Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt – Week 40

We are well into March and things appear to be clicking along just fine.

Nevertheless, it is Tuesday and that means “Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt.”

Art(including pictures and images) should evoke an emotional response in those who are viewing them. That’s why art can leave such a long-lasting and poignant imprint within the depths of our psyche

Your challenge or writing prompt is this:

  • what emotions or feelings get evoked or aroused in you when you look at this photograph taken by Lynn

Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to tell me and others exactly what the picture is.

The creative goal for all of us is “what does the picture evoke in you; what emotion; feeling; memory or whatever it may be – what does it arouse in you and to share it that with others.

Our Week 40 picture is pretty much as it appears. A traffic signal light attached to a tree in the forest. It is located on a home that are friends of Lynn’s cousin. This driveway into this family’s rural property was an eclectic variety of weird and wacky, yet brilliant art displays. Although perhaps not the clearest or sharpest picture in terms of focus, it should be fun to tackle.

A few points to help along the way:

  • write a post on your own blog and create a pingback to link back to the original post(this one)
  • I’ll reblog your post on my blog when I get the notification
  • write an original story; perhaps your own thoughts; maybe some poetry or even a simply one word response. Maybe even post that says “it does nothing; means nothing”
  • regardless, whatever you write must encapsulate the emotion or feeling evoked or aroused in you from the picture
  • no limit on the length(I guess)
  • keep it a “family friendly” as possible(not looking to delete or not approve stuff)

Be sure to tag your responses with:

#lynntuesdaypictureprompt or

#ltpp

Looking forward to your thoughts!

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt – Week 35

Well, February is well underway. Each day gets us closer to springtime and a return to warmer weather.

Nevertheless, it is Tuesday and that means “Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt.”

Art(including pictures and images) should evoke an emotional response in those who are viewing them. That’s why art can leave such a long-lasting and poignant imprint within the depths of our psyche

Your challenge or writing prompt is this:

  • what emotions or feelings get evoked or aroused in you when you look at this photograph taken by Lynn

Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to tell me and others exactly what the picture is.

The creative goal for all of us is “what does the picture evoke in you; what emotion; feeling; memory or whatever it may be – what does it arouse in you and to share it that with others.

Our Week 35 picture was taken a couple of years back in Algonquin Park.

Along one of the overnight hiking trails, one comes across a bridge that crosses the Madawaska River at generally is referred to Mew Lake Falls. The picture was taken through a crystal sphere which produces a distorted ot inverted view.

A few points to help along the way:

  • write a post on your own blog and create a pingback to link back to the original post(this one)
  • I’ll reblog your post on my blog when I get the notification
  • write an original story; perhaps your own thoughts; maybe some poetry or even a simply one word response. Maybe even post that says “it does nothing; means nothing”
  • regardless, whatever you write must encapsulate the emotion or feeling evoked or aroused in you from the picture
  • no limit on the length(I guess)
  • keep it a “family friendly” as possible(not looking to delete or not approve stuff)

Be sure to tag your responses with:

#lynntuesdaypictureprompt or

#ltpp

Looking forward to your thoughts!

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Sunny Afternoon – Business and Mental Health Roadtrip

Winter in Canada does have it challenges. What challenges you might ask?

Well, freezing cold temperatures; often more snow than one wants to deal with; and every once in a while a morning of freezing rain to make to commute to work, just a bit more adventurous. And these are just the ones that quickly come to mind.

But, every so often the weather fairies(I assume that there is at least one weather fairy), blesses us with a day of decent temperatures, lightning blue sky and brilliant sunshine.

Yesterday(Thursday) was one of those days.

Lynn had a short business meeting in a town east of us, so naturally I tagged along with it being a day off.

With her meeting only taking about 15 to 20 minutes, I sat blissfully in our car, basking in the warmth and sunshine as it enveloped each part of my existence.

Once all was done, we headed out taking a slight circuitous route to get back home.

A few pictures from the afternoon.

At one point, I mentioned to Lynn that simply getting a lawn chair out and parking it and myself in the sunshined forest and reading a book, was definitely a possibility.

I think we all might be(or at least I am) slightly Vitamin D deprived. In addition, we might be whole bunch of other things as well in terms of our mental wellness levels.

But, yesterday went a long way to helping soothe my soul and fill up, even if it was just a tiny bit, my own mental wellness cup.

An afternoon spent in sunshine, warm temperatures and with a stunning blue sky all located within the Muskoka region, was as good as it gets considering everything that is going on.

I trust and pray that you can take advantage of some “me time” as well.

You deserve it.

— as always with love —

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt – Week 34

January has come and like that is gone.

Nevertheless, it is Tuesday and that means “Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt.”

Art(including pictures and images) should evoke an emotional response in those who are viewing them. That’s why art can leave such a long-lasting and poignant imprint within the depths of our psyche

Your challenge or writing prompt is this:

  • what emotions or feelings get evoked or aroused in you when you look at this photograph taken by Lynn

Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to tell me and others exactly what the picture is.

The creative goal for all of us is “what does the picture evoke in you; what emotion; feeling; memory or whatever it may be – what does it arouse in you and to share it that with others.

Our Week 34 picture was taken a couple of years back along the side of the road, in the north part of Muskoka. It pretty much explains itself. Deer and lots of them. They tend to winter together in large groups, often hanging about in what are called “deer yards or spots in bush areas that tend to have a decent food supply.

A few points to help along the way:

  • write a post on your own blog and create a pingback to link back to the original post(this one)
  • I’ll reblog your post on my blog when I get the notification
  • write an original story; perhaps your own thoughts; maybe some poetry or even a simply one word response. Maybe even post that says “it does nothing; means nothing”
  • regardless, whatever you write must encapsulate the emotion or feeling evoked or aroused in you from the picture
  • no limit on the length(I guess)
  • keep it a “family friendly” as possible(not looking to delete or not approve stuff)

Be sure to tag your responses with:

#lynntuesdaypictureprompt or

#ltpp

Looking forward to your thoughts!

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Lynn’s Tuesday Picture Prompt – Week 10

Is it really Week 10?

It is and another good one at that.

Art(including pictures and images) should evoke an emotional response in those who are viewing them. That’s why art can leave such a long-lasting and poignant imprint within the depths of our psyche

Your challenge or writing prompt is this:

  • what emotions or feelings get evoked or aroused in you when you look at this photograph taken by Lynn

Remember, the goal isn’t necessarily to tell me and others exactly what the picture is.

The creative goal for all of us is “what does the picture evoke in you; what emotion; feeling; memory or whatever it may be – what does it arouse in you and to share it that with others.

Week 10 was taken just as Rosseau Falls empties into Lake Rosseau, located in the north Muskoka area of the province.

A few points to help along the way:

  • write a post on your own blog and create a pingback to link back to the original post(this one)
  • I’ll reblog your post on my blog when I get the notification
  • write an original story; perhaps your own thoughts; maybe some poetry or even a simply one word response. Maybe even post that says “it does nothing; means nothing”
  • regardless, whatever you write must encapsulate the emotion or feeling evoked or aroused in you from the picture
  • no limit on the length(I guess)
  • keep it a “family friendly” as possible(not looking to delete or not approve stuff)

Be sure to tag your responses with:

#lynntuesdaypictureprompt or

#ltpp

Looking forward to your thoughts!

— get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself —

Algonquin Park – Part 2 The Adventure Begins

Ahhh, the day after the night before.

Geez, that opening makes it sound kind of ominous, but only from the aspect of I didn’t sleep well the first night.

In all the years that Lynn and I have done backcountry canoe trips or frontcountry car camping, I rarely have a decent night’s sleep. Perhaps that’s why I often find myself more exhausted at the end of a trip, than one would anticipate.

You may be thinking, “what do you mean by – you can only keep one eye open” – isn’t this whole camping and tripping thing supposed to be “relaxing and rejuvenating?”

Well – yes and yes.

My particular issue(s) are two fold.

The first one is finding a suitable sleeping pad, while secondly is noise at night.

I’m a side sleeper, so I need to find a pad that gives enough support to my hips and shoulders when sleeping. This year we invested in two new pads. A light-weight inflatable pad for Lynn a Klymit Static V Sleeping Pad and for myself a closed-cell Thermarest Z Lite Sol.

The Thermarest pad I used worked great, but like many things it takes some time to get fully adjusted to sleeping on. Mostly due to the fact it isn’t my comfortable mattress back at the “old homestead.”

The second issue is noise at night. Over time I do tend to get used to noise that occurs at night. The key though is – time. Hearing chirping birds and a frog that needed to constantly practice his/her croaking sounds woke me up far too often that first night.

But, it is the wilderness – so what are you going to do.

I know – ear plugs.

But, let’s move on.

Being an “early in the morning riser” apparently followed me north to Algonquin as well. Though, early morning can be one of the best times to find and watch animals as they start their own day. So, with a freshly brew java……

A few early morning pictures(since I was the only one up yet).

After Lynn rolled out of the sack, we filled ourselves with a sufficient coffee intake and a breakfast of eggs, peameal bacon and english muffins. After breakfast, we cleaned things up and got our day underway.

Listen for the loon near the end.

And yes, hot, hot and hotter was the weather forecast for the day.

We decided to check out the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail first. Located at kilometre 43 and just a few metres from the entrance to the Algonquin Visitors Centre, the Spruce Bog Boardwalk Trail is one of two fully accessible trails along the Highway 60 corridor.

We’ve lost count how many times we’ve hiked this trail over time(and that’s thirty plus years being together). Funny thing is, this trail never fails to deliver. It’s easy to do and there is always something exciting and neat to see(just need be keep your eyes open and anticipate that something will appear).

We made far too many memories along this trail.

After finishing the Spruce Bog Trail, we headed on over to the Algonquin Park Visitors Centre, mostly to check out how they were approaching COVID_19 protocols and also to use the washroom.

As of our trip, only the Friends of Algonquin Park bookstore was open. The exhibit hall, art room and the Sunday Creek Cafe were all closed. The washrooms however, were exceedingly clean and well maintained.

I can say though, the facility was NOT BUSY at all. Even with most of the popular “family” campgrounds full, there were very few people(maybe four or five max.) in the Visitor’s Centre. At other times(pre-COVID), it would have been full of families, even mid-week.

Nevertheless, it was a nice, but short respite from the overwhelming heat and to use the bathroom.

Our next stop of the day was the Lookout Trail located at kilometre 40.

As the name suggests there is a lookout. Going further it would be reasonable to assume to get to said “lookout” will require as a minimum going uphill for at least a bit.

All of this is true, except the “uphill for a bit” equates out to trudging completely uphill until one reaches the lookout.

Although the entire trail is less than 2 kilometres in length, it is about a kilometre uphill to reach the lookout location.

The trail itself although…uphill is comprised for the most part of crushed limestone. It makes the going a little easier as you’re not constantly looking out for and having to pick up your feet to keep from tripping over tree roots and such.

But, the view…..

After finishing the Lookout Trail and given that temperature was cresting 35 degrees C, we figured a short 15 minute eastbound air-conditioned trip in the car to the village of Whitney was the correct prescription.

Why……of course for an order of fries at Avery’s Fish & Chip stand located right beside Opeongo Outfitters.

On a side note, this is where Lynn and I stopped for an anniversary meal(take out fries) a couple of years ago. People have often stated, I’ve got nothing but class written all over me and there’s is no one better who knows how to show his wife a good time.

Wish I could find who and where these “so-called people” are.

Old french fry habits die hard I guess.

After eating far too many fries(why did I order medium fires when Lynn said a small would work for me), we headed back to our campsite for a leisurely afternoon of reading and relaxing.

A few last shots from the day.

Once we the campfire safely extinguished and earplugs in hand(that’s me), we headed off to bed, hoping the heat would drop enough to make sleeping comfortable.

Be sure to stay tuned for Algonquin Park – Part 3: What will Tuesday Bring?

— 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!

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FLYGTA Airlines

Muskoka Airport

Thanks for visiting.

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Thinking About Our Muskoka Friends

This has been one tough spring for several areas and communities located to the north of us.

Excessive amounts of snow throughout the winter, rain as usual in the spring and a watershed management plan that needs to be revisited and redone, all had a contributing hand into the spring flooding in the area generally referred to as “The Muskoka’s.”

The Muskoka area is, for the most part, defined as “cottage country” in Ontario. The area is dotted with scores of large and small lakes, all lined with permanent homes and cottages as well. In as much as the area is a cottage and tourist destination, it is as well made of small to medium-sized communities throughout, where people live and work year round.

The following screenshot highlights the areas most affected or at least the ones that were shown most in the media. The green circles indicate the larger towns affected, while the red circles illustrate the bodies of water.

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The five communities which continually made the headlines in the news where, Huntsville, Gravenhurst, Bracebridge, Bala and Port Carling. As well, the Township of Muskoka Lakes.

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Township of Muskoka Lakes (highlighted and outlined in red)

Although the aforementioned towns all had significant flooding and damage, Bracebridge seemed to catch the bulk of the damage this year.

Bracebridge, Huntsville and the Township of Muskoka Lakes, all declared states of emergency.

Municipalities “declare a state of emergency” when an event that is either happening or will happen requires “quick action to protect the health, safety and welfare of people and to limit damage to property or the environment.”

Once a state of emergency is declared, it is first handled by the municipality that declared it. Every municipality to my understanding has an emergency response plan that is immediately put into action and managed at the local level, including, hospitals, fire departments, police and public works.

If assistance beyond this is required, they request it from the province. If the emergency goes beyond the capabilities of the province, additional requests for assistance can be made to the Federal Government.

As Bracebridge seemed to have the worse damage and flooding, a request under the “emergency declaration” was made to the Federal Government for the Canadian Armed Forces to provide soldiers to be deployed to help with the ongoing flood relief efforts. The request was, granted and within a day or so, and a reserve unit from the Toronto area was dispatched to help.

Last week, Lynn and I went out to an area just to the north of us, more or less to simply get outside and do something. After taking a few pictures at a spot called “The Big Chute” and in addition with it being a gorgeous afternoon, we decided to head north to the Bala, Gravenhurst and Bracebridge areas to check out the flooding for ourselves.

Pictures from the afternoon.

Big Chute:

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Bala:

 

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Gravenhurst:

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Bracebridge:

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Credit: CTV News Barrie

 

Township of Muskoka Lakes:

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As much as it was exhilarating to observe the power and ferocity of the water, especially in Bala and Bracebridge, it was equally disheartening and saddening to view the amount of flooding and subsequent damage to so many structures throughout the area.

As of posting this, water in most of the affected areas has started to recede, but the clean up of debris, including the removal of 10,000’s of sandbags has yet to start. Repair and or demolition of buildings and structures will be an ongoing process, certainly through the summer and perhaps into 2020.

This has not been an isolated event throughout these areas. Most of these locations were flooded in 2013 at which time was considered a “100-year flood.” That being a flood that might occur once every 100 years. The flooding this year in 2019 far exceeds that of 2013.

Nevertheless, the people in the affected areas are a resilient bunch of folks. They come to the aid of neighbours when needed at the drop of a hat. The areas will recover and rebuild as required.

I’m sure that is starting and happening as we speak.

Thanks for taking a look at what has certainly dominated the news feeds in my area over the past couple of weeks.

 

—  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

Algonquin Park – Big Pines Trail and April Snow

I have come to the conclusion that the “Weather Network” and “Environment Canada” will have to exist with me in a relationship from this point forward, that might be better framed as “love/hate.”

“Love” – if their forecast calls for the sun and warm temperatures; “hate” –  when either one delivers something less than the forecast “sun and warm temperatures.”

Nevertheless, seeing as we really don’t have any type of relationship and furthermore, that one’s enjoyment of the outdoors is only limited and dictated to some extent by appropriate clothing choices, we’ll let the weather prognosticators off the hook – this time.

Having had some mild spring temperatures since the beginning of April, we thought a day adventure to Algonquin Park would be just the ticket. In addition, Lynn’s cousin and her husband have recently built a new home north of Huntsville and since they were in Myrtle Beach on a vacay, they offered up their home for us to stay overnight. Yeah!!

Leaving the “old homestead” around 9:00 am, we headed north to Algonquin Park.

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Arriving at the “West Gate” in Algonquin close to 11:30 am, I went in and purchased what will end up being our best buy of the outdoor season. An Ontario Parks Pass.

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And yes, by the time we arrived, the weather forecast that just a few days earlier was to give us “the sun and warm temperatures,”  surprised us with this.

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Sorry – but a poor quality zoomed in shot from a phone. But you get the idea.

After hanging the Ontario Parks Pass from the rearview mirror, we had what can only be described as a harrowing drive along Highway 60, with a transport truck hovering on our car bumper.

With no burning desire to have the engine of the transport finishing the day in our car’s backseat, I deftly flicked the turn signal on. And with much disappointment and sorrow, we indicated to the transport we had no intention of consummating this somewhat precarious relationship and thus made a right turn into Mew Lake Campground.

The diversion into the campground was as much to get away of the transport(and what a freaking idiot he/she was, given the road conditions), as it was to see how many people were winter camping. Given it was mid-week, the campground was pretty much empty. Some were in the luxury of their trailers, one or two staying in the campgrounds “yurts” and one or two “hot-tenting.”

However, we did see these guys again. This is one of the four turkeys that have been over-wintering in Mew Lake.

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After leaving Mew Lake, we took a drive through the park, more or less to see what was happening and if any more of the parking areas of the interpretive trails were clear of snow. Parks staff only clear snow from the parking lots of selected interpretive trails during the winter months.

The short answer to this was no. Although there wasn’t as much snow as when we visited earlier, many of the lots were still unavailable.

Undaunted, we went to the Big Pines Trail, which had the lot plowed. The Big Pines Trail is around 3 kilometres in length.

For the most part, it is fairly level loop trail and visits spectacularly large, old growth White Pine and the remains of a 1880s logging camp. The guide booklets, although not available at the trailhead during the winter, discuss pine ecology and the Park’s logging history.

By this point, the snow had started to fall pretty heavily. It wasn’t the light and fun fluffy stuff. It was a camera and electronic device stopping mixture of wet snow and rain. Given that scenario, Lynn’s camera gear only made a few appearances during our hike.

At the trailhead.

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A quick shot while standing under the protective branches of a conifer, as the wet snow continues to fall.

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Although it made for a wet 1.5 hours on the trail, we both loved the time out. No people, great scenic views and the discovery of some places that might yield some spectacular shots once the snow decides to leave us.

A quick trip down Highway 60, lead us to the Visitor Centre combining a view from the observation deck(snow and more snow covered landscape) and a much-needed bathroom break.

Although a decent amount of snow had fallen, the highway crews did a remarkable job clearing and salting Highway 60. Once we left the Visitor Centre, we started a leisurely drive west, back along Highway 60, stopping and checking out whatever tickled our fancy.

As it was getting to be left afternoon and with us being a tad dampish, we headed on over to a grocery store in Huntsville to get something easy and obviously tasty for dinner. A short drive later, we arrived at her cousin’s place to settle in for an evening of dinner, craft beer and satellite TV.

Lynn and I don’t have cable or satellite TV at the “old homestead.” So, being someplace that does have it is always a big treat and unfortunately often a waste of time. Given there are usually hundreds of channels available and we end up spending far too much time “clicking” through them to find something to watch. It has been our practice in the past, that as soon as we find re-runs of “The Big Bang Theory”, all channel surfing stops.

After a well-deserved, albeit fitful nights sleep, we headed out to continue our adventure.

Our first encounter was the beautiful doe. She was one of a few along a side road outside Emsdale, north of Huntsville.

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Continuing on, all the while wishing that going back to work the next day was some evil nightmare, we stopped for a look at the Upper Falls on the Rosseau River. Simply put, lots of water flowing through the system.

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Not long after I had taken this picture of Lynn taking a picture of me, I slipped on a muddy rock and fell flat on my ass. With a now clay-covered posterior and somewhat diminished level of self-esteem, we headed back to the car and continued the journey homeward.

A left turn in the Village of Rosseau onto Muskoka Road 632, took us past the houses and cottages along Lake Joseph and Lake Rosseau, that we could only dream about owning. That is, unless we won the $75 million Lotto-Max jackpot. Just sayin’.

A short, but inviting the view from the side of the road.

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And with that last shot, Lynn put the camera back in her camera bag and with me reluctantly making a right turn in the village of Port Carling, we headed out towards Highway’s 118, 169 and Highway 400, completing our trek back to the “old homestead.”

Although snow and poorer than anticipated weather may have dampened the trip, it didn’t dampen our enthusiasm and the time we had.

A two-day mini-vacation all wrapped around hiking in the woods and driving around the countryside is always time well spent and a wonderful investment in one’s mental well-being.

Not having a business or finance mind, the only advice I can give is, why not make an investment in yourself and spend a few hours outside renewing your inner-being.

Thanks for taking the time to come along with us.

 

 

 —  get outdoors; find inspiration; discover yourself  —

 

Thoughts From The Wilderness – “How to Survive Without Social Media – Rant #1”

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Back in the fall of 2017, Lynn and I spent two days at an off-grid cabin about an hour and a half north of where we live. In the middle of no-where hardly begins to describe it’s location.

It was though, one of the most peaceful relaxing times we’ve spent in the outdoors. A hand pump for water, oil lamps for light, no electricity, the walk through the woods to the three-sided outhouse(yes no door, but a great view of the forest) and a woodstove for heat.

And best of all, no wi-fi or cell phone signal!!

I originally wrote this post not long after we returned home. It goes through a bit of a rant or two before the end, but that’s okay. But, I do feel deep in my psyche that it touches a raw nerve in the world today, that being the pressures and issues of social media and where it leads people.

I’ve added and updated the original post slightly from 2017.

Enjoy!!

Sometimes it’s just a good thing to slow down for a bit, even if only for a day or two. Sort of “Stop – Drop – Relax.”

Life for most of us spins and twirls at a frightening pace. Between work, family, children, friends and a thousand different things tugging and pulling us in a thousand different directions at once, it does our soul good and physically our bodies to slow down once in a while.

And on top of that, we’ve evolved or maybe devolved as a species to the point that without a good “wi-fi signal” for our phones, tablets and laptops we possibly can’t go anywhere without the fear of experiencing technology withdrawal symptoms.

Heaven forbid we can’t update our status on Twitter of where we are and what we’re doing at any given moment in time.

A sad example I’m afraid of all of this self-perceived social media importance is when a fellow outdoors person that I follow once replied to something I said or ask of them with this response, “Gosh, the “brand” I’ve cultivated and my followers need to know what I’m doing in the great outdoors.”

No they don’t….they’ll survive…..you’ll survive.

I keep thinking to myself “what brand is that?” Sounds like you’ve lowered yourself to the lowest rung on the ladder of just being a “brand.” Aren’t we all way more than a simple brand? When we refer to ourselves as a “brand”, why do I get the sense that this all feels like the biggest freaking con job going?

Lynn and I spent two wonderful days at an off-grid cabin near Emsdale Ontario.

No electricity; no running water other than the hand pump in the kitchen; a short but soothing walk to the outhouse(3 sided with a wonderful open view of the forest); a wood stove for heat; no lights(use oil lamps).

Our entertainment was whatever you could think of. Board games and cards by oil lamps; hike in the woods; reading a book(I managed to finish a 300 pager in two days); nap and or doing absolutely nothing! Gee, we actually had to talk to one another! The only noise and I mean the only noise were birds chirping and the sound of the river as it swiftly flowed by the cabin 30 metres away.

The best part for me no technology. No Twitter; no Facebook; no Instagram; no email; no nothing.

Why……no signal.

Didn’t need to think about tweeting out a picture of me standing beside the Magnetawan River as soon as we arrived, or a Facebook update later that evening telling everyone to stay tuned for the trip report next week.

I understand using a specific GPS related device for tracking and emergency purposes. But, do I or does anybody really need to see or is it the so self-absorbed person that is compelled to fire off picture after picture and updates of“Here’s a picture of us at Such and Such Lake.” #canoe #camping……..

I think I’m too old. I wonder what people did before cell phones; the internet and all this technology?

Oh, I remember now how it used to be, ” See you next week. We’re tripping to Such and Such Lake via the SomePlace River. We’ll come over for a coffee when after we get back and get our pictures developed at Blacks Cameras.”

Well, at least that’s what we did way back in the “Dark Ages.” Funny, thing is ……it worked!

People survived. And our friends still asked us about our trips and the things we did outdoors.

Gosh, I meant this to be about refuelling the soul and stepping back a bit, not a rant on:

  • “technology/wi-fi social media”
  • “I’m cultivating my brand”
  • I’m so bloody self-absorbed with myself that all need to know I just cooked rice in a pot over the fire

Nevertheless, I do feel better for letting it all out….at least for the moment. Don’t they say, “confession is good for the soul?”

Hmmmm…..maybe all these things are somehow connected?

Hmmmm……..Maybe??

 

 

 

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