When silence … isn’t.

A few years ago, the fellow and I headed up to Manitoulin Island for a Thanksgiving weekend getaway.  To make the most of the long weekend, we left after work and planned to stay overnight at a B&B along the way, resuming our journey early enough the next morning to make it to our destination by noon that day.  Parry  Sound is about halfway, so that’s where I found what appeared to be an ideal rest stop for the trip.

It was lovely.  We had a back room in a beautiful old home, with a private deck and entrance to the beautiful backyard.  The room felt luxurious and when I saw the earplugs in the bathroom, I thought it was just another extra touch for those people who might find crickets noisy, as the quiet was delicious. The sun had set before we arrived and darkness was settling over the picturesque setting as we opened a bottle of wine on the deck to celebrate the beginning of our mini vacation.  We had both been working hard and it was nice to let the fresh air and silence envelop us and help us relax into the weekend.


The deck began vibrating.

Puzzled, we looked at each other. Earthquake?

The vibration got stronger and stronger and everything was shaking.  Then we heard a sound, which started out as a faint, distant chug, chug, then got louder and louder until there was nothing but the existence of the sound and shaking in the world.

The train took many minutes to pass by and it was many more before it was distant enough for the quiet to resume.

There was a train trestle cutting right across the neighbouring property. Those earplugs were more than just a thoughtful whim. Odd, I had read many reviews of the B&B before booking it and there were nothing but glowing reviews. Not one single mention of a train next door. Not one. This was not a cheap place to lay one’s head, it was one of the top-rated places in the area. I was so sleep-deprived that I could have cried — I had been looking forward to having some great nights of sleep while out of the city. No lights, no traffic, cool, fresh air. And here we were, sleeping almost under a train track.

We did the only thing we could do in the circumstances. We lifted our wine glasses, clinked them together, took a drink then laughed at the absurdity of the situation. You plan, you research, and things still don’t work out as expected.

It was quiet between the trains. The moon came up behind the trees. We took a few night shots. We enjoyed the rest of the wine.  And, amazingly, we actually did get some sleep.  The bed was extremely comfortable. The earplugs helped, and the fellow, who can usually sleep through trains, was awake first.  Apparently, miraculously, I had actually slept through a few early morning trains before finally being vibrated awake.

The surrounding trees were in full Fall glory. This tree stood next to our table on the deck and looked amazing in the dim lighting from the house. A long exposure caught the stars in the dark sky beyond it.


Posted in Ontario, Photos | Leave a comment