I have taught the ways of the wilderness for well over thirty years and have authored a novel which dives deep into the shadows that follow you as you traverse wilderness trails. It is my hope to reach as many people as possible to tell everyone that the wilderness is not a place to be wary of. It is the only place where a person can dig deep into their soul and find that which is hidden to them by modern day society.
~ R.G. Wright - Hawks Shadow

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Mayhem on a cottage lined lake

I often wonder what draws me to the quiet solitude of a wilderness lake or forest.

As a child, I spent as much time as possible wandering the forest trails around my home. It was within those green walled paths that I learned the ways of the forest and learned to "see" the lessons painted on the forest floor. It was there that I learned to remove myself from society and become a part of something that was ancient and profound.

Nothing has changed since those days long past, I have no power to resist the siren call of the woods. The trials I have traveled slide beneath my bare feet as body sleeps and my soul searches for messages and insight.

There are times when curiosity pulls at me and forces me to venture into places I would usually avoid, places where people rule and all other creatures must step aside and stay hidden.

I ventured out onto a cottage lined lake near my home. The cacophony of noise which bounced from shore to shore shattered any illusions of a peaceful paddle within moments. Boats and high powered watercraft created a chaos of waves which shattered on the shoreline continuously. My prospector canoe handled the waves perfectly; but the rat race on the lake forced me to retrace my strokes back to the seclusion of the marsh and then the portage trail from whence I came.


As I pulled my canoe back up onto the shore where the portage trail beckoned me home, the silence of the forest filled my being and pushed aside all the "noise" that had encapsulated me. I hoisted the canoe on my shoulders and walked the portage trail home pondering many questions pertaining to the impact of humans on the world. I have my thoughts which will remain my own. I am more than thankful that there are many wilderness areas here in Ontario which have been protected and provide us quiet paddlers a place to roam.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

The Portage - Repairing the marsh crossing


Portage trails are varied in length and can be anything from an easy walk through the woods to a muscle challenging trail that would test the most athletic woodland traveler.

Many portage trails cross bodies of water which are not navigable by canoe. Bridges of all sorts can be found throughout canoe country. These range from simple planks of wood which test our sense of balance to engineered crossings complete with railings. Most deep woods crossings are made from logs gathered in the surrounding area or rocks thrown into strategic places. 

This video displays one method of crossing a marsh area. I describe marsh-land as a submerged or a semi submerged area which has a tendency to suck shoes off unsuspecting hikers. 

This building method maintains water flow and helps to mitigate damage to the wetland.  Nails and fasteners are not required.  

                    Happy wandering!


Monday, August 10, 2020

River Otters - Weasels who love to have fun.

The river otter is a member of the weasel clan. These powerful predators patrol waterways in search of fish, frogs, turtles and a host of other species which live in, and around water. 

Otters usually travel in groups and are incredibly playful. I have seen them playing a game of water tag where one otter chases the others; they in turn try to avoid being tagged. The game usually falls apart quickly and the whole gang gets into a rollicking game of "pile-on" which entails a lot noise and chatter which is hilarious to hear and see.

I spotted these otters chilling out on a floating log grooming their fur. I moved in as close as I possibly could and watched them for well over thirty minutes. 

The secret to this kind of interaction is to keep your excitement as contained as possible. Keep all movements to a minimum. Move position only when the otter submerges.  

I have spotted them on almost every canoe trip I have undertaken through Algonquin Park and the Haliburton Highlands Water Trails.  

I truly hope you have an opportunity to see otters in the wild. They are truly amazing creatures. 

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