We’ve just enjoyed a beautiful week of early summer vacation, a holiday of contrasts. From the culture and sophistication of the symphony orchestra in downtown Toronto to the rustic woods and beaches of Killbear Provincial Park, there was something for each of us!
I had been given a gift certificate for the Toronto Symphony Orchestra by family. Because of the distance we live from Toronto, we decided to include a concert with our travel plans. We parked our trailer at my cousin’s home outside the city and drove downtown.
I’d hoped to be able to tell you about some amazing gluten-free meal that we had enjoyed near the Roy Thompson Hall. However, that was not to be the case. Charlie wasn’t able to get away from work as early as he had hoped, and Toronto traffic was incredibly busy even going into the city late on a Friday afternoon. We missed our restaurant reservation, so a gluten-free Kind bar and banana from the Starbucks around the corner became dinner! Meanwhile, back at the trailer, the fridge was bursting with food prepared to last us a week! Oh well, it was nice to see the city again, anyway.
The Roy Thomson Hall in the Entertainment District of downtown Toronto is a beautiful structure surrounded by a large curved glass canopy. The inside of the auditorium is clad in light wood, creating a stunning, simple design that in no way detracts from the performance. James Ehnes, a world-renowned Canadian violinist performed that night. The music was lovely! We also enjoyed being in downtown Toronto and hope to get back again when we can spend more time.
The next morning, we caught up with my cousin and family over breakfast, and then headed north with the trailer to Killbear Provincial Park.
We’ve stayed at Killbear before and really like its Northern Ontario beauty. Since it’s on a peninsula, there is a choice of beaches. If there’s a cool breeze blowing on one side, you can simply go to the sheltered side of the park to relax on another beach. If the weather’s hot, head for the cooler side. Some beaches are shallow while others have deeper water.
The water is crystal clear.
Parry Sound, Ontario
Sunday found us in Parry Sound. As we wandered around thinking about lunch and having to pick up a few things, we spotted Kate’s Kart by the Canadian Tire parking lot.
I must admit to being a little bit prejudiced against fast food trailers. I’m pretty quick to write them off as having nothing gluten-free or nutritious. However, the words gluten-free caught our eye.
I was able to have a gluten-free sausage on a gluten-free bun with gluten-free french fries! It’s not the sort of thing I usually eat, but I did enjoy it. Kate’s Kart looks clean and new. It provided friendly, efficient service and a few tables and chairs.
Killbear Provincial Park
On Monday, we biked about 10 km (6 mi.) of hilly, winding, but nicely groomed trail through the woods to a deserted beach.
Likewise, the following days became a relaxing routine of hiking, biking, soaking up the sun on the beach, watching sunsets, and sitting around the campfire.
Our campsite, #250 in the Beaver Dams campground, backed onto a ravine.
From our reclining chairs perched at the top, we observed a red-headed woodpecker do its thing on a big, old tree stump; watched a newborn fawn trying out its new legs under the very watchful eye of its mother; shooed away a pesky raccoon; and saw numerous chipmunks scurrying about.
There was evidence of a black bear having been in an empty campsite near ours. A very big hole had been dug beside the picnic table with bear tracks in the dirt. Just a few feet away lay a tuft of black fur. A park employee told us that a few bears had been spotted and a couple had been trapped and removed already this season. Then on the return stretch of our last bike trip (It was our last day, but might have been my last outing anyway!), some bikers we met on the path told us that they had just spotted a bear back a little, but not to worry-it was only a baby bear. I’m thinking a baby bear has a very protective mother nearby! We didn’t see one, though, maybe because of all the noise I made from that point on!
Good reasons to camp in June in Ontario
1. There are very few other campers because school is still in session.
2. The weather can be very nice, especially toward the end of the month.
3. There are long hours of daylight.
4. The wildlife has not become as accustomed to and unafraid of humans and their food as they might later on.
The negative for swimmers is that the water is still very cold!
Oh, and of course, we did a lot of eating. We brought enough food with us to last the week. Here’s a summary of what I brought.
- Bacon and eggs
- Chocolate Chips Muffins (Recipe coming soon!)
- Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
- Power Bars
- Lettuce and fresh vegetables chopped up for salads
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Bean Salad
- Balsamic, Chickpea, Brown Rice and Broccoli Salad
- Deviled Eggs
- Potato Salad (Recipe to come!)
- Ground beef, gluten-free spaghetti, and jarred spaghetti sauce
- Hot Italian sausages, sweet potatoes
- GF hamburgers with Paleo Buns
- Steak to cook over the fire
- Smoked pork chops
- Canned Salmon
- Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Chocolate Covered Almond Dairy-free Ice Cream
- Dairy-free Hot Chocolate (I don’t include the added sweetener in this recipe.)
Do you have a favourite park where you like to camp?