Getting there is half the fun

Getting There

I have spent a significant part of my life on the road. Travelling from the tip of Scotland to the other tip of England every week, staying overnight where the whim took me (expense accounts are wonderful), I learned that getting there, as they say, is half the fun. Add international travel to a dozen countries for vacations and for work, and yes. I agree. As fun activities go, getting there is hard to beat.

Sure, it gets old real fast for seasoned travellers. Sixteen hour days are hard. But all will tell you that what fun there is, is always in the journey. I love a three-day each way road trip to Thunder Bay. Load up the car and away we go. Plan stops, enjoy.

Getting there can mean a car, truck, bus, train, plane, boat, horse, bike, or any other transportation method. I find that getting there is less about how you get there, but the fun you have doing it.

Case in point, this Summer weekend day out with my beautiful wife. It started out like many others, with me sighing and saying ‘bored now’… an hour later we were in the car heading North.

She puts up with a lot, she really does.

La Grand Hermine

The Grand Hermine sits in Jordan Harbour, a few kilometres West of St. Catharines, Ontario. It was for many years a landmark for travellers heading along the QEW to Niagara, until the decision was made to chop off her masts for safety as the old hull began to crumble. The wreck is harder to see now from the road, easily overlooked by passing traffic. There is a lesson for us all there, my friends. Your masts will also metaphorically rust some day. Carpe Diem, or as some jokingly call it, Fish Day. Look it up.

On Arrival

On arrival, there is a free parking lot from which the ship can be viewed. Turn left at the entrance. A plaque gives a brief history of the wreck and tells you her name. I wrote an article about her some time ago, for those that want to read it and see all the photos from this day. Some intrepid teens swim out to add their graffiti, usually after a beer or three. That’s not the best idea as the water is rust-brown and has a lot of very pointy, very rusty steel to impale yourself on.

Some send up drones to check out the wreck from the air. I have done this myself and got some really epic footage of the old girl. But not today. On this occasion we went past. We went to the Jordan Harbour Conservation Area boat dock. And unloaded the inflatable.

Full Of Hot Air

Our inflatable is a 4-person variety with oars. Perfect for fishermen floating on a lake. Less so for rowing and actually getting anywhere. Even less so for what we did. We took it under the QEW and out onto Lake Ontario. I rowed us around the headland so we could see the Grand Hermine from the water. We had camera gear, food, water, life jackets (Nikki is a stickler for such things). A lot of shenanigans ensued. This is only one of many photos I was able to take during our adventure around the headland, and not the best, but it shows our successful and safe arrival. We spent the next five hours on the water.

After taking all the photos I wanted of the wreck we went back under the QEW and explored the conservation area, going down as far as the train bridge. The trip back to the dock was painful. A wind picked up. Three of those hours were spent doggedly rowing against it, as it playfully kept pushing us back. I hurt for days afterward. Lesson learned. Next time, kayak. You can steer those things.

Getting There

Which brings me back to the original point. Getting there is half the fun. I could have sent the drone. But the day out, our packed lunch, going under the QEW twice, the adventure of the journey, the water birds we saw and the trains whistling past overhead, made the day. Even the sore arms that followed.

We have memories. We have done something few others have or will. And I have photos to prove it. Quality photos taken with a professional camera. So I came away happy. So happy, in fact, that I want to change my statement. Getting there is not half the fun. Getting there is all the fun.

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