We were about to enter a small village that would make for a great break between the bad drivers and community degradation. I don’t know how long we had been driving at this point, but I do know that after being passed numerous times – WHILE ROUNDING CORNERS – our nerves were shot and my husband needed a nap.
We were actually feeling a bit depressed about the lack of services. I would get excited, seeing a gas station, restaurant or convenience store just ahead, only to find it abandoned. It happened so often, we assumed we wouldn’t find a decent place to stop until the next province.
It had become sort of a joke – a sad joke.
The geographically large municipality of Huron Shores has about 1,700 residents spread through fourteen or more small towns. The most established appears to be Iron Bridge, our next stop.
With a population of around 600, Iron bridge is (of course) famous for its (yes) iron bridge.
The region also houses an Amish community – well, I researched (because I don’t fully understand the difference between the Mennonite/Hutterite/Doukhobor & Amish communities – at least I don’t know enough to tell just by sight), and it SEEMS that it is an Amish community calling Huron Shores home.
My husband is oddly fascinated with the traditional lifestyle that the communities all maintain, and admittedly so am I – though perhaps my fascination stems from a different place.
I once seriously considered joining a closed community of Hutterites in Alberta, Canada. I was young, and struggling with single parenthood. When they heard of my plight, they asked a family member if I would consider joining their community. They were looking for new (fertile, non-related) women to join their collective.
It was something I considered for a few years. I visited for a tour of their ‘compound’ (a large farm with multiple workshops and a community kitchen). They were very kind and welcoming to me. They did not seem to judge my obvious and contradicting choices – in hindsight they may have just been happy to have two new females in their colony.
I appreciated their organized communal lifestyle, and loved that they all had learned so many skills. Woodworking, farming, cooking, sewing, basic mechanics, construction, canning – the list went on and on. They needed these skills to survive independently as a community. As a 20 year old lacking most basic skills, this really appealed to me.
Certainly it also helped that I had always been interested in ‘the practice of religion’.
In the end, I chose to move to the city (Toronto), and took up a career in modelling (and acting – bit parts and extra work). An odd choice for my personality, but I feared the rural isolation, and made a decision to do what I could with my distinct lack of skills.
Don’t worry though, I saved my money and was able to make it through college, baby in tow (sometimes literally).
We were hoping to find a quaint town with a few services, and though that is not quite what we found, we would not be disappointed with our time in Iron Bridge.
Coming next: Iron Bridge, Tally-Ho!