To "celebrate" Labor Day, John and I went to the Pinery Provincial Park. It's about an hour north of London, on Lake Huron.
The Pinery seems like a much beloved place for people in southwestern Ontario.
"Do you enjoy hiking? Oh, you'd love the Pinery."
"You're going to Lake Huron? You should definitely check out the Pinery."
"You're in London all summer?! How boring! Go to the Pinery."
And so we did. The park has lots of hiking trails, places to camp (for other people, not us), a visitors center, and lots of points for beach access.
My initial plan was for us to go hiking, then swim in the lake, and then have a picnic and watch the sunset. People here rave about seeing the sunset on Lake Huron, and I have no doubt they're right. It was just a little too late in the evening for us to stay, so we'll go back to see the sunset some other time.
Meanwhile, we spent the first part of our visit on the Wilderness Trail. It's about 3K and has an access point via boardwalk to the beach.
The weather cooperated and it was about 60 degrees with sun and a breeze. Too cold for swimming, but just right for walking around in the woods and staying dry on the beach.
We spent some time climbing on things at the beach, then headed back to complete the trail and pick a dinner spot.
"Partially cloudy" produces some really interesting light over the water.
I wanted to make a sand castle, but I didn't have any tools. So instead, I made a weird little "gate" out of some sticks, a rock, and a feather.
You can see how the light changed while we were there. It was still about an hour and a half from going down.
Instead of watching the sunset, we decided to come back to London and get ice cream at Merla Mae's.
Day trip plans for the fall include another visit to the Pinery so that we can see the sunset and what I expect to be beautiful fall colors, and a trip to Niagara Falls. Visiting Niagara after Labor Day is strategic, since things will be less populated, the weather will be cooler, and everything will be cheaper.