11 June 2014 (Pictures Soon)
We awoke at the base of Lock 24 Douro to the sound of rain. I normally don’t like to travel in the rain, and don’t like to lock in the rain. The wet slippery deck conditions for Susan and that the upper deck dumps rain in the exact place I need to stand makes it into an unhappy time.
Promptly at 10AM the lock doors swung open and we fire up the Hino engines and headed off into the lock. The same supervisor was manning the locks. He said that he had sent crews up ahead to dump the locks so we wouldn’t need to wait. He also said we would be in Lakefield in less than 2 hours. (No, I didn’t ask why they couldn’t have done that the day before)
30 minutes later we were in Lock #25 at Sawyer Creek. We got a message from the Lakefield lock that there were two house boats coming our way. In the Kawartha Lakes a popular thing to do is rent a houseboat and go hang out on the lakes. They range from 25′ to 50′ and are big boxes on top of two or three pontoons. They are powered by a single drive (smaller ones an outboard, larger ones an inboard). Most of the drivers are novices lots are college kids on a break. Think of it as a floating party house! In any case we didn’t want to be in a tight channel with them. So we waited 10 minutes for them to get into a wider part of the river and we headed off.
30 minutes later we were chatting with the Lock master, Jennifer at Lock 26, Lakefield. Women prefer the title of “Lock Master”. She soon had us through and into the long channel that leads into the end of Lake Karchewanooka. The channel had families of ducks with the babies paddling to stay ahead of us. We came through at idle to make sure we didn’t swamp any of them.
Just before noon we tied up to the wall at Lakefield Marina, just under two hours as predicted. When we were fishing the day before we had talked about favorite lures, mine was a red / white striped spoon. The marina had spoons as an advertising trinket, and I grabbed the red / white one. Lure Karma!!
The rain soon stopped and we decided to head out to see the town.
First stop was at the Lakefield Restaurant for lunch. They have Greek food so soon Susan and I were munching away on Gyros. Next was at the produce market (cheese, asparagus, carrots, etc.) and the butcher (very nice steaks, sausages). Susan headed back to the boat with her trove and I continued down the street to check out the hobby store and the Target Dollar Store. The hobby place was a bit of a letdown, but the dollar store was a trove of great things!
In doing some research, The River Company was advertised as fine dining. We had been doing mid-level places for the last weeks, we decided to splurge and go. It was a short walk through town and across the lock channel to the renovated Victorian house that was The River Company. Sadly we found out, they had given up their fine dining concept since it was killing the chef with the huge amount of effort.
They had much simpler fare on the menu. I started with the Spicy corn and sausage chowder. It was fresh sweet corn, great sausage and diced potatoes. I could tell from the care taken with the potatoes that while it wasn’t “fine dining” there was a lot of care and skill in the kitchen. Our main courses were just as good (chicken tacos and BBQ beef), it was a very pleasant evening.
The next morning we saw that there was a farmers market, so we headed that way. For the trip we had been able to resist Tim Horton’s, but today our resolve crumpled and we headed in. Not quite as good as Donut Delight in Rochester but heads above our local doughnut places.
The Farmers Market was very limited since it was so early in the season. A few stands with produce, more with tomatoes, pepper and pea plants for sale for small gardens.
With the weather still looking overcast we decided to stay in town another night. We had passed some interesting shops and stores on the way to The River Company so we decided to help the Lakefield Economy. Susan picked up a very pretty top and I spent time browsing in an old bookstore.
We’ve had success eating at “dive pubs” and we tried the one in Lakefield. The reviews didn’t bode well “the only reason xxxx is not out of business was they are the only pub in town”. We threw caution to the wind and found that the reviews were pretty much spot on. Oh well.
After dinner we fished off the back of the boat. I managed to fish for about 30 minutes with my new “stripe” lure when I managed to snag it in the weeds and it was gone. So much for Lure Karma.
On Friday the 13th we would be off on a longer trip to Bobcaygeon.