Tag Archives: travel

Journey to find the Ultimate Outhouse

This week, the Weekly Photo Challenge is journey. I would like to take you on a journey… a journey to find the ultimate outhouse. This is an essential search when travelling to the northern parts of Canada, where towns are few and far between.

the endless highway... on and on and on.... not an outhouse in sight.

Sometimes the outhouse is out in the middle of a field with a small parking lot and nothing else around.  It seems all exposed and alone.

In the middle of nowhere

I wondered about the sign on the door.

WHAT?? Really? At what age can we leave them?

Do people tend to drive off leaving a child in the outhouse?

This cute little blue one was on a bit of a tilt. The bushes are growing around it. The door was left open. Is it safe? I was a little skeptical.

Is this safe to use? Maybe in a pinch. How desperate am I?

Some are doubles, Men on one side, Ladies on the other.

A family the pees together....

Is this an outhouse or and in-house? I suppose it was much preferred over going outside in the middle of a dark and cold night, but I would hate it in the morning.

I am glad I am living in the era of indoor plumbing.

Some Outhouses are super fancy, dressed up with plants and flowers, covered in vines. A treat for the weary and desperate traveler.

wonderful.. this outhouse is complete with flush toilets, a shower, laundry and books, if you are planning a longer visit.

Sometimes, there is a conveniently placed outhouse, but one has to wait for a turn. I waited and waited and waited and waited.

He looks a bit constipated... I wish he would hurry up.

After a long drive, searching for a sign, desperate for a rest stop, I was ready to give up and find a conveniently located bush when “what to my wondering eyes should appear”, but a cute little log outhouse nestled in the bush. I was so excited and about to be relieved.

Isn't this sweet.. a log outhouse...

I opened the door. Maybe…

I have waited so long... maybe...

Maybe not.

Absolutely NOT !!

It was time to find that bush.

A little way down the road..  I was caught.

outhouse relief.

I hope you enjoyed the journey. If you plan a trip to the far north, I can tell you that I have become an expert in finding relief behind a bush.

 

 

An Arctic Journey

The journey to the Arctic began at the Arctic Circle.

Crossing the Arctic Circle

The Dempster Highway starts in the Yukon, and continues into the Northwest Territories. We travelled for 734 km on the dirt highway, our destination: Inuvik.

We had to quickly shut the windows to protect us from the dust storm this transport truck kicked up.

The highway is built up above the permafrost. It is hard to see the steep drop on the side of the highway. We did not want to slide over the edge on this journey. I am glad there was not too much oncoming traffic.

The journey continued to the Mackenzie River. As we drove down the mountainside could see the community of Tsiigetchic as we descended to the river. There is no bridge. We had to catch the ferry.

The crew allowed us to climb up to the top deck, past the “no admittance” sign so that I could take some photos. I could not resist a photo of our very dirty van.

The ferry was not busy, they let us climb up to the "crew only" area

A great view of the approaching “dock”. The ferry simply runs up against the gravel, lowers the ramp and we drive on and off the ferry.

The road is built right to the edge of the river. The ferry is an extension of the Dempster Highway and is free.

We made it to the final leg of our journey to Inuvik , NWT Canada, home to the famous Igloo Church.

The Igloo Church in Inuvik

Through the Eye of the Needle.

My eyes were wide open. We drove so slowly along the winding, narrow road. We wanted to take in the beauty and wonder of the Needles Highway. Custer State Park is in the SW corner of South Dakota. This is a perfect place for this weeks challenge : Weekly Photo Challenge: Through  A brochure at a tourist center caught our attention. We knew we wanted to check this out and I am glad we did. The rock formations are unique. The highway is winds through the Black Hills.

The rock formations resembled needles

The highway is built on the edge of a cliff.

Approaching one of the tunnels

If you cannot go around it and you cannot go over it, you have to go through it.

Driving through the very narrow tunnel

The Highway has many spectacular sights yet the most famous is the Eye of the Needle. A rock formation formed by the power of the wind, the rain, the snow and ice. Mother Nature had fun making this famous spot.

We could see through the eye of the needle.

If you are ever in South Dakota, do not miss this short yet spectacular drive. Leave plenty of time. It is only 8 or so miles, but you will need lots of time because you will want to stop over and over.

What do Bears talk about?

“Bear watching” teaches us how bears interact in nature. We were in the beautiful Pukaskwa National Park of Canada on the shores of Lake Superior. It was in September of 2011. We stopped to photograph a couple of Black Bears.

The bear and her cub were just off the highway. We pulled over to snap a quick photo. They did not seem to mind the photo session and carried on as if we were not intruding on their day.

"Son, I know you are getting to be a big boy, but you still have to listen to your mother."

"Mamma, stop it, I am too big for the tickling game""

"did you hear something?"
"yes, son, I sense danger, run, go climb a tree."

" I found a tree, mamma."

"Higher, baby, climb higher... I know you are scared of heights but get over it and climb."

Sydney the Jumping Shepherd

It is Daylight Saving Time, the geese are returning home from their vacation and Sydney has a new spring in her step.

We put the leash on Sydney and walked to the lake to enjoy the sun.

The ice is melting in the creek.

The ice on Lake Simcoe is starting to melt.  All the fish huts have to be removed from the lake by March 15th, but I worry that it is already unsafe. There have already been a few ice rescues and sadly some tragedies.

help...the ice is sinking.

Luckily, it is not deep at this spot. Sydney was able to scramble out and shake off the icy water.

I found a stick.. please play with me.

Sydney loves to jump to grab the stick.

Sydney can jump high

She loves the game and will keep it up for a long time.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrast

For this weeks challenge, I thought I would post a few photos I took last summer while on an extended roadtrip. These photos emphasize a contrast in size.

The largest Dump Truck in the world

We crossed the border from Alberta into BC and arrived in a beautiful little town nestled in the Rocky Mountains, in the southeast corner of the province. Sparwood is a small coal mining town on the Elk River. They have lots of scenic hiking and mountain biking trails in the area and lots of opportunities to enjoy the water. You can spend your time either fishing, kayaking or canoeing in the Elk Valley. Sparwood is also home to the largest tandem-axle dump truck in the world! Built by General Motors of Canada, the 1974 Terex Titan – all 350 tonnes, 66 feet and 3,300 Horse Power of it – lives in Sparwood, Home of the Titan. Two Greyhound buses and 2 pickups can fit into the box!

These photos of the Titan show how small we are in contrast to this Monster truck. I am 5’6″ and my husband is 6’3″ tall, yet we are dwarfed beside the wheels of this dump truck.

Can the driver see me down here?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Distorted

Can you believe I took some distorted photos at the zoo? Sure, I got some of animals too. We took some of our grandchildren to the Toronto Zoo on Saturday. We had a great time. It was really windy and cold outside and hot and humid in the indoor exhibits. On one of the pathways through the woods, there is a giant convex mirror for the zoomobile to see around the corner. The children had fun looking at their distorted images.

A convex mirror reflects a distorted, but wider view.

The children enjoyed learning about snakes and especially about the Massassauga rattlesnakes that can be found in Ontario.

My husbands thermal image is displayed as he reads about how a snake would view him.

The children had fun looking at their own thermal images. When I saw the images, I thought of the Photo Challenge topic this week. Distorted. These images clearly show a distorted image of my husband and my grandson Jacob.

This little figure is six-year-old Jacob.

Remembering summer flowers amd unidentified bugs

It is still winter. We are expecting a wind storm tonight, with lots of rain. I hope it washes away the snow, but I would rather the sun do that. I wanted to post a few flowers to put me in the mood for better days, for the warm sunny summer days. I long for my garden to come to life. I want to get outside, to sit on the deck with the warmth of the sun kissing my face. I hope these few photos will touch your heart or warm you up in some way.

The busy bee, caught on a cosmos flower

I took this photo in Alaska of an unknown red bug on an Unidentified flower. Can anyone help me identify what either the bug or the flower is?

There were clumps of these silken seeds along the Dempster Highway in the North West Territories. They glistened in the sun.

Winter is for Ice Fishing

It has been a strangely warm winter here in southern Canada, many doubted if the lake would freeze enough for fishing, but the bay is finally frozen indeed. It was time for us to take another walk on the ice. Today we wanted to check out the fish huts.

The access to the lake is easy, just walk down the boat launch.

There was a lot of action on the lake, it was as if we all had to make up for lost time. Everyone was enjoying the day in their own way.

Trucks and snowmobiles flew across the ice.

Some were cross-country skiing with their very large dogs

I live on Lake Simcoe, which claims the title of “Ice-fishing Capital of Canada” some say “of the world”. I approached a hut.

Is anyone home?... I knocked on the door... no answer. I tried the door... it opened.

I opened the trap door to look into the fishing hole. There is a small stove for warmth, Sitting in the small hut patiently fishing can get pretty cold.

"what are you doing trespassing?" my husband asks.

I knocked on another door and these fisherpeople (politically correct) invited me in to watch as they fished. I waited a while but, no fish were biting. There are smart fish in Lake Simcoe.

Some people were enjoying the day by Ice-sailing. They have a parachute that takes them zooming on skis across the ice

It looks like so much fun... I think I want to try this out one day.

We walked back to shore. You can see how far out the huts are..

additional info added Feb 28:

The thickness of ice is always a concern. Every year, we lose vehicles and sadly some lives are lost as well because the ice is not always safe. The  DNR (Department of Natural Resources) measures the depth of the ice on a regular basis. There are regulations for the fish huts too. Each hut on the ice is numbered and must be removed by a certain date each year.

There is a thickness recommended for various activities:

*Less than 4 inches* � STAY OFF! There is no reason to test the newly formed ice at this time.

*4-6 Inches* � Ice fishing, foot travel in single-file lines, and small spaced seating on the ice should be safe, presuming the ice is clear and clean.

*6-10 Inches* � Snowmobiles and ATV�s can travel safely on good ice that is over inches thick.

*10-16 Inches* � Small cars and pick-ups can begin to venture on to the ice. However, the DNR states that it is best to avoid driving on the ice whenever possible.

*16+ Inches* � A medium-sized car or mid-size pickup can drive on good clear solid ice.

I hope you enjoyed a tour of Lake Simcoe in winter.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Indulge

I don’t usually indulge in food, not often anyway. The challenge came in and I wondered what do I indulge in? I have to say I do indulge in a trip now and then. Last summer, I indulged on an Alaskan Cruise. I went with my two sisters and two of my nieces. We sailed on a rather small cruise ship, the Volendam, with Holland America.

The Volendam

I have posted about parts of the cruise previously, including the rock climbing. The dinner after the rock climbing event was a formal dinner. I shared a room with Jennifer, the youngest in the family. As we dressed in our finery, we indulged in a glass of wine…

Just one glass.... honest.

With great fanfare, the waiters, complete with bakers hats, marched into the room waiving the napkins in the air. They swooped in and ceremoniously laid a napkin on every lap.

Napkin Parade

My sister Louise received her napkin with great fanfare.

We have a lot of fun with our server, He made us laugh and helped make the evening a lot of fun

The delicious meal ended with desert, a Baked Alaska. Another grand parade.

Ceremonial paraie through the dining hall with dessert.

The week long trip was a week of indulging. everything from wonderful food to massages and manicures as well as an opportunity to see part of the world that is magnificently beautiful with its glaciers and ice.