Ontario north woods – fully completely

We left the Great Plains behind, (good song here) sad about that, nodded at the 100th meridian, and continued east (most of those nineteenth century settler wagons went the other way – ever the contrarians our wagon is a Tacoma – many horses carrying our camp kitchen loaded with various tinned and dried goods…) aiming for Ontario and the north woods. A land of lakes and trees. And lakes and trees. And lakes and trees.

Lakes and trees? Probably going the right way…(photo by Mrs PC)

For this stage of our trip, the cool and groovy mixtape DJ had spent ages curating an appropriate track list. Or he just downloaded a comprehensive Tragically Hip essentials playlist from Apple. Forget the details, it worked and that’s the main thing.

The wagon. Parked under trees. Near a lake.

The best Ontario driving day for me on this trip – and there were many days as Ontario is quite large – was the stretch east of Thunder Bay to Kapuskasing. Rolling hills covered with trees, lakes every three seconds, and if there wasn’t a lake, then a river or wetland, glimpsed through the trees. The entire day was one beautiful sight after another. The roads were pretty good, better than I’d expected, mostly empty and that made for a great drive. Gosh, that lake was pretty! Through the next bend and surprise, gosh this lake is pretty. And so on. Loved it! All in for this patch of Canada. Fully Completely.

Lakeside stop. Time to rest the horses, and water the livestock.
“Did you just call me livestock?!” Offended face.

If not for the destination further east in mind, we might have been tempted to slow down and hang out for longer in the Ontario north woods. We’re already planning some camping trips for another time – it really was spectacular country!

Near Kapuskasing, not long after sunrise

The road is calling, so we’ll leave it here – or back there, in lovely northern Ontario, with Gord and the boys on the radio. Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Another lake (photo by Mrs PC)
Picnic spot

Prairie songs

Prairies or plains, plains or prairies? It doesn’t really matter – either way, they’re great! Well, that’s what I think…

We were driving through Alberta (Alberta Bound – Paul Brandt) and Saskatchewan last week, enjoying the delights, much missed in recent years, of a road trip.

Our destination for the journey was beyond the Great Plains, and when friends heard about our trip, a few muttered something about how the days can drag traveling through the boring middle western provinces. You know, there’s nothing to see out there.

🎵Ian Tyson sang a lonesome lullaby🎵

Drag? Nothing? Huh?! I respectfully disagree! On this trip, once we passed Calgary and the smoke from wildfires north of the trans-Canada corridor – hope that they get big rain and less windy days soon – we enjoyed bright sunshine and big blue skies. A drag? Nothing to see? Um, where to begin? How about the rolling green and gold hills?

Blue, green and gold – the interesting nothing! (Photo by Mrs PC)

Or the sight and sounds of a train rumbling and clanking, parallel to the road?

Train, train…(photo by Mrs. PC)

Then there are hawks above, geese at eye level, and water fowl on the ponds – a drag? The sparkling ponds and newly green early spring trees? Dreary?!

From a parking lot (probably a Tim’s, somewhere in SK) I did clean the windshield soon after

What about seeing horse paddocks and corrals, mighty farm machinery, and the intricate wrought metal ranch gates? I’m always thrilled by the older style grain elevators, and the newer vast – perhaps not beautiful but certainly impressive – modern equivalents. Empty space?!

A splendid sight (taken on a different trip)

Empty? Ok, then how about the joy of an empty open road in front of you, stretching into the distance? For me, this is a road trip prize to savour when it happens, and it often happens on the prairies.

Damn traffic (photo by Mrs. PC. Cuss words all my own)

So, if the prairies are a bore, something dull and simply to be endured as you pass though, then colour me dreary, because I love the plains. It helps when you can fuel up at Tim’s (dark roast, always the dark roast) and Ian Tyson or Paul Brandt are doing their thing on the radio. Oh, ok, not the radio – on the road trip mixtape that some nerd might have thrown together before leaving. Can I say mixtape when it’s an Apple playlist? I think so. (Navajo Rug – Ian Tyson) Great songs for the Great Plains!

Always the dark roast. And maybe some TimBits.

So there we are or there we were. I love the coast, I love the mountains, and yes, I love the prairies!

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Traffic again?! (I did clean the windshield earlier, honest!) Photo by Mrs PC.

Harbouring thoughts of spring…

It’s not always(!) sunny here, but when it isn’t, you can still find spots of colour and brightness, particularly when searching for spring near the harbour.

Bright enough, but what about the pink tree?!

Scout and I remembered we hadn’t visited “the pink tree” yet this spring, often because we’d been distracted by the beach and/or a sunny deck on recent bright days.

Logged out and distracted

We decided to put that right, hoping we hadn’t left it too late to see the tree in full glory…

Pops of orange, but not what we’re looking for

There was no need to worry, and although the morning wasn’t bright, the display more than made up for it – what a sensory delight!

Spring splendour

Let’s keep it short yet bright, like blossom on a spring day… or something… Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

It’s not a competition, but the daffodils weren’t too happy…

May ok!

What a relief to be off to a sunny May start! We’ve fingers crossed the sunshine will continue, if not every day, then for more than we enjoyed in April. Like the hockey playoffs or the end of a Premier League season, it’s the hope that kills you…

May Day morning sunshine on the inner harbour

I’ll keep it brief this week, and with a hopeful spirit, signing off with a few images from our hikes in a mostly bright May month so far. May ok!

May Day afternoon sunshine at our favourite cove

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Sunshine in the forest!
We are May ok!

Not raining

Definitely on a creative streak with these post headings recently. Looking forward to “Actually sunny” for next week. Can’t be entirely sure that’s going to happen, as the forecast – and much anticipated – long spells of sunshine due at the start of the current week have been somewhat late arriving.

“I can see my shadow, so there’s some sun, yes?”

At the time of writing – Wednesday afternoon – we’re in more of a grey skies and feeling the potential for some warmth instead of bright sunshine sort of a pattern. Hints of brightness and a couple of brief sunny spells, but less than the forecast indicated. You should see my pouty face.

Some sun? Almost…

Still, almost sunny and not quite raining are both improvements on the cold and damp spring we’ve enjoyed to date, so we’re optimistic that the extended warmth and sunshine forecast for Friday and Saturday arrives on time!

Getting there…

If not, I’d recommend not reading this next week as there is likely to be something of a toddler tantrum. I’ll enjoy my tantrum – who doesn’t revel in their own childishness from time to time? – but it’s best avoided by everyone else. Ignore him, just attention seeking…


Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

“Shall we sit here and wait for the sun?” “Sure!”

Stop the press! What’s this? Thursday morning – actually sunny? Why, yes!

Tantrum averted


Scout and I decided to wait for a break in the rain before heading out. After three or four days, we gave up on waiting and off we went. It was raining.

We enjoyed the rainy view across the inner harbour:

Rainy view

Can we get a close up on that, confirm the rain?


Then we went to look out across the inlet to Hitacu. Scout was distracted by the mirror dog following her every move:

“You following me?”

It was still raining, giving the place a glistening and spruced up look:


We thought we saw something pop up to say “hi” but missed it. We waited, but I think they decided it was drier beneath the surface…

Damp up top!

When we turned for home it started to rain even more heavily. Really?!


When the hail started, even though we were very close to home, Scout insisted we take shelter and wait for it to ease up before continuing:

It’s now several days later – we’re probably still under this tree…

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend! (What was that? Our weekend forecast for here? More rain!)

An extra helping of greens?

If you’d asked me that at school, an offer at one of the delicious late 1970s school dinners I enjoyed, I might have said (politely, of course) no thank you. I’d have been thinking “that’s not green, it’s more grey in colour…” but wouldn’t have said so out loud.


Anyway, as we’ve been enjoying more greys and rains than bright days – Thursday being a welcome exception – I thought I’d keep it brief this week, a healthy snack and offering of extra greens to follow on from last week. Better that, blogging wise, than the equivalent plateful of lukewarm creamed potatoes, questionable mince and colourless vegetables. Oh, and spotted dick. Google that last one, I dare you. Did we snigger? 10 year olds? Of course we did.

“Green? Yes, but somewhat muted don’t you think?”

I think on that dubious note, it’s best we leave it here, and hope for brighter days and more wholesome inspiration in time for next week. Spotted dick. Tee hee…

“No, I’m not listening – not until you grow up!”

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

That bright day mentioned earlier

Spring greens and a not too shaggy dog tale

I knew I shouldn’t have been too excited about spring appearing last week – since then, we’ve had a couple of cold and dry days, and now we’re in the middle of a rainy stretch, one where we’ll far exceed the expected monthly rainfall long before April reaches the midpoint. Oh well, it’ll keep everything green!

Taken at the start of the week

The other day Scout and I hit the nearby beach at low tide and we enjoyed the greenery revealed, some welcome brightness on a generally overcast/rainy morning. The chill seemed to have deterred other walkers and we had the place to ourselves, aside from the crows and eagles. And everything else I didn’t spot.

Low tide

Crows! Now, aren’t they clever birds? Scout was desperate for a spa day on one of the cold yet sunny mornings, and with a little time on my (poorly manicured) hands, I was happy to oblige. To get going, I warmed up by trimming my beard, and then… nope, that was it for me. Scout’s turn. Soft brush, then hard brush to remove the shedding hair and undercoat of shedding hair. Although Scout is a shedding dog, we’re fortunate she only sheds once a year, and that her shedding season only lasts twelve months. She sheds at least five times her own body weight in hair each year.

Spring greens

What has this to do with crows or spring greens? Getting there, but don’t feel you have to stick around for this one – an un-shaggy dog tale…

Is this one about me? I’ll stick around…

A couple of crows were watching from the spring green branches hanging over our yard. Given the tremendous excitement a PlaidCamper spa day can generate, who could blame them for wanting to get closer? They hopped across to the little fence screening our yard, clearly excited. Scout has long ago learned to ignore the tricky ways of crows and their cousins, having too often been made to look foolish when she makes a friendly approach, only for the crow to hop back just out of leash range. And anyway, she was totally blissed out from the pampering to care about the crows.


We wound up the activities, avoiding the need to take before and after selfies for the Insta. I know, and so sorry to disappoint, but trust me, there wasn’t really a discernible difference. As we opened the back door, a crow cawed behind me and flew down from the fence to pick up a clump of dog hair. Away it flew into the forest. Scout shepherded me indoors, and when I turned back, down came the crow again for another clump. I didn’t clear up the rest of the hair – laziness, or curiosity about the crows? You decide…

By the following morning, all dog hair was gone. I like to think there is a happy crow couple out there enjoying their newly insulated space, yet looking at each other wondering if perhaps it smells slightly doggy and do you need a bath dear?

Spa day? Me? Please, for the love of dog, spare me!

Scout continues to look good, professionally groomed or not, and she continues with shedding season, so please don’t look too closely at our rugs. I’m thinking about getting in touch with the crows, see if they’d like to come inside, help themselves to all the dog hair they can carry?


Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful long weekend!

Bits and bobs…

…bobbing along! Quite happy that spring hasn’t entirely abandoned us – to be honest, we’ve had more bright and sunny days than not the past week or two, although it’s grey and likely to rain today and through the weekend.

Spring?! I’m all ears…

We’ve enjoyed the bright mornings that developed into positively warm afternoons, with more and more signs of spring popping out. A lone daffodil, the little brown birds peeping and peeping out from the hedges, frisky bald eagles chasing and challenging up above.


The harbours have been busier, with more boats and kayaks appearing each day as the town prepares to get livelier as the days grow more hospitable.


We were looking across to Hitacu yesterday morning, and I’d just said to Scout how we hadn’t seen a seal for a while when up one popped to say hello. It circled the same patch of water where the calm harbour transitions into the slightly choppier inlet waters, bobbing up and diving down until we lost sight of it. Probably something tasty below the surface. Fun to see, and I managed a great photo:

Seal of approval

I tried taking a carefully composed shot of the new greenery promising to emerge, but Scout had other ideas as to what passes for excitement and the results I’ve shared speak to that. She’s right, and I’ll wait until there’s more colourful blossom and a day when she’s on a longer leash…

Budding photographer

So there we are, happy enough to be bobbing along through the springtime splendour. These little chaps below appeared quite content, hanging around for a less than perfect photo:

Wait a minute, I’ll try again
Oh… Another time?

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Spring Break (free range)

Finally, after many false starts and disagreements, the calendar and weather decided to align and reach a decision – spring!


To check it was really so, we went down to Combers Beach for an earlyish walk, so Scout could run a few mad beach circles on near empty sands, and we could enjoy a second cup and feel the warm sunshine.

Through here to the beach

Combers is often a windswept space, but we could tell from the still treetops in the forest fringe that the morning was a calm one.

Warm your bones…

What a delight to be able to shed off a few late winter blues, let the shoulders drop and breathe in the new season.

On your marks…

There were a few families turning up to enjoy a coastal spring break, and we enjoyed watching one winter-wrapped family of four gradually peel off the unnecessary outer layers as the sun gently warmed them up.

The two children, no more than six or seven years old, were almost beside themselves with excitement at being on the beach. They beach combed and splashed and laughed their way up and down the sands, checking out the logs and streams. Playground or classroom? Both! Free range, a spring without end? (Slightly obscure music reference) Totally taken with where they were and what they were doing – wonderful to see!

Be gone, clouds!

We’ve fingers crossed that the last of the late winter weather is behind us, and we’re looking forward to more spring!

A decent direction

Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful weekend!