This blog is about our travels in our solar powered "Airstream" and living off grid, in our passive solar home, near Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.

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Wednesday, 7 October 2015


Yesterday's destination was Almonte, the home of Dr. James Naismith and the woollen center of Canada back in the 1800s. 

In case you didn't know, basketball was invented by a Canadian, Dr James Naismith in 1891 while he worked as the YMCA director in Springfield, Massachusetts. 

Almonte is blessed with an abundance of water power and that's what powered the mills back then. 

It's the drop in elevation combined with the flow rate that made the turbines work to power the woollen mills. (no electricity back then)

Today the woollen industry is gone and the buildings have been turned into condominiums, office buildings and retail space.

Our first stop was the Heirloom restaurant for lunch. I ordered the lamb burger with pumpkin soup as a side and Mary had the quiche and soup; both were delicious and worth the drive. Sorry no pictures, just too hungry to take one.

For dessert we shared this scrumptious chocolate olive oil cake, beautifully presented and just as tasty as it looks.

The Quilting Quarters was the perfect place to browse after lunch.

Their display of quilts was fabulous and might be the reason this shop was featured in Quilt Sampler back in 2013.

Mary spent her time chatting with the owner and admiring the automatic quilting machine they had working in the back room. Can you guess what this machine would cost? It is controlled by two computers and can quilt any of the thousand patterns found in its design library. Check it out on line.

Almonte is a quiet town so quiet that the kids skateboard down the main street, it's a great hill for this. We had planned to visit the woollen museum but it was after three when Mary finally appeared from the quilt store (Can you believe two hours in one store? How does she do that?) so the museum will have to wait until our next year.

By the time we got home the sun was out;  another fun day exploring the back roads of Lanark county.

If the sun returns today we will hike the Eagle Nest trail.

Thanks for stopping by and safe travels everyone.


  1. How much does a quilting machine like that one cost?

  2. Hi Lori;

    Would you believe $30,000 US. Almost as much as we paid for our first house back in 75

    Times have changed