Monday, August 04, 2008

Gathering at the River

We have friends who have a summer cottage along the St. Lawrence River, and this last weekend we drove up to spend a couple of days with them.

The St. Lawrence is a magnificent and amazing river. It is completely navigable by deep sea-going vessels, from the estuary entrance at Quebec City, all the way to Lake Ontario, where it links ocean-going vessels to the Great Lakes.

We have visited the Thousand Islands area (where our friends have their cottage) off and on for many years. When our daughter was little, and we were on a family vacation with her and our son, she wanted to see a real castle. So we went to see Boldt Castle (not a castle by European standards, but enough for a four year old, at the time).

About 7 years ago, when we were also visiting our friends, we went into the little town of Clayton, NY--and encountered a woman walking a puppy that needed a new home. VOILA--our dog Tipper (so named because of TIP=Thousand Island Park. . .and for the white tip on her nose!).

So, to get to our destination, we cross the Thousand Island Bridge, which is a treat all in itself. From the top of this bridge, you can begin to see the charm of the Thousand Islands area--where individual cottages are built on tiny islands.

We arrive at our destination--our friends' cottage. The above photo of Tipper (and her master) is taken on the front porch of this cottage.

Our first evening meal--a cookout eaten on this lovely picnic table.

And then, our evening entertainment--a boat ride on the St. Lawrence to view the lovely sunset.

The soft pastel hues of the St. Lawrence are famous--and local pottery features these peachy, bluesy sunset hues. You bet I am going to make a large print of the photo immediately above and frame it.

Waiting for us at the cottage--our friends' new kitten (held by a little neighbor girl), and our friends' dog--Ada.

On our second day, we headed out to a local gift shop on an island. The shop is cleverly named The Boateak! We always find some whimsy there that we buy and bring back home.

The house is immediately next to the gift shop, and is the residence of the shop owner.

These crested white ducks were part of a flock that the shop owner had. Domestic ducks, they were reluctant to swim in the little pond next to their pen!

The loon planter is the type of item the shop might sell. This one, with the iridescent begonias, was NOT for sale.

A frequent sight on the St. Lawrence--a freighter passing by, as we shopped.

The dock at the shop.

And then, the weather began to turn--as it does shockingly fast along the St. Lawrence. We zoomed back to our dock--with us heading LEFT out of the photo! The rain held off until we got back.

The summer has been rainy there, and the flowers are thriving.

A few other sights--an osprey nest, seen on our first evening out.

An American kestrel has been visiting the island this summer.

Finally, on Sunday--our last day there--we headed to the Tabernacle where services are held: first Catholic and then Protestant. The Thousand Island Park was originally a Methodist community, established at the end of the 19th century.

A favorite hymn for Sunday services is "Shall We Gather at the River"--hence my title.


Anonymous said...

What a gorgeous community. Looks like you had a great trip! And, those ducks . . . how cute are they?

Lynne said...

It looks like an amzing area to explore and reconnect with friends.

Anonymous said...

You will remember I'm sure that your stepmother & I were in Gananoque on the Ontario side of the border when you called with the news of the tragedy that befell Glenn & Beth, and how we aborted our wedding trip to return for their funerals. And then the following year we took a delayed and expanded post wedding trip, doing the Thousand Islands cruise. My first introduction to the St. Lawrence was October 1929, when as a ten year old lad with my parents and brothers we went through immigration and customs in Quebec City, and disembarked in Montreal, heading for Grandfather‘s home in the Niagara Peninsula.. Memories! Memories!
Father "C"

Ginnie said... brought back such interesting memories for me. I was there in 1956 and actually had a marriage proposal while overlooking the water...I declined
but it was fun to remember that.
Your photos are lovely.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The Thousand Islands is a lovely part of our common border. How long until Bush calls for a fence down the middle.:)

The opening of the Seaway changed Canada. Toronto, which had been a very provincial English city, began it transformation to becoming a multicultural, multi ethnic city, progressive city.

Anvilcloud said...

Looks like a great little vacation. Just think, you were within a few hours of AC. Did you feel honoured? :)

Ruth said...

I spent many summers in the Gananoque area and even lived there for one year during a furlough. We visited again a couple of years ago and did the cruise...beautiful area! Your pictures are lovely.

Beth said...

We were in Gananoque last year and had a wonderful time--thanks for your post it reminded me of that blissful, beautiful few days last August. Your pictures were outstanding.

NCmountainwoman said...

What a charming and peaceful place. Your photos are wonderful. Great post that I will be re-visiting often.

dguzman said...

Wonderful photos, KGMom! I like those ducks!

possumlady said...

Wow, what wonderful photos! It looks like a wonderful place. Although the house in the 3rd photo looks like its about to fall into the river? Very cute cottages. Does anyone live there year-round or is it just a summer place?

And, of course, I love the photo with the little girl and kitty. Love the weimaraner. Always wanted one since I was little and our pastor would let his old weimaraner roam the playground during recess!

So, inquiring minds want to know...what bit of whimsy did you find at the local gift shop?

JeanMac said...

Love the layout and colors. I've never been. Beautiful pictures.

Mary C said...

That was a relaxing tour; I felt like I was there with you. Thanks for sharing, and it's obvious you had an enjoyable time.