Yes, another trip to Pinery with just as much snow as before, which is none. Well, maybe not exactly none. There was some white dust mixed in with brown leaves along the trails and sand on the beach. But not nearly enough for traditional winter pursuits. Not that it mattered, though. We were looking for an escape from the growing avalanche of quite often depressing news and a trip into the woods away from Facebook feeds and news reports, with or without snow, was all we needed. So when I stumbled across a last minute yurt cancellation at Pinery, I didn’t think twice and booked it.
This time we stayed in yurt 477, which wasn’t that different from the one we occupied in December, minus the porch. So I won’t go into accommodation details. What was different this time is the park had more people. All the yurts and cabins were occupied and each seemed to have at least two-three kids. In the morning, the woods were filled with children’s chatter and birds’ twitter, a much better type of twitter than the one on the screen. Add to that a cup of coffee around the campfire and you’ve got a perfect start of the day.
After breakfast, we set out to explore. You’d think that after umpteen trips to Pinery, there’d be nothing left to discover but there is always something new. Like a frozen half of the Old Ausable Channel. And for our son no activity is more exciting than bashing ice with a stick. That and knocking off icicles.
The Channel on the other side of the bridge was completely ice free with a single duck bobbing on the water.
After we finally managed to pull our son away from the ice, we decided to take the Savanna Trail. We’ve cycled that trail many times before in the summer, always ending our bike ride at the ice-cream stand. We didn’t have our bikes, although someone had clearly biked there that same day, so we were “braving” the trail on foot this time. Well, not all 14 kilometres of it, just until we reached access to the beach.
The beach was windy and pretty cold that day but so beautiful. The kind of majestic beauty that leaves you awe-struck and humbled. A reminder that there are things bigger and more powerful than human frenzy.
To our son’s disappointment, there wasn’t much ice along the shore apart from misshapen chunks of hardened snow and what looked like polished gemstones.
After an hour of wandering along the chilly beach, we stopped by the visitor centre to watch birds and warm up.
We made a lot of winged friends during the trip. Seeds and nuts usually help. In addition to fearless chickadees, our son managed to gain trust of a tufted titmouse.
So all in all it was a short uneventful trip with not much to report. Soothing, quiet, like a healing balm for our soul. Not enough of it, though. Another trip is definitely in order. Family Day weekend can’t come fast enough.