Sunday we leave for Pelee. Anyone who knows me has heard of Pelee Island. For those of you haven’t, Pelee Island is a Canadian Island in the Lake Erie Archipelago of islands. It is approximately 14 km long x 5 km wide and is the most southern inhabited part of Canada. Only the uninhabited Middle Island lies south of it and south of that lies Sandusky Ohio. On a clear day, the thrilling rides of Cedar Point are visible to us from our southern shore. Unlike Sandusky, Pelee Island is not for thrill seekers, unless your idea of thrilling is watching a snake slither up on shore after a refreshing swim in Lake Erie or a heron eat a fish at the shoreline just yards from your beach blanket. Pelee Island is about nature and quiet and community. All of which I hope to write about in future blogs.
Many people, upon hearing “Pelee”, just assume I mean Point Pelee, the large spit in Leamington, Ontario that juts out into Lake Erie. It is the most southern tip of mainland Canada. But make the 1 1/2 hour ferry ride from there and you will be transported to the Island and perhaps, I hope, you will feel transported back in time. To a place of peace and calm. A place with not a whole heck of a lot to do but a place where you can just stop. It’s not for everyone but as I discovered ten years ago, it’s for me.
We started visiting Pelee Island in the summer of 2005. Looking to rent a cottage that didn’t involve travelling across Toronto or up the highway 400, my husband suggested we look to the west. We’d heard of Pelee Island as many people have by its landmark winery and after a little research, we thought, why not? Excited to visit the most southern inhabited part of Canada, we decided to make the five hour journey from our home in Burlington. It was a brutally hot summer that year and the cottage we rented had no air conditioning but we found the laid back, slow moving feeling of the Island hypnotic and after enduring a steamy week and returning home, we found ourselves thinking of Pelee and we knew we had to get back. By the fall of 2007, we had bought a house on the Island and I knew then that its pull had become even greater, the need to get back, a constant on my mind.