Tag Archives: camping

Grundy Provincial Park – Swan Lake Trail

On our last day, we returned back to our base camp and decided to go on an afternoon hike.  Grundy has many hiking trails or different levels and distances, and we decided on the 1.5 km Swan Lake Trail.  The hike goes through some wetlands, has a few nice lookouts and rocky ridges and includes a walk across a boardwalk.  We took our time enjoying this relaxing, interesting and diverse trail, pausing for many breaks to take photos and draw.

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Along with my love for cloud photography is my love for tree photography – alive and dead.  I love trying to capture a new angle, either to express the grandeur of a living tree or the creepiness of a dead tree.  I like to pause and appreciate how magnificent they are, and explore even the smallest details found in their bark, branches and leaves.

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Taking a moment to  draw some trees.  I like to imagine this is how the Group of Seven must have felt painting and becoming one with nature.

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

Swan Lake Trail, Grundy Provincial Park

 

Grundy Provincial Park – Beaver Lake

Over the long weekend, we went camping in Grundy Provincial Park.  Located 80 km north of Parry Sound, Grundy is a a beautiful Ontario Park.  A hidden gem that we discovered a few years ago, and there were so many lakes and hiking trails left to explore I wanted to return this year for our annual camping adventure.

We decided to have base camp for five days, and off shoot on a canoe trip for two of them.  We dropped off our gear on Beaver Lake, then canoed across Pakeshkag Lake portaging 195 metres back into Beaver Lake, picking up our gear on the way to our site.  This wasn’t a big portage trip so we brought along luxuries like a cooler and chairs – the best of both worlds!

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

The first night my boyfriend and I went fishing and the lake was so calm and still.  We were the only ones out on the water and I relished the peace and quiet.  I even caught a fish!

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

As the sun set over the glassy waters, a curtain of ominous clouds rolled over us. I never tire of taking photos of clouds, they’re always shifting and evolving, and you’ll never shoot the same clouds twice.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

I love playing around with light, saturation and contrast in post and exploring the many ways to process the same scene to emote a different feeling or emotion.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

I think the photo above is my favourite from this set.  I like how the clouds frame the sunset in a slanted perspective, allowing just a sliver of golden light to highlight the canoe and my boyfriend in the foreground.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

The ultimate Canadian experience: sitting in a canoe listening to the call of loons.  A perfect moment.

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Beaver Lake, Grundy Provincial Park

Algonquin Portage: Chia Seed Pancakes

DAY 3 – BANDIT LAKE TO MISTY LAKE

Chia Seed Pancakes - Algonquin

Chia Seed Pancakes – Algonquin

We started off Day 3 with a hearty pancake breakfast. Usually when I portage I have instant oatmeal and a Boost protein shake but I wanted to try something different. The problem was there was no way to transport an egg. My boyfriend actually suggested to use chia seeds – not only are they rich in antioxidants and fiber but when soaked they expand to create a good binding agent. I used my Classic Pancake recipe and replaced the egg with one tablespoon of chia seeds. You can grind up the chia seeds ahead of time with a mortar and pestle but I kind of liked the mild crunchiness of the seeds in the pancakes. I also found a mini bottle of syrup at the Asian grocery store and so there you have it – outback pancakes complete with real maple syrup!

Chia Seed Pancakes - Algonquin

Chia Seed Pancakes – Algonquin

We had another reasonably light day traveling through Wenona and Muslim lake with only 1400m in portages, however one of them was our first long portage of the trip clocking in at 1030m. By this point we had found our rhythm for transporting all our gear. I preferred to carry the canoe and my pack, and my boyfriend carried his pack with the oars, fishing tackle, camera and bail kit. I actually preferred the canoe, I found that once I had my rhythm even though it was hard work, this position was actually much more comfortable than juggling all the other gear.

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Misty Lake – Algonquin

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Misty Lake – Algonquin

As we entered Misty Lake a light rain started to fall but we were prepared and quickly through a tarp over our packs in the canoe. Our site was just across the lake so we were able to get there before there rain became too heavy. Later that evening the skies cleared and we went for a beautiful canoe ride at dusk and attempted some fishing. As the sun began to set, we spotted a family of loons and quietly canoed up close to them to take some photos. The loons were surprisingly calm and allowed us to paddle right beside them. As they dove away, we would follow, and then to our delight they would pop up right beside us. I actually felt intimidated as I never realized what a large bird the loon was, and with their piercing red eyes, it was no wonder that they felt not fear around us. As we headed back to our site, it was at this moment that I realized my eye felt a little funny. I told my boyfriend and when he looked at my eye it was all swollen and puffy! Turns out a mosquito had bitten my eyelid, and I now looked like Quasimodo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame. My eye was a bit uncomfortable but for the most part I just let my boyfriend make fun of me and I laughed it off – it’s always a new adventure out in the wilderness!

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Misty Lake – Algonquin