Archive for the ‘muskoka’ Category

Great Muskoka Paddling Experience 2013

October 13, 2013

The Little Guy and I were fortunate to get to Bracebridge for the first part of the Thanksgiving weekend.  We met friends and did the Family Paddle event in the Great Muskoka Paddling Experience.  On Friday, we borrowed a canoe from some friends and  tried it out on the North Branch of the Muskoka River near Wilson’s Falls.DSC09620 b

Here are the Falls in question.

DSC09615 Stitch b

On Saturday, we went to Annie William’s Park for the paddling.  You can see that it was not just any canoe but a Langford 16′ Cedar Strip, made in Bracebridge, beautiful and a joy to paddle.  Many complemented the boat and I felt compelled to admit that I had only borrowed it.DSC09627 bThe colors were good during the paddle, and the trip in general – but I don’t think they have peaked yet.  This striking tree was opposite the Riverside Inn and where the North and South branches of the Muskoka meet.DSC09630 bI was impressed by the variety of vessels competing.  First up below is what I consider a sprint canoe, a very modern version of what I once competed with for Akomak Sprint Canoe Club.  OUr races were up to 500m and I really can’t imagine going 10 or more kilometers in one.DSC09629 DSC09628 b SUPs were common and another craft I would not want to race long distances in.DSC09626My friend Glen is in this boat and, as of October 13, 2013, the one used in the promotional materials here.DSC09624 b I really can’t say what kind of boat this is.  I am especially intrigued by the high stern seat.DSC09622 A few leading members of the 10km race passing our vantage point.DSC09621

I would never have finished it, but I wish I had seen this race, also on the Muskoka River.

Added later:  Results -for the actual races, not the ‘family paddle’ I was involved in, are now up.

Provincial Park Image of the Day: Queen Elizabeth II Wildlands

April 10, 2013

This one is in my backyard and I had never heard of it until looking for photos for this blog.  It looks like a very canoe-friendly park and I hope to see in person.

This image is from Wikimedia:

Ontario Parks


The park is a local high point.

A video made by canoeists in the park


Prov Park Image of the day: Massasauga

April 5, 2013

I’ve skirted the park boundaries a few times as some family members have a cottage nearby.  Well, I skirted what would become the borders; this park is only a few years old. I should warn readers that I work to pick beautiful pictures from each park, ones I feel display something unique about it.  I add the warning because something not at all unique, but still surprising, was the number of photos of people in mosquito nets.  Be warned!

Today’s photo is from Terry McDonald, who’s flickr stream is here.  He (?) entered the park in Muskoka District which I found interesting as, even though I lived in Muskoka for thirty years, I didn’t pay much attention to its Georgian Bay coastline.

Shield Rock Shoreline, Massasauga Provincial Park, Ontario


Ontario Parks

Trip Advisor

Youtube Video


Jack’s account at Ontario Nature blog

Adrienne Montgomery’s account at GORP






Arrowhead Provincial Park and more (Second week in Canada)

February 21, 2013

Feb 11 to 15 was TLG’s first (and only, as yet) full week of school as his first and third weeks both had snow days.  He has settled into school and enjoys it.

We are still working on finding food for him and getting him to try new foods.  He likes ham sandwiches and peanut butter sandwiches and has eaten great amounts at supper but we can’t find much in the way of fruit that he will eat.

The weather has continued interesting with bitter cold followed by thaws, driving snows followed by rain.  Indeed, this week (really our third) there have been two snow days with the latter one entirely justified but the former a poor example of prediction.  The house quickly becomes cramped and boring for a seven year old so he prefers to go to school, nearly as close as the one in Korea and less than ten minutes on foot away.

Penetanguishene’s Winterama was on the weekend and we watched the parade Friday night.  The parade was short as many school teacher unions are recommending against participating in after-school events.  Also, some schools had problems with the theme “The War of 1812”.  In watching the parade, I saw a lot of references to local history but none specific to our War of Kicking US Butt.  I do understand, in a general way, that we shouldn’t glorify war but it is also local (European, and so recorded) history and this region has more of that than much of Ontario.

Anyway, we enjoyed the carnival Saturday morning and TLG saw his first bit of hockey.  Although I am thoroughly Canadian, I was too uncoordinated to enjoy playing the game and so never pushed the sport on him.  I did enjoy the camaraderie and sportsmanship I saw on Saturday, but TLG was non-committal.  He rode a pony, a hay-wagon and a snowmobile and we watched some of the “polar plunge”.  I think the Busan Polar Bear Swim has spoiled me for lesser events.

That afternoon, we went to Bracebridge and visited with friends.

On Sunday, we went to Arrowhead Provincial Park to skate and tube. Good times but would have been great -and still well below freezing – if it had been ten degrees warmer.

We also swam at the fantastic Bracebridge pool, enjoying a slide, a full size pool, a kids pool and warm-tub.

Monday was “Family Day”, a new holiday that allowed us to spend more time with my Bracebridge friends.  We tobogganed at Kerr Park in Bracebridge and loved it although I had a bad landing and really felt it the next day.

Tuesday and Wednesday (today) are snow days here.  Yesterday threatened freezing rain but was only warm and dry.  Today, there is a lot of blowing snow.  I like it.

Athletic fundraisers in Muskoka that I am missing.

September 28, 2011

I have participated in several ‘marathons’ – in Korea, that is any distance beyond five kilometres – and have found my training improves as I prepare for them.  A few years back, I carefully, but relentlessly piled on the kms in preparation for a Terry Fox run in Seoul only to find it cancelled*.  The week before I learned of the cancellation, I ran more about thirty km.  The week after, about five km.

There were two events in Muskoka that I wish I could have been home for.  The Terry Fox run was ten days ago and a ‘Ride For Refuge‘ occurred last weekend.  I agree with the motivations for these events, but would probably have joined either one for the athletics alone.  The “Ride for Refuge” helps various charities that bring aid to impoverished regions in Africa.

There were two strange things about the write up for the Ride for Refuge that I want to touch on.  First, the opening to the article tells us that cyclists will be “putting their pedals to the metal”.  I wonder how precisely they do that?  Like the write-ups for the swim team that seemed required to include “made a splash”, “making waves”, “Dive in to competition”, or, I don’t know, some reference to “wet behind the ears”, this is a valueless cliche and unlike those latter ones, the ‘pedal-metal’ isn’t even a bit fitting.

Secondly, one featured charity, Listen to Learn, will “bring Bible resources via mp3 players to impoverished regions of Africa”.  ‘Feeding the homeless’ or ‘housing the hungry’ would be far better than supplying bible resources via mp3 players.

I imagine “Hello to the people of drought-stricken Malawi.  I heard that someone in this country has supplied a little electricity for his town (1, 2).  I propose you use it to recharge our mp3 players so you can listen to stories that will not fill your belly nor put a roof overhead.  You’re welcome!”

As I wrote in the previous post, I do enjoy Christian and religious culture, but think the poor in Africa would prefer food first.  Then they would feel more inclined to listen to the MP3s.


* I do understand why the people in Seoul cancelled the Terry Fox Run.  The run is far less well-known here and the requirements the Canadian leadership made regarding safety and insurance were overly costly.


Not Really Related:

The Gravenhurst Town Council is working to provide various non-profit organizations free meeting rooms.  I approve.

Note to Mr. Wilson: stay home

April 9, 2010

In my hometown’s weekly newspaper, a summer-resident or cottager is upset that some people don’t like cottagers.

My hometown has around 15,000 residents through the winter and 150,000 in the summer.  These summer-residents do pay taxes that help run our town, but they also vote for things that affect them to the detriment of year-long residents.  I didn’t live in town as an adult for long enough to have a strong opinion of the cottagers, but i do recall cottagers voted  for an official who would prevent a new resort from opening up, thus denying locals a new source of jobs.

Even if I were strongly in the pro-cottager camp (I am, in fact, a fence-sitter), I wouldn’t be too upset about free speech.  If Mr Wilson wants everyone to publicly agree on everything, he should move to the very rural country just north of the one I currently live in.



Members of the Muskoka Lakes Association are upset about the early closure of the locks in Port Carling.  They will close at midnight, remain open 24 hours.

The decision, made this March, has upset many, according to Lake Rosseau cottager and Muskoka Lakes Association board member Phil Harding.

“People are coming to the cottage now and … welcome again to the way the district and the township do things. They make all the changes when no one is here to hear about it,” said Harding.

The small lock used to be open 24 hours a day. Now it will close at 8 p.m. during the peak season. The large lock will be open longer hours to compensate, but cottagers will be stranded if they want to use the locks past midnight on the weekend. The locks opened on April 15.

The change in hours comes after the small lock began to malfunction and was out of operation at times beginning in the fall of 2008 and in 2009.

My favorite part is “They make all the changes when no one is here to hear about it”.  Yes, there were people around to hear about it.  The people who actually live there, you pompous ass!

Local people, people who may need the locks to work, need the locks to function consistently.  Should the locks be used 24 hours a day and break down, who would Harding blame then?