Thoughts From The Wilderness – Algonquin Bound

Tomorrow is the day.

Well actually, Sunday, July 5th is the day. If you happen to be reading this, say three days from now, tomorrow is not the day.

Tomorrow would have been the day.

Anyhow, after being scuttled of our ripping trip to the Atlantic provinces in eastern Canada due to COVID_19, we’re off to Algonquin Provincial Park on a trip of four nights and five days.

Over the past week, we’ve cut brush; cut grass and created or at least redefined gardens and a couple of other things around the “old homestead” that we’ve wanted to get done for the past few years.

As we mentioned to our daughter Sara(who was going to the main highlight of our trip east) when we chatted with her yesterday, “nice getting this done, unfortunately we picked the hottest week of the summer so far to do.”

So, enough of this “work around the house silliness”, this week – off to Algonquin.

And lucky for us(note sarcasm and humour used as a coping mechanism at this juncture), it is the height of bug season, in our dear old Algonquin. Doesn’t that “bug forecast” look like a good time to be had by all?

We use a natural oil mixture to repel the “little flying blood-sucking nasties.” We gave it a good test last spring(the real height of bug-fest) and it worked exceedingly well.

However, bug issues in my mind get cancelled(there will still be bugs, just the issue gets cancelled out) with this weather forecast.

So, today we’ll finished getting organized to go and make sure everything is where it needs to be.

Lynn and I have many favourite places we love to get to when it comes to hiking and adventuring. Algonquin Park is one of them.

As I’ve written about before, I’ve made at least one trip to Algonquin every year for well over 40 plus years now(I’m way older than 42 – lol). This year keeps the streak ongoing.

Unfortunately, our trip north does feel different to me this year.

It would be a gross understatement to say that COVID_19 has thrown a bit of a wrench into things this year. Certainly from the whole lockdown restrictions; physical distancing; now masks and not to mention the economic impacts felt everywhere across the country.

But, just as important, however not talked about as much is the mental and emotional toil this has taken on our society. Not surprising though, that there isn’t been a ton of talk about those issues. Even in the best of times, we tend to run and hide from most discussions when it comes to mental and emotional wellness.

Maybe I’m burned out a bit; perhaps emotionally exhausted. Don’t know. It just feels different. I thinking that we had planned for almost a full year for that trip out to the east coast of Canada. A 30th wedding anniversary trip at that. Maybe it’s the letdown associated with that.

Who knows for sure.

Anyhow, need to get going and finish all the prep work. It’s comforting to know that the bugs are patiently waiting for us to arrive(fresh blood). And that there is sun, fresh northern air, sunsets and sunrises over the still waters of a Algonquin lake and a bucket full of adventures awaiting us when we get there.

Now, where’s my list???

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Short and Sweet – Excited About What?

This particular blog appears quite magically on my WordPress reader feed on a fairly regular basis.

Magically in terms of this is what happens when you follow a the blog. It simply shows up.

I will be honest here, I am a “Fandango’s Provocative Question” newbie.

But, seeing Fandango’s Provocative Question #72 scroll on past as part my daily “scrolling to comment” exercise, I thought “no better time like the present” to jump in with both feet.

His question(albeit provocative or not) is:

What is the one thing in life that you are most excited about right now? Why?

It would be a gross understatement to say that there is a lot going on in the world right at this moment. Most of what I see getting reported is devastatingly terrible to say the least. I guess bad news gets better ratings than the “good news” 42-second sound byte/bite/bit.

Nevertheless, the thing that is getting me cautiously excited and about the only thing I’m excited about at the moment, is the opportunity to go camping in the wilds of Algonquin Park in northern Ontario, when I’m on holidays in July.

The original holiday plan was a 30th anniversary trip to the east coast of Canada to (1) visit friends in Prince Edward Island; (2) three days of hiking in Cape Breton Highlands of Cape Breton National Park and (3) hiking and visiting our daughter in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Unfortunately, this little virus thing called COVID_19 upset the apple cart. A somewhat stronger phraseology might be, “COVID_19 crapped all over the holiday plans.”

And big-time crappy in terms we haven’t seen out daughter in person since last summer(2019) and if things don’t change(say by the end of September) it could very well be two years since we’ve hugged her.

With no travel allowed from Ontario(our “old homestead”) to any of these maritime provinces(unless you happen to be the second coming of Christ – even then it might be debatable if they would left you in), the old holiday plans have gone under a significant re-jigging in recent weeks.

So, we’re “cautiously excited” about a camping holiday in Algonquin Park.

All the provincial government has to is open the park to camping. No decision on that apparently until June 15.

Hence the “cautiously excited” tone.

So, as they say(whoever “they” is) – time will tell.

Thanks for letting me participate. Looking forward to what others are excited about!

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

The Fickleness of Feelings

Feelings can be a bit of a “fickle mistress.” They can also be at times our own worst enemy.

Feelings tend to get categorized as either good or bad, which can be slightly misguided, given specific situations. How many of us label feelings such as fear, anger and sadness as bad or negative ones, while labelling others, like joy and excitement as good or positive. But for example, isn’t a feeling of fear that tells us to “get the hell out of there” a good thing in that case? We’ve labelled or categorized the feeling of fear as bad when it was actually a good thing.

Feelings can be that weird fickle mistress.

The reality is that feelings are neither good nor bad; feelings just are.

Emotions are part of your life and to deny them is to deny a part of ourselves.

Let’s continue.

pointer boat

This would be just about the last place to find an abandoned fishing skiff and buoys.

Now, not having extensive experience in abandoned boat finding, I would assume old boats would be more than likely found around a fishing harbour, a marina, some local boat works place, or out in the back forty of a favourite Uncle’s farm. You know, behind the utility shed where Auntie Mae isn’t likely to look.

Nope, this little darling was found in a laneway just off Highway 311 in Prince Edward Island. We were on our way to hike Boughton Island; got lost(not lost in as much as misdirected by technology) and needed to turn around… and there it was.

Lynn felt that this little-abandoned beauty needed to be included as part of our trip, so she jumped out of the car and snapped a couple of quick pictures. And that was it.

Abandoned, but now preserved on film. Well, at least digitally.

Nevertheless, what is the story or history this little fishing boat could tell if it could talk? What adventures did it have over its lifetime plying the waters surrounding Prince Edward Island? Was it handed down from grandfather to father and finally to son? How many rough days on the ocean did it have, trusting it would deliver the day’s catch and its owners back to the harbour and their family safely?

Who knows?

Much like this tiny fishing skiff, there are those days we may feel abandoned, discarded and worn out from life. And for sure, life can wear you out – if you let it.

I’m beginning to wonder if the problem here is feeling abandoned.

Feelings can be a fickle part of living. I wrote recently that sometimes feelings can take us to places that aren’t at times rooted in a strong sense of reality. Feelings are wonderful things, whether they be good or bad and are part of what makes us who we are.

But sometimes they are just that – feelings.

So, maybe we’re not really abandoned, but we feel that way or some reason.

enemyI am and perhaps many of you are as well, our own worse enemy at times.

We feel sorry for ourselves when there is no need too. We work harder than ever expending buckets of energy to have the world revolve around us, forgetting that it also revolves around others as well. We start comparing our accomplishments to those of others with some arbitrary measuring stick, feeling that we’re not good enough and the list goes on and on.

Then there is that day or those days when we wake up feeling like the world has abandoned us. Just like our little fishing boat, abandoned at the end of a laneway in rural Prince Edward Island. The problem is, though the world is still doing what it does – perhaps on those mornings, the real problem is us. We just wake up feeling that way.

And do you know what the funny thing is? How do we really know that little boat is has been abandoned? We feel it’s been abandoned by the story the picture provides. I only said it was on a laneway that we drove into to get turned around. This could have been a long driveway to a very expensive home with manicured lawns and gardens. Perhaps our little fishing boat is a piece of very expensive art commissioned as an entry piece to the property.

Maybe it isn’t or has never been abandoned by anyone.

Perhaps it only feels abandoned(assuming fishing boats have feelings). Maybe it’s been comparing itself to those big fishing trawlers and lobster boats when in reality our little fishing boat was the one thing that gave a father the means to provide for his family. Maybe over its career, our little boat helped that family to send a child off to college or university. Perhaps our little boat is the only bit of history that remains that ties a family together.

feelings1Feelings are part of what makes us who we are. But, they can be just that – a feeling that may not be rooted in reality and that can take us somewhere we don’t want or need to be.

How we feel and why we feel in a particular way, especially when the feeling is negative can be difficult to get a handle on. Feelings are woven into and a complex part of the tight weave of living and life that we are at any particular point in time.

But that feeling maybe just that a feeling and not representative of where we really are at. Even not giving it much of a try, we can find plenty of people to hold us down and keep us back from being all we were created to be. You and I don’t need to be one of them.

Given that, today might be the day to stop being our own worst enemy.

How do you deal with feelings that may take you to a place which is not the reality you’re in?

Something to think about!

Thanks for reading

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – “They were asked to help save a child and this irritated them………”

It has been a year or so since I first posted this.

Over those 365 days(more or less) I had great hope that society(at least in Ontario) where I live, would have made at least one step up the evolutionary ladder or even an attempt at one step further up the ladder.

I can most empathically announce that neither has happened.

Not one step further along nor even an attempt. All of which suggests that we’ve actually taken a step or two backward or more than likely fallen off the evolutionary ladder altogether.

But there is a glimmer of hope on the horizon.

In October of 2019, a Hamilton-area man was charged after he deliberately had tied up 911 lines to complain over an ongoing Amber Alert. Charged After Complaining About “Amber Alert.”

In addition, there is a movement started to get the provincial government to introduce and pass legislation that would fine those who call 911 to complain about “Amber Alerts.” And don’t you know it, people are complaining about passing legislation in regards to this. wtf!!

How we ever got to think “our big fat asses are this entitled” – is fucking beyond me!

There are times when some of those who make up a portion of what we call society show their true colours, and when that happens, it makes me want to slip out to our art studio and hide.

Simply hide and tell no one where I am.

 

From February 2019

I started this post as a preamble to perhaps further posts on seeing life and living from a “distorted” perspective or “living in a glass bubble.” At that point, I hadn’t decided which way to go yet.

Let’s just say the post took a slightly different turn.

Do we or perhaps do many people, live their entire lives as though they were living in a glass bubble.

ball 1

Lynn’s birthday is in January and each year, her parents give her a bit of money to spend however she likes.

After an unsuccessful attempt to spend her birthday money on me, she purchased from a local camera shop(Gabriele Photography) in Collingwood, ON, a Glass Ball to do refraction photography shots.

Looking at some very preliminary and early on learning shots that Lynn has taken, started me to reflect or think about “living in a glass bubble” or “how distorted has our view of life become?”

ball 2

Here’s where the turn occurs.

This view of “distortion of life” in our area of Ontario has gone to a whole new level(A VERY LOW LEVEL AT THAT)

Just when you think humanity has hit rock bottom, a life-altering event takes humanity just a bit further down the scale of “what the fuck have we become.”

On Thursday, February 14, an “AmberAlert” was issued by a regional police service in Ontario that a young girl had been abducted. “AmberAlerts” are issued in rare situations and under strict guidelines and specifically “when there is confirmed threat of harm, or to believe that a child has been abducted and believe is at risk of harm.”

The alarm interrupts radio and TV broadcasts, as well as coming as a notice on your cell phone.

Public information in an AMBER Alert usually consists of the name and description of the abductee, a description of the suspected abductor, and a description and license plate number of the abductor’s vehicle if available.

This “distorted view” isn’t the “AmberAlert.”

Oh no.

It’s the people who took immediately to social media and called 911 to complain that their sleep was interrupted by the “AmberAlert.”  On cell phones, the “AmberAlert” notification is quite loud and shocking from what I understand. My phone was turned off at the time. Lynn was up and got the notification on her phone and immediately shared it across her social media platforms.

In Canada, it is illegal to contact 911 for non-emergency calls. Every 911 call that is received, whether emergency or not, has to be attended to by the police. If you call 911 to complain that your neighbour is cutting their lawn at 11am on a Saturday morning, you will soon have a police officer(s) knocking on your door. You may very well, find yourself after, holding on a piece of paper indicating the date for your court appearance, which could involve a hefty fine and or imprisonment.

No, this is just getting out there that there are lots of people who have a very “distorted view” of life.

One of the more “disturbed views.”

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And consent by the mother WAS NOT GRANTED!

And by the way, the account of the “Dick move”  tweet has been de-activated. As someone so precisely noted, “people forget that these posts and tweets will not go away easily or slip into the shadows quietly.”

And yet another…..

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This post hit on a brilliant point and the phrase – “your entitled ass.”

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A must-read published Friday morning from one of Canada’s national magazines.

…..And now we even begrudge having to help save the life of a child.

That is what citizens are complaining about today. They were asked to help save a child and this irritated them………

—  MacLeans  —

Reading people’s justifications as to why the AmberAlert messed their night up……is simply making me sick.

Enough said.

I might have more to say about living life in a glass bubble.

Hell, maybe it is simply me living in a glass bubble.

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

 

 

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Five Easy Tips To Rattle Your Comfort Zone

Over the past few months, I’ve written a number of posts regarding “comfort zones.”

Not from the perspective of getting out of your comfort zone, but from merely expanding the zone you’re in.

The entire realm of “getting out of your comfort zone”, although well-meaning and well-intentioned, often drives people further and deeper back into what they’ve defined as their personal comfort zone.

comfort2In other words, getting outside their comfort zone, “scares the hell out of people.”

Our comfort zone is precisely what the two words suggest. Being “comfortable” in our own “zone.”

When we begin to move away from the middle and start to get closer to the edges of our own comfort zone, things commence happening that often cause us to high-tail it back towards the centre.

I did a three-part series on “comfort zones” back in December.

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone(Part 1)

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone(Part 2)

Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone(Part 3)

Instead of trying to “get out of our comfort zone” which can cause us to retreat back to our comfortable “comfort zone easy chair,” how can we start to expand the comfort zone we’re currently living in?

blogsAnd in doing so, begin to see that life has much more to offer than what we may be currently experiencing.

As this Venn diagram suggests, we have our own comfort zone and things that will make our life worthwhile and interesting.

The key is to somehow marry them partly together.

Lynn and I like to do or at least try unusual things. The odd time it may be a big thing, like snowshoeing in the Rocky Mountains of western Canada, but more often it is in the small and daily things to mix it up a bit.

Why?

Because doing tiny or different things that seem perhaps insignificant on the surface, is a simple and relatively easy way to start to expand your comfort zone.

We need to show ourselves that we don’t need to be someone who sticks to the old and comfortable all the time and that we can become someone who likes to mix things up/add some spice to life.

What does that accomplish?

zone1When we see that we can succeed and actually enjoy the small comfort zone “wins” then it will feel more natural and easier to further expand our comfort zone when it comes to bigger things too.

“Winning” those seemingly insignificant challenges goes a long way to reducing our inner resistance to change and the fear of heading towards our “comfort zone boundaries.”

What can these “small comfort zone” activities achieve?

  • add a bit of a spark to your day(it keeps you from getting stuck in the same old daily or weekly rut and it adds fun to your life – and who doesn’t want fun?)
  • makes you curious about the world and life(doing the unusual will lead to discovering a bucket load of new and exciting things, many of which you’ll want to try!)

Five small things to help in expanding your comfort zone

Try a new food

When you head on out for dinner someplace, don’t keep ordering the exact same thing all the time. Order something entirely different.

Try a dish you wouldn’t normally try.

Not necessarily switching from beef to pork for one meal, but perhaps a dish from another country.

Food is a great way to start to expand your comfort zone. Whatever you try may not end up becoming your “all-time go-to” meal, but on the other hand, it just might be.

Mix up your reading preferences

This one is easy. And it can be free.

If you always read adventure fiction, the next time select a biography on someone you think might be interesting to learn about.

Just simply hike on down to your local library, get a library card if you don’t already have one and take out a book on someone neat and who you think might be worthwhile reading about.

You’ll be surprised at what you might learn.

Watch something odd

Much like the suggestion above, this one can be free or not. It’s your choice.

If you really only like situation comedies on TV, try watching something COMPLETELY different, like a documentary.

My God, not a documentary!!

For many watching a documentary might simply be the oddest thing imageable. But, if you are sincere about working to expand your comfort zone, doing something you normally wouldn’t do, is part of the deal here.

Again, just try watching something you wouldn’t normally watch.

Take a different route

Ever get stuck in the rut of always taking the same route home from work?

Now, there may only be one way home for you from work, but if you have some alternatives, why not mix up your scenic drive home.

This is one I will often do.

Instead of simply getting on the highway after work, I often will drive county and back-country roads home. The time difference is minor(say 5 or 10 minutes more), but the change of scenery is usually worth it.

I always see something new and better than transport trucks barrelling by me on the highway.

Say adios to social media for a day 

This may the toughest of them all, but you and I can do it.

Unplug, unwind and simply get away from it all for a day. Like most things in life, social media has its place and its good points. But, it also has tremendous dis-benefits, to put it mildly.

It can be a great change of pace for a day(like on a Saturday or Sunday). Much like a little mini-vacation from the world. Don’t worry, if something big happens, there will be someone out there to tell you about it.

There you have it.

Five simple things that anyone can start in order to get their comfort zones expanding.

All are easy and all are “winnable.”

zone2When we see that we can survive the little expansions, we’ll be gaining confidence that we can tackle and win at those bigger challenges.

Finally, an expanded comfort zone never shrinks back to where it was when you started.

Why not get out today and try something new, regardless of how big or small it might be.

The world is full of things that will:

  • makes life worthwhile
  • makes life far more interesting

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Are You Ready To Take Root?

Often life can be hard. Much like the surface in places along the Niagara Escarpment.

I get that is a slight understatement at best. Nevertheless, life often is what life simply is. A strange, but an exciting concoction of highs, lows and just about everything in between.

Those lows, however, can leave us with a bit of a negative layer. A hard granite-like exterior developed to shield us from the unpleasantness of bad experiences. The reality is, I don’t think any of us want to be defined by those experiences and certainly not by that “hard granite-like” exterior.

But, for growth and renewal to occur, there needs to be a crack in the surface. An often small and unrecognizable one will suffice. It just needs to be large enough for fertile soil, light and water to enter and start the process to change and growth.

From January 2019

 

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Lynn took this photograph back in 2016 on the Lion’s Head section of the Bruce Trail located in the North Bruce Peninsula area of Ontario.

The thing that simultaneously intrigues and inspires me about the picture, is out of what is the seemingly impenetrable granite of the Niagara Escarpment, a beautiful plant can take root and grow.

Unfortunately, I’m not up on my native plant species that grow in Ontario, but whatever it is, it stands out like this. A wonderful reminder that even out of a seemingly barren granite facade we may think we are; or that we put forward; or that others perceive us to be……a beautiful plant like the one above is ready to take root.

We’ve all at one time or another, seen grass or moss growing out from what appears to be the middle of a concrete sidewalk. But, somewhere in that expanse of hardened concrete, there was a tiny almost invisible crack. All that was needed was that imperceptible crack; a little bit of soil; water and a touch of sun and then stand back and watch what happens.

And this should encourage all of you reading this, that even out of the hardest and most difficult of situations, beauty can spring forth.

Often life and all that it throws in our direction can leave us hardened. Having developed an exterior similar to the granite of the Canadian Shield to protect us from the storms of life. But, all it takes is a tiny crack in that rocky facade in order for something beautiful to grow.

But, for the growth to occur there needs to be that crack. That ever so small fracture to provide the catalyst for spectacular to happen. And spectacular dwells in each one of us, even if you think not,

I know that spectacular and beauty exists within you, waiting for the right conditions and that precise moment to blast forth like a rocket leaving the launch pad._DSC1040-Edit

Yup, even the toughest of exteriors like the granite of the Niagara Escarpment can produce the most beautiful of things.

Maybe it’s your turn?

 

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – Forgotten Wisdom

This must be the most photographed abandoned farmhouse in our area of central Ontario.

2020fThere is hardly a month that goes by that I don’t see some version or image of it posted on Instagram, in a Facebook post or FB group or on a Twitter feed I happen to follow.

Over the years, I’ve come across pictures of it taken at night, from above by using a drone or done in a host of other formats.

Regardless, it does seem to get photographed a fair bit.

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 4.47.35 AM
Screen Shot: Google Maps

Why it gets the attention of so many professional, semi-professional or amateur photography enthusiasts, I have no idea.

I’m thinking it might be because of its condition.

Remarkably, it is still standing upright, after all these years. Although I did see a picture recently, that showed at the back of the home, foundations for what would have been a barn or shed

Screen Shot 2020-01-17 at 4.48.13 AM
Screen Shot: Google Maps

It is located on a fairly busy rural road, so it can have a decent amount of traffic travelling by it.

But ultimately the reason it may get so much attention is, it is simply a great photo opportunity.

Over the years, I tried to dig up information on the history of the farmhouse, but to no avail. I’m sure there is some background regarding the house and farm that someone has published or could give a verbal history about it. It seems to be a pretty famous spot in its own right in terms of the photography world.

I wonder, though, if the abandoned farmhouse “could talk,” what stories and history might it be able to impart on us. The family or families that have called it home over time. The celebrations that have taken place in the living room or around the kitchen table. The hardships endured as a working farm.

If it “could talk,” what would be its family history? What wisdom could it share having been gathered from perhaps a hundred years worth of living with those of us around today?

Much like this often photographed site in Grey County, we have often in our own families, those who have lived and experienced life for many years.

There are many families that have taken a more proactive approach over the years and have actually written down and compiled the family history, often from the time they may have arrived as immigrants to Canada.

Our grandparents and older aunts and uncles have decades worth of stories, wisdom and experience, often that is just simply waiting to be told. Waiting to be shared with those who will listen.

The point is this.

5Just because something appears, old, broken down and abandoned, doesn’t mean it is.

Sure it may look a bit weathered and rough around the edges, but the wisdom, insight and stories it can tell.

A wealth of wisdom and wonderful insights can be found all around us.

The funny thing is, it isn’t found in a “Google Search” or by following the latest influencer on “Instagram.”

Wisdom, insights and “our history” is right under “our own noses.”

It’s our family and often those in our families with a “sprinkling of gray hair around the temples.”

Our family members with that “sprinkling of gray hair around the temples” have a lot to offer. Unlike the farmhouse in the pictures, they are more than a neat “photo opportunity” found along Grey Road 31.

They can and often are so willing to share their own decades experienced on this earth with stories, wisdom and insights into life and living. Sitting and actually chatting with them may be a slightly less glamourous approach as compared to “Instagram” and Goggle.”

But it will be so much more rewarding in the long run.

This coming weekend might be a great time to seek out someone in your family with that “sprinkling of gray hair around the temples” and to sit and chat about life, living and their views on it.

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Four-Part Adventures Series

The idea for a blog series on some of our most memorable adventures literally popped into my head. Which should be and unfortunately is somewhat scary and unnerving for those who know me?

adventureI can honestly say that I wasn’t contemplating anything like putting this together at all; it just more or less showed up one day. Much like many things that enter the six-inches between my ears, the idea simply and unexpectedly showed up.

Nevertheless, after mulling it over for a few days, the more the idea intrigued and appealed to me.

In fact, I thought it might be both a cathartic exercise on my part, as well as providing some insight and information to anyone out there looking at the same type or similar types of adventures.

One thing I’ve tried to emphasize over the years to readers is that your adventures are YOUR ADVENTURES and not those of someone else.

I also need to remind myself of that from time to time as well. It is far too easy to fall into the deep crevasse of comparing your adventure to that of someone else’s. The is no race here to be won or “comparison judging event” to be won either.

making memoriesHowever, your adventures, regardless of how “magnificent and grandiose” they might be, I think should leave you with three things. Scars, mud and memories. The first two are more or less optional, although a little mud is okay, the third one, however, isn’t optional at all.

There must be memories created, regardless of the mud, scars or sweat levels which result.

Anyhow, when I first mentioned this idea to Lynn a week or so ago, I completely forgot about our trip to Banff and the Canadian Rocky Mountains back in 2015. She indicated in no uncertain terms that we needed to include one part of that trip. My memory is good, but apparently not that good.

adventure1Notwithstanding any of the above, the adventures we decided to include aren’t necessarily the most difficult or arduous ones we’ve undertaken, although one sort of rates right up there.

The four which “made the cut” are one’s that resulted in both of us, deep and cherished memories and as well, each represents part of a geographical part of the country.

And besides, they were all really fun! And that’s the whole point in the first place.

The Four Are:

Part 1 – Banff, Alberta(Mountain Snowshoeing)

Part 2 – Algonquin Park(A Warm and Sunny Winter Hike)

Part 3 – Bruce Trail(Snow, Caves and Crevices)

Part 4 – Prince Edward Island(Indian Head Lighthouse)

So, stay tuned over the next couple of weeks for each installment in this Four-Part Series.

Until then though, here are some pictures from each adventure to fire up the “old appetite!”

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thoughts From The Wilderness – The Power of Possibilities

Well, my friends, the new year has arrived and only being five days into it, there certainly might have been already for many of you a wide array of opportunities that have presented themselves.

Doors that have been opened and for some of you, that step through them has revealed something spectacular. On the other hand, some of you may have simply ignored the possibilities the open door had and have kept on continuing through life as it has always been.

Open doors usually equate to new and exciting opportunities and experiences. But, ultimately the choice to open the door and pass through it or to simply “drive on by” and ignore it is up to us.

What will you do?

From January 2019

An open door is a gateway to endless possibilities.

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More often than not when Lynn and I are either heading to or returning from some exhilarating and adrenaline-pumping adventure, we’ll squeal to a grinding standstill with smoke pouring off the car tires, because Lynn sees something that calls for her to take a photo of it.

There are those times, unfortunately where Lynn sees something that is calling to her, but for whatever reason, we don’t stop or I reply, “we’ll swing by and get it the next time.” The wrinkle in the “we’ll swing by again equation” is three-fold. One, we may not get back that way. Secondly, the passion Lynn felt for the photo right at this time might not be there the next time. And lastly, what she intensely wanted to shoot might be gone if we did go back.

So, what does all this mean?

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It means, sometimes we just need to stop the car, open the door and get out to the possibilities that are in front of our eyes.

Here’s a perfect example.

Back in 2017, after a long and trying shift that started in the middle of the night, Lynn opened a text from me saying to be ready when I got home and we’ll head over to Collingwood for a bit of a drive to wind down from the day.

As I merrily drove around with Lynn happily snapping pictures, it was a wonderful release from a stressful day on the streets. Touring aimlessly throughout the streets and surrounding countryside of Collingwood, I headed over to the area in the waterfront that at one point was the shipbuilding epicentre of the community in the days of old. Now it is one of the major condo development areas in the community. Go figure?

At the entrance to the harbour are the disused grain terminals, where grain that originated in western Canada would be unloaded after heading east by train and ultimately ship across Lake Superior and through Georgian Bay to Collingwood. It would be stored here before heading off to many factories or manufacturing facilities for further processing.

As the weather was a “bit moody” that day, in all likelihood we would have just driven around the grain terminal area, snapped more photos and headed on home. But, this time we stopped and opened the door and a world of possibility and opportunity opened before us and all of it resulting in this photograph.

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That simple act of stopping and opening the door resulted in this photograph which won for Lynn first place in “Experience Collingwood’s” challenge to find a photograph that represented the essence of the community. This picture was used extensively throughout 2017 in “Experience Collingwood’s” online advertising and promotional activities in the tourism industry. It also resulted in some fabulous prizes for Lynn as well.

The Point Is

All throughout our lives, we pass doors, that if we stop and open them they can be a “gateway to endless possibilities and opportunities.” However, and this is a BIG, however, we need to stop and open them to see and imagine what the possibilities or opportunities are that are right in front of our eyes.

Those possibilities can be as great and significant as a change in career or as simple as trying a new restaurant or different cuisine. Opening the door and seeing what is there can open us to at least the chance to experience more of the world in front of us.

Perhaps it’s opening the door and:

  • heading out to a free lecture series at your local library(we did)
  • discovering new authors to read
  • signing up for an evening course to your local college
  • heading outdoors and trying a new activity
  • get tickets to a film festival and experience movies or film shorts that may never make it into mainstream theatres, but will simply blow you away(we did)
  • researching and signing up to volunteer with something you’re passionate about
  • taking up a new hobby
  • you see the list is endless!!

If all we ever do in life is “just drive around” and think about stuff and never actually get out and open the door, what are we missing?

Everything.

Opening every door that gets presented in front of us doesn’t have to result in a life-altering choice. Perhaps that’s what scares people and results in them coming to a screeching standstill pondering “do I open the door and see what is behind it, or do I not bother and keep moving on?”

Interesting set of choices?

There is so much in this world to experience, so many opportunities to simply enrich our lives if we would only open those doors to the possibilities.

What if there is one door today that presents itself to you? Will you open it and look to see what the possibilities are?

Or will you drive on by?

what-if

Question:

Do you have a personal example of when you opened a door to new possibilities or new experiences that you could share?

What was the new opportuntity or experience?; What happened?

Thoughts From The Wilderness Poetry – “The Illusion of Grandeur”

stage of life set before us

actors performing roles

 

big

small

a lighted marquee

where egos are fragile

illusion of grandeur

 

stage of life set before us

actors performing roles

 

scripted or unscripted parts

masks are worn

something we are not

fantasy becomes reality

illusion of grandeur

 

stage of life is set before us

actors performing roles

 

the illusion of grandeur

 

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