Following the St. Lawrence Seaway

the clouds over lake ontario

I blame my love of literature. It started with a period of reading mystery novels by Louise Penney.

As an adult, reading is a very solitary thing.  I used to be in a book club, motivated by camaraderie to read outside my comfort zone, but eventually our merry band focused on merrymaking rather than reading.  After the group, I started to read as I saw fit, no longer hoping to find or be the next great writer.  I read widely, though not very deeply.  Without similarly inclined readers, I usually just leave the worlds of the book and hop into another one.

But, with Penney, I was able to convince my husband to join me in her universe.  At first, we didn’t notice that there were many people interested in her visions of Quebec and its environs.  But, as with all of your interests, there are many people on the internet who not only share your passion, but those people have far surprised your fervor.  I am indebted to those unknown folks for their dedication to sharing the places that the novels of Louise Penney discussed in her book, communities and cities along the Saint Lawrence.  If it were not for them, I would not have been able to convince my husband that we should spend two weeks following the great seaway that connects the Great Lakes to the Atlantic.

Sunset at the mouth of the St Lawrence

Our trip began at the end of this river, near the mouth of Lake Ontario.  With all trips, I look for odd places to stay.  At the corner of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence, there is a lonely lighthouse now serving as a hostel.  It serves as an affordable and picturesque way to begin your travels.  The room we had included bunk beds for the kids and a view of the St. Lawrence, all for less than the price of dinner.

Tibbett’s Point Lighthouse

We spent only one night at Tibbetts Point. There are small restaurants along this stretch and some older buildings, but the main show is the view of the water.  We grabbed an ice cream and relaxed at what seemed like the end of the world.

From there it was a quick drive to the Thousand Islands.  I have crossed the border many times at this point.  It is so much more picturesque than Niagara.  If you haven’t been there, imagine a wide river with houses poised on impossibly small specks of land, dotting the water. On different trips we have explored this region more fully.  You can do boat tours of the region, but during this trip, in late August, it was a foggy day, so we kept going.

From there it is on to Montreal.  My only tips for this stretch is to pack food for breakfast. This is a dire stretch of food, particularly on the Canadian side, with only chains and gas stations.  We ate boxed cereal in the car and waited until we could enjoy the fine delicacies of Montreal.

This is the first in a series of posts about road trips along Saint Lawrence Seaway.

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