue Andreas Sartorius said...

I did not, perhaps out of subconscious realization that had I done so, I might not return. There was a display on the Loyalists at Ottawa's fine Museum of Civilization, though. The tour you propose sounds very enlightening.

August 24, 2012 at 7:54 AM  

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