Sunday, November 24, 2019

I take a walk to read the lessons left by those that live in the forest.



It is late November, almost one week after the end of the seasonal deer hunt. 

I wander out into the forest to check for the tracks of animals which have survived the hunt.  

The forest is like a good book, it draws you in and makes you want to turn the next page. 

As I wander, the tracks I leave in my wake become part of the forest. 

Those same tracks become words to the animals reading them. 

I become part of their story as they become part of mine.  



We decide to push for base camp. Day eight in Algonquin Park

Liam and I awake to a grey sky and adventure beckoning. 

Striking camp on Lake La Muir we head out for Happy Isle Lake which was to be our destination for the day. 

Reading the sky, I decide to push us to Opeongo Lake.

I have been part of the woods for most of my life and reading the weather is something I do by instinct. I knew rain would be the norm for several days and the wind could present a problem on Opeongo Lake should it conspire to turn from the north-east to the south-west. 

The decision was sound; however, it was also difficult, as this would be the last day in Algonquin Park for the year. 

We covered approximately 34 km 




  

Wind and rain conspire to make us stay on Philips Lake, but we push on to Lake La Muir.

Our itinerary for the day is to move from Philips Lake to Lake La Muir which sits 22 kilometers from our present campsite. 

Warm and cozy in our sleeping bags, we are reluctant to pack up and leave Philips Lake due to the rain which is soaking into the wilderness and our gear. 

The call of adventure lures us into our canoe and we head off into the mist and rain to face the trails and trials of the day. 

Once again, my guides show me the reason why I love the song of the paddle. 




Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Crazy random talk about nothing as we sit on the shoreline of Radiant Lake.


After a great day of paddling, Liam and I chill out on the shore of Radiant Lake.

Liam decides to do an impromptu interview which I vowed I would not post. I do have some sense of self esteem; however, when you hit my age, who cares. 

A canoe trip brings out some crazy stuff in people - Fun times.

During a trip like this, you shed a lot of baggage which society burdens you with. Nothing centers you better than long paddle on a remote lake.   






Sunday, November 17, 2019

Physically drained, we push on to Philips Lake 16 km. away. Day six in Algonquin Park.

We strike camp before daylight and move down a dark river to the first portage of the day.

Upon reaching the take out for the 3,565 meter portage, we stow our gear on the bank of the river and fall asleep on the trail. 

As the darkness of the path relinquishes its hold and succumbs to the early dawn light, we shoulder our loads and face the ominous task of moving our gear over the long portage.

The path shortens with every step, yet our minds begin to fight our physical bodies and begin to fill us with doubt. 

I push back, knowing that the wilderness is just testing us and that if we blend and flow as I was taught long ago, we will find our breath and our strength. 

Today was a day of internal dialogue. The type which forces you to either hide or step up and face the challenge set before you.





My last dance with my canoe for the season.





Winter is closing in fast here in Algonquin Highlands. 

Snow covers my Swift Prospector Canoe as I look out over the beaver pond which is in front of my home. 

The pull of the paddle is strong and I have no ability to resist its song.  

I dust her off and we join hands and dance our last dance for the season. 

When spring begins to thaw the ice and if I am here to feel the warmth of the sun on my face. I will once again grab my paddle and place the yoke of the canoe over my shoulders. I will place her into the water and plunge my paddle deep. I need to hear her hull as she glides across the water before the ice silences her. 








Liam and I head out for the distant Radiant Lake. Algonquin Park, Day Five.


With a total distance of 10 Km. to travel, and only 1,710 meters of portaging, we were in for a grand day. 

The weather was gorgeous with clear blue sky from horizon to horizon. 

With our canoe loaded and our paddles in hand, Liam and I leave our campsite on Kildeer Lake and head towards a Lake which is supposed to be Radiant. 




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