The ski resort is interesting for its layout. Rather than several long runs interweaving down the side of one hill, this resort has 42 runs spread out over a long ridge facing Owen Sound. While they're not long, these runs are not for the faint of heart, and we're not sure we could conquer the ones we saw:
On average, Blue Mountain sells more than 750,000 lift tickets per year, making it the third-busiest ski resort in Canada, after Whistler in British Columbia and Mont Tremblant in Quebec. It is one of the largest resorts in Ontario and has been extensively built out, featuring 42 runs, 16 chairlifts and 3 freestyle terrains.
It boasts a large retail-oriented multi-use village with outdoor clothing stores, restaurants, bars, and so on. Kathy spotted these Muskoka (Adirondack) chairs in the plaza and, given her hobby of locating red chairs, couldn't resist taking this photo of them:
But we digress. Back to the event at hand.
In order to ride the Blue Mountain Coaster, it was necessary to watch a safety video. Below, David gives his full attention to the safety pointers:
Time to strap in and turn on the go-pro!
As you can see in the photo above, a rider sits on his/her own sled, which is pulled up to the top of the mountain --
Before long, the bottom of the luge, and the ski resort village, come into view:
When David had finished his ride, he waited at the bottom to catch this video of Kathy coming down out of the spiral into a soft landing.
Riding a mad coaster down a mountainside gives a soul a powerful hunger and thirst, so we decided it was time for lunch. But we really didn't have an appetite to eat resort food, so we headed back from The Blue Mountain to the town of Owen Sound, where we are camped. On the way, we passed through the town of Meaford, which had just finished its "Scarecrow Invasion" festival. To celebrate, the townsfolk perch scarecrows and pumpkin people all over the town, in various situations, positions and circumstances, including climbing some very high light poles!
Our choice for lunch was -- as you might expect -- a local brewpub featuring its own brews as well as a number of guest local craft beers. Our choice was Mudtown Station. Once a gritty area of Owen Sound, Mudtown was known for its speakeasies in the long dry years of the city. When the brewery owners purchased an old train station in the Mudtown area, it seemed only appropriate to rename the old Canadian Pacific Railway station, "Mudtown Station." Built in 1946, the station has been awarded historical designation by the Ontario Heritage Trust. In partnership with the City of Owen Sound, which owns the building, Mudtown Station Brewery preserved the station's unique architecture while repurposing the building to contribute to a growing and vibrant downtown.
We were excited to see that the pub offered several of their own unique beers, and Kathy jumped right in to order her personal flight of fancy:
The food, however, turned out to be the unexpected star of the show! It was prepared and presented as well as in any upscale restaurant we've visited in Philadelphia, New York, New Orleans or elsewhere, and at a very reasonable, small-town price. Kathy chose Great Lakes Trout, while David chose a Cauliflower Steak, and we shared some cottage fries to mop up the clotted cream sauce and almond tapinade:
How do you wear off a great big lunch? Why, taking a walk, of course, and we found a local park in Owen Sound which gave us a chance to stroll along the water toward the town's marina. We were pleasantly surprised to see three mated pairs of white swans swimming in the cove:
The marina was enclosed in a huge, square jetty built from huge boulders which have since fostered trees and shrubs and boasts a narrow gravel walking trail, so that we could view the marina from all sides.
Of course, what waterfront walk on Lake Huron's Georgian Bay would be complete without a lighthouse? We got one, of course, beyond the marina. And it even boasted its own community of proud cormorants, standing guard to warn the townsfolk of approaching ships:
What a day! It was loaded with unexpected adventures. This was our last full day in Canada, and we're more than sad to be leaving. We already can't wait to return next season.