Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Roads and car springs

It's been rainy up here for two days -- and don't think that hasn't knocked down the snowbanks. The thing about spring up here in Muskoka is that you can actually hear it coming. The birds arrive, and air that was home only to the calls of the winter birds suddenly blossoms with the songs of robins, killdeer, starlings and everything else coming home for the summer. The ice no longer booms and moans in the depths of the night -- now as the ice crystals separate and begin to shift the lake chimes. It's a beautiful sound (as it rips out your dock, but that's another post) And on a still night, a night without wind, you can hear a sibilance in the woods -- the sound of water beginning to flow. It's magic.
The roads, on the other hand, are less magic, more pragmatic. I drove to the new J.W. Marriott Rosseau Hotel in Minnet last week for a seminar. It's quite the place. A view down the lake that goes forever and takes away your breath. It is what it is intended to be -- fabulous.
Getting there, however, took me along some roads that were less than that, thanks to the same Spring I'm praising. Spring brings the frost out of the ground, and the frost doesn't like that, so it exacts revenge. Roads heave and buckle, only later to flatten back down. Potholes open. Shoulders wash away. The Aspdin Road in particular was like a carnival ride.
But our roads are still light years away from the roads that confronted my grandparents. I've found two photos -both taken at almost the same location, on Fox Point Road just before the Oxtongue Craft Cabin. One shows the men opening up the road. Winter plowing, with four teams of horses and men with shovels. The leading team had a 'push plow'; the other teams pulled their plows. The men sweated in between. It was a slow business, and a narrow opening at best. This is why so much of the travel in winter moved to the lakes in the pioneer days.

The second photo shows the road after the Township acquired it's first ever snowplow. That was a V-plow, that threw the snow equally to both sides, and opened up a one lane road only. Of course, as the winter went on and the snow got deeper, the plow couldn't throw the snow far enough off the road, and the road got narrower. And narrower. Often there was no place for two cars to pass, and you'd have to back up until you found a friendly driveway.
According to my grandfather's diaries from the early 1900's, it could easily take four hours to get from Bondi Farm to Huntsville. And four hours home.
Which means, really, that I have no complaints at all about our roads. And as spring progresses, they will smooth back down, becoming less of an adventure to drive.
You'll still have to watch out for the deer, though.

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