Thoughts From The Wilderness – It’s Just Water – Get Over It.

Water, the building block of life. Two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. Complex yet simple all in the same breath.


Something so simple; so clear and colourless can cause such a distortion of viewing the world around us when it lands as tiny raindrops on our glasses. Or if you’re taking a picture through the windshield of your car on a recent rainy late winter day-trip to Algonquin Park. A little distorted; a bit out of focus, but you still know where you are.

On our recent day-trip to Algonquin Park, I spent a considerable amount of time outside trekking along hiking trails with a somewhat distorted view of the landscape around me. Not due to some unresolved emotional issues, but entirely due to raindrops on my glasses.

Being clear and colourless, the raindrop covered glasses really didn’t stop me or cause me to not know where I was, it just simply distorted the imagines I was seeing. Just enough not to see clearly.

Barring the use of some crazy eyeglass wiping system, the simple solution was to stop every once in a while and dry the moisture off the glasses. Pretty obvious, at least to me that if you wear glasses and plan to spend any time outside and it’s raining or snowing, your glasses are going to get wet.

So, why get exceedingly bent out of shape over it? It’s just water! Deal with it. Stop for a minute; collect yourself; pull out something to dry your glasses off and keep moving on. A simple solution to a simple problem. Not a complex problem requiring a Ph.D. level solution.

Isn’t it ironic that life can be at times like wearing glasses that have raindrops on the lenses. We can still see where we are or what the situation is, but it’s not a clear as it should be. Our view of life can be distorted by something so simple, that many times we may not recognize it as simple.

So, what do we do? Or what “should” we do?

There might be three trails that we could head down.

The first one would be to search for a complex solution to a very simple problem. “I know the problem is insignificant and not a big deal, but I’ll spend four days worth of time, focus and energy to get to a solution.”

The second one is to assume the issue is complex and serious(it isn’t) and spend days or weeks dealing with it. This is while all those around you watch in amazement thinking, “why not just dry your glasses off?”

The third trail to hike down might be the best one. Stop for a moment; pull out a tissue and simply dry your glasses off in order to see better. That being, stop and simply assess the situation. See the situation or issue for what it is.

I’ve been around for a fair amount of time or have made “a few laps around the track” might be another analogy. But, after all those laps I’ve found out this. Much of life, living and how we cope with it at times involves simply “stopping, wiping the raindrops from our glasses” to see just a bit better.

Of course, there will be those big issues that come up. The ones we never want to deal with. But, most will be the ones the “dry off your glasses type.” Nothing to get bent out of shape over. Just dry them off and move on.

If you’re going to spend any significant amount time in nature, it’s going to rain at some point. Perhaps just for a few brief moments, or maybe for a couple of days in a row. In fact, some of the best times and most memorable adventures Lynn and I have had involved rain and stormy weather. Real stormy weather. Now, we could have hidden in our tent until the rain stopped; not gone out at all. But, what fun is that? Just put on some rain gear; dry off your glasses and keep moving on.

Geez, it’s just water!

Life is the same way. If you’re going to live life, it’s going to rain on you somewhere and at some point. Don’t let a little drizzle get you all freaked out. Life is far too short to get freaked out about, especially if it is just a little drizzle.

Simply wipe off your glasses; have a look around and move on.

Geez, it’s only water!

Save the big freak-out for that big rain storm; the torrential downpour. That’s the time when that complex problem is going to require that complex solution.

Just a thought.


Thoughts From The Wilderness – Frozen In Time

“A picture is simply a memory frozen in time.”

About a week or so ago, and using an old term from our days in the horse industry, I was “pulling at the bit” to go, see and soak up sometime in the outdoors. In order to stop “pulling on the bit”,  Lynn and I went on an adventure not far from our home. Out we headed to the McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve to hike a section of the McCrae Lake Trail and as well to photograph the rapids separating McDonald and McCrae Lakes.

pic 19

One of the many pictures Lynn captured that afternoon was this one of oak leaves frozen in a small ice-covered area adjacent to the trail.

This picture preserves one of several “memories of that afternoon frozen in time.”

The stark reality is living isn’t frozen in time at all. Life ticks by one second; one minute at a time. We all have snapshots in our memories of a moment, which we may describe as perfect. Which may be perfect. We want that moment; the memory to be “frozen in time.” We wish our lives continually exist and move forward like that one perfect moment unsullied by the depravity and sadness found in the world today.

Humans can’t live in that “perfect moment.” That moment, regardless of what it was and how much you desire it to remain; how much you wish it exists; it doesn’t. The memory of it will; a picture of it will, but time moves on.


Living in that “perfect moment” only exists if we’re living in some sort of bubble that insulates us from the rest of the world and humanity. A little alternative reality time-space continuum.

Ironically, we can’t run and hide from life because regardless if we want to or not, we all have to live it.

Life ticks by one second at a time. That moment we hold so dearly in our hearts and memory doesn’t freeze our life into some sort of perfect existence. Life is full of hardships, tears and like all people there will be those times when pushing the “delete button” and travelling back in time to when everything seemed perfect would work just fine. But, life doesn’t work that way.

We need to live to make every second; every minute; every hour count. Over the past several months I’ve read a lot and written recently on living in the moment. Not dwelling in the past or so focused on a future we have no control over, but to live for the time that’s right in front of us.


Residing in the “glory days of the past” or living in “our minds-eye” a future we can’t control. Both are places not to permanently settle. With eyes focused on bygone times or fixated on the future, can’t we miss those flashes of perfection right in front of us?

The worse part would be if one of the unnoticed highlights was one we wanted to be “frozen in time.”

We can’t change the former and we can’t control the future. The memory of those perfect moments; those “frozen in time” imagines will always be preserved. But, you know what?

There will be other “frozen in time” moments.

We don’t know what they might look like. No idea when or where they will occur. Just live as this our last day on Earth; make every second count; love and live in the moment that we find right before us.


If we do that, we won’t miss much and we’ll have plenty of “frozen in time” snapshots to fill a dresser drawer.

Just a couple of thoughts.






McCrae Lake Rapids- There and Back Again(A Late Winter Hike)

Backyards can be a magical spot. Just ask any six-year-old who spends a morning rummaging around through the grass, dirt and leaves exploring and looking for insects and whatever else might capture the imagination of such young explorers and scientists.

The same is true for those of us who spend any significant amount of time in the outdoors. Much like a six-year-old explorer or scientist, sometimes you don’t know what’s in your backyard until you get out and have a good look.

McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve

I’d heard of McCrae Lake and the McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve for I don’t know how long. The ironic part of this is, for the last twenty plus years or more we’ve lived less than an hour away from it. I bet we’ve driven by the Crooked Bay Road exit on Highway 400 dozens of times since we’ve put down roots in this area. We’d drive three hours to hit up an adventure north of us but never bothered to check this area out. Go figure!

Last fall Lynn and her photography club planned a Saturday outing to this area and specifically the McCrae Lake Rapids. Since then, Lynn and I have been talking about getting back so we could hike the trails and photograph the area and the rapids.

For those who aren’t familiar with it, the McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve is a 2,039-hectare area of Crown land in the District of Muskoka. It is a very popular destination with a wide variety of outdoor pursuits available including, camping, canoeing, snowmobiling, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing, and photography to name a few. The area is defined as McDonald Lake(next to Highway 400) in the east, westward to Georgian Bay and north to the Gibson River.

So, last Friday we figured it was time to head on out. From where we live it’s about a 30-minute drive to the McCrae Lake Parking area just off Crooked Bay Road and the southbound Highway 400 on-ramp.

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 6.21.26 PM

Screen Shot 2018-03-04 at 6.59.06 AM

The day dawned with temperatures hovering just around 1 to 2 degrees Celsius and cloudy, but with the sun peaking through from time to time. Leaving our home and arriving at the parking area around 10:45am, we collected ourselves and head off down the marked McCrae Lake Hiking Trail.


The start of the McCrae Lake Hiking Trail is on the “west side” of the parking area. If you take the trail which commences at the most northern end of the parking lot, it is the start of the portage to the put-in on McDonald Lake.

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 7.55.00 AM

Once you head out the McCrae Lake Trail in order to reach the rapids you make a right turn when the hiking trail interests with a local snowmobile trail. However, before reaching that point, we thought that the area off-trail looked pretty interesting and worth exploring a bit more. We left the trail at a top of a ravine close the snowmobile trail intersection and bushwacked through the forest, ultimately connecting with the snowmobile trail near its southern end.

off trail
The yellow line indicates where we bushwhacked south from the hiking trail connecting with the snowmobile trunk route.

With all of the mild weather and rain we’ve experienced in recent weeks, it was very interesting to discover much snow was still in the bush and how deep it was. Even more interesting was how densely packed and crusty it was. For the most part, I was able to walk on top of the snow without post-holing through. Lynn had no issues at all. However, on those occasions I did sink in, it was at times up to my waist.

Once on the snowmobile trail, it was an easy hike up to the rapids separating McDonald and McCrae Lakes.

A few pictures from the afternoon.

pic 15

pic 16

pic 4

A bit more of an edited or stylized shot of the above picture.

pic 3

pic 5

pic 18

pic 6pic 7

pic 8

pic 14

pic 2

pic 9

pic 11pic 10

A rough day around the campfire making dinner.

pic 25

pic 26

pic 12pic 13

pic 21

pic 22

pic 19

pic 24

pic 20pic 23

What a super place to get out to. Relatively mild temperatures, good trails and although a bit icy in sections, it still was an excellent day out. The McCrae Lake area to my understanding can get exceptionally busy during the summer with backcountry canoe camping due to it’s relatively close proximity to the GTA and with it being Crown Land, the camping is free.

I know there have been issues in the past with excessive noise, partying and garbage being left at the campsites. I’m not sure if that is still an issue or not. I suspect it could be. Certainly going in the shoulder seasons, or perhaps during the week, there wouldn’t be as many people. Again, not sure.

If you want to learn more about the McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve, this link takes you to the Province’s policy statement for the direction, protection, development and management of the McCrae Lake Conservation Reserve.

Our short time spent there provided an excellent overview of the area, and we are already planning to hike the rest of the McCrae Lake Trail to the “Eagle’s Nest” area to investigate to cliffs and the views to the west across McCrae Lake.

It’s also my understanding the trail continues on from this point going around the south end of McCrae Lake and crosses the waterfall between McCrae Lake and Georgian Bay. Various reports suggest the distance from the parking lot to this point is between 6 and 7 kilometres one-way. We’ll be checking that out as well.

All in all, it was one of those afternoons that was desperately needed. Sunshine, fresh air, nature at its finest, a refuelling of the batteries. All of this I got to share with Lynn.

You know, it doesn’t get any better.

Kind of glad we decided to check out what we could find in our “backyard.” Maybe this weekend you should do the same. You’d be surprised what you might find.

Thanks for reading.


Thoughts From The Wilderness – Nuclear Reactions and Fire-Crackers

So, not including my wife, daughter and the dog, isn’t this about the cutest face you’ve seen in a while? Honestly, how can a face like this drive our beloved four-legged fur-baby into having an instantaneous fit of barking and jumping? All neatly packaged into a momentary loss of sanity.


Apparently, it’s quite easy.

We have a small tree just outside our large front window in the living room. It provides the perfect setting in the winter to hang bird feeders and suet baskets. The ideal spot to sit back on the couch with a hot cup of tea and enjoy the comings and goings of various winter birds and the occasional squirrel.

Our dog Katie does not and I repeat does not have any love or a “kind bone in her body” when it comes to the issue of squirrels. In fact, her “worldview” suggests that squirrels are a “scourge on society”; the “bane of her existence.” As such, all squirrels need to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. This includes, for the most part, barking and jumping at the window until they leave her field of vision.


This particular wrestling match between squirrels and Katie has been ongoing from the time she’s been with us. One would have assumed by now that she would have grown used to them or at least given up to some extent.

We’re kind of hoping she’ll come to the realization that “they’re out there and I’ll never catch one, so why get all in a fluster over them.”

I’m sure only a millennium altering “alignment of the planets combined with some unexpected hiccup in the universe” would result in any type of squirrel/Katie truce or UN-negotiated cease-fire.

Yup, she has a pretty large “hissy-fit” over something relatively minor, having little if any impact on her.

I know plenty of people, including myself, who have similar levels of “hissy-fitness” over what is seemingly inconsequential events or situations. If you’re going to blow something out of proportion, might as well make it a huge explosion. Why use one stick of dynamite when ten well ensure fulfillment of your “scorched earth policy.”

Why do people react this way? Accelerate from one to ten(scorched earth diplomacy) in milliseconds. A nuclear reaction to a fire-cracker event.

I guess there might be many reasons. For some, it’s unconscious, just how they learned to react. Perhaps for others, their reaction might be connected to a sensitive subject or event that happened. Maybe people are afraid, panicky, or feeling threatened. Stress, anxiety, fear, illness, or as a learned coping skill could all come into play.

When that “nuclear reaction to a fire-cracker event” happens, there is always something else going on under the surface.

Don’t we often react based on the results of situations that happened in the past?

Those reactions were never really resolved and dealt with it in the past when they occurred. So, past reactions resurface in present situations. Until those issues get dealt with or we just let go of them, our “scorched earth policy” will continue to be the norm.

Where do we fit into all of this?

If we’re talking about Katie, we know the “hissy-fit” usually lasts about five seconds until the squirrel notices her apparent forthcoming vicious attack and retreats away from the bird feeder. It’s the attack that never happens. Remember the front window? The dog inside; squirrel outside.

But, with loved ones, friends and such, what can we do?

Well, they or we might need help to put the issue in perspective. Maybe sitting over coffee and gently discussing the scenario with some questions might help.

Questions like:

  • What is the worst case scenario now that this has happened?
  • If that occurs what will be the ramifications?
  • What will occur if things like this continue to occur?
  • Could there be another outcome?
  • Finally, how do you think people respond when everything is an issue?
  • Is there a better way to deal with these situations?

Although he, she or we are the ones who need to do the work, having someone who understands may give them or us the support needed to resolve the issue once and for all.

Empathy and support go a long way.

Just a thought

Algonquin Park – A February Day Adventure

This adventure has been in the planning since Christmas.

Note, I’m using the word “planning” here in it’s broadest possible definition. The idea of “planning” only consisted of me mentioning to Lynn that I wanted to hit up Algonquin in and around the Christmas holidays.

But, as we all know work, life and other important or perhaps not so important things pop up from time to time. But, with decent weather in the forecast(or so we thought) and someone to come in during the day to look after Katie, the plan was set in motion.


All this was sounding and looking extremely good on paper. However, given all this planning or lack of planning, the one thing we couldn’t control was Mother Nature.

We woke up to a forecast in Algonquin Park of freezing rain in the morning and changing to rain in the afternoon. The whole weather issue and specifically the freezing rain part is going to play a major role in the narrative so to speak. But, not in too bad of a way. Let’s just say, rain gear and a positive attitude over-comes much hardship and wet weather!

Screen Shot 2018-02-23 at 7.33.56 AM

But, putting the rather poor forecast aside, any time spent in Algonquin is always a time that is well invested. In fact, most experts if they’re any type of expert at all, will tell you it’s one of the best, safest and most secure investments one can make. It’s entirely an investment made in oneself.

Given poor weather; good weather; or weather that falls somewhere in between; any time be it a day, week or longer spent in Algonquin is usually just what the “Doctor prescribed.” On that note, I should check to see if fees associated with Algonquin are covered under my drug and benefits plan at work.

pic 1

Leaving home and after an uneventful 2.5-hour drive, we arrived at the West Gate to get our Day Pass around 10:45am.


Our plan for the day was to hit up a couple of the interpretive hiking trails, then head over to the Visitors Centre, plus whatever else peaked our interest during our time in the park.

With the rain now slowing changing to freezing rain, we decided to check out the Two Rivers Trail.

Although we didn’t take a picture, the parking lot would have been easier to get across with skates versus trail boots. Nevertheless, there is an old saying Lynn and I go by, “enjoyment of an outdoor adventure is only limited by clothing choices.” Undaunted by the weather conditions we gathered our gear together, locked the car and headed down the rather hard packed, but even icier trail to tackle the adventure before us.

pic 3

Almost immediately, I spotted a Ruffed Grouse in the bush just ahead of us, who seemed for the most part unphased by us intruding in their part of Algonquin and was quite happy strutting along through the bush oblivious to our presence.

pic 2

The trail winds it’s way through a mixed forest slowly climbing towards a cliff edge with views of the North Madawaska River and hills to the west.

pic 5

A view to the hills in the west.

pic 12

pic 10

A slick and icy cliff edge. Not the spot for a miss step or “next stop – bottom of the cliff.”

pic 11

A view looking west and the North Madawaska River.

pic 9

An icy and somewhat precarious location. All the rocks were coated with a thin, but a slick coating of ice.

pic 7

pic 8

The trail leading back to the parking area from the cliff edge.

pic 6

Link to a short video clip of the icy and crunchy approach along the trail to the cliff edge.

Descending the trail, we made it back to the car to find the parking lot now a virtual skating rink. The “rather slick underfoot” conditions were to be the norm for the rest of our day in Algonquin. Ignoring the odd stone that might be peeking through the ice, it would have made a grand spot for a spur of the moment pick-up hockey game.

I think you get the idea!

Screen Shot 2018-03-01 at 6.36.00 AM


Since we were just a few metres away from Mew Lake Campground, we decided to take a drive through to see if many people were winter camping. The short answer to that was No. A big resounding NO. Each campsite we came across was either fully or partially submerged in water; a complete ice sheet or a non-campable combination of both.

In addition, the roads throughout the campground were a virtual ice trail. Let’s just say, turning the car around was an exercise of sliding, stop, reverse, sliding, stop, forward, sliding and so on.

We did see one late model camping van with a sawdust trail for traction leading from the van to the fire pit and one poor cold tenter with their tent perched rather lopsidedly on their site, trying to find that one high point that hadn’t been assaulted by water or ice.

After leaving Mew Lake, we headed over to the Visitors Centre to check things out there. Having been countless times, including back in the summer of 1993 when it first opened, it’s always fun and educational to take a walk through the exhibits and dioramas. During the week in the winter, the kitchen isn’t open, although the seating area is. However, the restaurant provides coffee, tea, soft drinks, juices, snack foods and some limited choices of microwaveable items on the “honour system.”

Yup, the honour system. All the items have a price listed. Pick what you want and there is a container to drop your money into. You can also go to the bookstore and pay there as well I believe. A pretty neat and innovative way of providing a level of service to those visiting during the week.

The bookstore is my “go to stop” in the Visitors Centre. Always something interesting to peak my interest and lighten the load in my wallet. Again, during the week in the winter the Bookstore may or may not be open. There is a buzzer you can ring and staff will come out and open it up if you want to in and have a look at things in the store.

A quick walk through the exhibits and a couple of pics.


pic 13
View from the Observation Deck


pic 15

pic 17

pic 16

pic 14

We also took time to visit the Algonquin Room that has on display until the end of April the works of artist Gene Canning. This is from the Friends of Algonquin Park website:

On the Trail of Tom Thomson, 100 Years Later by Gene Canning

In recognition of the 100th anniversary of Tom Thomson’s time in Algonquin Park, artist Gene Canning paddled and painted the same rivers and lakes as Thomson, completing 150 paintings along the way. This exhibit shares with us Gene’s adventures and experiences in art and travel in Algonquin Park.

This link will take you to the artist’s website and the specific page describing in detail his three-year odyssey in completing “On The Trail of Tom Thomson.”

We spent some time on the observation deck taking pictures of the activity around the bird feeders on the ground below. Unfortunately, mist and drizzle kept Lynn’s time and focus to a minimum on the deck shooting pics of the birds below.

pic 23

pic 20

pic 21

pic 22

pic 18

pic 19

Lastly, we decided to head over to the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail across the road from the entrance to the Visitors Centre. By this time in the afternoon, the freezing drizzle and rain had done its damage so to speak. After sliding the car completely through the parking lot, we gingerly stepped along the edge at the bottom of the plowed banks and onto the trail.

Similar to the Two Rivers Trail, the Spruce Bog Boardwalk was a mixture of hardpacked snow and icy sections. Mostly icy sections for those wondering.

pic 25

pic 24

pic 26

This little red squirrel decided he wanted to be part of the adventure as well. He would follow us for a bit, then dart out from the trees, sort of look at us wondering where his “snack was” and then scamper back into the trees. A minute or two later he would re-appear and perform the same routine again. He did this three or four times until I guess he figured out we didn’t have anything for him.

pic 27

pic 29

pic 30

pic 28

pic 31

pic 32

pic 33

pic 34

pic 35

Having gone the whole time in the Park without having a “falling or slipping mishap”, I made it within 10 feet of our car when the inevitable happened.


Need I say more?

Once Lynn finished laughing hysterically at my tumbling routine, we collected ourselves, skidded and spun the tires to get out of the parking lot and headed back home around 4:30pm or so.

All in all, and despite the rain and icy conditions, it was a perfect day. We’ve learned over the years that most of the time our adventures and outings tend to be “mind over matter.”

If your attitude is positive and weather conditions don’t matter, then a good day will be had. This was no different. Like I mentioned, “enjoyment of an outdoor adventure is only limited by clothing choices.” 

Don’t let rain, cold, or not so favourable weather conditions or forecasts keep you from getting out and enjoying all that nature and specifically Algonquin Park has to offer. Rain just presents yet another side to the beauty that is out there.

Back in the summer of 2015 on the Free Ontario Parks Admission Day, for those who remember it was pouring rain in Algonquin. Rain teeming down in sheets at times might be an appropriate way to describe it.

No one wanted to venture far from their campsite and no one wanted to come up to visit the park for the day it seemed. With rain gear in hand, Lynn and I had the Track and Tower Trail to ourselves for the entire afternoon. No cars in the parking lot when we arrived; no one on the trail and no cars in the parking lot when we finished. It was one of the best days hiking we’ve had. A moody environment; mist and low cloud covered vistas from the lookout areas. Would have missed all of that if we let the poor weather keep us in a tent.

Get out there. Nature and the outdoors are waiting.

Thanks for reading!

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Hiding In Plain Sight

What I’ve unearthed over the years is it doesn’t matter the situation or even if you’re trying to explain the “meaning of life” there will always be some sort of cliché or cute saying that can be found to help explain or add a measured amount of clarity to the situation. Old adage’s like, “hiding in plain sight” or “can’t see the forest for the trees” come to mind. All of which is exceedingly ironic because the definition of a cliché is “a phrase or opinion that is overused and betrays a lack of original thought

Hiding In Plain Sight

There you go, “overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”  Kind of funny because Lynn took this picture of me “hiding in plain sight” while returning a few weeks ago from an adventure on the Bruce Trail in the Beaver Valley area of Grey County. But, leaving the “lack of original thought ” aside for the moment, when Lynn posted this picture on a photography Facebook group she administrates on, many people commented they thought the “red” might be a male cardinal.

But, there I am “hiding in plain sight” and sorry for the cliché which is “overused and betrays a lack of original thought.”

But, “hiding in plain sight” or “can’t see the forest for the trees” can in one sense apply to our lives. How many times have we missed or continually fail to see the beauty that is right in front of our face? It could be something in nature or more importantly, it could be someone you know and love.

In these instances, often times we use the phrase “taking something or someone for granted”

granted 1
Source: Google Images

We all take things for granted at some point. Our health, our jobs, our family and loved ones and often life in general. We take for granted things in our lives that seem stable, reliable and loyal. Convincing ourselves that these people, things or situations will always be there in the future. Why? Because they’ve always been there in the past.

Having made this assumption or having convinced ourselves of their permanence, they tend to blend into the scenery of our daily lives. They become “hidden in plain sight.” And this is the deception of permanence.

Nothing lasts forever. Everything that surrounds us at some point changes. Relationships, life situations, jobs, the circumstances we find ourselves in. It all eventually changes. However, when we believe that all of it lasts forever or will never change, disappointment and pain aren’t usually too far away.

granted 2
Source: Google Images

It’s ironic, and most of us know this. At least I think on some level, we do. If we know something doesn’t last forever, why do we treat it or people as if they do? So, if we know that, why would we ever take anything for granted?

Examining it in terms of relationships, when we meet someone new and exciting, we tend to pay lots of attention to them. We acknowledge them, heap love and praise all over them till they can’t stand it anymore. Every moment with them is exciting. A new adventure around the next corner. That new person really stands out from the usual background of life we’re used to. But, after time we unconsciously assume or have convinced ourselves of their permanence, they tend to start to blend into the scenery of our daily lives. They become “hidden in plain sight.”

The deception of permanence.

Does it mean we stopped loving or caring for these things or people? I don’t think so. Many times, we just simply don’t stop or pause often enough to appreciate them or pay attention to their being in our lives.

We take for granted what we value most, such as our livelihoods and loved ones. We fool ourselves into thinking they will always be there when we need them, so we get blindsided when we lose them.

But, there is light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

Source: Google Images

Working at being aware of those around us and getting grounded in the present makes us more likely to see the value in everything. When we see value in a situation and more importantly people, aren’t we less likely to take things for granted?

We need to remind ourselves that along with paying taxes, change is the only constant in life.

Screen Shot 2018-02-16 at 8.41.16 AM

Pretty easy to lose focus on things when they’re “hiding in plain sight.” Staying in the moment can be tough especially when the autopilot button is handy. Just click it on and it’s super easy to cruise and let our attention wander, oblivious to much that is going on around us.


If we put our mind to it, we can start today getting better at focusing our attention on the things that really matter right here and now.

Even if they might be “hiding in plain sight.”

Because if you think you have forever, you don’t.

Just some thoughts.

A Winter’s Afternoon In Thornbury

It has been a week or two since we’ve been on a hard packed trail or knee-deep in snow hiking to one of our favourite spots somewhere in the Beaver Valley or in North Muskoka, or anywhere for that matter. Life and its day-to-day happenings which always get in the way of outdoor pursuits, well they seemed to keep getting in the way. Although, we did manage to hit up Huntsville, ON for the Banff Mountain Film Festival back on January 24th. That ended up being one pretty awesome evening at the Algonquin Theatre.

Last Friday, we headed over to Collingwood to meet with a young lady who is purchasing this particular photo that Lynn captured last year. The picture, which I think is mighty spectacular, ended up being the winner of the “Experience Collingwood’s” 2017 photography competition.


To our shock and somewhat pleasant surprise, the lady has decorated and designed her living room with the concept that this photograph will become its centre-piece. Making a long story short we’re looking at creating three-panel photo totalling 60 inches long by 20 inches in height.

So, after finishing up in Collingwood, we decided to head on over to Thornbury and Meaford to hike and explore the waterfront.

A few pictures from the afternoon.

Frozen waterfront of Georgian Bay
Patiently waiting for a mid-summer night’s sunset
Foggy ski hills in the background
Waiting for another summer’s evening
Smallish Condo’s
Where “old fishing lures” go to retire
Old Railway Bridge – Georgian Trail Thornbury
Old Railway Bridge – Georgian Trail Thornbury
Old Railway Bridge – Georgian Trail Thornbury

So, when life got in the way and to keep sanity or insanity levels to something manageable, an afternoon hiking along the Georgian Bay waterfront did the trick. And life does get in the way. It gets in the way for all of us. And when it does, getting outside to give ourselves a much-needed mental health break and body re-fueling at times requires being diligent, determined and focused. For many people taking an afternoon to hike a few kilometres on the Bruce Trail or spend a couple of hours walking along something like the Georgian Trail would be unthinkable. We all know that someone who needs every waking hour to be productive with some sort of measurable results or else their day seems wasted.

Nevertheless, warm temperatures, a sun that filled the sky and few hours outside made the world of difference.

Every outing doesn’t have to or need to be an epic adventure worthy of being on the National Geographic channel. Nope, sometimes they just need to be ………………………an outing.

Thanks for reading.