Archive for the ‘Canoe’ Category

Picnic Break

Quetico 12_miniWhile paddling along the shore, it’s always tempting to stop at a dock. Docks are a great place to take a break and stretch. On French Lake there’s an inviting dock alongside the Artist’s Studio. I spent some sunny days sitting at the picnic table and painting my drawings.

And by the way, I am between canoe trips and taking a break to add this post. I am back in the Canadian Shield and loving it!

Along the shore

Quetico 27_miniI always enjoy paddling my canoe as close to the shore as I can. It has little to do with the fear of a big lake… unless the wind is howling and the whitecaps are kicking up!

Rather, it’s all about the interesting things that also like to be close to shore. Tree stumps on their way to becoming driftwood…  gulls taking a rest from the wind and sun… ancient rocks with a century of wear on them… a great way to spend a lazy day on the water!

Drifting back to the lake…

Quetico 06_miniNo matter how engaging the forest or the campsite, when I am on a canoe trip, I feel a pull to the water. There is a sense of magic in the rhythm of dipping that paddle into the lake and feeling the canoe shoot ahead.

I am always excited to leave my campsite or portage to start the next leg of the journey. And if I am lucky, I just might get a tailwind to help me out!

Oh Snap!

Quetico 34_miniI took a walk through the blowdown and was in awe of the fragility of a forest. Trees seem so strong and permanent. Wind and fire can change them so quickly.

In spite of the “destruction”, I find this landscape compelling with its own beauty. I love the angles created, and find the various layers and hues of the deterioration quite beautiful. And after all, it’s all part of the lifecycle of the forest.


Quetico 33_miniSometimes Nature takes a more active hand in the life cycle of a forest. Discovering a blowdown while paddling along the shore can be quite startling. It always makes me pause and consider how the force of wind can so easily decimate something so immense.

A half hour down the lake, and you’re back to paddling along an unspoiled old growth forest. This diversity is one of the things I love about Quetico.

Return to the earth

Quetico 13_miniAlong the portage route, you will often pass the detritus of the forest… rotting stumps that have their own personality and beauty. The one on the left almost looks like a bear considering whether he should climb the tree.

On a long portage it’s easy to create a narrative from the characters you meet on the way. It helps pass the time until you get into that lake again!

Consider the trees

Quetico 01_miniHiking along a portage route gives one an opportunity to get close to the forest. Beautifully brilliant birch. Desolate disintegrating deadwood. It’s all so engaging.

After a rain, you can smell the trees and the earth… embraced by this fragrance, it’s better than any perfume.

Take a hike

Quetico 20_mini A canoe trip can be made memorable by the portage. Long and arduous or short and muddy, these breaks between the lakes will make you think about the folly or the foresight of your trip. Quetico has some corduroy roads that keep you from slipping and sliding while carrying your canoe and pack. When you portage between the lakes, take some time to enjoy the nature around you.

A different kind of lasso

Quetico 18_mini

There’s a personal flotation ring set up on the shores of French Lake in Quetico. During this week of a “Hell or High Water” Stampede, where cowboys are lasso’ing all kinds of critters, I thought this ring was an appropriate blog subject this week.

If you’re stuck in the high water, and someone throws the ring to you, grab onto it, and let them reel you in!

Celebrate Summer!

Quetico 08_miniIt’s summertime! Whether you are swinging in the playground or climbing your favorite tree, enjoy the outdoors.

It’s 30 degrees celsius in this mountain town, and all I can think about are the cool clear lakes of the Canadian Shield. I guess I will have to settle for the swinging and climbing!!