The Intern Takeover
Have you ever wanted to just escape from the real world? Even if it’s just for a minute? Because with all honesty, I know I have; and I know I’m not the only one either! So if you’re like me, and enjoy a little break from reality every now and then to preserve your sanity; this is the blog for you! Follow us on our brand new ‘Adventurer Club Series’ weekly blog, run by The Weekend Route’s very own summer interns; Griffin & Romi to find out how you can become a TWR Adventurer yourself!
(hint: keep reading!)
Hey! I’m Romi (also known as the cooler intern), from The Weekend Route! For this summer, I’ve taken an internship spot here at TWR, and I couldn’t possibly be more excited over it! As part of my internship, my best friend Griffin (you’ll meet him soon enough if not yet) and I, have been tasked with the incredible opportunity of hosting our very own ‘Adventurer Club Series’! Our mission for this series is to show our viewers here on The Weekend Route just how much the wonderful outdoors has to offer. With weekly blogs, vlogs, photos, videos, and much more, you’ll be surely guaranteed to be kept up to date with the coolest, most adventurous, off-the-beaten-track adventure spots, one-of-a-kind eats, and natural wonders only locals know about around the Great Lakes!
To kick off our very first Adventure Club Series journey, Griff & I decided to travel a few hours east, and a ferry ride away from the office, to check out Loyalist Township’s incredible ‘Amherst Island’ just 10 clicks west of Kingston! Now, we’ve always heard rumours about Amherst being a must-see while visiting Bay-of-Quinte but, we never really listened. This week, we decided to change things up, and embark on the journey of a lifetime. Filled with uncertainty, and fuelled by caffeine. This week, we decided to listen. And oh boy, must I say, I’ve never, in my life, EVER been more glad to have listened to something for once. Filled with amenities like the local ‘Topsy Wool Farms’ on the west end of the island, or ‘Godden’s Whole Hog Sausage’ being sold out of a local couples’ freezer on the upper east end, Amherst Island is sure to keep you occupied for the entire length of your stay.
Before we headed off on our island expedition though, we needed to be sure that we had everything we needed to ensure a top-notch adventure. So, we quickly gave our inventory a classic double check just to be safe.
Charcoal Chimney Starter? (highly recommended for starting fires) Check.
Frying Pan? Check.
Cooking materials and food? Ch- Oh no…
We had no food…. How could it be? We had packed everything that we needed to make the food, but we’d forgotten the ACTUAL FOOD! We needed to take immediate action. Then, it was at that moment, it hit us. The truth, the answer, our gleaming light, in the seemingly infinite darkness, the SAVIOUR TO OUR WORRIES. It was at that moment, when ‘Rutherford’s Farm & Roadside Market’ appeared on our screens while searching for the #1 off-the-beaten-path locations on the internet’s #1 encyclopedia for finding off-the-beaten-path spots all over North America! (which just so happens to be The Weekend Route). Anyways, after finding Rutherford’s, we finally hopped in the car and got on the road headed towards our first stop!
We arrived at Rutherford’s Market and grabbed all of our needed supplies. Maple syrup, potatoes, vegetables, and more! Wait… we still needed our main course! However, since we were going to be exploring Amherst Island for the day, we figured that it would be only fair to indulge in what the island has to offer to us for our main course. We had heard prior talks of an island famous ‘Sausage Man’ selling the even more famous ‘Godden’s Whole Hog Sausage’, so we decided that would be the perfect fit for our main course on the island. Now that we had all that we needed, we finally began our route to Loyalist Townships’s very own Amherst Island.
Getting to the island was achieved by driving east from our Cobourg offices, down Highway 2, all the way to Millhaven, to board the Amherst Island Ferry from there. The ferry was super easily accessible and only costs $10/vehicle, at no cost to pedestrians! Upon island arrival, we were greeted with bright smiles and friendly waves from what seemed to be every single person that we passed by. Accompanied by great vibes, sunny skies, and lots of cows, we began to explore the surprisingly large island of Amherst. By now, it was around 1:00 pm and with our stomachs screaming at us, we decided it was time for some food.
We headed down the east side of the island towards the Sausage Man and purchased $15 worth of ‘Godden’s Whole Hog Sausage’ from the Sausage Man (whose real name ended up being Mark), and his lovely wife Carol. After chatting with Mark & Carol for some time, we got back in the car and began to drive down what Mark would refer to as “the most beautiful drive in Canada”. About 5 minutes into that drive, we realized that Mark may have very well been telling us the truth, as we looked out to a stunning view of Kingston’s shore with Lake Ontario covering the distance between. Just a few more minutes down the road, we found the perfect spot for us to finally set up our fire. A private rock beach with calm wind and warm water.
After about half an hour of failed attempts and a few broken matches, we finally got the fire going strong enough to cook our sausages on. While the food was cooking, we decided it was the perfect time for a swim, so we hopped in the lake and enjoyed the beautiful summer day on Amherst Island. Once the local sausages were finished, we cut them up and threw them into a bowl of brown beans that we had brought along with us to make our very own, D.I.Y 5-Star Meal. The sausage actually ended up tasting incredible and truthfully, I plan to buy it in bulk next time I’m on Amherst Island. Thanks, Mark!
Now, with our stomachs full and legs getting tired, we headed towards ‘Topsy Wool Farms’ on the other side of the Island to give ourselves a first-hand look at Amherst Island’s most popular tourist attraction. To our surprise, we were once again greeted by welcoming waves and content smiles from the farmers of Topsy Farms when we pulled in. Immediately after stepping out of the car, Sally, an Amherst Island local and ‘Topsy Wool Farms CEO’ introduced herself to us and kindly welcomed us to her wool farm. She then gave us a tour of her wool shop, sheep farm, sunflower and vegetable gardens, and even let us in on the secret maple shack located 4km down the trail beside her farm! Sally explained to us how the island’s community has been voluntarily helping her keep the farm maintained for the past 40 years so, in return, she runs a community garden. After only a few words with Sally, it was quite obvious to me that she was a highly respected individual on the island due to everything that she’s done for their community, so if you’re ever visiting Amherst, be sure to pay Sally a visit for some incredible stories about the island!
Unfortunately, we couldn’t spend as much time with Sally as we may have wanted to due to the fear of missing our ferry back home, so we had to cut things short and say our goodbyes to our new friend. We hurried down back towards Stella (part of the island where the ferry leaves from) and hopped back onto the ferry back towards Mainland. The 20-minute ferry ride passed quickly as we watched the waves crash against the boat, and we were back to Millhaven in no time. The clock was about to hit 6:00 pm, and Griff and I began to get hungry again so we decided to add one last stop to our adventure. We realized that Napanee was on our way back to Cobourg, so we quickly decided; Napanee’s famous & Avril Lavigne’s favourite, La Pizzeria, would be our final stop on this day-long adventure. Can’t forget the cherry on top, right?
We finished up our pizza (check out our adventure vlog to see how we liked it), then finally began to head back to the office. That was it, the day was over, and for some reason, I couldn’t stop myself from wanting to go back! The calm air, friendly locals, beautiful beaches, and so much more kept on screaming at me in my head to come back! Truthfully, I wish I could go back too, but Griff & I have got much more exploring to get done with before that day comes around! Be sure to check us out next week back here on The Weekend Route to find out where our next adventure will be taking place!