Monday, 31 December 2012

California (Trip # 8) December 2012

Spent a few days exploring state parks on the drive from San Francisco to Fresno where we are spending Christmas.

California coastline view south of San Francisco.

Warning sign on a roadside restroom.

Banana slug in Butano State Park.

Ensatina in Butano State Park.

Shorebirds on Pacific coast of Año Nuevo SP.

Silver dollar seashell at Año Nuevo SP.

Peacock at Casa de Fruta along Pacheco Pass Highway near Gilroy.

Trail through the foothills of Pacheco State Park near Los Banos.

Elk in the distance at Pacheco SP.

Wind turbine at Pacheco SP - not sure what the fuss is about them in Ontario!

Barn on the way in to Fresno.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Fort Walton Beach, FL (Trip # 7) November 2012

First time I have ever been to Florida!  Looking forward to escaping what I think is the worst month of the year in southern Ontario - days are getting shorter, cool, rainy, and little sunlight.  Driving down through Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee and Georgia to the Florida panhandle.  Renting a 1st floor condo, right on the beach.  Doggie daycare and dog park nearby. and lots to - kayaking, biking, hiking, outlet mall, beachcombing, even our first senior discount at the movies!

Again, too many pictures to post here, so a short youtube video with music at the link below:

Dolphin sighting while kayaking along Intercoastal Waterway near Peach Creek.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Great Smokey Mountains NP, TN (Trip # 6) October 2012

Signed up for a weekend fungus identification field course in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee, so made it a two week trip.  Drove down through Ohio and stopped at Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky before heading over to Tennessee (I see why they call it the Smokey Mountains - damp, rainy, and foggy).  On our way back we stopped off to travel the catwalk under the New River Gorge Bridge in West Virginia.

Too many pictures to post here, so have posted a youtube video (with music):

The Great Smokey Mountains.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Adirondack SP, NY (Trip # 5) September 2012

The first back-to-school camping trip, when the campgrounds clear out after Labour Day.  Wanted to go somewhere close to home, but out-of-province.  Adirondack SP is the largest park in the lower 48 states (6 million acres).  ( )

View from hiking trail at Wellesley Island State Park, NY, near Thousand Islands International Bridge, between Ontario and New York.  Stayed here for two nights so the drive into the Adirondacks was short.

View from our campsite on the shore of Lake Eaton in Adirondack State Park.

Wild turkeys along roadside in Adirondack SP.

Waterfalls in Adirondack SP.

Morning mist on Lake Eaton.

Mystery fungi along hiking trail in Adirondack SP.

Evening view of Brockville, ON from campsite in Jacques Cartier SP, NY on our way back home.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Robert H. Treman State Park, NY (Trip # 4) August 2012

Short trip to the Finger Lakes district near Ithaca, mainly to eat at the Moosewood Restaurant (of the vegetarian cookbook fame).  Food was amazing, weather was great for late August, and the kayaking on two of the smaller glacial lakes was fun.

I have included a few pictures from 2 other pre-retirement trips we took to the Finger Lakes - one in the summer to see Watkins Glen ( ) and to take a glass-blowing class at the Corning Glass Museum ( ), and the other for Canadian Thanksgiving where we stayed in a cabin at a winery ( ).  Ate at Moosewood both times - the menu changes daily.


Taughannock Falls State Park, Ithaca ( ).

Upper Falls at Taughannock Falls State Park.

Gorge Trail in Taughannock Falls State Park.

Watkins Glen State Park along Gorge Trail.

Watkins Glen State Park along Gorge Trail.


Preparing for glider lift-off above fall colours at Harris Hill Soaring Center over the Chemung River Valley ( ).

Buttermilk Falls State Park, Near Ithaca ( ).

Buttermilk Falls State Park, near Ithaca.


Boat Launch at Cayuta Lake on a bright warm morning.


Deer at park near Whitney Point Lake, east of Ithaca.

Heron at Whitney Point Lake.

Robert H. Treman State Park ( ).

Robert H. Treman State Park, near Ithaca.


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Tygart Lake State Park, WVa (Trip # 3) August 2012

A long 1 day drive from Stouffville, this park is south of Morgantown, WVa.  The last couple of years, I always wanted to see West Virginia - it did not disappoint!  Not a lot of people here in the park this year as a drought forced them to remove the marina.  Shortly thereafter, the water levels returned.  This was a 10 day trip. ( )

Tygart Lake from shoreline.

Mystery fungus.

Another mystery fungus.

All by ourselves.

Another gourmet camp meal.

Just before she took off on us, hunting deer.  It took about 15 minutes before she finally wandered back - hot, tired and thirsty.  Boy, there are a lot of deer here!

I was banned from going on the dam tour, as all foreign nationals must undergo an FBI background check 30 days in advance.  Damn!  Since our dog is from Ohio, I'm sure she would have been fine.

Calm morning on the lake.

Side trip to Valley Falls State Park ( ).

Friday, 27 July 2012

Grundy Lake PP, ON (Trip # 2) July 2012

 Second camping trip (another 4 day excursion), this time with the dog.  North of Parry Sound, 5 separate lakes in the park, just for kayaking and canoeing (no motor boats allowed) ( ).

Paddling on Grundy Lake.

More gourment campsite meals.

Clam digging at the dog beach.

Friday, 13 July 2012

Silent Lake Provincial Park, ON (Trip # 1) July 2012

Our first retirement trip, 4 days of camping near Bancroft with the new popup tent trailer at Silent Lake PP ( ).

The boat launch on Silent Lake.

Paddling in the morning mist.


Pickerel weed against the Canadian Shield.

Smooth as glass.

Loon on the water.

Rocky island.

Gourmet cooking at the campsite.

The new home on wheels.

End of a long day.