Tag Archives: Present

Canoeing to Burnt Island Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park

Panorama view of our campsite

For our 30th wedding anniversary this year, the only gift I wanted was for the two of us to spend time together, away from everything. Thus we chose to go camping in the back country of Algonquin Provincial Park Thanksgiving weekend.

After checking with our adult children that they didn’t mind us going away for Thanksgiving, we left Hamilton at 7:15 am. As we were driving towards Algonquin, my husband decided that we should add an extra day to our trip to avoid the traffic coming home.

Once we arrived at Canoe Lake, we then changed our destination from Little Doe Lake to Burnt Island Lake since there were just too many bear warnings for the first area. We are quite prepared with our cans of Bear Spray, plus we keep a clean camp site and make sure our food is always in a barrel tied high up in the trees. (The one exception is my cream, which is in a thermos, in a thermal bag, tied in the water).

Food barrel tied high in trees.

Food barrel tied high in trees.

Keeping my cream cold in the water

Keeping my cream cold in the water

Matt and I ready to embark

Matt and I ready to embark.

We left Canoe Lake at 12:30 p.m., arriving at the first of four portages at 1:45 p.m. Our itinerary went as follows: Canoe Lake to first portage to Joe Lake, then Joe Lake to the East Arm, then to Joe Lake; we avoided the second portage into Lost Joe Lake since the water was high enough to paddle through the river; the next portage was from Lost Joe Lake to Baby Joe Lake, where I proceeded to fall trying to get back into the canoe (the lake was not deep enough for us to sit in and paddle, I walked well hubby pulled the canoe through the river); soaking wet from the waist down and with sore knees since I fell onto rocks, we headed towards the portage to Burnt Island Lake, at this point we had to do the portage since there is a dam between the two lakes.  Once in Burnt Island Lake we found a campsite around 5:15 pm. We had spent approximately five hours in the water.

Day two: We awoke around 7 a.m. with a drizzle of rain. Erect second tarp beside the tent, so we do not get wet from the rain. Our daily was spent lazily by the fire playing scrabble and cribbage. There was quite a violent rain and wind storm Saturday night, apparently the remnant of Hurricane Nate. The tarp over our tent did an excellent job of keeping our tent dry. Once the tarp would fill with water, it poured off each side. Around 5 a.m., there was one last huge wind gust that made one of our ropes snap, but this was easily fixed. Another day of relaxation, until I picked up the bear spray and accidentally sprayed myself in the eye. I had neglected to put the safety back on the can after going to the toilet. It sprayed forward, but then there was a back-wind. Thankfully we always have a jug of water on hand, so Matt quickly jumped up with the water, and flushed my left eye.  The rest of the day was again spent just relaxing and enjoying the view and silence.

Our two cans of bear spray

Our two cans of bear spray

Day three: Was shorts and t-shirts. We did some fishing and took lots of pictures. In the afternoon we went for a canoe ride, where I became so involved with picture-taking I didn’t realized I was moving back in my seat, only to fall backwards into the canoe. It hurt, and I couldn’t right myself back into the seat. Matt paddled back to the campsite so he could remove me from the canoe. (I tend to be the comic relief).

Laying down in the canoe because I fell backwards.

Laying down in the canoe because I fell backwards. Please ignore the rat’s nest of a hairdo I have.

Day four: Monday, another day of tuning out and enjoying nature.

Day five: We packed up our campsite and started the paddle back home.

Over the five days, we snapped, between the two of us, with our Nikon’s and phones over 1000 pictures. Here are a select few:

Tip of the canoe

I couldn’t get enough of the sunsets in Algonquin:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Our daily view:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Selfie

Selfie

Red merganser resting on the warmth of the rock

Red merganser resting on the warmth of the rock

 

red breasted merganser having a stretch

Red breasted merganser having a stretch

 

What does an Etymology book and Vases have in common?

On the Friday we celebrated my husband’s 53rd birthday, which in my books is a terrible time of the year to have a birthday. For people like me who already hate shopping, to make me go out again, right after Christmas, well you may not receive exactly what you hoped for. Now I do try to find the perfect gift (see last paragraph), I listen to comments you make throughout the year, so when I’m shopping I can readily find it.

A week or so before his birthday, my husband mentioned he liked vases. Now in my defense, this was not the first time he has said this, we have numerous vases throughout the house that are his, not mine. I am not a collector of things, and certainly not vases (I do kind of like the one hubby bought me years ago, but if I was shopping I would not have purchased it).

Vase hubby purchased for me

Vase hubby purchased for me years ago.

After picking up the music cd’s he had asked for, I went on a search for a vase. I had already decided I would not spend a great deal of money on it, just in case he didn’t like it. (Most of you are probably saying, well he could return the gift, but I wanted him to like it, so in my mind returning it was not an option. Besides, I was taught that no matter how much you didn’t like something, a gift was a gift, so you smiled graciously and said thank you.)

So on Friday, there we sat, the eldest and I watching hubby open his gifts (middle child and the young man are away at school). Before unwrapping the vase, he opened four other presents ~ music cd’s (he had requested these, so I just had to go to the store, give the list to the sales clerk, asking her to find them for me ~ remember, I do not like shopping. I’m really digging a large hole for myself, aren’t I?).  Next it was time for him to unwrap the vase. With excitement (mostly mine), hubby unwrapped his gift and this is what he saw…

Picture of the birthday vase.

The birthday vase.

…and he didn’t like it. I thought it was pretty, the stained glass effect, but no matter how many descriptive words I could think of and say, he still didn’t like it, and apparently the eldest didn’t either, since her comment was “I don’t get it when you die”.  Being a very good sport, I did not get upset, even when he said “it reminded him of a trophy”.  

I had already sent a picture of the vase to middle child, who definitely did not like my choice either. Hubby then sent a picture to the young man, who immediately phoned his dad and said something to the effect of “WTF”. Next the young man phoned me, his comment “that’s perfect the etymology book lives on!”. 

Picture of the dictionary of English Etymology.

The Book of English Etymology.

One Christmas years ago, I had given my husband a book of English Etymology because I was 100% positive he had mentioned that he would be interested in having such a book. He, of course cannot remember this conversation. Since then all my children have questioned the reasoning behind buying such a book, and whenever I buy a gift for someone, this book comes into the conversation.

What do you think? Do you like the vase?

Romance for Valentine’s Day

At the beginning of the week, the eldest decided to make a tiled table for her boyfriend as a Valentine’s day gift. She worked exceptionally hard each day, creating the letter “B” out of black tiles which would be surrounded by white tiles. Then the top would be attached to a stand with a felt bottom (wouldn’t want the hardwood to get scratched). Once the table was done, off she went on the bus to the neighbouring town, to surprise her boyfriend. His mother picked her up at the station with the table, then once at his house, she put her plan into action. The table would be wrapped with tissue paper, with words of endearment written on it (there were also little toy dinosaurs), and then she would wait. Once he arrived home from work, she hid in his closet. All went according to plan, he was surprised, but knew immediately it was her work, and then said, okay where is she? Out of the closet she jumped!

The finished table in our basement.

The wrapped table in boyfriend's room

Second view of the wrapped tiled table

Different views of the table

Note: Before the boyfriend came home from work, he made a stop at the restaurant he was taking my daughter to for dinner. When they arrived at the restaurant later, she saw the reason he had stopped there earlier, lovely flowers were waiting for her on the table they were dining at.