Thoughts From The Wilderness Poetry – “Rain”

As much as physical rain falling from the heavens can bring new life back from a parched earth, metaphorical rain can in a sense wash away the dirt and garbage within our lives. Whatever form that metaphorical rain might be, we’ll all need it at some point in our life. Perhaps more often than not.

Rain

 

the rain came today

washing dust and dirt

from the hot summer air

soaking into the ground

like lotion on dry skin

 

each droplet bringing life

back to a bone-dry world

precious lifeblood falling intently

drinking in a renewing frenzy

the change felt after it falls

 

the patter of rainfall

soothing to hear; soothing the soul

a calming effect on life’s craziness

childhood memories of splashing insane

memories of innocence on a summers day

 

rain washed away the garbage

memories renewed and recovered of days long past

rain on the sidewalk like a drummer’s roll

cleansed the recesses of baggage long hidden

wiped fresh with no new agenda

 

the rain came today

washed away yesterday’s toil

cleansed the spirit; my spirit

the rain came today

it was needed; it was welcomed

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Thoughts From The Wilderness – You Are More Than Your Component Parts

On a recent adventure to Algonquin Park, one of the trails Lynn and I tackled was Booths Rock. It is around 6 kilometres long(more or less), but the thrilling part for anyone who hikes it, are the stunning views out over the Algonquin landscape and Rock Lake from a rocky cliff about halfway along the hike.

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Always wanting to “freeze in time” the majesty of the moment when we’re outdoors, Lynn captured the above panoramic shot of the landscape and Rock Lake from the rocky precipice along the trail.

What makes the above picture so interesting from a technical perspective, is that the shot is not one photo, but a series of five pictures stitched together in post-production to create the resulting panoramic.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

Each separate picture is something within itself, but when combined together, the result is far more satisfying and mind-blowing.

We as individuals are exactly like the panoramic shot out over the Algonquin landscape.

All those parts that are blended together into a rich tapestry that make us who we are, are simply “the parts.” The physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, psychological parts combined with all the other elements create the person we see in the mirror each morning.

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We see some of those parts in a positive light, while others we may view as negative or unfavourable. Regardless of how we see them as positive, negative or even neutral, they are the amalgam that is us.

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So, on an early Tuesday morning and as I sit here in my darkened living room typing away while Lynn is still in bed, I slip ever so slowly into the depths of the observing and dwelling in only those negative elements that is the “richness of me.”

Not intelligent enough; too emotional; far too many mental wellness issues and the list goes on.

I suspect there are many others sailing the same boat as I am.

Notwithstanding all of this and to not diminish where any of us may be at the moment, you and I as individuals regardless of how the parts are assembled or if we think there are more negative elements as compared to positive units – “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.”

That was easy to write.

Much harder though to believe some days.

The whole is greater than the sum of the parts

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Source: Google Images

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

 

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – “Soft Kitty….Warm Kitty….” (Update)

Update(Sunday, July 21)….

This is the kitty.

Her name is Kiwi.

Lynn took the pic the night we arrived with Kiwi in Halifax.

The story of how we ended up in Halifax, follows below.

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Okay, this isn’t a post or dissertation on that particular song from the recently finished “The Big Bang Theory.”

Nope, just a short post to describe the events leading up to today, Sunday, July, 14.

Our daughter Sara, much like myself is allergic to cats. I’m more allergic than Sara, but we are both allergic to furry felines nonetheless.

Notwithstanding the allergy bit, Sara and her roommate wanted to get a cat. I do remember, them saying, a dog at this stage wouldn’t fit into life at the moment.

So, a cat would work, right?

Great question and a good choice for the most part, other than the whole allergy conundrum.

Given my relatively limited knowledge on a variety of subjects, I do know that there are hypoallergenic cats, or so they say.

You should be able to see where this going.

Sara and her roommate, well mostly Sara purchased a hypo-allergenic Siberian type of cat. Well, a kitten to tell the truth.

Funny, thing is though there are no breeders of this type of cat in eastern Canada.

Undaunted, why not simply contact a breeder in Ontario and not far from where Lynn and I reside in the “old homestead” and buy a kitten from her.

And thus she did.

One problem… kitten in Ontario…..Sara in Nova Scotia.

Of course, the simplest solution is for Lynn to take the kitten out to Nova Scotia on a plane and then fly back in a couple of days.

Well, the simplest solution would have been for Sara to pay for the breeder to ship the kitten via air. Small issue, though, the breeder didn’t want to ship the kitten in the cargo hold on a plane.

So…. kitty and Lynn take a flight.

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Lynn and Kitty at Terminal 3 – Pearson Airport

Long story short, Sara bought Lynn a one-way flight on WestJet from Toronto, so Lynn could take the kitty in the cabin with her. As I type this, Lynn and Kitty have been in the air for about 30 minutes or so.

So, how do I fit into this?

Another great question.

My birthday and Father’s Day, always fall within a day or so of each other. This year, Lynn and Sara had a slight challenge in coordinating these two important celebrations for the “old man.” However, when Lynn was on the phone with Sara, desperately trying to make sure Dad wasn’t forgotten, Sara suggested that she would buy me a ticket to fly out and enjoy the “kitty festivities.” Nail, both birthday and Father’s Day in one massive shot.

Thus, I’m sitting patiently waiting at Hamilton International Airport for my 6:20pm flight.

But, Lynn flew out of Toronto you say!

True enough. By the time this all came about, for me to get on the same flight as Lynn was pushing $600. Flying in Canada can be expensive as all get out!!

So, I sit in Hamilton typing away waiting for my $150 flight to board.

Lynn and I will fly back into Hamilton, late Tuesday afternoon.

To finish up this tale, the stress and worry about getting the cat on the plane has evaporated. It will evaporate even more, once I touch down in Halifax and crack a cold beer or two at Sara’s apartment.

Not sure why it was bothering me, Lynn’s flying with the cat!!

 

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Why I Ventured Into Poetry(or have I lost my mind?)

One alternative working title for this piece, was “Have I Completely Lost My Mind?” Another one, which I think in hindsight is far better was “How Poetry and Insanity Collided and The Resulting Train Wreck.”

Notwithstanding, the choice of title, the question still remains, “why venture into poetry?”

Over my many decades roaming the Earth, I’ve evolved into a state of bliss in my waning years of “you’ve done the difficult routes….now choose an easy route now.”

A good approach, that I find for the most part is serving me quite well.

So, not having read or wrote poetry since some time I’m sure in grade 9 or 10, heading down the “poetry rabbit hole” doesn’t seem to fit at all in my “relative state of blissful existence.” In fact, it appears to be a huge contradiction to my normal way of skipping along.

As many would agree, writing in any form can be a challenge at best. Adding poetry into the mix for someone who doesn’t know squat about poetry makes no sense at all.

The reality is though, as “blissful as I think this existence” might be, we all need to “spice things up” every once and a while. Perhaps not so much as “spice things up”, but a challenge in some area of life to push the edges of the envelope out just a little further than they were the day before.

One thing that I’ve come to observe and certainly is a mantra of mine is that, we are never just in neutral. We are either pushing forward in life through searching out and accepting new challenges and experiences or we are moving backwards.

So, challenge accepted.

With a few ideas in mind, I simply started hitting the keys on the computer and didn’t stop until I had something out that expressed what I wanted to say.

Do I have a style? – no, not really.

I write until it’s done.

Most, if not all of my writing swells up from within my soul and can be very heavily emotionally and experience-based. Poetry for me is exactly the same way.

I that at least at this stage of the process, I find I need to be in the “right frame of mind” to begin crafting a poem. Trying to force a poem out, when my mind and emotions aren’t in the right spot for the most part results in an exercise in futility.

Poetry is the hardest style of writing I’ve ever done, but at the same time, it has been some of the most rewarding.

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It forces me to go deep within myself and examine subjects and emotions which often are found in dark and forgotten recesses of my soul. But, that’s all right. All of those emotions and experiences need to get out into the light. Writing and expressing myself through poetry for me is a tiny light that shines through in my darkness.

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A tiny light shining in the darkest of places can make a world of difference.

 

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – “Soft Kitty….Warm Kitty….”

Okay, this isn’t a post or dissertation on that particular song from the recently finished “The Big Bang Theory.”

Nope, just a short post to describe the events leading up to today, Sunday, July, 14.

Our daughter Sara, much like myself is allergic to cats. I’m more allergic than Sara, but we are both allergic to furry felines nonetheless.

Notwithstanding the allergy bit, Sara and her roommate wanted to get a cat. I do remember, them saying, a dog at this stage wouldn’t fit into life at the moment.

So, a cat would work, right?

Great question and a good choice for the most part, other than the whole allergy conundrum.

Given my relatively limited knowledge on a variety of subjects, I do know that there are hypo-allergenic cats, or so they say.

You should be able to see where this going.

Sara and her roommate, well mostly Sara purchased a hypo-allergenic Siberian type of cat. Well, a kitten to tell the truth.

Funny, thing is though there are no breeders of this type of cat in eastern Canada.

Undaunted, why not simply contact a breeder in Ontario and not far from where Lynn and I reside in the “old homestead” and buy a kitten from her.

And thus she did.

One problem… kitten in Ontario…..Sara in Nova Scotia.

Of course, the simplest solution is for Lynn to take the kitten out to Nova Scotia on a plane and then fly back in a couple of days.

Well, the simplest solution would have been for Sara to pay for the breeder to ship the kitten via air. Small issue, though, the breeder didn’t want to ship the kitten in the cargo hold on a plane.

So…. kitty and Lynn take a flight.

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Lynn and Kitty at Terminal 3 – Pearson Airport

Long story short, Sara bought Lynn a one-way flight on WestJet from Toronto, so Lynn could take the kitty in the cabin with her. As I type this, Lynn and Kitty have been in the air for about 30 minutes or so.

So, how do I fit into this?

Another great question.

My birthday and Father’s Day, always fall within a day or so of each other. This year, Lynn and Sara had a slight challenge in coordinating these two important celebrations for the “old man.” However, when Lynn was on the phone with Sara, desperately trying to make sure Dad wasn’t forgotten, Sara suggested that she would buy me a ticket to fly out and enjoy the “kitty festivities.” Nail, both birthday and Father’s Day in one massive shot.

Thus, I’m sitting patiently waiting at Hamilton International Airport for my 6:20pm flight.

But, Lynn flew out of Toronto you say!

True enough. By the time this all came about, for me to get on the same flight as Lynn was pushing $600. Flying in Canada can be expensive as all get out!!

So, I sit in Hamilton typing away waiting for my $150 flight to board.

Lynn and I will fly back into Hamilton, late Tuesday afternoon.

To finish up this tale, the stress and worry about getting the cat on the plane has evaporated. It will evaporate even more, once I touch down in Halifax and crack a cold beer or two at Sara’s apartment.

Not sure why it was bothering me, Lynn’s flying with the cat!!

 

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

Hogg’s and Eugenia Falls – Grey County

On one of the Tuesday’s during my recent vacation, we did a late afternoon trip out to Hogg’s Falls and Eugenia Falls in Grey Highlands/Beaver Valley area.

Both are located a short drive from the Village of Flesherton.

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If you follow along with us, you’ll have read that we’ve been to both locations on many occasions.

Not sure why we decided to head out this way that particular Tuesday.

As I’ve written in a couple of recent posts, it seemed that the days simply blended together from one day to the next. As well, I can’t for the life of me remember if one of us had an appointment earlier on that day.

Nevertheless, in the long run, it doesn’t matter. The world continued to spin throughout the universe and will continue to spin regardless if we can remember what we did that day or not.

Here are a few pictures from the afternoon.

Hogg’s Falls

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Hogg’s Falls is located on Lower Valley Road. If you are westbound on County Road 4 approaching the Village of Flesherton, you’ll see a sign indicating where to turn to get to the falls. The is a small parking lot and a couple of information boards there that give some background to the history of the area. The falls themselves form part of the Bruce Trail, so this is always a great location to park if you plan on hiking the trail in this vicinity. In addition, parking is free.

Eugenia Falls

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Remnants of the old power station. Now, only the walls remain, covered in graffiti.

 

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If you could see what I see.

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Eugenia Falls is located in the Eugenia Falls Conservation Area within the Hamlet of Eugenia. As with Higg’s Falls, if you are westbound on County Road 4 heading towards Flesherton, you’ll see signs indicating to turn onto County Road13(Beaver Valley Road). Simply follow the signs once you enter the Hamlet of Eugenia.

There is a parking area, portable toilets and the local cenotaph located with the conservation area. This location does get very busy on weekends, as it is a popular attraction in the area. Please note, the Grey Sauble Conservation Authority charges for parking at this location.

A great late afternoon out at both locations.

If waterfalls are your thing, be sure to check both these locations out.

Located not far off the beaten path, they would certainly form part of a day spent cruising through the Beaver Valley and Grey Highlands area. With plenty of villages and hamlets scattered throughout, many of which have lovely quaint restaurants and stores, it would make for a great day trip.

The following link on waterfalling in Grey County gives you a ton of information of both Hogg’s Falls and Eugenia Falls, as well the falls located throughout Grey County.

Remember…

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

 

 

 

 

Algonquin Park – The Holiday Adventure

As many of you have likely figured out by this point if you’ve read any of our recent posts, Algonquin Park holds a dear and special place in our hearts. More mine than Lynn’s, I think, but nevertheless a place that we’ve come to love and to explore for decades.

Having said that, what better way to take a day during vacation time and make a day trip and a long one to Algonquin Park.

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Heading out of the “old homestead” around 7:30am, we started our holiday adventure, including a breakfast “stop n’ go” in Gravenhurst and arrived in the park, somewhere between 10:15 and 10:30am

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For those wondering, the bugs(including mosquitoes and black flies) were still as obnoxious as they were the week before. Hordes of mosquitoes eagerly awaiting a fresh supply of blood to satisfy their parched souls.

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Heading up, we didn’t really have a set agenda in mind once we got there. The only “planning” was “let’s hike as many of the trails we haven’t yet, and then see what happens.”  Kind of a plan, but flexible enough to work for us.

One reason for this approach was due in part to the bug situation. Many of the trails we hadn’t hiked yet, were shorter in length. We figured if the bug situation became intolerable, it would be better to know that you may have only 30 minutes left on a trail, compared to realizing that you are now 3 hours into a hike and are only half done.

With that in mind, off we went. For those who follow us, you know that Lynn tends to take “a lot” of pictures when we’re out on an adventure. In order not to use up all of the available media storage on my WordPress account, we’ve included just some of the highlights from our day.

That was the intention at this stage in the write-up. I may have ended up including more pictures than was originally intended. Oh, well.

Whiskey Rapids Trail

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A slightly gnarly trail at this point
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Oxtongue River

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The Oxtongue is looking regal – me on the other hand – hard to say

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Wild orchid – Pink Lady Slipper

Hardwood Lookout Trail

Although short in length, the Hardwood Lookout Trail provides a magnificent view out across Smoke Lake. It is a bit of a steep uphill climb in parts, but is a hugely popular hiking trail. Especially in late September and early October, when the fall colours are at their peak.

The big highlight picture-wise at least for us, was the view from the lookout point near the end of the trail.  Up to this point, the scenery is pretty much a groomed trail through the forest. Don’t let that detract you from hiking it. It is only about 1 kilometre in length; doesn’t take much time, but you will be rewarded with a great view.

See – told ya!

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View out to Smoke Lake

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I seriously need to work on the whole “selfie” bit! lol

Peck Lake Trail

Our third stop of the day was the Peck Lake Trail.

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Now, not to cast a negative light on any of the interpretive hiking trails, canoe routes, backpacking trails or one’s favourite beach, campsite, a special spot just to sit or to do whatever it might be, but this is one of the prettiest hikes along Highway 60.

We all might have a favourite location anywhere in the park and it may be “our favourite” for a variety of reasons. All of them would be valid.

Peck Lake Trail simply struck us as a beautiful location for several reasons. Lots of variety in the trail itself. Roots, rocks, trees and a combination of all three at times. And all of this, along the shore of the smallish lake. It also helped that the sun was shining and the slight breeze kept the “flying bug hoards” at bay.

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Noooooooo!

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That’s better. We’ll take the option on the right – please and thank-you.

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Hello, what’s your name?

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Just about at every turn on the trail, it dipped down to the water and provided a magnificent view of Peck Lake and the surrounding area.DSC_0076

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The next picture, although not the best is of a loon. A water bird found mostly in the northern parts of Canada, but not exclusively. It does, however, have a very distinct and haunting call. Click here for a short YouTube clip of its call.

For those reading outside of Canada and not familiar with our currency, we have $1 and $2 coins. The dollar coin has a picture of a loon on the front. Hence, that’s why we call the $1 coin, a “loonie.”

The $2 coin is referred to as a “toonie”, which is simply a “loonie” multiplied by 2. We like to keep our math easy out in the colony.

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A well-constructed home on Canada’s national symbol/animal – the beaver.

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Peck Lake Trail has become one of our favourites along the Highway 60 corridor in the Park for sure. There is not a lot of elevation changes, so it is easy from that aspect. There are plenty of exposed tree roots and alike, but nothing that should discourage one from hiking the trail.

It’s about 2.3 kilometres in length and by just easily strolling along and admiring the views and soaking up the environment, it should take about 1.5 to 2 hours to complete.

This is one trail, you don’t want to pass up!

Spruce Bog Trail

Our fourth trail of the day was the Spruce Bog Trail. Located at kilometre marker 42.5, it is about 100 to 200 metres from the Algonquin Park Visitors Centre. Easy to do one, then slip down the road to do the other.

The Spruce Bog Trail is flat and has been designed to be wheel-chair accessible. How neat is that!

We had been on this trail more times than Lynn and I can count.

A “lady-slipper. ” A slightly different shade than the pink colour they generally are.

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The trail throughout “Spruce Bog” is either a wooden path like this or crushed limestone.

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As the name of the trail suggests, it crosses a large bog area very near the beginning. There is a small shallow stream that traverses through it. One thing I’ve learned over the years is when in the wilderness is to keep looking around for a variety of reasons. One reason and a good one at that, is often wildlife can be close by, but be difficult to detect.

As I was scanning this shallow stream, look who I came upon.

Mr/Mrs. Snapping Turtle. It was difficult to see it, as it was covered in mud and algae and was just sitting on the bottom of the stream. But, a great find nonetheless.

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As I just mentioned, keeping your eyes moving will many times reveal things that if you weren’t watching for, you just might walk on by and not notice. The following is a prime example.

The little guy(a Ruffed Grouse)or one of his or her five brothers or sisters, caught our eye as we walked along the wooden pathway. In fact, they were only a foot or two off the path in the grass and shrubs.

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Lynn and I, unlike some, don’t normally go out and look for animals to photograph. We figure, being a creature in the wild is a tough enough life. Why stress them more by chasing them around or getting close and stressing them for a simple photograph.

If we happen upon them fine, but we give them a wide berth(it’s their habitat, not ours) and if we can catch a photo – great. If not, that’s okay.

I won’t say any more about it, but believe me, in Algonquin Park as in other locations, the photography of animals and the methods used to capture the shots, is a hot and often contentious topic at best.

Once seeing her and the family, we stopped about 50 feet away and let her “try her best” at “family/sibling” control.

She was quite content to try and move her brood(believe me, it was like she was trying to herd cats) from one side of the boardwalk to the other. She didn’t seem phased at all we were there. She had five offspring. Four of them struck fairly close together and followed Mom generally where she went.

Like any parent, regardless of the species knows, there is always one child that seems to march to a different drummer. She spent most of her time, trying round up child #5.

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Wait for me!

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Moving along the trail, of course, didn’t Lynn see this. She IS NOT BIG on snakes regardless of the type or size. Not big on snakes is an understatement – believe me.

Nothing to see here folks, let’s keep moving along – shall we?

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Bunchberry

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Canoes ready to be portaged to the next part of a trip someplace

The Spruce Bog Trail should be part of any trip to Algonquin Park for a number of reasons.

One of the primary ones, it is accessible for those with mobility issues. As well, if you have a young family with a one in a stroller, this is a great trail for you. At about 1.5 kilometres in length, it is doable in about an hour, just poking along.

We left Spruce Big Trail and headed across the road to the Algonquin Park Visitors Centre. The Visitor’s Centre must be on your list of things to see and take in when in the Park. It has a cafeteria, a walk-through interactive display on everything Algonquin; a bookstore; art gallery; movie theatre; observation deck and of course – washrooms.

We usually hit up in the Visitor’s most times when we’re in the park. Today was not different.

A shot from the observation deck, across Sunday Creek. The Spruce Bog Trail would be to the right of the picture. To the left, Sunday Creek flows into Norway Lake, which connects to Fork Lake.

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After leaving the Visitor’s Centre, we headed west along Highway 60, making a stop at the little known Cache Lake Trail. 

Cache Lake is one of the many access points in the Park in interior canoe tripping. It is also the access location for the many lease-hold cottages that are on Cache Lake.

Cache Lake in the past, was the hub and centre of activity in the early years of the Park, up until about the late 1940s to perhaps the early 1950s.

Cache Lake at one point, was home to a grand hotel built originally by the Grand Trunk Railway called the “Highland Inn.” It was also the location of the Algonquin Park train station. As well, the home of the Park Superintendent was also located here.

A few historical pictures.

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Highland Inn – Google Images
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Train Sation with Highland Inn behind. To the left, the building was the Algonquin Park staff house.

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Taking leisure and lounging on the verandah of the Highland Inn, overlooking Cache Lake.

 

 

 

The staff house on the right and the home of the Park Superintendent is on the left.

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All that remains today of the “hub of the Park” is a retaining wall and a few concrete stairways up to the former Inn. There are also a few water pipes popping up out of the ground and a fire hydrant on the site of the Inn.

All is not lost, however!

There several well-laid out information boards that detail the rich history of this location in the Park. Although not as heavily advertised as other attractions in the Park, for history enthusiasts, this is a must stop.

The actual trail with the information boards is relatively short, just a few hundred metres, but worth the time to check it out.DSC_0226

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And with that, our day finished.

In total, we hiked around 8 kilometres. Not a great amount by any means, but satisfying to the soul nevertheless. For us, it is a round trip of 5 to 6 hours just to get there. People often ask us, why drive so far? I can only respond by saying, “why not?

The pull that Algonquin has on me, is something better explained or to try and explain in another post.

Suffice it to say, it is something I must do. And I must do often.

It was a long day, hot and yes, plenty of bugs for sure. But, it was a highlight of our holidays.

There is always so much to do and take in when visiting Algonquin. I didn’t even mention our picnic lunch along the breezy shore of Lake of Two Rivers or several of the other things we did.

Take the time, if you’re ever in the area to check out Algonquin Park. It’s only a 3 to 4-hour drive from Toronto.

Come early and stay late.

Thanks for visiting and being with us yet another Algonquin Park adventure.

Remember…

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

Brooks Falls and High Falls(Bracebridge) Afternoon

It seems that each day of vacation flows seamlessly into the next one. Which is good in some respect, but bad in others. Bad, due to the fact, I have absolutely no idea which day it is.

Nevertheless, I think it was Tuesday past, after having an appointment in the morning, we headed north from the “old homestead” to do some slow shutter speeds shots of both Brooks Fall, located east of Emsdale and High Falls located on the Muskoka River on the edge of Bracebridge.

We’ve been to both locations in the past and in fact, have made numerous trips to Brooks Falls. I’m thinking this could have been our fourth trip to Brooks Falls in the past two years.

You can read about our last trip to Brooks Falls(here), which we took last year.

A map of their general locations.

Brooks Falls at the top of the pic and Bracebridge in the middle.

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Lucky for you, the reader, not much to text needed to explain the beauty.

Brooks Falls

This first picture was taken last October, while the second picture was shot back in the late fall of 2017. They give you some sense of the falls themselves.

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However, during our recent journey to Brooks Falls, the sun was shining directly on the falls themselves making the lighting and exposures tricky at best. The surrounding bush was in total shade. It made capturing the images of the water very difficult. Shots Lynn did get, weren’t for the most part up to her standards, so we didn’t include those ones.

But, we have these wonderful shots of the area slightly downstream.

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This is a shot of the falls I did with my phone. Difficult shooting conditions with the sun shining directly of the falls themselves.

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Someone has been working very diligently.

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Brooks Falls is, for the most part, a small park. Vault toilets are located near the entrance and there are a few picnic tables and benches scattered around. From what we can gather it is popular with people living nearby, who come for a quick cool-off dip in the water downstream, as well as vacationers who may be in the near who come to take a peek at the falls.

If you are ever in the area, it is worth it to take an hour and check out Brooks Falls. Take the Deer Lake Road exit from Highway 11 northbound. It is the first exit north of the exit for the Almaguin Highlands Information Centre.  Head east on Deer Lake Road for about 3 to 3.5 kilometres.  You’ll see a sign for Brooks Falls at the entrance to the park.

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This is Lynn’s favourite wildflower the “Lupin.” As far as we knew, it was found for the most part on Prince Edward Island. Apparently not. Seems we’re seeing them all over the areas north of us. Guess in the past, we weren’t paying much attention!

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After a couple of unsuccessful attempts at finding a suitable “chip wagon”, we continued our adventure and headed south on Highway 11 in the direction of Bracebridge and High Falls.

High Falls – Bracebridge

High Falls can be accessed from a picnic/rest area directly off Highway 11 southbound at Cedar Lane. A short walk takes you to both High Falls and what I think is called the Lower Falls or something like that.

Again, we had been here on several occasions and is a wonderful spot to check out.

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The falls at the top of the picture is High Falls. The ones peeking out in the upper right are the lower or smaller falls. Still pretty though.

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All in all, visiting Brooks Falls and High Falls made for a wonderful adventure. Both are easy to access and well worth the effort if waterfalls are your thing.

Having easy access right now is a blessing, as day time temperatures have been hovering around the mid 30 degrees Celcius for the past while. Hiking in those temperatures, while doable can make for a challenging time, especially if you’re deep in a forest with absolutely no breeze or a chance of a breeze. It can get sauna-like and stay sauna-like all day long. In fact, as I’m writing this today(early on Friday, July 5), temperatures with humidity are expected to approach and stay at or above 40 degrees Celcius for the next 36 hours.

Even if waterfalls “don’t float your boat”, there are plenty of other activities and things in the area that would most certainly fit the bill. All it takes is a simple stop at a local travel/tourist information centre in the area, or a few minutes spent online and you’ll have enough things and places to go, you may need to stay for a few days.

Which isn’t so bad after all.

Here are a few links to help out on creating your own adventure.

Town of Bracebridge

Explorers’ Edge

Discover Muskoka

Almaguin Highland Tourism

One more thing, you can now even fly from Toronto to the Muskoka Airport on Porter Airlines and FLYGTA Airlines. How neat is that!

Porter Airlines

FLYGTA Airlines

Muskoka Airport

Thanks for visiting.

 

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Close Your Eyes …. Open Your Mind

Often we hear or perhaps read something akin to “keep your eyes open to the opportunities and the world around you…”

Not a bad approach, but is there not one part missing with the above phrase?

What about your mind?

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On a doorway in an alley in the downtown of Owen Sound

Our eyes are but one aspect of seeing, observing and reacting to the world around us.

But, isn’t or doesn’t our mind play the biggest role in all of “what we’re seeing?”

Our eyes only take in what our eyes take in.

Our eyes don’t make the judgements; our eyes don’t jump to conclusions before there is enough information; our eyes don’t observe with predetermined biases and prejudice; our eyes aren’t filled with hate and anger.

It is our mind that judges; jump to conclusions; contains the biases and prejudices; is filled with hate and anger.

It is a closed mind that has those things.

A mind shut so tight, that there is not a hope in hell of anything that doesn’t fit within a narrowly defined paradigm ever having the chance of busting through.

An open mind provides fertile ground or an opportunity to go from judgement to understanding; from jumping to conclusions to be willing to listen; from biases, prejudice; hate and anger to love and acceptance.

Our eyes may be as open as they can possibly be.

However, it is our mind that determines what we actually see.

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