Driving to Dorset in the autumn

October 6, 2008

Following a recommendation a friend made, we drove up to Dorset, Ontario to immerse ourselves in the peak of autumn.

"The fire tower you must go," I heard.

We headed out to Markham on Saturday to have Shanghainese dim sum and to get a pair of winter cycling shoes in Toronto. It was already 6pm by the time we're done.

We stayed at a motel near Newmarket for the night, 50km north of Toronto, as it made more sense than going back to Guelph only to come all the way back to northern GTA the next morning. I got up at 7:30am in time to catch the sunrise.

We left at 9am. Initially we thought of taking Yonge Street as far north as we could, as it is known as the Longest Street in the World. It supposedly spanned from Downtown Toronto all the way up to Thunder Bay. Near Holland Landing, the street labelled "Yonge St" ended abruptly at the entrance of a golf course. Of course, a short investigation led to the realization that Yonge Street's claim is merely an urban myth.

Being the driver of this trip, I couldn't take photographs (safely) without stopping. Jas started taking pictures using her camera instead. She took half the pictures posted here.

The weather in the morning rained and shined at the same time. It was mostly wet on Highway 400.

After Bracebridge, we turned into District Road 117. Traffic dropped dramatically.

We made a rest stop to take some pictures about 30 minutes from Dorset. Many cottages lie next to the lake amongst the autumn leaves.

We were once again on our way.

It's a good route for motorcyclists.

We turned into Main Street leaving District Road 117 behind.

Reaching Downtown Dorset, we could see the Dorset Scenic Lookout Tower, but couldn't quite figure out how to get there. We asked for directions.

It's $4 to get in with a car.

Here it is, the famed tower, hidden behind some trees.

Looking up at the base of the tower.

The tower could not be more than 25 metres high, but the steps were narrow and hollow. It felt like walking in the air at certain points.

After a 5 minute climb, we reached the observation deck.

Downtown Dorset.

Going down was easier and much faster. The only problem was trying to hold the ice cold railing with dry hands - not much grip to be had there.

The middle deck offered a different perspective to things.

We shared our excitement with today's experience in the car.

We headed down the hill...

... back to Dorset...

... but not before visiting the loo. And looking at some ornaments while waiting for Jas.

We're back on District Road 117.

Eyes on the road.

Back on Highway 400 again.

While the sky says goodbye.