Take Time To Renew Your Spirit

Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense. This day is all that is good and fair. It is too dear, with its hopes and invitation, to waste a moment on yesterdays.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

early morning on Mexican Hat Lake, Woodland Caribou Park, Ontario


Civilization Isn’t That Civilized

Those of you who follow this blog will know that my family and I spent last week canoeing in the Woodland Caribou Provincial Park in northern Ontario’s boreal forest.  It seems that the world has done as well (or poorly) as usual without my daily posts here, and I confess to some reluctance about getting back into cyberspace. It’s a world which can very easily eat up the minutes in a day until minutes turn into hours which turn into whole days lost at my desk.

Life in the wilderness was physically challenging (we did a total of 55 portages over our seven days of canoeing) but spiritually refreshing. We canoed routes that had been traveled since time before memory by the First Peoples of this continent. We saw drawings they left behind, amazingly still visible on the rock face rising out of the lake. We saw turtles, otters, loons, kingfishers, moose, and even a bear. We gratefully ate fish that had been plucked from the lake an hour earlier.

Now we’re back, and headlines blare out about the intransigence in Washington, the stock market plunging, the Harper government slashing nearly 800 jobs at Environment Canada, devastating drought in Texas, riots in London, famine in the Horn of Africa, and the list goes on…

Civilization just doesn’t seem that civilized after a week in the wilderness. I don’t know the whole answer to how one stays sane and hopeful in an insane and often cruel world. But I do know that I just had the good fortune to spend a week canoeing in our beautiful Canadian wilderness, and I will cherish it. I think it might be that cherishing the people and experiences, even uncomfortable ones, in one’s life is part of the answer. Now I’m off to do just that.

Woodland Caribou Park, August 2011:


A Week Without Fossil Fuels

Woodland Caribou Provincial Park is a wilderness park located between Red Lake, Ontario and the Manitoba border. As Ontario’s 5th largest provincial park, covering 1.2 million acres (that’s 486,235 hectares) it offers over 1,600 kilometres of canoe routes over historic waterways. In Woodland Caribou, you can paddle the fur trade routes of the Hudson Bay and Northwest Companies, see ancient pictographs, and – if you are lucky – catch a glimpse of the caribou that give the park its name.

We are lucky enough to live in Red Lake, so Woodland Caribou is on our doorstep. This blog is going unattended for the next couple of days while we take a fossil-fuel free holiday in the amazing Canadian boreal forest. See you next week!


If you’d like to see more pictures from our 2010 Woodland Caribou adventure, go to Trippin’ With A TreeHugger.

More links:

Woodland Caribou Park – Where Nature Still Rules