In October, a few of us from Friends of Temagami went out to go see how the Solace Wildlands are being impacted by construction of the Turner Road. For two days we camped at Twinkle Lake to the sounds of heavy machinery. We paddled down the Ames Creek to Seagram Lake and spent another two days exploring and filming the Wildlands. Four days later, logging companies had built two bridges through sensitive cold water fisheries habitat by driving heavy machinery through the creeks.
I’ve been visiting the Solace Wildlands for years now, but in the past two – with the ongoing construction of the Turner Road – I feel such a sense of loss every time I travel here. This isn’t out of the ordinary in Temagami. Climb the hills next to your favourite rivers in the region and you’ll see the clear cuts. You’ll see the tailings ponds near the old Sherman mine site. You’ll see the roads winding through the bush targeting the biggest and most valuable white pine.
I don’t know how to save the Solace Wildlands at this point, but I’m fully prepared to chain myself to a bulldozer and deal with the consequences. We only have one Temagami, one Canada, one planet.30 years after the Red Squirrel Road blockades, we’re still fighting to save Temagami’s old growth forest. Nothing changes unless we stand up.
I recently received a comment asking what we pack food-wise for a three-week Temagami canoe trip.
This isn’t an easy thing to plan for. It’s a long, hard slog. Everything needs to be relatively lightweight so you aren’t dying after carrying over your first portage. You’re also out there for nearly a month, so you don’t want to forget anything or suffer the consequences of running out of booze.
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.