Tuesday, October 11, 2016

North Woods Adventure

As I mentioned awhile back, two weeks ago we headed north in our little camper van to try it out, heading for a visit with my sister at a cottage west of Algonquin Park.  It's nearly a 4 hour drive, and I was really pleased with how easily the van drove first of all.  There's no comparison with towing a camper trailer.

It rained on and off the entire trip, and was still raining when we got there.  The clouds were low, and the lake was closed in.  But I think every lake in cottage country has a 'Blueberry Island'!

The family Inukshuk sat in a patch of Reindeer Moss looking out over the lake.  This was new since we'd been there last, probably two years ago.

Driving in, there were lots of rounds of wood piled along the lane.  The big White Spruce grow fast in the deep sand here (it's called Sand Lake), but they don't live long.  And they start to lean as they get older, sometimes crashing down and potentially taking out the hydro lines.

So a fair bit of tree felling had been going on, and I could have counted tree rings for a long time.  If you look at this one, you'll see it's quite young for a trunk a foot thick.  some growth rings are over a 1/4" wide!

I ventured out in spite of the light drizzle, at least down the lane.

A lot of the forest floor is moss, here sparkling with tiny water droplets.

There was lots of lichen, this one my favourite, the Old Man's Beard.

And lots of mushrooms too.  I'll share some more of both over the next few days.

By late afternoon the rain had stopped, though it remained dark and dull. 

 But the next day it dawned sunny and I got out for several walks one direction or another, all through familiar territory - we first came here about 40 years ago.

There was very little colour yet, only a few individual leaves like these dogwoods.

I noticed the top of this old stump glowing green in the woods, but by the time I got my camera, it had lost half its sunlight.

I even found my first Little Free Library!   Must be some dedicated readers among the summer cottagers on the lake.

My sister feeds the birds when she's there, so I spent quite a lot of time and a lot of wasted pictures trying to get some clear shots.  I'll share some of those too.

By the day we left to come home the lake was beautiful, calm clear and sunny.

And our camper van worked fine - the driving, the electrical systems, and the sleeping arrangements.  We didn't test the water on this trip, sitting right beside the cottage with its comforting fireplace as we were.  Turned into a nice, if short, northern adventure.


  1. The rv will take you to many wonderful places and adventures like this one. Lovely!

  2. Sounds like a fun time at the lake. You got some beautiful photos despite the rain and heavy clouds. Glad the RV worked out so far.

  3. On Powell Lake we have an island called Cassiar. There aren't any blueberries, you have to go up into the higher country to find them. Looks like a great trip. - Margy

  4. Beautiful, I have joined you right there, and the little library, a huge bonus to those staying a night or two.

  5. Looking forward to accounts of further adventures in the future. Presumably there must be a layer of some impermeable rock underlying the sand otherwise there'd be no lake.

  6. Another fine collection of photos of your interesting trip.

  7. Know what you mean by 'no comparison' towing a camper trailer. We first tried a travel trailer then a 5th wheel and I disliked both of those towing combinations. Vans are just the best for ease of driving and I've had a couple of them years ago. One was a factory built VW camper van and the other one was a Dodge van made into a camper. If Kelly and I could get ourselves used to a smaller space we would for sure downsize to a smaller vehicle but having tried that a few years ago we just couldn't get ourselves used to the adjustment. It's not out of the question that a smaller RV could again be in our future plans some day though.

  8. I towed a camper trailer for almost 30 years, then bought the camper van Much nicer than towing. After 7 years we got a 23 ft class C, nicer for very cold weather, then 10 years ago our 36 ft class A that became our house, love it!
    Enjoy you camper.

  9. you found some interesting sights to enjoy and photograph!!! i'm glad those trees were not just "cut" down or sacrificed. awesome capture of the blue jay, it is nice and crisp clear. if you feed them, they tend to be a little easier to photograph. jays are gorgeous, with beautiful markings!!!

  10. Glad to hear all went well with your camper and that you like it.
    Enjoyed looking at your series of pictures.
    Great shot of the blue jay.
    I've heard about the Free Libraries but have never seen one.

  11. Nice pictures, and that young tree shows really rapid growth in some years. And the nice thing about digital photography is that you can take all the pictures you want, see them immediately, and delete those you don't like. I look forward to seeing more of your fine pictures. :-)

  12. Thanks for taking us along on the misty walk. Lovely photos.

  13. Your new camper van sounds great... IF we ever get an RV it will definitely be a small one...The bigger -the more trouble people seem to have, not to talk about the harder driving/parking, etc...

    Beautiful area... Love the Lichen (in this post and the newer one above)... One of my blog friends (who lives somewhere in Canada--not sure where) said that they had some snow this week already... Mercy Me.


  14. Your Northern adventure sounds like fun. Pictures are excellent. Make me want to be there even in the rain.