Travel Blog

Painting Painting and Travel in Canada

I was beginning to have my doubts of the validity and purpose of my trip to Canada. It is a long, long, drive to get to my timeshare place in Oro-Medonte, Canada from Westerly, RI.. On the way up to Canada, going through Toronto on the highways was a nightmare. Bigger and more sprawled out than NYC, if you can imagine that. After several hours North, I arrived at the timeshare.

  As usual, the timeshare itself was beautiful, and is located on a mountaintop near ski resorts and other tourist activities. My bathroom is as big as my living room, with a huge double jacuzzi in it. My condo is furnished beautifully, and the condo has the usual gorgeous swimming pool recreation facilities, and pristine grounds. However, that is not what I’m looking for in my Canada trip, although it is nice to come back to the condo after a day’s excursion. I use the timeshares as a home base, like the spoke of a wheel, with the timeshare in the center. From, there I venture out in all directions of the circle, hoping to find beauty and creative ideas.

  I was beginning to despair, as to what I wanted to find is true Canadian wilderness. South of me are busy highways, a multitude of big box stores of every variety.(Much bigger and more of them, than we have in the US!)  Candians love to shop.The many numerous lakes in the timeshare area have houses surrounding them, just like home.

  So, on one of my touring days, I decided to venture further north, about one hour away from the condo. Voila! I found true Canadian wilderness! Miles and miles of forests, Unbelievably numerous lakes, ponds, and streams, without a building on them. As I was traveling north up the Trans Canadian highway 400, there were a few small stores and a gas station at some of the exits. The exits had signs to various small villages off the highway, in between the “nothingness” of the area. Taking one of those exits to explore an area is a thousand times worse than Maine. I would highly recommend a GPS for the trip, because you will end up in the middle of nowhere when you stray from the highway.

  After arriving in the region of Muskoka, in the Georgian Bay area, which is in Lake Huron, I left the highway to find a village called Port Carlin. I had browsed the internet to look for possible interesting destinations. In the middle of nowhere, I came across Port Carlin. There I found a very charming village, famous for it’s lock system connecting several lakes into the water navigation routes of the area. Looking at my map, Port Carlin is located in the middle of thousands of lakes in the area. The town had cute little shops, such as galleries, health food juice bars, yoga center, boat building shops, a gift shop of native creations, and so on. It even had a shop with a sign that said “doctor’s office”! And to my surprise, it has a wonderful small museum on the history of the area. In it’s heyday, back in the 1800’s and early 1900’s, it was a getaway for people leaving the heat of the cities . It had quite a few large Victorian Hotels around the lakes in it’s day, some of them still there. The guests would arrive by steamer boats up through the lock system. 

  The museum was fascinating. It showed the early history of the native tribes, the early settlers of the area, up to the summer Victorian times. It had authentic native birch bark canoes, and hollowed out wooden canoes, and thousands of native artifacts. It also had many beautiful hand built, lake motor boats of it’s time. There were all types and styles of the early lake boats, including the fancy ones for the rich. It even had a room full of the very earliest outboard motors made at the time. There is a room with the clothing of the era, and even the toiletry items of the day. Also included were collections of the first telephones in the area, and the first phonographs, and so forth, remembering that this was truly a wilderness area back then. And there is also a room with the earliest hand cranked washing machines, and the first refrigerator, remembering there was no electricity back then. And lastly there is an original log cabin from the 1800’s filled with all the living necessities that the settlers used. You could also tour the grounds to see the lock system, still active. I was quite impressed with a little town in the middle of Canadian wilderness.

   After leaving the town, I continued a little more distance, headed north, and it became more and more of that remote wilderness again. While driving, I fully expected to have a Canadian trapper with a coon fur hat jump out at me, or to see a Indian traveling on a lake in his birch bark canoe!

  It would take a thousand lifetimes to be able to explore by boat all the waterways that are in the area. I wish I could driven even further north up to the vast Algonquin Provincial Park. But I’m restricted by time, and also personal safety in a place so remote. I also have used enough gas for this trip, and it’s a long way back home! Some day, it would be wonderful to be able to take a guided kayak or canoe trip in such wilderness.

  As for my creative time spent on this trip, my only painting is a small oil of the beautiful trillium flowers blooming everywhere on the forest floor. They are in white, pale pink, and intense pink. There are really neat things to paint up here, especially in the lake regions. Practical me, has to be careful of what I paint up here, to bring home to sell. Tourists in Westerly only want to buy coastal art. However, I’ve seen Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Ontario, and there’s very little difference in some of the water views up here. If one didn’t know the difference, it would seem you are looking out at the ocean, with no end in sight. There are beaches, seagulls, rocks, shells, driftwood, boats, etc.

  I’m on my way back home in a few days. I will be driving along Lake Ontario down into the Thousand Islands back into NY state. I wasn’t impressed with Lake Erie. The beaches were dirty, dead fish on them, and still polluted. The people that I talked to there, said they would never eat a fish caught out of that lake. With it’s history of industry and polluting the water in Buffalo, NY., I can see why. However Lake Huron, up north in the Canadian wilderness, seemed and looked quite pristine. I’m anxious to see how Lake Ontario will be, in regards to beauty and no pollution. 

  So that’s my story so far. I hope I haven’t bored everyone with my story.  I guess I have a need to explain to everyone why I have a need to travel on my endless road trips, and to tell my story of everything that I get to see on them!

  PS. I saw a dead bear on the highway!


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