Monday, 30 December 2013

California Christmas (Trip # 18) December 2013

Two weeks in sunny California - daytime temps in the 60's!  Missed the big ice storm of 2013 back in southern Ontario.  Lost part of one of our trees in the back yard, but much worse elsewhere, including power outages over Christmas in sub-zero temps.

Went to a couple of parks near Monterey (Point Lobos State Reserve)

and Big Sur (Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park) (where there was a major forest fire along Highway 1)

before heading over to the family get together for Christmas (this is Olivia).


Then travelled to Lodi (Woodbridge Ecological Reserve) to see the sandhill cranes ,



 Half Moon Bay (Fitzgerald Nature Reserve) to search the tidal pools,


the Coastal Trail in San Francisco (to see the Golden Gate Bridge from the ocean side),


and Point Reyes National Seashore (to see the Thule elk) afterward,


before flying back home to frigid Ontario.

So many pictures, so I put them together as a Youtube video:

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Fort Walton Beach, FL (Trip # 17) November 2013

2nd year in a row renting the same condo on the beach facing the Gulf of Mexico for the month of November.  This time it felt like coming home (without the responsibilities of ownership).  A bit cooler than last year, but better than what everyone was facing back home in Canada!

A sand sculpturer was making this "snowman" on the beach for a family portrait for Christmas.

On our drive down to FWB, we stopped in to Charleston, South Carolina to visit a friend we met on the Road Scholar Utah trip.  What a beautiful city!


The pineapple fountain in Waterfront Park symbolizes the welcoming hospitality the city is known for.

Again, there are too many pictures to post here for the month in the south, so I have uploaded them (with music) to:


Saturday, 12 October 2013

Utah 2013 (Trip # 16) Sept/Oct 2013

Just returned from a 10 day bus tour of the parks of southern Utah with Road Scholar.  The focus was on the geology of the formations found in the Colorado Plateau.

* Snow Canyon State Park
* Zion National Park
* Bryce Canyon National Park
* Grand Staircase
* Anasazi State Park
* Capitol Reef National Park
* John Wesley Powell Museum
* Dead Horse Point State Park
* Canyonlands National Park
* Arches National Park
* Edge of the Cedars Museum
* Monument Valley
* Rainbow Bridge National Monument via Lake Powell
* Antelope Canyon (Grand Canyon cancelled due to Federal Government shutdown)
* Valley of Fire State Park (on our own)

We have too many pics to post here, so you can see the pics in a 5 minute video on youtube .

Valley of Fire State Park, NV, northeast of Las Vegas.

Monday, 16 September 2013

Ontario's West Coast - Sept 2013 (Trip # 15) Sept 2013

The back to school trip up the Ontario coast of Lake Huron from Sarnia to the Bruce Peninsula.  Camped in 3 Provincial Parks:

* Pinery Provincial Park
* Point Farms Provincial Park
* Sauble Falls Provincial Park

Loved the sunsets, dog beaches and the flatwater river kayaking.

Here are a few pics from Pinery PP near Grand Bend, ON.

Sunset over Lake Huron.

Heron along Old Ausable Channel.

  Insect damage on a log.

Catching a few rays of afternoon sun.

Next are pics from Point Farms PP, near Goderich, ON.

Turkey tail fungi on a log.

Goldenrod in the fields of the old Victorian resort.

Clam digging along the Lake Huron shoreline.

Salt-laden freighter leaving the Sifto plant in Goderich.

Here are a few pics from Sauble Falls PP and the Bruce Peninsula.


Wingfield Basin on the east side of the Bruce Peninsula, near the Cabot Head lighthouse (where you can stay for a week as an assistant lighthouse keeper!).

Paddling on the Sauble River.

Sauble Falls in the provincial park.

Cardinal flower along the Rankin River.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Jordan Harbour, ON (Day Trip) August 2013

Always wanted to explore this area by kayak.  Can be seen driving by on the QEW on the way to Niagara, but never able to figure out where to launch.  Recently opened conservation area has non-motorized boat launch and canoe/kayak rentals.  Short drive from home - nice way to spend a sunny day!

Juvenile green heron on shore.

A replica of the Grande Hermine, shipwrecked on the Lake Ontario side of harbour.

Heron fluffing it's feathers.

Beats commuting to work!  Paddling under GO Train bridge.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Byng Island Conservation Area, ON (Trip # 14) July 2013

Located on the Grand River across from Dunnville, just north of where the Grand opens into Lake Erie.  Nice campground and easy access to the river for kayaking.

Morning paddle on the Grand River.

Nest of young swallows under bridge over Grand River.

Paddling in the bulrushes along the Grand River.

Cycling by a field along the Trans-Canada Trail.

Purple monarda along Trans-Canada trail.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Arrowhead PP, ON (Trip # 13) July 2013

Nice little park just north of Huntsville, on the western border of Algonquin PP.  Only a couple of hours drive from home.  No black flies but still mosquito season.  Had the dog with us so took turns going out in the kayaks.

View of forming Ox Bow in the Big East River from Big Bend Lookout.

Paddling on the Little East River.

Moose cow foraging on the Little East River.

Summer wildflowers along the roadside.