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Wellesley Island

September 15, 2012

I was incommunicado yesterday. I ended up camping in the Wellesley Island State Park on Wellesley Island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. Apparently since I was off the US mainland, AT&T thought I was out of the country, and said there would be additional fees to use my phone or anything else…

I didn’t travel many miles yesterday. I headed out to Cape Vincent, where Lake Ontario meets the St. Lawrence River. Along the way I got sidetracked to the Long Point State Park on a little peninsula of land sticking out in Lake Ontario. We got a couple miles of walking in there, and I was literally the only person in the park aside from a couple of maintenance workers cutting grass. While I was walking around the whole park, I came upon a tree with a big yellow sign tied on with a purple cord. What the sign said was “How You Can Help Save New York’s Ash Trees” and listed several options; what I saw was “Hello Nancy! How’s This For An Obvious Hint for Your Donation Today?” New York, like many states (Michigan was one of the first), has a bad problem with the emerald ash borer, and that’s why they don’t let you bring your own firewood to campgrounds and all. After such an obvious hint, I mailed a donation to New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation, with a note saying I would like my donation to be used either for the purple tree traps to catch the little varmints, or for educational purposes.

After that visit, I began the drive back to the main road leading to Cape Vincent. As I rounded a bend, I saw a cute, tiny little building with a sign on it that said Cottage Bakery. Having only had a granola bar earlier in the morning, I was hungry and had to check it out. No one was around inside or out, and I noticed a sign asking people to use the honor system to pay for their goodies. There were a couple tables filled with baked goods, and coffee and water and t-shirts. I got a little box with a couple Very Berry Puff Pastries – it was a fun little place and very unexpected out along a country road.

Then we headed to Cape Vincent which was a fun place to walk around. After walking through town, I started down the narrow road following signs for a lighthouse (the signs didn’t say how FAR the lighthouse was!). After we’d walked a good mile or so, I asked some people and discovered it was still quite a ways away. So we turned around, having put in almost 5 miles of walking for the day already. On the walk back, I stopped and watched a freighter steam by – heading up the St Lawrence River from Lake Ontario. Then I followed the river north for a ways, and came to a cool bridge leading to Wellesley Island. It was a suspension bridge like the Mackinac Bridge, but steeper and higher (and only a mile long instead of 5 miles). I had to drive across it – the views were great. After I got on the island, I was going to do some walking in the state park, and discovered the campgrounds were still open, so I decided to stay. I was able to get a river-front campsite since it wasn’t crowded, and was hoping to be able to watch the freighters from my campsite, but they passed along on the other side of the island. There were plenty of other boaters out though. They have a big nature center with about 9 miles of trails, and Tula and I went and walked on 3 miles of them to complete our walking for the day. I also did some writing at the table in my campsite both before and after the walk. It was very peaceful listening to the water and watching the other boats. Once again, things got quiet very quickly after the sun went down.

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  1. I wish you had kept walking. Tibbets Point Lighthouse is a hostel in 1984. It marks the point where Lake Ontario and the St. Lawerence river meet. There is a telescope for visitors to look at the River and the Lake. Your pictures are lovely.

  2. No worries! Once we got back to the car, I drove out to the lighthouse, and enjoyed wandering around the grounds. I saw the international hostel and thought what fun it would be to stay on lighthouse grounds, but it was only a little after noon, and no one would be around til 5. I got some photos (thanks for your nice comment) and then it was time to head on…

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