To Connect or Disconnect?

Parks Canada announced that it is looking for bids for contractors to install WiFi Hotspots in up to 50 of it’s parks this year.  Now just so you know…that doesn’t necessarily mean campgrounds as Parks Canada has 44 National Parks, 167 National Historic Sites, 4 Marine Conservation Areas and 1 National Urban Park.  The reasons people have given though are, what I think, a picture of what society is like now.  People want to be able to:

  • Keep connected to work
  • Keep connected to friends and family
  • Keep in touch with the daily news
  • Give you a play-by-play of what they are doing (hello Twitter and Foursquare)
  • To plan on the go (weather bulletins, road maps, directions)
  • and to monitor their home security.

Some of these reasons are valid like connecting with family or being able to plan on the go…you never know what the weather is going to do and you need to be able to change plans.  However, I go away to Algonquin to get away from work….I may receive texts while I’m there but I ignore them until I get home.  I am one to tweet or check-in while I’m in Algonquin if the cell service allows me to but I blog about the park and I want people to know the various things they can do.  That being said…if I don’t have service I don’t worry about it.

This decision though makes me wonder about the future of WiFi in Algonquin and it’s got me thinking….why can’t we just take the opportunity to disconnect from the world around us and connect with our families?  To me it’s a no brainer kind of question as I grew up when there were no cell phones, other than the huge Motorola’s, or WiFi.  We played outside until the street lights came on and we went camping every summer, all summer as a family.

How do you feel about this?

~Enjoy your trip

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Needing Some Healing Time In #AlgonquinPark

Mowat More than ever before, Algonquin will become my hide away.  Before Christmas my dad was diagnosed with Leukemia – which is a blood cancer.  It’s been not only a rough road for him but also the rest of our family.

Algonquin is known as the wilderness playground.  It offers beautiful vista’s, picturesque lakes, and a chance to get away from it all.  Often explored by outdoorsmen and families it is a great get away.  But what about it’s ability to heal?  I’m not talking physical healing where you go and you’re cured of whatever ails you.  I’m talking more of emotional healing.

Over the last 5 years Algonquin has become my hiding and healing place.  When I lost my mom I immediately went into survival mode.  I had a family to care for and as the oldest I felt responsible.  When mother’s day came along I went to the one place that I felt whole…Algonquin.  Being one with nature, miles away from the everyday, in the serenity of that beautiful park gives you time to think and to reflect on things that you often can’t focus on in the busyness of life.

The thing about Algonquin is that you don’t have to go far into the interior to begin to feel the healing powers of the park.199_16528381202_4794_n  For me often all it takes is a hike up the Lookout Trail and sitting on top of the lookout to start to feel at ease and less anxious about life.  I always have a notebook, a camera and a pen with me.  That way when I need to I can write what I feel and help sort out what’s going on.  The other place f0r me to get away as weird as it sounds is on Canoe Lake.  The mysterious lake already hides a great mystery so I feel at home there.  Sometimes I climb up to the cairn…other times I go to the Joe Lake Dam.  The cairn is where Thomson often camped so I feel at home there.

Another way that I find healing in the park is by camping solo!  It may be within a campground where you are close to people if you’re new to this…or it could be jumping in the canoe and going on a 2/3 day canoe trip.  The key thing is…do what makes you feel in control and relaxed.  Other times you may feel that you need just a day.  That’s cool too!  My life may be in a bit of turmoil emotionally at times but I know that there’s a place out there where I can become whole again and have a different outlook on life…a positive one.  I hope that you can find a place or spot within the park that you can call yours to get away from everything and heal.

~Enjoy your trip

 

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Why Do I Go to #AlgonquinPark?

155_8974591202_2273_nPeople I’ve met over the years have often asked me why Algonquin?  What’s so special about it?  Those who have been to Algonquin many times get it and understand.  It’s hard to describe that feeling I get when I’m in Algonquin.  It’s one of peace, serenity, and the feeling of being able to breathe.  As I said it’s hard to truly understand but I’ll try to explain.  When you live in the city and go through the daily life you sometimes find it hard to breathe.  That life is passing you by and you are missing everything.  Algonquin is my place to breathe, to take in life, and to get rid of all the stress that builds up during the year.

 

I was introduced to Algonquin when I was around the age of 2.  I don’t know what exactly we did whether2071_62528811202_9479_n it was a canoe trip or just a camping trip and I really don’t remember the trip at all but there is photographic evidence down in my basement.  I’ve grown up there though pretty much every summer since I was around 5/6.  It has been my summer vacation playground.  My home away from home.  It’s where I learned how to canoe and be considerate of nature.  It’s where I discovered who I am as a person.  It’s where I watched my mom come alive.  Where my family felt the closest with no worries or fears.

2071_62528896202_4667_nWhen I saw my mom in Algonquin camping or at our Dorset cottage she was a completely different person.  It was like all the stress of the school year melted away and she was able to relax with us.  She was happy all the time but she was even happier when we were camping.  It wasn’t uncommon for her to make friends at the campgrounds that have ended up being life long friends.  She sat on the beach either reading or knitting, talked with other mom’s, or swam in the lake with us.  There were many times where we would swim from the beach in Canisbay lake to the island across the way or we went for a canoe ride at sunset.

Algonquin is my place to run away from the everyday.  It’s my sanctuary, my place to breathe, my place to live.

Part of me is baffled that there are many many people out there that haven’t had the opportunity to experience it like I have.  My family used to go on overnight canoe trips.  My dad took us kids out for two or three nights at a time.  When we bought a cottage I started to lose that love I had for Algonquin…it was harder for me to have the same feeling and I turned away for a few years.  It wasn’t until I was older and I started camping by myself that I realized how much I missed it.

My love for Algonquin is the main reason I started the blog.  I love being able to share my experiences with others.  I love helping people discover what Algonquin is all about and hopefully discover how much they love it.  Algonquin isn’t for everyone I know that but one can dream.  I hope this makes it a little clearer about why I love it.

~Enjoy your trip!

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The end of a great weekend #blogathon2

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Well Blogathon 2 is officially over.  This weekend I’ve taught you how to start planning a canoe trip.  What you haven’t seen is the things I’ve been doing in the background.

I have worked on many aspects of this blog and the social media to go with it.

Thanks for being my loyal readers and I look forward to sharing more adventures with you!

~Enjoy your Trip!

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Coming up Over the Course of the Summer!

This summer I have the opportunity to go to Algonquin Park more often than normal.  During the course of these trips I will be taking video/time lapse shots of the lakes that I canoe so that I can create a database for you.  This will allow you to see potential routes, day trips, and what lake you might be camping on while at a campground.  We will start it off with Kearney Lake.  This lake is a gentle paddle for beginners and pros alike!

Keep watching as I paddle Canoe Lake this weekend up Potter Creek and into a time in history that Tom Thomson knows well.

~Enjoy Your Trip!

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A Glimpse of What Was

Back in 1917, probably not much later in the year than this, Tom Thomson started making his last trek into Algonquin Park.  Back then there were no cell phones, internet, computers, voice mail, or even phone lines really.  There was just the regular mail and telegraphs in the park.  However something astonishing happened last year in the world of twitter.  Thomson emerged from the misty lakes of Canoe Lake and started tweeting.  He tweeted his thoughts, his art, but mostly a glimpse into his very private and unknown life.

Thomson tweets specifically about his last spring in Algonquin Park.  There have been a ton of followers and interest but whats captured and captivated me was the chance to interact with the famous Canadian artist.  As mentioned in a few of my posts lasts summer there are 7 possible fates that were wildly discussed in twitterverse.  These fates vary from murder by a few people to suicide and accidental drowning.  Joining Thomson in exploring the mystery is his lover and possible mother to his child (still speculated not yet proven) is Winnie Trainor.

Follow along as he and Winnie rise from the mist and engage us all in solving one of the greatest Canadian mysteries!  Also keep an eye on my site because as events within the Algonquin area come up I will post and advertise them as we celebrate 100 years of Thomson in the area.

To follow Tom and Winnie on twitter:

Tom Thomson Last Spring: @ttlastspring
Winnie Trainor: @winnietrainor

~Enjoy your Trip!

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Pre-Planning Pt 3

Please note:  The fee’s that I quoted from the Algonquin Park site will change as of March 31, 2013!

 

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