Posted tagged ‘wilderness’

Random Photos From My Latest Fishing Trip

July 15, 2012

Flying in and out of Kaby Lodge, this is what most of Northern Ontario looks like from the air:

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Some days the weather was great:


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Some days it wasn’t:

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Lotsa beavers.

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Here’s a photo of an adolsecent bald eagle (though not with the best of lighting).

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Chipmunk falls.    Not only a great place to stop for lunch, but also a  good fishing spot.

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The lake is teeming with walleye.   On a typical day, I’d catch 25 ?  30?  40?  (I dunno….literally DOZENS…I’d lose count!).

Most were in the 17-18 inch range.  But this was my biggest one, at 22 inches:

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Here’s a typical stringer for our shore lunch.   We would eat shore lunch every day, and keep a few for the freezer for home.

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Here is a typical shore lunch.   Which I love.

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Half the fun of staying at the lodge was playing with the two dogs, Jasper and Riser, who are obsessed with retrieving sticks, especially Jasper.

I like how Jasper is fixated on the stick.

This is considered perfectly normal behaviour for Duck Tollers.

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The younger pup (Riser) would keep stealing the stick from Jasper.  He was being a little shit, and he knew it.     Jasper would then yap incessantly at him to give it back.   This game went on and on…those dogs crack me up.

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The lake has lots of pike too.  People catch them well over 40 inches.    I didn’t get any monsters like that this time.   But I did get two respectable-sized ones, 29 inches and 30 inches.

Both fish were caught within 30 minutes of each other.   It was one of my best afternoons.

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This pike wasn’t huge, but I’ve never seen one with teeth as large as this, for a fish that size.

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Not all of them were trophies, though.    But still fun to catch.

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I had a lot of fun.   So did the Bear.

We will both be coming back.

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Big Water, Not Quite Superior.

April 15, 2012

Last week,  I was at Acadia National Park in Maine, and found the shoreline quite similar to that of the northern Great Lakes.

Same blackened rocks.   Same spruce trees.   Even the cold damp weather was the same.

For all intents and purposes,  this could have been Lake Superior.

I was thinking, maybe I could stare out at the huge expanse of water, and feel that same “Zen like” state of relaxation that I feel when I sit on the North Shore.

And it was beautiful….I admit.   I tried to relax and let my mind go.

But I just couldn’t “feel it”.     It felt claustrophobic.

Probably because of the dozen or so people I was sharing the beach with at the time, even though it was the off-season.

Or knowing that this is only a tiny pocket of wilderness, only a few miles across, right in the middle of the densely populated Atlantic seaboard.

Where every other square inch of shoreline is developed or inhabited by hotels, inns, summer cottages, tea rooms, antque stores and bed and breakfasts.

With big cities like Boston, Montreal,  New York, are all within spitting distance.

Where there is rush hour traffic along the Coastal Highway all summer, as millions of tourists flock to the coast.

Where you only have to go a few miles to find the nearest fast-food joint,  or T-shirt store, or Factory Outlet mall.

Where there are no moose, no wolves,  no pristine trout streams.

No thousands of lakes, many of which never even see a fisherman for years.

No isolated roadless stretches of shoreline,   no huge tracts unpopulated of Crown Land .

No sense of awe you get at being surrounded by a huge expanse of wilderness.

No feeling of being “up there”, away from it all.

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So, yes, I’ll admit the Coast of Maine is beautiful,  sitting on the edge of a big expanse of water.

And I’m glad to visit it.

But it’s just NOT quite the same.

Give me Lake Superior, any day.

A New England Road Trip with The Bear

April 14, 2012

Not much going on last Easter long weekend.    Too late for skiing, and too early for fishing.   So I decided to take a 2400 km road trip through the Maritimes and New England.

Here’s Junior Bear in St. Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, near the Quebec/New Brunswick border.

Here’s Grand Falls, N.B., where I stayed the first night.    Not much going on in this town, except for these water falls.

Of course, I had to stop at Hartland, N.B., which has longest covered bridge in the world at 1282 feet.

This brought back memories.   We used to go camping in the Maritimes as a kid, and we’d always stop by Hartland to see the bridge.   I think Friar’s Mom even still has a souvenir plate with the bridge, that she uses to serve candies to her screaming grandkids.

I think the last time I saw this bridge was about 1977.     Nothing’s changed much since then.

Crossing into Northern Maine, I found it really empty.  Nothing but a few small towns and lots of forest.   It’s a lot like Northern Ontario.

On the Interstate, I drove by some big mountains within spitting distance of Baxter State Park.    I’m pretty sure one of these was Mt. Katahdin, the highest peak in Maine at 5268 feet.     Hard to tell which one,  because of the clouds.

Finally, the ocean!   Here’s the Bear at Bar Harbors (or “Bah Hah-Bah”, as the locals pronounce it)

Unlike the northern part, the southern part of Maine is pretty crowded.   Pretty much every foot of shoreline is populated.   It’s pretty hard to find undeveloped areas, but you can see glimpses of some in Acadia National Park.      It’s a teeny-tiny park, only a few miles across, but they have some spectacular scenery.


I drove along the U.S. Route No. 1 following the coast.   It’s actually not a very scenic road at all.

You go through one small town after another, there’s always traffic, and you don’t see much of the ocean.   It’s mostly traffic lights,  auto-body shops,  hotels,  strip malls, antique stores, and fast-food outlets.   (UGH!!  I was NOT impressed).

If you head south on one of the side roads, however, you can get away from the crowds, and find some honest-to-goodness villages with boats and lobster traps, where people still earn their living from the sea.

Port Clyde was one of those unspoiled towns I found.   To me, this is the “real Maine”.

Cape Newagen was another place off the beaten path that I liked.

Being a lighthouse keeper here looks like it would be a very lonely job…

Next, I headed inland to North Conway, N.H.    I got a quick photo of Mount Washington from the highway, the highest peak in New England, that’s notorious for its ferocious weather.  I was surprised to see it wasnt’ snow-covered.

I avoided all the factory outlet stores and fast-food joints of North Conway, and drove along the Kancamagus Highway instead.   This is a little hidden gem:  it’s a long stretch of road that goes through the White Mountains wilderness.   There are no gas stations or trailer parks or motels:  nothing but forest, mountains and hiking trails for 26 miles.

I did manage to see a moose from the side of the road.

That’s pretty cool.   You see them all the time in Ontario, but it’s nice to know these critters are still thriving this far south, in New England.

Finally, one last glimpse of the mountains in Vermont, at sunset, just before crossing the border back into Quebec.

This was around the Jay Peak area, just south of  Sherbrooke.

After that, it got dark, and once I crossed the border, the mountains quickly disappeared into flat boring farmland.

At that point, the best part of the road trip was over, and I motored back to Ontario as quickly as I could, because I still had quite a few more hours to go.

Three Moose and a Bear on a Sunday Evening

April 19, 2009

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What I like about where I live, is that the wilderness is never that far away.   Today, I thought I’d go for a ride with Junior Bear and try to spot some moose.   You can usually find them in the Provincial Park this time of year, right by the highway.   Apparently they like the road salt.

We weren’t disappointed.   This evening we got a hat trick:  Two bulls,  just starting their antlers, and one cow.

These critters weren’t that afraid.   They were obviously used to having people gawk at them.   They tolerated our presence, provided we kept a respectful distance.

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Of course, Junior insisted on having his taken photo with each one.

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I’m sure I’m not the first person on the planet to take a photo of a moose with their Teddy Bear.

But I wonder how many people have photos of their Bear with THREE different moose….taken on the SAME evening?

(I think Junior must hold some kind of record, after today.)