Monday, August 30, 2010


Our trip across Canada from Ottawa to Fernie, and in the next few days Vancouver, has been amazing. I'm not sure that words can describe the absolute beauty of this country. I'm splitting the trip into provinces, sort of a five-part series, and will post the best shots and write about the best memories of the trip.

      Along the way we encountered several abandoned
      buildings, including an old residential school a farmhouse.
 Part 1: Not-so-terrible Ontario

It took us two nights and three days to get across Ontario, in total driving more than 2,000 kilometres. Granted we had a really slow start, I'm glad we didn't rush through the province but instead took our time and stopped at interesting places along the way.

We left Ottawa Monday morning and drove straight on until Massey, ON. (roughly 7 hours) camping at Chutes Provinicial Park for the night. We set up our tent in the dark, with mosquitoes, and then scarfed down potatoes and ham on the fire before passing out.

Stopping along Lake Superior, where there are pot holes (left),
where rocks have ground down to form deep holes in the bedrock. 
The next morning we checked out the Chutes waterfall before driving to just outside Sault Ste. Marie (another 8 hours). We drove along Lake Superior making several stops, skipping stones and running on sandy beaches, and even stopping at Chippewa Falls (anyone who's an avid Titanic fan knows the relevance of this place). We saw the most amazing sunset and then ventured down dirt roads near midnight trying to find a suitable place to tent near Marathon, ON. We had to pay $35 the day before to camp, and didn't want to again.

We ended up on a dirt road next to a railway track. It was freezing, but the moon was the brightest I've ever seen it, and when you're exhausted it doesn't matter where you sleep.

The third day in Ontario, we drove from Marathon to Winnipeg, Mb. We only had a few stops but they were remarkable. We stopped at the Terry Fox memorial outside Thunder Bay, and it was truly so emotional. There's a large statue and the story of Terry is written on the stone. He ran 27 miles a day and made it to 12 kilometres outside Thunder Bay. 

And lastly, we made a stop at Kakabeka Falls, where my mom and dad had stopped back in 1984 after they were married. The falls were like stepping stones, and an old legend says that an Ojibwa princess led her captures over the falls in attempt to save her tribe. 

We swam in Kenora and then just a few minutes later crossed into Manitoba on Aug. 25. Ontario is beautiful, is covered in lakes and if you haven't ever seen it, I suggest you do. 

Ben and I at Katherine Cove on Lake Superior.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Like a sunset to me.

Cross-Canada is beautiful. This is just a sneak preview of things to come.

Spill Canvas

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Oh! Canada trip!

Two peas in a pod.
4,032 km, 2 days and 6 hours.

Wow! Where did the summer go? That's what I'd like to know. I feel as though I just finished packing up to move to Ottawa, and suddenly I'm packing again to move back out west. Excited? Yes. But more overwhelmed.

So, tomorrow is the big launch to our drive across Canada. Ben and I leave Ottawa in the morning and are hoping to make it half-way across Ontario before the sun goes down at night. But I'm not sure it's possible. Ontario is more than 1,500 km from Ottawa to the Manitoba border. It's practically half the drive to Fernie.

In total, we will drive 4,032 km and a total of 2 days and six hours--or 54 hours, until we get to Fernie. And though it's going to be a looooong drive, I'm ecstatic. Because it's an adventure.

Canada is immaculately enormous, with so many places to see and so many places that have yet to be explored. There are old abandoned farm houses, lakes, waterfalls, and I can't wait to get my camera out there and take some shots.

We start the drive along Lake Superior, which is going to be filled with sunsets and lake stops and beaches galore. The lake is enormous and we can't drive through it, so we have to drive the long way around. We'll stay two nights in Ontario, one in Thunder Bay (where the Terry Fox memorial is).

Oh, and we are stopping in Manitoba to visit our good friend Andrea, and in Saskatchewan to visit some of my mom's side of the family (whom I haven't seen in years).

We are also going to camp at the Great Sand Hills of Sask., these enormous sand dunes that are migrating north by the wind.

I'm tres excited for this trip. No doubt we will be exhausted upon our arrival to Fernie. But I can't wait to do it with Ben.

(photos are from Ben's cousin's wedding, in a free photo booth.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

sister, sister

I have the most fun with her, my little wing-woman.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Lovely as a tree: photo of the week.

A tree is in itself a being.
It needs the light of sun,
the cool of water, and a dusting of love to grow-
Whether it be a squirrel or a bug or a bird.
Then it gives shade, shelter and solitude,
clinging to earth and life with complex roots.
A tree gives life and, in return, receives it.

the water

Kayaked this weekend. It was thrilling. I got my roll back, flipped in the rapids, and bailed out, without consequence. It's fun to try things, even if they scare you.

The water, the water, didn't realize it's dangerous size.
The mountain, the mountain, came to recognize
its steep and rocky sides, more than realized. - Feist

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

No Cars Go

We know a place where no planes go, we know a place where no ships go. Hey! No cars go. - Arcade Fire

There's something nostalgic about a weekend away, specifically with very good friends, to a very quiet place, where no cars go. It's a sort of escape, from the everyday life of work, internet, cell phones and car horns, and it was where I spent my weekend -- at my friend's cottage on Weslemkoon Lake.

My feet were filthy: sap stuck to the bottom of my heels, walking barefoot over pine needles and sharp rocks jabbing into the bottom of my soft-skinned soles. There are no calluses when walking in shoes all day through the city.

And washing your face, using soap become things of the past. The lake is suddenly your bathing grounds and a morning swim or a midnight [skinny] dip are what keeps you refreshed. Though it feels good not to be clean.

So the things that occurred this weekend were, though not in any particular order:

1. A drive through the bush with a disfunctional GPS and a map book. Winding through the dirt roads, "Do we go left?" "I think this is the road we're on." It's fun to get a little lost, because you see things you wouldn't normally run into, and you might even end up driving through a swamp with puddles.

2. Choosing a theme song. No Cars Go by Arcade Fire. Because, we were literally going where no cars go. Not only was the drive entirely remote, but the cottage is only accessible by boat. And once you're there, seclusion surrounds you.

3. Lots and lots of food. Hamburgers, sausages, barbecue chicken, salad, corn on the cob with melting butter and more than a sprinkle of salt.

4. Canoeing when the sun comes up. The lake is like glass in the early morning and with so much unexplored land, how could you not precariously balance in a canoe (hoping the previous nights' drinking doesn't tip you over) and paddle?

5. Staying up until late hours and sitting on the dock, watching for shooting stars and actually seeing one right on the horizon.

Weekends can be sooooooooooo good. So good, because it's a time where you don't have to think about anything except for whether you've put enough sunscreen on or how long until the next meal. Weekends with friends, great music and excellent food at a cottage where no cars go, however, is absolutely the best.

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