18 August 2017

Returning to the Park

Algonquin Provincial Park

The following is an excerpt from the Ontario Parks website about Algonquin Provincial Park.  While it has been about a year since I have been in the park via car and almost 4 via my canoe, the description still resonates with me.

Late summer and early fall has always been my favourite time in the park and I think 2017 will mark my return to this magical place.

See you soon Algonquin!

The essence of Algonquin is in its vast interior of maple hills, rocky ridges, and thousands of lakes. The only way to explore the interior of this park is by canoe or on foot. There is also a second Algonquin - along the 56 kilometre stretch of Highway 60. Here you can enjoy camping at one of eight campgrounds, hike one of 14 trails, take part in extensive Natural Heritage Education programs, and visit Algonquin’s exceptional Visitor Centre, Logging Museum and Art Centre. For over 50 years, each Thursday in August, park staff have offered the “Public Wolf Howl”, a highly engaging program on wolf ecology that includes howling for wolves. Weather and wildlife dependent. 

05 April 2011

Seal meets girl. Seal falls in love with girl. The end.

While the following clip is definately not from Algonquin, it is something that caused me to pause and reflect on after a rather busy and hectic day.

I honestly have no idea who took the orriginal footage, but doubt they would mind me sharing it on my blog, as I am not claiming to be the author, but rather someone that appreciates the innocence captured in the footage.

It's titled "Seal meets girl. Seal falls in love with girl. The end." For those interested, it was filmed in Gold Harbour in South Georgia, on November 29th, 2009.  I came across it today using Stumble.

Nature and innocence never stoppes amazing me!

Seal meets girl. Seal falls in love with girl. The end. from Bob Dobalina on Vimeo.

24 March 2011

Aurora Borealis Time Laps Video

Since my blogs inception I have posted a few time laps videos that I though my readers might be interested in.   Each time, I've been asked to post more.

The following is a hauntingly beautiful display of the Aurora Borealis.  Not only is the photography superb, but the music, "Now we are Free" from the Gladiator soundtrack is equally breath taking given the images it accompanies.

The video is by an artist by the name of Terje Sorgerd and was shot in and around Kirkenes and Pas National Park bordering Russia at 70 degrees north and 30 degrees east, where the temperature was a heart stopping -25 degrees Celsius.  You can also get more information on Terje Sorgjers on his facebook page here.

I hope you enjoy;  I know I did!

The Aurora from
Terje Sorgjerd on Vimeo.

19 March 2011

Canoes & Kayaks exempt from Commercial Vessel Registration

While I really wasn't too concerned about the idea of registering my canoe with Transport Canada, it is good to see that organizations dedicated to the promotion of paddling in Canada don't have to worry about this either.  You see, on March 17th, 2011 in Calgary, The Honourable Chuck Strahi, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, announced important changes to Transport Canada's small vessel registration requirements.  The complete speech (yes there was a speech) regarding the announcement can be found here.  But in essence, no registrations are required.

My favourite quote is "My message today is for everyone looking forward to putting a canoe in the water this summer -dramatic pause - Just do it.  There's been a lot of discussion on the web and in the news media about a requirement register canoes and kayaks.  We want everyone planning canoe and kayak outings this summer to relax, make your plans, and forget the paperwork."

This exemption will apply to groups like Paddle Canada, the Boy Scouts and Girl Guides as well as summer camps and other paddle organizations.

I remember when I first heard about a possible new registration and ($50.00 fee)  but was doubtful it would happen.  (For those wondering, the topic came up around a camp fire in Algonquin a year or two ago as my memory recalls.)  In any case I'm  just glad that it seems to be off the table.

Additional information about which vessels still need to register (such as commercial river rafts) can be found on here.

18 March 2011

Sean Rowley Algonquin Park Photography Exhibit

Sean Rowley, a camping friend of mine, is having some of his wonderful nature photographs from Algonquin Park on display at The McLean Centre in an exhibit titled "Algonquin Park:  Where My Canoe Has Taken Me" from March 21st through to April 25th, 2011.  For those who have been reading my blog for a while will remember that Sean was the guy who travelled over 300km for a cup of my coffee in the park during a winter trip I was invited to go on a few winters ago. I suspect his motives were more photographic in nature though, as my camp coffee isn't really that good!

"This solo exhibit is a collection of photographs taken from various trips to Algonquin Park and reproduced on canvas as opposed to the traditional photographic paper. Landscapes, waterscapes, flora, fauna and beautiful sunrises and sunsets are all captured and on display for you."

While I am unsure if I will be attending the opening night reception that is going to be help on Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011 from 7:00 - 9:30 pm, I will be visiting the exhibit to show my support to a friend and get a chance to see his work on display in a manner that I know he has wanted to show them in, for some while.

I've known Sean for a number of years and have been fortunate to meet up with him on several of his adventures.  I wish him the best of luck and encourage my readers to check out the exhibit.

The McLean Centre is located at 95 Magill Drive in Ajax Ontario.  Directions can be found here.  More information on the Sean Rowley Photographic Exhibit can be found on Sean's Facebook page.

16 March 2011

New Look

I've been blogging for a while now, and thought it was time for a new look. "The Missing Piece" template I used when I first launched Proppe's Paddles was pretty cool a few years ago, but some how seemes a little busy in comparison to the newer "less is more" look some many major sites have adopted recently. As such I thought it was time for a change.

While I am not 100% sold on this new look, I do think I am heading in the right direction. I encourage any feedback on the new look, and look forward to refining it further over the coming months.

One new addition to the blog are "Pages" dedicated to single topics.  While the first on titles "Trip Logs" is completed, it is my hope to also add "Trip Photos", "Camping Companions" and a "Kids Corner" but all in good time!

Another new addition to the site that some may not like are ads. While I have left them out intentionally over the past few years, they are an ever growing part of the web. New controls let me customize ad content fairly specifically, and it is my hope that I might earn enough ad revenue to afford a few extra nights in the interior this summer. (Why do I think that is wishful thinking? Especially since park permits are rumored to be increasing again this year!)

FinallyI'm also adding more social networking opportunities throughout the site in the hopes of increasing my readership even more. I had over a million visits last year, and just over two-point five million since its inception and I'm hoping to get that number doubled this year alone.

So PLEASE spread the word, and let others know of the improvements already here, and still to come!

15 March 2011

Concerning comments

Im not an overly political man, or one who shoves my life in others face. As such, four years ago I started this blog, and have been surrounded by positive feedback and well wishes ever since. I get approximately 20 comments a week, and while I try to read them all, I am occasionally busy and simply screen them. In the four years people have been for the most part kind, but a few have sent me hate mail regarding my sexuality and the fact that my partner and I (of 18 years) have two adopted children.

Again I am not going to get overtly political as my blog is about my love of the outdoors, canoeing, Algonquin Provincial Park, and the trips that I have taken, with friends, family and yes my children. Unfortunately I guess I missed a few hate messages, and recently was made aware of them by my oldest son, who in wanting to read what others thought of his Dad found the following comments.

Read you bio in the side bar. Sorry the average man is not gay and certainly doesn't try to raise two kids in a gay household leaving the children lacking a maternal hand in guidance. eaching is a noble profession to be sure but spare me and the rest of America the normalization of homosexuality.

"I feel sorry for your kids having a gay father and all. No child should have to grow being surrounded with such immorality, they didn't ask to be in such an inviroment nor should you give them such

I was devistated and tried my best to explain the world to my twelve year old, but I feel that I have some how let him down. All I wanted was to share and record some wonderful memories I have shared with my kids, and yet they have now been made to feel angry at the world for saying such things about our family. I know my son will be fine, and that he will come to understand the world we live in, and again Proppe's Paddles is NOT about politics but an activity that I have come to love.

Am I doing the right thing in keeping this blog, or should I let it go, and record my memories in a less public forum? I had thought that as a society we had passed the point of such narrow views, but now I am not so sure.

Advice please.

Time for the Annual Ice Out Lottery

I was e-mailed a notice that the annual Canoe Lake Ice Out Page was up and running and thought my readers might enjoy a look.   Over the past few years cheering on the melting of the ice has become much anticipated late winter event, and one I plan on enjoying again this year.  For the record my virtual money is on April 11th.

Jefferson Ridpath, the brainchild of this web site, offers an extensive amount of information regarding historical ice out data as well as his popular ice out poll.  I hope Jefferson doesn't mind, but the following picture (found on his 2002 edition of his site)  and exert (from his 2011 edition) have me thinking about paddling again already!

Happy melting!

"Is it March already?!? It must be, because I'm getting emails asking when the Official Canoe Lake Ice-out Poll begins :-)

Well, it begins now!

After last year -- the winter that wasn't, and an ice-out date to shatter all records -- we seem to be back to normal. It feels like I've been shoveling and scraping every morning since well before Xmas, and we're a week into March without much relief. We were up on Canoe Lake two weeks ago, just after the big February Thaw that we seem to get every year, and although there wasn't as much snow as usual, the ice looked clear and solid.

As always you can follow the action with updates, photos, rules, weather forecasts and archives of past years right here at the official Canoe Lake Ice-out website.

So, get your date before someone else does! You can submit it by e-mail to: iceout@canoelake.ca, and if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for the mailing list so you will be notified of important ice-out events, like, well, when the ice goes out ;-)"

I hope he doesn't mind, but the following picture (found on his site)