Dear Elly G,
I guess when I said “gifs,” I meant “a gif.” Because I don’t want to overwhelm. Or overshare. Or both. Or who cares, it’s driving onto a boat and off of it after an hour and a half or so, and here I am gushing about it because I’m an ignoramus. Anyway, it’s just a really cool way to do it. Of course it’s squeaky clean, has a lounge, a gift shop (a Boatique, awww) and a surprisingly respectable cafeteria. I say respectable because it comes with its own popcorn machine, a nacho bar and a pretzel carousel. That’s on top of the full-service kitchen promising an all-day breakfast, fish and chips and even chicken curry on a bed of steaming basmati. (A: “I really like this boat.”)
I’d include what it looks like to roll out, watching the RVs and the cars towing their speedboats go before us along with the one guy whose car decided not to start, holding up everyone behind him… but that’s neither here nor there, and we were glad we weren’t in that particular queue.
We soon found ourselves in Manitoulin, the largest freshwater island in the world. I found it deeply interesting to get a feel for the Native American culture in Canada, and a few hours on the island wasn’t enough to really capture all of it. We drove to Manitowaning, a town about twenty minutes away from where we docked, and it was almost a ghost town. Deserted streets, boarded up buildings, one small grocery store where the shoppers looked weathered and leathery. You could probably film one of those Wild West scenes with a single tumbleweed rolling down a street without a name in Manitowaning.
We found a marina with no one in sight and then my hearing aids went out. Because I forgot to bring spare batteries, it ended up being eerie – I couldn’t hear a sound, the lake was as still as glass, and we were the only ones there with the exception of one rusting ship. It was like being enveloped by a quiet dread, the kind that slowly takes over your mind and eventually drives you insane. I fancied that the world had sort of ended, and we were the last people on earth and suddenly the zombies would come crawling out of the ship and we’d have to get into our rental and drive like bats out of hell. You know that’s where my imagination usually takes me. I did it in downtown Buffalo. I did it in Manitoulin Island. I’ll probably do it again somewhere else where the population is scarce, the sky is overcast and my hearing aids have stopped working.
I later found out Manitoulin means “Spirit Island,” because a powerful spirit is said to live there, and Manitowaning means “Cave of the Spirit,” because it’s near an underwater cave where the spirit is said to dwell. Maybe there was something to that feeling of dread, after all.
Not really done yet (but stop me if you want to),