Sunday, August 20, 2017

Rock Lake, Algonquin Park

I know I've been adding posts quite rapidly here this week ... I'm still on vacation ;)  Most likely I won't get a chance to visit the computer much again for the rest of the summer as all my daycare charges return tomorrow. These past two weeks have absolutely flown by, as good holidays always do. We returned home from camping on Tuesday and have spent this week really just chillaxing around the house. We are always so busy in the park, that coming home is quite a let down for me.

Anyway ... thank you all for your kind comments on my dad's birthday yesterday. I was surprised at how sad I was all day all over again, but grief is a process as I've learned already when my mom died years ago.

Today's post is to show you a very pretty rapids we found this summer. Rock Lake is a beautiful lake within Algonquin Park. There is a crowded and not-so-nice campground along it's shores, but the lake itself is very impressive. There are very high cliffs in a couple of spots around the lake. One has a hiking trail across the top with great views overlooking the lake. The other cliff boasts some ancient pictographs painted by aboriginal people. You can only view the pictographs by boat.

We took our canoe out on Rock Lake one morning and paddled around it for about five hours. We visited the east side of the lake which has the pictographs and my husband took a few shots there. I have to say that we purchased a new camera (at long last!) just before we went camping. My husband likes to work through the manual and figure out all the settings. (I just like to take photos.) Needless to say, I was not given much opportunity to use the camera unless we were back in our campsite. I kept my comments to myself, and just admitted that this summer I would not be taking many photos. The following photos were all taken by my husband ... and these are not the photos I saw in my own head when we viewed the rapids (just saying). When we paddle in the canoe we cannot easily pass things between us (unless we can toss it ... can't safely toss a camera), so once my husband had the camera in his hot little hands he kept it for the entire journey :(

The pictographs are wearing away, and some of the rock face has fallen away and taken some paintings with it. Below is the shot of a figure of a man with rabbit ears (centre) and some red slashes. Difficult to see, right? 

I've highlighted it in an older photo below.

It's a shame there's no feasible way to protect these fading images, so we like to have a look at them whenever we're on this lake. We then paddled down a long arm of the lake where it ends at a portage. What a busy portage!! There were many canoes and lots of folks getting in and out of their canoes. We decided to paddle past the portage and pulled up in a quiet spot on our own to wait for some of the crowd to thin out over at the portage. Where we stopped we could see the pretty rapids tumbling at the end of its run. Eventually enough people left the portage spot so that we had room to pull our canoe up. The portage leads you to a smaller lake, Penn Lake, and there are quite a few back country campsites there. We often just hike along a portage trail to the next lake before we decide whether or not we want to paddle on it. This trail had a detour to see the rapids, so we took the detour.

The bottom of the rapids were we first stopped.

The following photos are the rapids further up the river. The roar from these rapids was enough to drown out our voices when we stood right beside them.

Here's where I got the camera ... I told my husband he had just walked through poison ivy and should probably wash off his leg. If you wash the oils from the plant from your skin immediately, it won't turn into a rash. He asked me to hold the camera while he daintily stuck his leg into the frothy waters ;)

This is at the very top of the rapids where there was a nice log jam. Beyond that is Penn Lake.

When we got back to the portage, there were still more people pulling up to make the trip through to Penn Lake. We were both surprised at the number of canoeists there, especially for middle of the week. It's funny seeing what people bring through the woods. One lady with a group of older women (and I'm talking in their 60s or older) was pulling along her suitcase with a long handle and wheels! Bumpity bump! along the rocky, muddy trail.

the start of the portage
 That was it for us. We paddled our way back to the truck and my husband took some photos along the way. The worst part of him having the camera was when I would see "a shot" and had to ask him to please take a photo ... sheesh!

Thanks for stopping by!


Saturday, August 19, 2017

A Birthday

Today is my dear ol' dad's birthday. As most of you know, he passed away in March of this year, and sadly we will not be celebrating with him anymore. Today he would have been 94. He had a good life, but I sure miss him today.

Happy Birthday Dad!

These photos are how I remember him best ... always enjoying a good long bike ride 
and enjoying the sunshine.

cycling in rural Burlington where he lived

his only back country camping trip on Little Joe Lake (his name was Joe too) in Algonquin Park in 1958 ...
they sure rented out nice canoes back then!

Cheers Dad!

love you and miss you,

Friday, August 18, 2017

Canoe Museum, Peterborough, Ontario

Yesterday my husband and I visited Peterborough, Ontario. My daughter attended university here and when we would visit her, we all went out for a nice lunch or dinner together at one of the many wonderful restaurants in town. We had a nice lunch at Hot Belly Mama's yesterday and then we decided to visit the Canoe Museum. This building is full of canoes and kayaks, many of which were built by First Nations people from all across Canada. The museum is well set up so that you visit the oldest canoes and kayaks first and then work your way forward through time.

But my first visit was to the ladies' room ... I loved the sign on that door ;)

There's something so beautiful about canoes ... their shape, the cedar strips, the birchbark, the construction, the amazing handiwork ... all come together to create something so aesthetically pleasing. We've visited the museum a couple of times before, and I'm always amazed at this collection. There are so many canoes!! And they are all beautifully made.

And now I will just say .... there are a lot of photos here, and if you're not interested in canoes, let me save you some time and say don't bother with reading this post.

The dugout canoes are amazing. Basically, a tree is felled and the centre dug out. Hot rocks are placed inside the dug out portion to stretch the wood widthwise, which shrinks the wood in length. 

a wolf is carved in the tip of this canoe with paintings along the sides
 This is a very old dugout canoe ... just look at the grain in that wood!

Below is the whole dugout ... enormous!

Details of how to build your own ...

Another dugout canoe ...

A replica of a Haida war canoe, built from a single cedar log ...

Next on display was a vast collection of birch bark canoes, many of which were fashioned from one single piece of birch bark. You won't find a birch tree big enough these days to get such a big piece of bark. The bark is shaped by slicing it in places and these "gores" were covered with pine pitch. I searched for birch bark canoe construction and found this interesting read on how to build your own. I like the ending instruction: "Carve a paddle. Go fishing." The details in these canoes is amazing.

you can see the "gores" along the side of this canoe

From there we went to the Arctic and saw some beautiful sealskin covered kayaks. The sealskin coverings on many of these kayaks looks very brittle, and probably beyond repair. The frames of the kayaks are beautifully made just as the birch bark canoes. A lot of the kayaks were stacked on racks and difficult to photograph. 

you can see the stacks of kayaks in the background

As I mentioned, the display went from oldest to newest canoes & kayaks. I've shown the displayed canoes in relatively chronological order. The next set are more birch bark canoes and cedar strip canoes of a later period.

do you see the moose decorating the side of this canoe?

Decorations were added to the side of the birch bark canoes by using "winter bark". The bark was moistened and the reddish portion scraped away until only the pattern was left in the reddish colour.

Below is a replica of a canoe (built in 1972) used to transport goods during the fur trade. This canoe is enormous!

When my husband and I are out canoeing, we've seen a lot of paddles that have the chevron stripes on them. We saw these decorations on some of the old paddles in the museum as well. 

There are other non-canoe related items in the museum as well. The next few photos are of a buckskin jacket gifted to a man working for a year as a bookkeeper in Fort Hope, Ontario, in 1908. The native women there made him this clothing, and I was amazed at the details in the needlework.

okay, okay, I know ... too many photos :]

I have a few more, but am tired of writing this post myself. Maybe another day I'll try your patience again.

Thanks for stopping by!

This poem was in the bathroom ...

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