Finally paddled the canyon

We live very close to one of the natural wonders of Ontario, Canada, the Barron Canyon. Crazy thing is I have only been there twice in the past nineteen years, once on the top, and now by canoe on the river.

Funny story, we talked about paddling the canyon (or any where) many times. I had loved canoeing when I was younger, but Tim had this friend that he had taken canoeing and let’s just say, she wasn’t the most stable person to ride with. A long time passed with no canoe trips. I lived in the shadow of a memory of another girl, lol.

Well I have finally broke free of the memory. We packed up a picnic, our friends, some towels, and the fishing gear and set off on a bright Saturday morning.

We arrived at Squirrel Rapids and got our flotilla unloaded and launched. We meandered along on the still waters, casting a line here and there and just enjoying life.

We came to the portage fairly quickly, but took our time exploring the little waterfall and catching and releasing a few bass and white fish.

The portage went fairly smoothly considering both Tim and I are struggling with pain.

Some of the kids took the opportunity to jump in a cool off before we continued on.

We had to take extra care here as the river is strewn with deadheads and rocks, still very navigable though.

We found we were not the only ones enjoying the fine September day, as we were delighted to see many painted turtles practicing their yoga poses and sunning themselves.

We decided to join up our flotilla and share a snack and some chat. The kids thought this was great. All to soon we continued on.

Sometimes we would playfully race each other, there was laughter and joy. My son Fred would greet almost everyone he met along the way.

We found a camp just on the edge of the canyon. We pulled into shore, stretched, used the rustic facilities, ate our lunch. The kids loved diving and jumping off the underwater ledge into the deep beyond. Tim enjoyed catching some little small mouth. I think all the kids cast a line here to “fight a bass”.

We surrendered our site to a family that wanted to camp over night. Packed up and launched off to continue our adventure.

I find it very hard to find words to describe the beauty and magnitude of the rock walls that surrounded us. There is something awe inspiring about the size of those cliffs and how tiny we are. I spent a lot of time trying and failing to capture it with my camera.

Soon we were to the other end and at the encouragement of my friend turned around and started our journey home. Funny thing was she thought it was later than it was, because she forgot she was wearing her sunglasses. Lol.

She was right though as after a long day paddling, the trip back was more challenging.

When we got back to the portage we learned what great friends we had. After a trip or two across the portage, Tim’s hip slipped and our friends helped carry across the last canoe. (I was not much help all day beyond carrying “stuff”, as my foot is still a mess.) Luckily lots of hands help. Team work at it’s best!

The last bit of the trip we were taking our time. The flotilla was stretched out quite far. Then the rain started and we hurried hard, dug in, made it to the landing.

I was sad to see the end of the day, but was certainly looking forward to falling into my bed after our adventure.

Seeking Solace

Last week was an unusually stress filled week. I was dealing with negative things I could not control. It was so negative, I actually went to the dentist just to relax!

I am usually a glass half full/overflowing type of person. I can distract myself with blessings and gratitude.

Last week I tried, I faked it, I reached for crutches, but really my insides just churned, and my body rebelled.

Saturday I was engaged with my daughter and her disc dog. That was fun. A bit of distraction.

Two 2nd place wins, happy girls

Sunday the family headed for “my happy place”, Algonquin Park. Usually I can sit and reflect, and feel the love of God through the beauty of creation wash over me.

This week surrounded by nature I struggled to find that peace. In fact I was grasped by such depression as I haven’t felt in a long time. Hopelessness in fact!

How can one feel so negative when witnessing such stunning scenes?

My journal didn’t help. Despair came over me. It held me in it’s claws!

I know in my heart, “be anxious for nothing, give it to God in prayer, with thanksgiving.” Sometimes it’s really difficult to do. Even when your faith is strong, your circumstances on this earth can be trying.

The moment that finally broke through my misery was when God gave me a fish. The fight, the surge of adrenaline, the success. Wasn’t a huge fish, but it was a fun fish. My smile in that moment became genuine.

Kickin’ bass!

For awhile it felt good to be alive. The trouble disappeared from my mind, and I found myself firmly planted in the moment.

As we packed up to come home, we all agreed what a great day it had been. No one knew of my struggle.

Exhaustion set in, it was hard to stay awake on the trip back. Something I try to do, to watch out for the eyes of animals along or on the road. The moon guided our path.

I fell into bed, crashed for the night.

I woke up thankful for a bass, that for a while, brought my heart and soul back to the present moment and gave a little burst of joy, a moment of solace.

Living on the edge of Algonquin Park

Feeling blessed to live so close to the park.

Able to load the kids up, throw on the canoes and go.

Pack a lunch. Grab the fishing poles.

Magnificent, spectacular, memories in the making.

This is truly living!

God is so good!

Creepy cool!

Baby arachnids!
How many do you think there are?

Found in a hole in my backyard 😳 I hope they take care of some pests in the garden

I understand their usefulness, but I don’t think I am totally over my arachniphobia from giant barn spiders in my grandparents front porch when I was a child.

Standing rule for spiders, stay outside! Inside you better hope that the kids are home to move you. (I do try to move some that get inside, but seriously, where’s my boot?)

Church in wild woods

I probably said it before, but I truly believe that God is a master artist

The variety of delightful eye candy in every direction.

Creatures of all shapes and sizes.

Loon calls. Bird songs.

Sand squishing, clouds drifting through the sky.

A day in the park, leaves me praising the master, in awe of His wonderful creations, and how He must love us to give us the delights of our eyes.

MONARCH SEASON

Tiny fluttering beauty

It started with a science experiment with the kids. We gathered a monarch caterpillar, some milkweed leaves and carefully placed it into the insect cage.

We watched and waited. We waited and watched.

A chrysalis formed.

Wait some more, and changes started. The colour of the chrysalis transformed.

Then one morning it immerged. Wings kinked up. Unable to fly.

As the day progressed, the butterfly stretched it’s wings a little more and a little more. Fluttering and strengthening.

It’s favourite place to rest was in the sun, stretching and fluttering.

By the end of the day it stretched one more time, then it fluttered away.

Every year now, I watch and wait till the butterflies return. I leave a few milkweed plants in the flower bed so they know they are welcome here.

To understand the amazing transformation from ‘worm’ to beautiful butterfly a miracle of grand proportion. I stand amazed!