The Grotto

45°14'43.3"N 81°31'26.7"W

45.245350, -81.524070

Bring shoes you don’t mind getting wet if you plan on swimming. Normally, when you’re having fun time flies…not so much at the Grotto for me. Climbing the cliffs, running down the shore between waves, I had to keep checking the time (2021 COVID you book a four-hour parking slot) and couldn’t believe how it was crawling. I stopped to think about it and realised I was on adrenaline; it is that exciting. The rocks are covered with toe and hand grips. I had guys yelling at me, and cajones was the choice word, but they don’t realise I hang round the shores of Superior all the time doing the same stuff on smaller scales. The waves were crazy on the Great Lake. Meanwhile, Cyprus Lake and Marr Lake, the small inland lakes you walk by from the parking/camping areas, were serene, an interesting contrast. No one was swimming, and I don’t blame them. Instead, I climbed down and in through the front of the Grotto, clinging to the inside walls above the waves. My shoes stayed dry. I’m not going to lie, my first thought seeing it was, ‘it’s so small.' Then I got a closer look and OH MY GOD; it's magnificent. It’s funny, but when I love somewhere I always seem to wind up forgetting to do my filming. I’m busy being distracted, living in that moment…I only shot one video of the inside of the actual grotto and was surprised when I started reviewing my videos for my page. Some people spend fifteen minutes making content, two minutes living. I’ll never be that guy, amen. The way the sunlight comes in through the bottom of the cave and backlights the deep blue water. It creates all the shades of luminescent blues rippling and is nothing short of fucking magical. My pictures and video will never be enough, you have to go there and live it. The paths and trails lead all over the natural rock formations so know that you’re going to get a workout. Your whole body climbing and pulling yourself up as you look round. My legs are aching as I write this now. The drive up to Bruce Peninsula National Park was long. I left forty minutes early and even with traffic speeding along, and one gas stop I barely made it in time. Don’t trust your GPS and give time to spare. The path starts out as an easy walk down wide groomed trails. As you get closer to Indian Head Cove, a scenic rock beach inlet, it shifts to a magnificent but really rough example of Lake Superior shoreline. Dolomite and limestone, the softer limestone is eaten away creating really interesting organic curves and lines called karsks. God is an artist. Other small caves dot the shoreline as well as overhangs. As you follow the hiking trail the dolomite levels out like the ledge rock round Dyers Bay . Further along the rocks break up smaller and smaller becoming a scree covered isthmus between Superior and Marr Lake. I also found a beautiful shade of red flowers in the creek between Cyprus and Marr Lake called Cardinal flowers. I’ve never seen them before but they were pretty enough I went rock hopping about thirty feet out to film them. I think I now have a new favourite place despite the people. Most of them are out of shape so a little climbing, headphones and I had solitude too. I still smiled and said hi to most of them that I passed.

Bruce Peninsula Web page

© sleeping under the stars 2021