Winning in Winnetou
Nobel, Ontario, Canada
We’re staring at the road sign which proclaims it’s Nobel, Ontario. We’ve been on the road for the past two hours and temperatures in the family Dodge Caravan are showing an upward trend. There’s still miles to go. So I say, “This town was named after Alfred Nobel, you know, the guy who…”
The two youngsters in my family are a history-challenged lot, but they seem to be aware of this. So I try something else.
“This town was very important during the second world war, lots of ammunition-producing factories here in those days.”
“We just want to get to the resort,” they mutter and I give up.
We’re off to Winnetou Resort in the heart of Georgian Bay country in Ontario. Set on the bay, this 105-acre resort is located deep inside the Canadian bush. The cottage we’ve booked is clean and comfortable, with a grand view overlooking the still water – it sits on a huge flat rock, rather like an elephant’s back. There’s 2000 feet of sand, silk-like and smooth to our bare feet. Taking a late evening walk along the resort, we look enviously at the returning anglers as they tether their boats.
“There’s walleye, muskie, bass and northern pike,” says my husband, showing off.
I sniff. The anglers have empty hands.
Nightfall, and all is incredibly still at the resort. Our cottage is lighted, but outside, the marshes sway mysteriously, the aged pines by our window sigh and there are a million stars in the sky. The green Adirondack chair is just a shadow by the swing hanging from the silver birch. We tell tall tales and ghost tales, shiver in delicious fear as we slip into sleep.
Early at 5:30, I awake and stand at the big French window. Strands of mist travel wrath-like amidst the marshes. The occasional cry of a hidden loon sounds haunting and unforgettable. The sun has not yet arisen and the upturned kayaks on the beach look strangely forlorn.
I turn kitchen-wards to brew tea. I wonder who will win in our paddle boat race today.