Paddling, Photographing, Writing, Volunteering…. You Know, The Usual
#SaveSolace sticker on our canoe on Wasaksina Lake, Temagami, Ontario. June 9, 2018.
Some things I’ve written in the past few months…
Algonquin Outfitters Paddle Art Contest article for the Canoeroots section of Paddling Magazine available here.
Interview with Paddle Quest 1500 adventurer John Connelly for the Adventure Kayak section of Paddling Magazine available here.
‘Tips for Exploring Temagami by Paddle and Portage’ article for Northern Ontario Travel available here.
Save Solace campaign page for Friends of Temamgami. I’ve put in countless hours working on this campaign to save the Solace Wildlands from construction of a 25 kilometre primary logging road and clearcutting. Please consider signing our petition and purchasing a sticker.
In addition to these published articles, I’ve been working hard on forest management planning responses for Friends of Temagami and posting regularly on my Instagram. Naturally, my volunteer work for FOT is entirely unpaid so if you’re a publisher/wealthy patron/big fan feel free to support my efforts, HA. Only half-joking.
Maybe I’ll have time to write up some trip reports soon. Maybe. I’m a busy lady. I went on three winter camping trips, a week-long canoe route maintenance trip through the Solace Wildlands with FOT and helped with a thunderbox install mission to Wasaksina Lake so far in 2018. I also completed my second year of J-School and became Vice-President of Friends of Temagami. Oh! And I finally got a real camera!
blueberry leaf garnish optional; fancy stump side table required
2017 was a great year for blueberries.
Supposedly, there’s a connection between the abundance of blackflies in any given year and the blueberry crop. Blackflies don’t pollinate blueberries, but if the bugs are atrocious in spring, the blueberries will be incredible come August. It was an awfully wet summer in Ontario – we had 14 days of rain on an 18-day trip this year – and our toil and slogging through the mud was rewarded with enough blueberries to bake a pie every day.
If you don’t have Instagram or don’t follow me already (for shame!), I’m posting it for you here in chronological order. If you’ve already been following but missed some posts in your feeds due to sponsored content (for shame!), this should be an easy way to see the story in the order it happened.
If you have no clue how to use Instagram, this post is also for you! Many of the posts have multiple pictures in the gallery. The row of dots at the bottom of the image lets you know if there’s more than one photo in a set. You can tap the arrows on the sides of the photos to go back and forth between them. You’re welcome, Mom.
Some guy once said a picture tells a thousand words, so along with my verbose captions you’ve got quite a lot of reading to do.
Well folks, I’ve been very busy these past few months.
I’ve spent 34 nights in a tent so far this year, gone on countless day trips, completed my first year of J-School, volunteered as a director on the board of the Friends of Temagami, started freelancing for Rapid Media and I’ve written two articles for Ontario Travel. I have grand and ambitious plans to get some more trip reports up on the blog in the next while, but with school and other writing commitments I’m not sure how realistic those goals are. I am, however, very active on Instagram and I’ve been posting daily stories and photos from a recent 18-day canoe trip in Temagami if you want to check those out.
The articles I’ve written for Ontario Travel are about the places I paddle close to home. I know, it’s weird that I live in Toronto considering how much time I spend up north but we gotta pay the bills somehow. Andrew and I have explored many of Toronto’s waterways and there’s definitely something pretty cool about being able to canoe through Canada’s largest city.
Urban Canoeing Articles
The Canoe and the City explores some of the reasons that we and many others use the rivers and Lake Ontario for recreational paddling. Toronto has a rich history of canoe culture that continues to this day through paddling festivals, informal meet-ups and a thriving community of local paddlers.
Wild in the City is all about the places in Toronto we like to paddle and how to access them. The Humber River, the Credit River and the Toronto Islands are favourites of ours for the evenings and weekends we just can’t get away.
So don’t worry! I haven’t fallen off the face of the earth/sold my canoe/been eaten by a bear. I’m just in the process of turning my love for canoeing and writing into an actual job, which is pretty damn cool.
It’s a return to the forest and a primitive way of living; it’s an escape from city life and the technology of our present time. It’s a natural extension of the beard-and-plaid aesthetic so popular today – and it’s having a huge moment online.
This is bushcraft: The art of practicing wilderness skills while enjoying the great outdoors. It’s not about survival skills or preparing for the apocalypse, although the techniques do share similarities. Survival is staying alive long enough to be rescued and get home, whereas bushcraft is about using wilderness skills and knowledge to stay out in the bush longer.
volunteer work to help restore toronto’s high park doesn’t stop, even under a blanket of snow
By: Tierney Angus
Feb. 17, 2017
The City of Toronto and a dedicated group of volunteers are working together to restore High Park’s rare black oak savannah habitat.
Stately trees, some over two centuries old, dot a rolling, grassy landscape. Native grasses and rare wildflowers bloom, visited by migratory birds. The woodland is a glimpse into what southern Ontario looked like before cities, towns, and subdivisions cut the land into tidy little parcels. It seems an ancient, primeval world, until the next group of tourists steps off the bus and the spell is broken.
I’ve written up a couple guest posts for other cool bloggers. Until I get around to writing up four (!) trip reports from last year for my blog, you may want to check these out.
Scot at Man Camping asked me to write a piece for his week of Man Camping Women features. Ladies are man-campers too! The site’s tagline is “it’s not a gender thing, it’s a state of mind and lack of planning thing.” I also drink a lot of beer and eat far too much bacon, so I think I fit in perfectly. Check out my post about my first backcountry experience here. I hit a beaver with my canoe paddle, Andrew was attacked by numerous tiny leeches, and we both ended up puking out of both vestibules of our tent all night. Truly a lovely introduction to the backcountry.
Andrew and I went camping for five days in the Temagami area this January, and Shawn of My Self Reliance came to visit and interview us about our winter kit. Shawn put together an awesome video which you can watch here and also posted a little write-up I prepared about how we got into winter camping. I hope it’s helpful if you’re looking to try winter camping but aren’t sure where to start.
Sorry I haven’t had time to update my blog too often lately. School, work, and other commitments are taking priority at the moment. But, hey! You can always follow me on Instagram for the time being.
View of the White Bear Forest from the Caribou Mountain fire tower, Temagami ON
That night there came a storm, crashing down from the mountains; and in the tempest the lonely Tree moaned and wailed, and shook wildly on its foundations, and silhouetted against the white glare of the lightning it seemed to writhe, and be contorted into shapes of agony.
And the mountains looked on in stony calmness; for they knew that trees must die and so must men, but that they live on forever.
-Archie Belaney, a.k.a. Grey Owl, “Tales of an Empty Cabin”
The Temagami Wilderness area is a vast, 16,000 square kilometre tract of land in Northeastern Ontario. Its boundaries are loosely defined by the town of Sudbury to the southwest, the town of North Bay to the southeast, the Ottawa River to the east, the Montreal River and the hamlet of Matchewan to the north, and the Wanipitei River to the west. Continue reading →