It’s a gloomy Friday. While I appreciate the good things that rainy days do for the water supply, the bounty of fruits and vegetables our farmers will be harvesting soon, and the flowers and shrubs in my “dooryard,” as my Maine relatives call it, I would prefer some of that sunshine we had a few days ago.
So I guess I’ll just have to create it for us, with a photo tour of our cruise on the 1000 Islands a summer or two ago.
The 1000 Islands, on the Canadian Border in northwestern New York, had been on my you-know-what-list since roughly 1971, when I worked with a well-known photographer whose family had a summer place on one of the islands. Stunned by his photos and fascinated that there were not one, but two, castles there, I determined to see them someday. More than 40 years later, Hubby and I were on our way.
To start with, it was an easy ride north, straight up 81. And every day after that was easy and relaxing as well. The St. Lawrence, which surely must be one of the most beautiful rivers on the planet, is one of the longest and most complex water systems in North America. The water is French marine blue and the air is crisp and clean. This is one of the few tourist boat excursions you absolutely should take—totally relaxing and well worth the price for the history and lore you hear along the way.
We always do road trips in September, to avoid the summer throngs. If you like more activity, such as summer festivals, you won’t find much to do in the 1000 Islands after Labor Day, save to enjoy the considerable natural beauty. That was fine for us, especially for a first visit. We stayed on the US side but did drive across the bridge to Ontario to visit the charming town of Gananoque. Yes, that’s a French name, and there’s a French festival in Cape Vincent, on the US side, every July. If we ever go back that way, I’d like to be there then, crowds or not, loving all things French as I do.
There are actually 1,864 islands in the archipelago; the qualification for island status, as you will find on the website linked above, is that the island must be visible 365 days per year and must have at least one tree. And yes, the salad dressing probably originated there.
If by chance your weather is as dismal as ours, or even if it isn’t, perhaps you’ll enjoy some photos from our cruise. Perhaps you’ll plan your own visit if you haven’t been there. The cover photo, above, is Boldt Castle.