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

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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!!

Back to dry land!

Quetico 04_miniHow ironic that after two posts  about the water, I am literally surrounded by its effects. After a week of experiencing rain and flooding in Southern Alberta, I am thankful to be dry and safe. It’s the same feeling you have after paddling all day on a choppy lake and finally being able to wander on dry land amongst the trees. I love the land as much as I love the water, and can’t imagine a life without either.

Now that’s water!

Quetico 19_miniWith the right canoe, a lot of skill, and a little bit of luck, you can navigate rapids. That’s not the case with waterfalls. I read about kayakers who navigate falls in high water conditions. I cannot even imagine taking my canoe, or any kayak,  down the falls.

Instead, I choose to stay on land, portage the my gear around the fury, and find a nice rock to sit on and sketch. I conquer my falls with a pen, not a paddle.

Get close to the water

Quetico 21_miniNo sooner than I step off the boat and onto the land, I want to get back to the water.

The French River may be a bit too ferocious for my little canoe, so I am happy to sit on the banks of the river, watching the rapids and thinking about how the Voyageurs must have negotiated this stretch of water and land. I am truly inspired by this historical setting.

Get close to the trees

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Whenever I paddle through the Canadian Shield, I am drawn to the trees. Wonderfully expressive pines watching over the lake. Every time I paddle by one of these guys, I want to stop and spend some time in their presence. I can’t get enough of them. It’s no wonder that artists have been drawn to this land.

On the water…

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It’s always so nice to finally push off and be on the water. Within minutes you are away from the distractions of life, and all you have to do is worry about paddling straight.

Artwanderings in Quetico

Quetico 31_miniJoin me in my artwanderings on this canoe trip through Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada.

Always start the trip by getting ready to launch your canoes… and take some time for sketching along the shores of the lake.