Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Driving to the put in

Still down with the flu. Although it's the bearable sort today. Had all intentions of going for a paddle today, however once I got to the put in behind my house....I realised I had forgotten my supper I was going to bring with me. I sat at the beach for a bit amazed at how much the water levels had come up! At least 15-20 feet since the last time I was out. I'll get some pic's up maybe later this week.


Tomorrow I'm going to an appointment in Ottawa so on my way home I'm gonna stop by Bellows bay in Westmeath provincial park for a paddle. I spent this afternoon rearranging my kayak kit and packed all my stuff up for tomorrow. The fall chill is in the air and the tree's are brilliant here now. Hoping for a good paddle and some nice pic's to share with you all tomorrow.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Homework and the sickness...The golden Spruce



Life affects kayaking sometimes. I'm down with my usual equinox flu....never fails.
However kayaking is never far from my mind....or my sons homework! I dont know whats going on with this guys hair, and the water looks pretty choppy!




Curling up with a good book and relaxing tonight...hoping to be on the mend by tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tree Hugger.

So today I got some news that for most would be nothing more than a sharing of an observation. However for some reason this information of a non human death from my mother effected me quite a bit.

1960.
Sliding down the boughs landing with a thud was my father. This lone white spruce over 60 feet in height stoically stood guard on our horse garden. From the top he could see all the way to Hopeall pond to the east, and the far of horizon.

1985.

Were hiding in behind the huge 6 foot diameter base, the moss covered rocks were cool from the shade caused by the huge branches above. : I'm gonna kill you fuckers! cried a teenager older brother. I had beat his younger brother up and threw his hat in the tree. His brother decided to come back with a new birthday present...a compound bow and arrow. We were well protected behind the tree and threw rocks around the side. Dennis reached around the side of the tree to get a nice "throwing" size rock as an arrow passed through his hand and into the tree. His hand is bleeding....a 8 yr old has a arrow binding him to this spruce tree. A now crying teenager (12-13) is profusely apologising for impaling a 8 year old. Having only one arrow (which we now had control of we drove him out the shore with rocks either making a thump in his body cavity or the tic tic tic of a rock bouncing past him on the road. Yelling such things as "were gonna fucking kill you next time we see you"....hey it was 1985 in rural Newfoundland. And a bunch of kids being kids.

Many days I spent sitting in the tree or climbing to the top to explore the white spruce.
I enjoy the taste of the spruce needles and would chew them to get the smell of tobacco of my breath for going home to supper. Not that it worked... However I have never really stopped chewing on spruce needles. An acquired taste I guess?

Hurricane Igor rolled through my hometown two days ago. Caused quite a bit of damage to Newfoundland and according to my father it was the worst storm he has seen in Newfoundland.

Here's some comparison pics:

Few weeks ago....



Igor


I was honestly upset to see that my favorite tree was uprooted. Thinking of the family history revolved around that tree...all of us Gilbert kid's flocked to it. Even my dad said he was kind of upset to see it down due to Igor's punch.

Who knew I would be upset over a white spruce. I am honestly kinda bummed out!


My dad says he remembers the tree being the size it is now when he was a boy. I asked my uncle who is cutting it up for firewood to cut me a piece to put on my living room wall. I'm interested in seeing it's rings and it's life.

I'm really gonna miss that tree.

Aint that weird?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Allumere lake, lower Allumere lake, Hazley bay


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Expired last year. My wife discovered the can of mixed fruit on the table and read the date. her fried who was moving had given it to her....WHO GIVES SOMEONE EXPIRED FOOD!!! Any who my Saturday was messed up sick as a dog. Sunday I woke up early and was on the water by 10h00. Launched from Lamure bay heading east...ish. My only plan was just that; a simple direction.


Examples of the glacier retreat.
Allumere lake looking west.
Paddling into the top of Allumere lake, sheltered paddling among the islands.
Lunch break on the rocky islands south of Christie island.
vegetarian lasagna...yummy!
Stoic sentry.
Lower allumere lake
Fellow kayakers out enjoying the last breaths of summer.
Changing colours.
Lighthouse isle allumere. This is the largest one I've seen on the river thus far.
Yes. It is a cannon. And a cool hedge. Isle allumere.
Lower allumere lake looking east.


The last of summers kiss.
Steepels of Pembroke.
Midland painted turtle at the indian and ottawa river delta.
Beautiful colours.
Indian river, town hall pembroke.
Remaints of the old dock Pembroke. Pure history. So many stories.
???? Hobo's? Beside the train tracks Pembroke.
Bridge from Cotnam to Morrision island. This was the toll booth for the Algonquin people, taking payment to allow the furtraders passage upstream. Morrision island is steeped in history.
Coming to a state near you soon!
Entrance into Hazley bay.
Hazley bay.
Hazley bay.
A phone call to the wife, and a supper while I waited. The air was cold after the sun went down.
The ever shorting day.
Fin

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pinesi Asin Mikansing


The coffee creme formed a protectant layer over the caffeine laden nectar. Each rain drop that found the cups opening formed a perfect circular hole, which was quickly enveloped in the milky foam. The small shower sounded as if it was a Caribbean steel drum band as it orchestrated a tune on my pot set. No drone of the motorboats, just the wild things speaking... A crow squawking, two song birds chatting to one another and a squirrel who was alerted of my presence as I slapped a mosquito mid sip embedded into my thigh........The hours passed as I sat at the base of Oiseaux rock.

My weekend plans were a great idea that for various negative reasons didn't come to fruition. Finally Sunday's coffee number three propelled me out the door to black bear beach; no plans...as they seem to be opportunities for disappointment.

I decided to follow the golden sand beaches of Allumere lake heading west along the riverbank. Soon enough I decided I would head up to Oiseaux rock following the shoreline. I could have taken a direct route, however I was in the mood to interact with the shore line.
The geese were gaggling around together, it funny to think that one of these are the mothers of these once little chicks from earlier the year. How the time flies.


The Mergansers paired together in a few coves, washing themselves next to many songbirds doing the same. The flat calm water allowed them all to converge on the shore, dipping and ruffling their feathers.



I stopped at the top of the lake and took in the view. Behind me was CFB Petawawa and sturgeon lake was off limits; it did however offer a nice view into the past. The way it looked since De Troyes came through here. The islands tightly packed together made a beautiful scene.

I came across a nice little bay on the south side of Ramsey island. The cabin living in harmony with it`s surroundings lured me in to take another look. Many would look at this old shack and NEVER consider living there. It spoke to me.



Built in 1933 according to the realtor's site. I learned later that night the island is for sale for 499,900; thus destroying any day dream of where I would put my solar panels. Of how the wood stove smoke slowly and thickly escape the rusty pipe; lingering in the cedar branches on cool windless mornings.


The lighthouse on deep river islet was quite a bit bigger than I remembered... I decided I would check it out on my way home.



Kayaking was starting to become symbiotic with spending gas money, driving to put in and further picked up at takeout. Paddling along this "familiar shore" made me realise how close new things are right in my back yard. From the new lilly pad's to the ever changing river banks.


With Oiseaux rock in site my heart began to sink as Seen a beach full of people. No sweat I figured. While human interaction was the last hankering I had in mind; I find paddling solo the impecuniousness of human contact becomes greater. Usually after 2-3 days. I was pleasantly surprised that instead of human interaction my eyesight is failing, and I was looking at picnic tables stoically sitting on the beach. No humans.


I had heard rumours of "improvements" being made to Oiseau rock. Which caused me a bit of grief honestly. Human improvement on nature is usually a oxymoron. However I have to say Iwas very pleased with the information provided and how it was laid out along the trail.


Some trail work had been done as well, but just enough to make the walk one where you could pay attention to your surroundings and not having to watched every foot placement.


I decided I was going to run to the top.













Yeah I know my ankle has no tendons, and yeah it's not a pretty thought to think about crawling down off the mountain....but what the hell. I'd worry about that if it happened.



I got quite a kick out of the new signage. Something about a guy falling sign with a arrow pointing in it's direction I found humorous.
The view from the top as my heart pounded out a ever slowing bass drum tune in my ears was awesome experience.


I sat and took in this magical place.

There is a tarn right on the back of the mountain which I had visited before but never swam in. The water was crystal clear and a bit cooler than the Ottawa.


I looked at the large knoll behind the pond and wondered if this is where Alexander sherrif took his prospect many years ago.

I walked along the side of the pond. Startled once by a chipmunk in the dead leafs on the forest floor. I came along a little cliff with what appeared to be deep water below....AND A SWING ROPE!!! Being alone and able to hear (and maybe smell) humans for quite some time I decided getting clothing wet was one option or another would be to get buck naked and swing on out.


Naked I went flying through the air into unknown unexplored water....yeah I could have hit a rock..and yeah an adult would normally check for such danger. however I'm naked after running up a mountain...need I say more?

I done a few cannon balls and a quick dive off the cliff...not once able to reach the bottom. What a awesome little spot.




I drank some homemade iced green tea on the picnic table sitting next to the waters edge, lower body wrapped in a towel. re hydrated and rejuvenated by the mountain I made my decent back to grab some supper and carry on.


A quick meal of freeze dried chicken and vegetables and then I sat. 2 hours I just sat. Coffee cupped in my hands. Watching listening enjoying. I dunno what Iwas waiting for, or even if I was really waiting.


As the sun started to set a thick rainbow lit up over deep river islet. I packed up and began my slow paddle home.


As my Greenland paddle cut through the water I had a perfect mirror I was paddling on.


The sunset behind me was best viewed lying onto my back deck and tilting my head back.

I decided to stop at the lighthouse for a closer look. I had never actually stopped here.


The foundation was pretty rough and I wondered if the old wooden lighthouse had stood on the same leg's as this new metal contraption. There seems to be some great little tent sites on this island, and mused what it would be like with a large flashing light circling the island.

Darkness set and son the million little strokes of the Greenland paddle pushed my bow onto black bear beach.




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