Saturday, September 30, 2017

After the Sunset, the Sunrise

The sun was rising pretty late at this time in September, so I was up in time to sit and watch it.  Just like sunsets, a sunrise over the water is special.

Today here was downright chilly, but a great day to get some outdoor work done.  Slowly making progress toward the move.

Friday, September 29, 2017

How About a Sunset

Enjoyed a beautiful sunset over Canoe Channel that evening.  There's something special about a sunset over water.

And around here today we've had three different weather systems - dull rain this morning, followed by bright sunshine and a cool breeze for several hours, followed by the windiest rainstorm I can recall, still going on.

Definitely some dark skies today!

The wind was strong enough to push me to check my favourite wind pattern website, 'Earth: a global map of wind, weather and ocean conditions'.  Look at the swirling counter-clockwise wind pattern around southern Ontario tonight.  Brighter colours show stronger winds.

And if you're interested in wind patterns, check out the three old hurricanes moving slowly up the Atlantic.  At the actual website you can see all these lines in motion.  Sorry for the blurry screen grab image.  Check out the real one here!  This is a website you might want to bookmark if you're interested in such things.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Dalles Rapids and Home

We spent a good two hours on the open rocks at Dalles Rapids, enjoying the sound of the water and the scenery while we had lunch.  Other members of the group had been here before, but it was a new place for me, and spectacular. 

These two pictures encompass the rapids, from right to left.  I expect some of our group do have the skill to run these rapids, at least if you had a covered canoe.  But you'd be more likely to portage the packs and run the canoes empty.  But for me, I think I'd be happy to portage, unless you could safely sneak along the far edge.  The line down the middle would be pretty rollocking!  And those standing waves are high!

And a due note of caution is appropriate if you notice the memorial onshore.  I understand that Doug's motorboat got sucked into the rapids several years ago, and he wasn't wearing a life jacket.  I've seen several memorials at rapids on other trips.  

I got as close to the canoeist's-eye-view as I could with these photos.  If I was younger I'd get a go-pro camera and seek out some rapids to run!

It really is a beautiful spot, but the bare rock that looks so beautiful now is probably due to the intense lumbering operation here as they drove the logs through the rapids, over 100 years ago.

I did manage to explore that big old boiler on the shore just above the rapids.

And then back up the river we headed for another 3 hour paddle, passing two fishermen on the way.

I think this giant spider was the highlight of the trip home.  Would you have spotted it?

It was a giant Dock Spider, about 3" across!

Enjoying the rocks...

And almost home.  A long day for my aching shoulders and ankles!

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

To Dalles Rapids

On day three of our trip to the French River we headed out for a serious paddle, 20 km. down to Dalles Rapids and back again.  My shoulders were just a little sore by the end of the day!

We headed down the Eastern Outlet channel of the French, a wide channel that takes you half-way to Georgian Bay.  Then we turned southwest and entered the 'Whale's Mouth', a route that logs were driven during the lumber era.

Several pairs of Common Merganzers, a common sight on northern lakes and rivers, paddled away in front of us at various points.

After about 3 hours of paddling we stopped for lunch on this small island, covered by windblown White Pine.

A great illustration of how the lower pine branches survive under the snow cover in the winter, while the rest of the tree has to withstand the elements.

Lots of moss, and always those beautiful curves in the bedrock, carved out by winter ice.

Otters were obviously plentiful here; clam shells were scattered all around the island.

Across the 'Elbow', and the 'spilling ground' where logs were released from their rafts, we headed for Dalles Rapids.

On the way we were watching for the old 'Alligators' that some members of the group had seen in the past.  But water levels were high, and all we saw was this bit of an engine sticking about the water.  'Alligators' were steam-powered barges that pulled the log rafts.

Within sight of the landing, we paddled past this old Alligator boiler up on the rocks.

And here is Dalles Rapids.  We had to walk part of the portage to see them, but then there they were, one of the most picturesque rapids I've seen, with acres of open rock on this side making them easily visible from one end to the other.

Here's a short video I took.  Hope it works.  What do you think - is it runnable?

Tuesday, September 26, 2017


I promised you some mushrooms from our hike around the trail.  Sorry, I'm not going to try and name them all, but hope you enjoy the pictures!

This is mainly a pine forest, with the bedrock either at the surface, or under a very thin layer of moss and lichen.

It's mostly the native White Pine that grow so tall and picturesque, but there are a few Jack Pine like this one too, as well as Red Pines.

Perhaps the most common understory tree is the Red Oak, but they never grow very large (or they haven't had time since the lumbering era)!

And underneath those trees, growing in the moss and leaf litter, are the mushrooms.....

And lunch for a forest slug.

I do know these last two, the Amanita and the Death Angel - both deadly poisonous.

Our crazy hot summer weather that we usually get in July continues today, but I'm hoping the temperature will plunge tonight.  A day of running around doing errands today.  There are so many little things to think of when you move!  The move count-down is on, three weeks tomorrow.