Point Pelee: the Edge of the World

I have a thing for extreme geography. I hail from a region of Canada so far north that we drive south to reach parts of Alaska. While you may not immediately realize it, Michigan is another such geographical oddity.

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This past weekend we drove south, crossed the border, and about ten minutes later my three year old declared, “we’re in Mexico!” No, child, south of Detroit is Canada.

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We walked the narrow peninsula that juts into Lake Erie, where the water is warm on one side and cold on the other. The woods and marshlands are full of beauty, but we didn’t dawdle much this time, eager as we were to get to the water.

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We skipped rocks on the waves.

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And we stepped our toes into the sand at the southernmost tip of Canada, south of the 42nd parallel.

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(For comparison, the 42nd parallel is the line between Oregon and California, or New York and Pennsylvania. The 42nd parallel runs just north of Rome, Italy and through the French island of Corsica.)

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We played among the driftwood.

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Each piece unique and magical.

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Each has a different story to tell.

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And it was an absolutely perfect day. I’ve found a new happy place, and another geographic outlier to add to my collection.

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Perhaps where Canada dips into Lake Erie isn’t the edge of the world. But it felt that way to me.

A few notes: my husband came here as a kid and said that at certain times of year the place is overrun with bugs. We went late in May and there was not a bug to be swatted away. Early May is a busy time for birders, as Point Pelee is an important stop for many migratory birds. I think the woods would be especially lovely in the fall, and I think the marshlands would be magical in winter mist. Including the border crossing it’s only about 2 hours from Detroit so we will definitely return.

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