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A view from down the road.

A view from down the road for January 7, 2010

For such a bargain you should be so lucky

Early last spring we bought a full year pass to Presquile Provincial Park near Brighton. We debated over going for it or the less expensive seasonal one. Recalling the number of times we had gone into the park as well as the times we didn't but would have liked to in winters past we went for the biggie, and can report that it was a wise and rewarding move.

While we signed up in April I didn't start keeping a log of our visits until September. Looking back from the end of December we recorded 20 visits, an average of one per week. Naturally our visits weren't evenly spread out to one a week. In the fall and as winter approached weather would affect our ventures in length of time spent and frequency. There were occasions when we merely drove in to the park to watch from the warmth of the car big storm driven waves come crashing in onshore. We would marvel at the changing sky as the clouds majestically emulated the grey thrashing lake waters. At times snow flakes would fly by horizontally on their way to the forest.

Then there were the days that were almost spring-like that brought out smiling flocks of people and happy dogs. It was like that on the Sunday following Christmas. We needed to get out after two days of long distance driving and sitting about dining, drinking and dialoguing. First after parking the car we did a 20 minute out and twenty minute back brisk walk along the lakeshore road. Invigorated with the fresh air we then moved on to the Marsh Boardwalk, a marvel that trails through unspoiled marshes at the west end of the Presquile Bay. The slightly more than a kilometre hike took us over several natural channels now a mixture of water over ice in some spots and in others open water. It was a bit of a surprise to spot tadpoles swimming in shallow waters. The Park is so full of surprises.

Looking back over the past season since April we have trooped a number of new to us trails and still have others to explore. We've spotted owls and deer in the woods, enjoyed the great variety of song birds that entertained during picnic lunches and marvelled at the graceful waterfowl afloat and in the air. Good books have been ignored as we drifted off into refreshing naps while a warm on-shore breeze fended off irritating gnats.

We walked the length of the western beaches when there was no one else and then when nearly all the picnic tables were hosting swimming parties. We marvelled at the diversity of the visitors as we walked shin deep in the amazingly warm waters. The beaches are always amazing.

The flow of campers and RV's throughout the entire season tells of the park's attraction and the variety of license plates indicates how far its charms are recognised.

Living in an apartment the Park has become our garden, our patio, our health club. Like a health club, the more you use it the more economical the fee becomes. When I divide the twenty trips to the park I recorded for the fall into the cost of the year pass it worked out to $6:95 a trip. Now if there was a record of all of our visits the cost per visit would drop below $3:00 as a conservative guess. That is for the car's entrance and all who are in it. At a dollar or less per person you can't park that cheap in a lot of places. You can buy your pass now which is a good idea as a small increase in price is expected come April. One other point, the Pass is good for ALL provincial parks.

Re-printed by kind permission of Northumberland Today ? George Chandler