Exploring the Arts and My place in Creation

Exploring the Arts and My place in Creation - - - - - - - - Please visit my art blog at www.digidoodle.me

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One of Lifes Great Joys

Every year around this time the Grackles (Blackbird-like birds) gather in our trees. We have about 20 massive Maple trees that line our property. The grackles usually stay for a day and then they are gone. It is quite a sight to behold and the sound is like a symphony. I consider this occasion as one of lifes great joys…almost like the first Robin of spring. Well actually this is a lot more spectacular! The sound is so loud that one has to raise ones voice to be heard over the “grackle” of 10,000 birds. One year I got the idea of going to the center of my property and then made a loud CLAP. That clap sent all 10,000 birds into the air and away they went. It was incredible listening to the whoosh of 20,000 wings, but sorrowful to lose the symphony of sound. This morning my wife and I chose the silent approach. We stood out on our deck and soaked it all up because when we return home tonight they will all be gone. It will be one more year until the next grackle symphony…..One of lifes great joys and truly a gift from God.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pieces of the Puzzle

I arranged an ATV for my vacation in the north. I have been talking with my buddy about buying the machine from him for the last 2 years and never put it together. I asked him if he would be willing to rent it to me for the week. He said “you’re kidding right”. I said NO, I really need a bike for vacation. He said “how much”? I said I would give him $500.00 for the week. (It would be $1000.00 to rent it from the dealer up there) He told me to go &*%$ myself. He told me there is no way he would rent it to me BUT, if I gave him a piece of pizza he would give it to me. So a deal was struck. I gave him 2 pieces of pizza and I pick up the bike next week. It will come with a canoe rack….thats cool! It has a heavy duty winch that I plan on needing. It has a lifter kit and extra skid plates which will come in handy. It also has rack compartments for camping. I’ll get him to remove the gun rack. I wont bee needing that. The only shooting I will do is with my camera.

I drove my bus to the mechanics last night and it barely made it. That is only a 15 minute drive. There is no way it will make an 8 hour journey! I think it’s the water pump. He will throw a used one on, do a lube, oil and filter…..heavy on the grease! He will check my brakes AND will lend me his dealer plate for the journey. He is a great mechanic as I know I can trust him AND he works to suit budget.

Ever noticed how the preparations for a trip are as fun as the trip itself? All the eager anticipation. The ups, the downs, making, breaking and changing plans. I guess not all trips are like that….BUT mine are!


Monday, August 18, 2008

The Green Machine

Well there was finally a break in the rain to finish painting my bus. I took her for a spin around the block. I need to take her over to my mechanics for an inspection to make sure she'll make the journey. Looks like we will go convoy on the labour day weekend. I am pumped!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

She is Home!

Well my daughter made it home safe and sound from Germany. On the car ride home I asked her how her trip was. She said.."I'm so tired, can we talk about this later?" Well we got home and her phone rang..and rang..and called...and called. Next thing you know she was in the shower. OK...can I go out? I said sure...but first you have to tell me about your trip. she said OH...it was great, here is some chocolate...can I have the keys to the van? Well, indeed she is home and picking up right where we left off.....spoiled brat.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My Love For Fishing

So what is it about fishing that I adore? I didnt come from a fishing family although my first memory of fishing was when we were at the cottage in Muskoka, my grampa woke me up at 6am and we travelled down a trail that led to a dock, where we sat and caught perch and rock bass and sun fish. I remember also how my dad picked up on my love for fishing and took me all oiver the place. I remember one trip he and I took, a catfish swam into our minnow cage and when we awoke in the morning to go fishing, all we had was one big fat catfish. I remember dad drove us to a really remote lake near Algonquin called crown lake. It was there that I learned how to flyfish. I remember fishing off the dock when a seasoned fisherman came over and started flyfishing. I was in awe. He asked if I wanted to learn. After he had taught me to to flyfish, he gave me one of his reels. I rememebr my first fly rod. I was probably around 13 when I began to flyfish. While I really love fly fishing, truth is, I am a dime store hacker. I am a Canadian Tire fisherman. As you can see in the photo above there are no fancy waders, though I owned a pair. There is no fancy vest, though I had one hanging up in the back room. I would, and still do, just jump right in. I have ruined many church shoes. I remember getting a job at a trout club and working my membership off by cleaning the ponds and selling my hand tied flies. I learned to tie flies when I was about 15. I lived on a hobby farm and got my feathers and hackles from our roosters. I had quite a colletion of furs, hides and feathers that I had collected. An old fellow at the club taught me how to tie a Royal Wulff (Coachman) and then told me where I could find the big bull browntrout he knew of on the Credit River. He told me exactly where to find him and every day in the summer I went to try to fetch him. Never did catch him. An entire summer devoted to catching one wiley trout. I knew he was there because he gave me one missed opportunity...and he was big and respectable and I was small and inexperienced. My joy for fishing has led me and taken me to some really neat places. I have been blessed to catch many fish both big and small. I caught a Sturgeon while fishing for rainbow trout. I caught a Muskie while fishing for Bass. I caught a boot while ice fishing. I caught a bass that attacked another bass that ate my worm. I caught a seagull and a turtle and a tree and several rocks. I caught a shark while fishing for salmon. I caught numerous colds while fishing for who knows what. I have caught pretty much every type of freshwater fish and yearn to catch those that I havnt. So on my list of fish to catch are Arctic Char, Grayling, Aurora Trout, Golden Trout. Oh ya hey I caught a Tarpon on my honeymoon. Well almost.
So here is the crazy thing. I hate eating fish. I far prefer to practice catch and release, or if you like fish, I'll cook it for you. That my friends makes this whole thing simply ludicrus. Crazy that a grown man would gain such joy and satisfaction in teasing and tricking a fish to hook himself on my line, while I laugh with joy as the poor thing struggles to gain freedom. The harder he tries to escape, the more fun I have. When he leaps for his life, I laugh. Its kinda sick. The only saving grace for the fish is that I will readily return him to his home, unless of course he is stupid enough to swallow the hook. In that case, I force myself to eat him OR give him to someone who finds great joy in eating fresh fish. So as crazy as it all is, I cant wait until next time.
Thats it...it the thrill of the catch. Its the eager anticippation. Its the whole thing, the whole package. Going to incredible lengths to catch more exotic fish. Drive 8 miles by car, 4 hours by canoe and another hour walking for half an hour on a river that probably never will yeild a fish....or will it? ...maybe next time.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Emerald Lake Camp!

I found a home for my bus! Its on Emerald Lake in West Temagami. Its at the top end of a logging access road known as 805. It runs North from River Valley. The first time I saw this lake I fell in love with it. We had taken the trip up and I was car sick. When we had arrived, I stumbled out of the car and lay down at the end of the dock. With one hand in the water, I fell asleep. That one hour nap was like a weeks vacation! The water rippling under my head, the cool breeze from the lake, the distant sound of the loon. It was golden and when I woke up, my sickness was gone. Now a year later, I shall return.

The beauty of this spot is that I can leave my bus parked 365 days. There are showers, washrooms and facilities. There is running water BUT no electricity. There is docking and a small community of “old timers”. Looks like I can “move in” for the Labor Day weekend. Also, the camp is open year round as this lake is very popular as an ice fishing destination. There is a healthy stock of Lake Trout in this lake.

I am pretty excited and look forward to spending some week vacations up there. I am most interested in doing some overnight canoe trips to get to some more remote spots. I am investigating the trail that takes one over o the old growth forest. A few portages takes me to Lake Temagami or Lake Obabika.

I am feverishly getting things ready. I have to arrange a one way trip permit for the bus. This weekend she should be almost road worthy. I think getting the bus up there is going to be an adventure on its own!


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Weekend Adventure

After a beautiful drive up to Verner, I arrived just in time for a thunderstorm. We decided to go pickup the loaner bike and go for a run…rain or no rain. We drove up to River Valley and unloaded our bikes at the edge of the Temagami. With 2 days of rain, the trail was a MESS! That is a good thing by the way. There was mud, valleys filled with water, hidden rocks and obstructions. We drove for about 2 hours through some really tough stuff. It was a hoot. I had to be winched out of the mud hole more than once. At one point my bikes exhaust was under water and when I stepped into the hole, I sank to my waste!
The winch wouldn’t make it to the closest tree so my buddy Mike wheeled his bike over and we double winched to get my sorry butt outta the hole. What a laugh and an awesome way to begin the trip. We were soaken wet and muddy from head to toe.

The following day we drove our bikes up the 805 and packed for an over night. We were heading to Lower Goose Falls, but when we arrived there was someone in “our” spot…DOH. We decided to go and find ourselves a different spot. We decided on the confluence of the Obabika and Sturgeon Rivers. We were able to bike almost to the spot.
We pitched our tent and made a small camp. Then we put our lawn chairs, cooler, and food pack and we hiked the last km. to the confluence. There was a really nice little beach there. We set up, built a beautiful fire right there at the rivers edge. It was picture perfect. We had potatoes, onions, sausage and chicken kabobs along with nice ice cold beer. After an evening of revelry, we stumbled our way back to camp. I had lost my shoes in the river while executing a dare. Mike dared me to walk the rapids to the other side and so by 2am I gave into the dare. I made it except the rapids sucked the shoe right off of my foot!...doh.

We had an awesome sleep and then went down to the river for a shore lunch. We caught a few Smallmouth Bass and cooked them with our morning bacon. Just as we were ready to leave, 7 canoes full of 14-16 year old girls and some camp counselors arrived. They were quite surprised to see us. They were on day 11 of a 14 day trip. They had to pull all their stuff out of the Sturgeon and portage to above the Obabika falls. Looked like a couple of km’s. These girls were troopers and made short work of that daunting task. It makes me proud and happy to know that these tough Canadian girls had the strength, fortitude and desire to take such a grueling trip. They were covered in bug bites and looked like they had not washed in 11 days. Their canoes were aluminum 18 footers and must have weighed 80 pounds. This one little girl picked it up and threw it on here back. Mike and I couldn’t believe our eyes! Hats off to our Canadian Chicks!

I had promised my wife to return so I could be home on Monday with her. We drove to the closest cell coverage back in town with the intent to call and apologize to my wife. I wanted one more day! My cell beeped and it was my excited wife. “so when are you coming home? Hopefully soon. I long to see you”….doh. So much for another day. I packed my stuff and split and got home 1AM to a wonderfully happy wife.

I doesn’t get much better than that.

Fishing and Camping Pics

Pics of Trip to Goose Falls