A visit to the Tip

Every summer (except this past one), we make multiple trips to Point Pelee National Park (pc.gc.ca) and to “The Tip“, the southernmost part of mainland Canada. It’s always a unique experience. Between the level of Lake Erie and the wind direction, the tip is never the same twice. Some times, it’s just a little nub and other times it goes way out into the lake.

Because of COVID, we’ve stayed away like we have with most of our favourite places. But the weather on Monday and Tuesday was so warm, we thought we’d make one trip. We were prepared to turn around if there were too many visitors but there really wasn’t. We lucked out.

They had a planner to read before going. We were good to go.

I had another plan. If you read This Week in Ontario Edublogs this week, you’ll recall that I was inspired by Jessica Outram to be a little more purposeful with taking pictures. I suspect that there are many things that I just pass by and, with some attention, I might turn them into worthwhile pictures.

I think I did, even though all I had was my smartphone.

We actually had Point Pelee Drive all to ourselves at one point. I stopped and took this picture of the tunnel between the trees. It certainly wasn’t this vacant coming back; there were bicyclists everywhere.

The trolley from the Visitor Centre wasn’t running so we walked the trail from it to the tip. We were amazed how the leaves were still hanging on. Back at home, the trees are almost bare now.

We made it to the beach leading out to the tip. It was far more than just a nub. It was the biggest tip that I can recall ever seeing. I checked my watch for steps before heading out. To the tip and back would be about 4 000 more steps.

At the tip is the reason for the trip. No matter how many times I’ve done the visit, I always stop and am in awe watching the waves roll in from the east and the west just south of the land. This truly is the tip and makes it all worthwhile. Warning signs are out to warn you of undertow just steps away.

I spun around 180 degrees and couldn’t believe how far I’d walked! If you see the trees in the distance, that’s the last of the land before you head out in search of the tip. Like I said above, I’ve never, ever seen it this long.

The observation deck was under construction last time I’d visited. It was now open. It was a nice, clear day. It would be a shame not to make the trip up. There is a gate half way up which I assume would stop people from going further on a really windy day. Fortunately, after a fairly long trip up the steps, I made it to the top.

There were handrails on both sides and many people were using them to stay steady and pull themselves along. Obviously, they weren’t sterilized so I did the ascent without touching the railings. The mathematician in me noted that each little raise was exactly 7 steps. According to the brochure, it was 140 steps to the top. As an aside, they seemed steeper the closer I got to the top.

Once to the top, the view was breathtaking. Surely, after that climb, I’d be able to see the tip when I looked south. You can see the path that leads to the tip but that’s about it. I hope to be able to go back once the leaves are fully off the trees to catch the entire view.

So, spinning around and looking north, there’s the park itself. One tree, I’m guessing birch, has lost its leaves but the rest are hanging in there.

As I finish off this post, I do have to give Jessica another thanks for pushing me. In a normal trip, I might have just taken a picture while at the tip. Since there was no rush, it was easy to linger over the various views. (there are lots more pictures on my phone)

I’m happy with what I did although I do notice that I missed on the horizon in a couple of pictures. And what’s with that orange cone? I made myself a promise not to do any photoediting or cropping for the purpose of this post.

That leaves room for improvement the next time the mood hits.


6 thoughts on “A visit to the Tip

  1. Good morning Doug!

    I’ve never been to Point Pelee and I very much appreciate the fact that this is an annual pilgrimage for you. I will confess that I am inspired by your photos/recount and am keen to see the park myself. I know that you have been down to this end of southern Ontario and have visited some of my haunts like the Norris Whitney Bridge and the Paint Test Strips.

    With Covid, I’m getting a bit stir crazy here, and I’m thinking that there can’t be too much harm in a self-isolated drive down the 401 to see the park. However, with continuing increases in cases, it’s probably best if I stay closer to home. I will stave off my desire to see Point Pelee for now and instead undertake a trip to the lighthouse at Presqu’ile or a journey down to the Sandbanks before it gets too cold and icy. Either one of those would make for an attainable destiination for later this morning.

    A brief note with regards to your comment about photographs and your phone camera. Despite the fact that I usually carry my big camera with me, I have found over the last year or so that it is much more convenient to use my phone camera, as it is always with me, and honestly, less cumbersome. I am loathe to put my backpack (with laptop, iPad, chargers, camera, and lenses) on the scale and determine how much I am hauling around when I take it with me. It is certainly much more liberating to leave all of that behind and just carry my phone in my pocket. Maybe I will undertake a little study over the next while in being more purposeful and just going with my cell phone.

    Glad to know that you are staying safe!


  2. Thanks Doug for sharing this beautiful picture story! I’m so glad to hear that you got to take this trip. I’ve been doing some thinking lately about photography. My pictures are far from stellar. I have a familial tremor, and my hands always shake. I try to grip steadily, but the impact on the picture quality continues to be huge. Any advice from you or others to compensate for the shaking. I see some things happening in class, and I start to wonder about how much more I might observe later with a better photograph.



    1. I think that the standard answer would be to use a tripod or try out a monopod. I wonder if your Media Centre would have one that you could borrow to see if that helps?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thanks Doug! I never really thought about using one before especially since I move around so much as I take photographs and videos. Wondering if it might be worth exploring the option.



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