Talk Description to Me

Episode 64 - The Cottage

August 14, 2021 Christine Malec and JJ Hunt Season 2 Episode 64
Talk Description to Me
Episode 64 - The Cottage
Chapters
2:52
The Road Trip
18:25
Backseat Describers
23:48
The Cottage Road
28:30
The Lake
Talk Description to Me
Episode 64 - The Cottage
Aug 14, 2021 Season 2 Episode 64
Christine Malec and JJ Hunt

When summer in the city gets unbearably hot and muggy, many of us dream of a road trip to the cottage. Having just come back from one such weekend getaway, Christine seeks to extend her swim-in-the-lake, sunbathe-on-the-dock, feel-good-buzz with descriptions of a cottage escape. And what road trip is complete without a couple of goofball kids hamming it up in the back of the car? As a special treat, JJ passes his microphone to the backseat so his describers-in-training can read the cottage country signs zipping by. Join us for an oh-so-Canadian summer getaway.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TalkDescriptionToMe)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

When summer in the city gets unbearably hot and muggy, many of us dream of a road trip to the cottage. Having just come back from one such weekend getaway, Christine seeks to extend her swim-in-the-lake, sunbathe-on-the-dock, feel-good-buzz with descriptions of a cottage escape. And what road trip is complete without a couple of goofball kids hamming it up in the back of the car? As a special treat, JJ passes his microphone to the backseat so his describers-in-training can read the cottage country signs zipping by. Join us for an oh-so-Canadian summer getaway.

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TalkDescriptionToMe)

JJ Hunt:

Talk description to me with Christine Malec and JJ Hunt.

Christine Malec:

Hi, I'm Christine Malec.

JJ Hunt:

And I'm JJ Hunt. This is talk description to me with the visuals of current events and the world around us get hashed out in description rich conversations.

Christine Malec:

There's a bit of a tradition in the summertime, certainly in Canada, where most of us live along the southern border. And I believe in the United States as well, the cottage weekend. And I just grew up with this. And I assumed the whole world sort of did something version of the cottage weekend. But apparently, it's a bit of a thing. And so the short version is that if you're lucky enough to either own or know someone who owns or a little speck of recreational land outside the city, you go for the weekend. And there's this lovely template of how it goes, You have drinks, you have some laughs you chat, you wander around, you spend time in the lake. And it's, it's it's a thing. And and so we thought we would, as a summer treat, we would describe and talk about the cottage weekend from a visual point of view. And so this episode is a real treat for me, because it's a matter of fact, I just came back from a mindful cottage weekend that had all of the right things in it, except that it didn't have all the description that we're about to get. So we're going to go on a bit of a journey. And part of the journey is something that I actually raised to JJ A while ago, I said, You know, I knew someone who said was, yeah, my grandmother, you know, we go on car trips, and she had this weird habit. She sit in the passenger seat, and she'd read every sign as it went by. And he was totally bored by this. And I was completely fixated. I thought what a dream come true. I would love that. And when I said it to JJ, JJ had the idea, "Well, you know, we go on car trips with the family. So I'll get one of my kids to do that. Just read every single sign." And so spoiler alert later in this episode, we're going to get about five minutes of one of JJ his kids just reading every sign they see on the highway, and I've listened to it already. I'm in I'm in love with this. I just want to go on a trip with this kid.

JJ Hunt:

Ha ha ha!

Christine Malec:

And just say "Okay, go for it!" Ha ha ha. And so what we thought we would do is make it a you know, a little bit of a journey. So it always starts with a hot, sweaty afternoon, or whatever in in the city. When you've been running around and packing this did I forget that talking in the sunscreen, you pack yourself into the car, you gratefully turn on the air conditioning. And then you if you're not the driver, hopefully you sit back and you go, Ah, and so we thought we'd maybe start there with that moment when you're in the car, the city's teaming all around you, you're in your little bubble of air conditioning, you're heading off for a great weekend. So JJ take us on the road. What happens when you start to to drive to the cottage?

JJ Hunt:

Really, no matter what direction you travel in, or almost what city you're exiting from, there are kind of some common phases to a road trip out of town, certainly in southern Ontario around Toronto. But frankly, given how uniform a lot of modern urban planning is, I think there's likely a lot of similarity to that trip out of the city all across the continent. So the first thing you have to do is get past the city's industrial areas that tend to surround the highways. So around highways, you're likely to find warehouse style buildings kind of light industry, small factories, and then you go through the suburbs, and then you start to pass subdivisions. So often these areas where there's housing on the side of the highways, they're blocked, the highways are blocked by noise barriers. So these are long walls, maybe 10 to 15 feet tall, that are built in sections with vertical posts or slats that hold up one panel of wall after another after another and they're there to bounce the sound waves back onto the highway and and try and make things a little bit quieter on the other side of the noise barriers where people live. So these walls these barriers are often gray or beige in color. Sometimes they have a stucco look or maybe even a stone look. Sometimes there's a little bit of detailing like they'll have you know, one stripe or two stripes of a, you know, some kind of tope color or something. They're really quite bland looking from the highway. It's not about the visuals, it's about the sound protection. I've never actually seen them from the other side. Like I've never seen them from the suburb side looking, you know at them as if you were looking at the highway, but like I say, they're pretty bland. If the highway is elevated, or if no barrier exists, you can sometimes see into these subdivisions. And it is absolutely true that many of these sub subdivisions and suburbs really do feature row after row street after street have near identical houses. And so depending on the elevation of the highway, you might be able to see the uniform houses themselves. This is like mcmansions or whatnot. But often what you're looking at are the roof tops. So your it just looks like an unbroken sea of shingled rubes these the peaks resembling wave after wave of slate grey or charcoal black or maybe a grainy, dusty or rusty red color or something like that. And then in Ontario, eventually what you get to is farmland, so you pass out of the city, you pass out of the suburbs, and now you're entering into farmland. So you've probably left the great big divided highway, and now you're on a smaller two lane or maybe a four lane country highway, the sides of the road that the black asphalt no longer ends in a waist high steel guardrail that you'd have on the main highways. Now you've got a soft shoulder of dirt, maybe gravel, there's probably a tall grass drainage ditch that separates the road from the farm fields. And even in southern Ontario, which is by no means the wide open prairies, the farm fields can be really quite large. So sometimes they're broken up by rows of trees that will mark the edges of the properties. Sometimes these rows of trees lie in driveways, or just act as windbreak separating one field from another. And I've noticed in recent years, there are these small signs farmers are putting up small signs at the edge of the road by their by their fields to identify their crops. And these aren't like nice little hand painted signs that that list this a common name like sweet corn. These are signs that are manufactured by the seed makers by the seed providers. And so they identify the product name, they identify the seed brand and varieties. So these are usually very thin white posts that are stuck into the ground, maybe chest high. And there's a small I don't know maybe one or two foot square sign the top of the posts, generally white with a company logo and seed number on it. So it might say something like Dynagrow 37RY33 that's a Monsanto product. Or Asgrow AG3334. My understanding that this is purely for marketing purposes, but not marketing to the general public. This is for marketing to other growers who are growing in the area, so you can see "Ah that corn's growing real high. That's that that coins looking really healthy. What's that? Oh, that's the Dynagrow 37RY33", right? This is a new thing I've seen in the last few years.

Christine Malec:

What do you see are in terms of livestock, because occasionally a driver will say, oh, there's cows over there. So how far in Toronto for example, how far outside the city would you have to drive to see cows are actually someone on the weekend? So there was goats, which I had never heard of in Ontario before.

JJ Hunt:

Yeah! Often horses, lots of cows, some goats, a few llama [alpaca] even that you'll find on a few properties. Gasp! Oh my gosh. Yeah, a few of these once in a while. It's you don't have to go very far. Maybe maybe give half an hour past the the suburbs. You'll start to get in and frankly, even in the suburbs, if you get there, you know, the one holdout farm surrounded by brand new suburbs. There might be a couple of horses in the paddock or something like that. Yeah, one of my one of my childhood games was was called Bury Your Horses. As you're on a road tri , you know, each person got a d fferent window they were all wed to look out of and what you did was you counted horses or li estock. So you could count hors s, you could count cows. And nytime someone else spotted a g aveyard, they would yell "Bury

Christine Malec:

And at this time of year, this is many your horses!" and then you go d wn to zero and you count back p again. Oh wow.

JJ Hunt:

So that was a that was a game. So yeah. In you know, outside of Toronto, maybe half an hour before you start seeing and you don't tend to see large herds in, in and around Toronto. Usually it's a handful of horses, a couple dozen cows, something like that. It's not like driving through the prairies where it's massive herds of animals or livestock. You just don't see that too often in Ontario August early to mid August, what kind of crops were you seeing not based on the sign, but just based by what were you seeing as you went by? So this isn't my area of expertise. That's my wife and my youngest, they love identifying crops. But a lot of corn, some greens, some soy growing as well. But corn is the is the clear identifier and the one that is always fun to spot because corn grows tall. It's really impressive. And you get a sense when you're driving by by a cornfield of how far along it is because most of us who don't know about about crops and farming and whatnot can identify when an ear of corn is looking good. "Oh, that's looking big. Look at that corns coming along". And it's tall, it's really impressive. It can grow, you know, six feet tall, easily. So it's corn is always a fun one to spot and you can imagine getting lost in there and in the problems. Yeah, I like the corn.

Christine Malec:

Do you see when meals?

JJ Hunt:

Yeah, in Ontario, in this area, it's this kind of band, the farm fields, this part of the country, in Ontario, there are lots of wind farms. And here are turbines tend to be tall, tapered white posts, and they're topped with three tapered white blades. And what's cool about about these wind farms is that they're, they're massive, it's not like a single plot of land where the all of these turbines are packed in one place in some kind of gravel, you know, patch of land, it's not like that at all, they are spread out over wide areas of farmland. And so they they tend to when you when you're entering an area, you know, part of the country that's got that's got windmills, they tend to recede into the distance, there will be dozens of them receding into the distance, and they don't all spin in unison, they usually appear to spin quite slowly. And, you know, one will be spinning over here and then in the distance further on one over there and one over there. And they're all spinning very slowly and at their own pace. And the way they go is they go straight out of the straight out of the farmer's field. And my understanding is that you can actually farm really almost right up to the post of these turbines. So they just they almost looked like they've grown out of the ground. As opposed to being a bank of these and a gravel lot with a power station nearby. There are no wires, there are no cables. There're just these wind turbines, all white popping up out of the ground. So not everyone loves them. But visually I find them quite charming.

Christine Malec:

So as you're driving through, is there an emotional impact of the landscape changing so so much?

JJ Hunt:

Yeah, I certainly find that you know, you leave the city your shoulders drop a little bit, right? I am. I'm not a huge fan of the look of the suburbs and the McMansion phenomenon isn't my favorite, so there I tend to get a little bit tense again, when I'm driving through there. Then I get into the farm and we've got this greenbelt around Toronto, which is largely intact. And so you do get this this you know, pretty wide stretch of farmland no matter how you're getting to a cottage, you're probably going to go through some farmland. That's nice. You see the animals, you see some of these windmills, that's kind of nice. Maybe you're starting to see like their billboards at the side of country roads, but not a lot. Those are mostly in the city. So you know, you'll get a couple of billboards sticking out of farm fields, but you're starting to see signs for farm stands or, you know, a bakery that does butter tarts Are you starting to see those things, shoulders drop a little bit more. And then you move further beyond that, and you start to get into what's closer to cottage country, right so the landscape shifts you no longer seeing wood lots on farms, you're now seeing just woods. And then they look quite different the visuals of a woodlot you can see the edges of a woodlot from the road you can often because they're back behind the cottage so you can see where the line ends, the the woods end, and its fields on one side and woods on the other. And sometimes woodlots can be quite orderly because they are planted. So you can as you're driving by a woodlot if it is close to the road, you can see the lines as they went by all the lines of trees are perfect. And so there's gaps in the woods. And that just looks too orderly when you start to get into what we call cottage country, which I understand is a very city centric term.

Christine Malec:

Heh heh.

JJ Hunt:

But you know, when you're trying to describe a general area like this, it is a helpful term so I apologize for being that guy but you know when you're entering cottage country...

Christine Malec:

You Urbanist!

JJ Hunt:

I am such a Torontonian. Oh, it's terrible. The woods become more natural, more dense, the closer to the road. And you know, you're starting to get into this, this landscape that the Canadian shield landscape. So the Canadian shield is rock that forms the geologic core of North America. And then there's a very thin layer of soil on top. So what happens is often those rocks break right through the surface into the woods into the lakes. So the land itself is covered in pine trees, maybe some paper birch paper birch has white tree trunks with white peeling, papery bark. And the woods at the side of the small you know, cottage country roads are the highways, the cottage country highways are, there's a tangle of trees, not very orderly. And the ground here is blanketed and fall in needles on this very thin so and as you're getting into this area, the air is cleaner you get to you do roll down your windows a little bit because you're driving a little bit more slowly. And now instead of the country road, rolling over gentle hills, you now actually start cutting through the channels in the rock. Because the rock is much more sudden it's much more abrupt, it's much chunkier The road is not, you know, hasn't the area hasn't been cleared for farm fields. And I remember being fascinated by these channels through the rock as a kid. We're a small rural highway, it what it often does is it'll pass between these rock faces these small cliffs. And it hadn't occurred to me that these were blasted out rocks to make way for the for the roads.

Christine Malec:

Um hmm.

JJ Hunt:

I hadn't noticed that there were grids of straight tool marks on the very flat cliff faces in this gray or coppery red stones, I thought that the highway pavers had to steer the road from one gap to another right just seeking out these channels that just happened to be the exact width of of the winding road. So you know, you start breaking through the rock, the advertising at the side of the road tends to be a little bit more low key here. So you're not seeing massive billboards, so massive billboards in the city that advertise for corporations in the kind of you know, farm areas in the country, those billboards or maybe advertising for big companies, but you know, big companies that have outlets nearby. And now when you're getting into cottage country, the the signs at the side of the road are more low key, right, they're tucked into the trees a little bit. Sometimes they're actually even posted on the trees, and you're much more likely to find unusual handmade signs like the further you get from the city. The more you get into these treed areas, you're getting handmade signs that are cut out of plywood, perhaps they're hand painted, so not so much the billboards mostly signs for local businesses. That's the kind of area that we're getting into.

Christine Malec:

And it's worth clarifying that the landscape you're describing as if you head north which is usually where people go for cottage but it's also possible to go east or west but the Canadian shield is a northern Northern Ontario thing. Is this a good time to slide into our on the spot reporting describer?

JJ Hunt:

That's right. Let's let's go to the kids in the backseat and get some descriptions from a couple of hams with a microphone.

Older kid:

We are heading home from cottage country in the Muskoka is driving along a road with trees and bushes on the sides and signs are passing by I'll be reading them out loud. Here is a green sign that says Gravenurst 18, Barrie, 95 and Toronto 188. Next up we have a diamond shaped yellow sign with an arrow pointing to the right showing you the road is curving. A smaller round sign reads Adopt a Highway don't know what that means, but it's pretty cool. Apparently Adopt a Highway means you can adopt a highway and name it after yourself and so long as you then take care of it. There is a big sign along the side of a building that says blue ocean lighthouse and it is for a motel. Williams and Macdonnell new executive suites, uh, rentals reads a white and gold sign. Blah. This one says Woodsmiths of Muskoka and shows a couple of pictures of rooms decked out wood furniture. This one is a blue sign with a Canadian leaf in the corner saying dockings.ca experience the difference. Very confusing. I am scared. But another green sign says that Gravenhurst is only one kilometer away. The green signs are provincial highway signs showing you what highways are coming up next. Another sign here shows four fast food places you can visit to including Swiss Chalet, McDonald's and Subway. Hand-painted sign says fresh wild blueberries jams, jellies and pies with another smaller sign right near it that says closed. A yellow sign right up front says cars do not enter another one following it reads the same thing. A place where you can rent canoes has a sign out front saying Paddle Shack in Comic Sans. A sign for a gas station reads Ultramer with a golden eagle on the front. A big red sign with no other texts says maple syrup on the side of a building. Discovery dream homes.com says one of the signs with images of cabins out in the woods. Muskoka property housing and land says one sign with an image of stairs. On the side of the road there is a what looks to be a giant plastic Tyrannosaurus Rex biting into a sign. That was for a Muskoka chair company. A sign with a gear pattern on it says B-R-P, almost sounds like burp. A big curved sign out by the woods says Camp Hillbilly in big yellow font! A white sign says Seriously injured? Let us help! in very very small text while a pleasant-looking man sits on the left. This is followed immediately by another one of the exact same sign. And another of the same sign repeated three times now! Next to another one, which is very very similar. Pack in sack movers reads one side with a Tintin-esque character to the left holding a box bait reads the sign shaped like a fish. Got moose? 99.5 Moose read the sign to the left of the road with a big moose standing right by it. The moose is made of plastic and is not actually on the sign. The moose is a big plastic thing attached to the sign. Cox road Ha ha ha! reads a sign pointing to the right. Huck huck. I wonder what's down there! Ha ha! This sign here says halfway to the North Pole in white letters with Santa on the left holding a red and white striped pole. I don't know where this is halfway to the North Pole from but apparently it is. I think that might have been for something called sentence village. Pest Control reads a sign on the right and black with an old grandma looking lady with a spider on her nose. 99.5 moose FM reads another sign probably for the same moose related TV show with another plastic moose. Sorry, my bad not TV show it was a radio station. Ha ha!

Younger kid:

Oh my gawd! You gotta read!

Older kid:

Network says a white sign with blue letters. The end is very big and it's stylized. Ha ha ha. That was also painted on the side of a shipping container. Ha ha.

Younger kid:

Oh my gawd!

Older kid:

Charcoal barbecued hamburgers reads the Weber sign. Weber in particular is very interesting because it is a restaurant made out of old trains, you can sit in the trains and eat your burger.

Younger kid:

We just pressed a sign for Tiki House tropical products, and another sign for Schnitzel House.

Older kid:

Goodbye wonderful human listeners of the JJ show!

Christine Malec:

I could just sit in the car all day and listen to that.

JJ Hunt:

Heh heh heh.

Christine Malec:

That was it was satisfying, in a way, JJ that you as much as you know you're a great guy you probably can't totally understand. That actually was. So thank you. Thank you to the Hunt Lindsay family for producing that gem for us.

JJ Hunt:

Heh heh.

Christine Malec:

So once you've traversed that part, then what happens?

JJ Hunt:

So then you can finally turn off the main road and you turn on to gravel. You hear the crunch of the tires, you start kicking up dust. That's how you know you're almost at the cottage. So you turn off of the cottage-country highway and you turn on to the cottage roads. And one of my favorite things about cottage roads are the signs that people put up to point to their property. So once you've gone off the main road, you're starting to enter the forest. There's not a lot of official municipal signage, right? You're in the woods. And these roads are often private. They're named after maybe a family or a creek that's known only to the locals. And the tricky thing that you have to figure out here is where's your buddy's cottage?! Right?

Christine Malec:

Ha ha ha!

JJ Hunt:

That's what you need to know, where's the cottage? So when you drive onto these cottage roads, you're probably going to hit a fork in the road. And there's often a tree or even a couple of trees that are plastered with small homemade signs that just have a person's last name on them. So this is usually a hodgepodge of like two foot lengths of one by six lumber that are cut to a point at one end. So they're kind of arrows that point to the left or point to the right. And they're hand painted with whatever paint someone's got in the boathouse. Painted red or blue or white or yellow. Usually there's a name painted on it in a contrast in color. So maybe one of these signs says Robertson's and appoints to the left, or Lee's and points to the right or O'Malley's or Stoykavich's, whatever. Dozens of these signs lining the trees, and it becomes a bit of a game to see who can spot the one that you're looking for fastest.

Christine Malec:

Ah!

JJ Hunt:

It's like Where's Waldo, right? Because there's so many of these things. I got it, okay, we got to go to Robertson's, you go to the right, and then you head to the right, you've come to another fork in the road. And then there's another one of the side these trees. And so what you do is you kind of drive from one fork to another reading these sparsely -- they become more sparsely covered as fewer cottages are ahead of you and you've passed more and more as you get deeper and deeper into the woods. If it's a more upscale cottage area, maybe some of those signs are not hand painted. Maybe they're hand carved, or at least bought from the local cottage store. So those ones feature relief would work of loons or a moose or maybe they have crossed canoe paddles and their build, those ones tend to be stained in a natural palette. And they feature they are more likely to feature names of the property, not just the owners. So you'll have a relief woodworking sign with a moose on it that says the point or it'll say the Miller's hide away, or Camp Shaffer or How could that not be a thing globally? whatever. And if the cottage has road access, what you do is you follow the signs to your destination. And if you're lucky, at the end of the cottage driveway as you pull in, there's someone waiting for you with an ice cold Caesar in their hand. For our American listeners, the Caesar that's the vastly superior Canadian version of the Bloody Mary. I mean, it's amazing that Clamato juice hasn't caught on I can't understand why? Globally! Clamato! Come on.

Christine Malec:

Come on, come on. There's real clam juice in there! I got so frightened when I actually found that out.

JJ Hunt:

Ha ha ha.

Christine Malec:

The drink is still yummy. Vodka, celery salt... Anyway...

JJ Hunt:

Ha ha ha. You might be going to a lake access cottage. So this is my personal favorite. So here if you go into a lake access you pull into your park at the Marina and this is not like a Frou Frou Marina. This is usually a series of rickety wooden docks that are lined with aluminum boats and maybe a couple of ski boats. And sometimes there's a really humble building nearby that you can check in at or maybe you can find someone who's wearing overalls or a snowmobile suit that can help you out if need be. And I can tell you from personal experience, if you are in a marina and you need help look for a person in a greasy snowmobile suit that is clearly worn year round.

Christine Malec:

Ha!

JJ Hunt:

That person can be trusted to give you good advice about your outboard motor, your sump pump, or any number of things that we dumb city folks know very little about.

Christine Malec:

You see, this is why you listen to our podcast! These nuggets. That's right, look for the year round greasy snowmobile suit and you've clearly got someone who knows what they're talking about. Yeah. So then you load your groceries you load your bags into this like open tin boat you pull away from the dock and you putter down the lake to your cottage and again hopefully there's a Caesar waiting for you when you get there. So this is maybe too general but can you just talk about like the the classic cottage without which, you know you can't even call it a cottage if he asked me if it's not on the water. So let's let's just take it as read that you're the cottage or is the water so can you give a visual of the absolutely serene and beautiful things that you'll be looking at?

JJ Hunt:

Totally. So if you are at a cottage on a lake, and hopefully you are I mean, late there are hundreds of thousands of lakes in Canada. Doing my research for this I read a statistic that kind of blew my mind. Apparently 62% of the world's lakes are in Canada.

Christine Malec:

Wow.

JJ Hunt:

It's wild. So hopefully you're in a cottage not a... you know, summer homes are great too. But if you've got a cottage maybe it's been built over years and years, maybe there's wood siding, some wood paneling. And it's got an extra bedroom stuck on the side. And maybe there's an old outhouse that is still sometimes used, and there's a bathroom that's stuck onto the side of the house because it's grown over the years. And hopefully there's a dock that leads out in onto the lake. And so the look of these cottage country lakes in the Canadian shield is very distinctive. Obviously every lake is different but there is still a general look. They tend to these lakes tend to be lined with trees right up to the water's edge. Here we've got lots of pine trees, lots of cedar trees. And there are usually enough leafy trees that the oranges, the reds and the yellows, they do come out and get quite stunning in the fall. There's this really interesting phenomenon that happens at the edges of lakes, where there's often a straight line that cuts horizontally across the trees, about five feet off the ground. And above that line, the trees are lush and green. And below that line, the trees are totally bare. They're just dull brown twigs. And this is sometimes called the deer line. Have you heard of a deer line before?

Christine Malec:

No, what is this about?

JJ Hunt:

So the deer line is in the winter, this line is the exact height that the deer population can reach when they're standing on the packed snow. Oh my gosh! They eat all the branches they can reach and at some point, they can't reach any higher and so you have lush green trees above and all the understory below is completely devastated. Especially if you're on a lake that's got a really healthy deer population. And so what it ends up looking like is all the trees at the edge of the lake got a really nerdy haircut with bangs that are way too short. A really interesting look. And then yeah, and then so maybe if you go from go for a walk from the cottage, or you know, you pull your canoe up to to a bit of rock, you know, break in the trees and you pull your your canoe up and you go for a walk. You know, in and around the lake, you're probably walking on these fallen pine needles, the pine needles that are sometimes rusty orange or golden brown, and they're a little bit brittle under foot, you'll probably come to lots of rocks sticking up out of the ground, right, this is the shield This is the shield itself. And sometimes these rocks are smooth and rounded like gentle boulders and they're kind of they've got cracks and seams in them. But they're they're generally smooth and round. But sometimes these rocks are massive. Sometimes these rocks are bigger than houses. And they have sharp edges and shear faces. Sometimes these rocks are covered with with bits of moss or lichen. And a lot of the lakes have little islands often very, very small islands on really quite small lakes. And these islands are again pieces of the shield that are just that have sticking up out of the water. And again in the water, they tend to be smooth. This is where you tend to get really smooth rocks, and they look like tortoise shells half submerged in the water. And the shells are kind of made up of distinct smooth rocks that are joined together with what looked like seams of mortar. And in the late afternoon when the when the rocks are really warm from the from the hot afternoon sun, they'll often take on a red hue in the setting sun even though the rocks themselves might be more of a gray color or just have a hint of the of that coppery color in them in the late afternoon sun can really bring out that that red. Yeah, that's the lake. That's the cottage. And you know, if you're lucky you're on a lake that isn't overrun with summer homes where cottage properties have been split, divided up, and new cottages have filled in all the gaps. Hopefully, if you're really lucky -- and very few of us are -- you're on a lake where there are just a handful of cottages, they are few and far between. It's a selfish pleasure to be on one of those lakes with a wooden dock stretching out from the cottage into the lake. Very quiet, very peaceful. That is bliss in Canada.

Christine Malec:

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The Road Trip
Backseat Describers
The Cottage Road
The Lake