Thursday, June 26, 2008

Monday's post (on Thursday)

Yesterday we bid farewell Larry & Bonnie and drove to Madawaska Kanu Center, near Barry's Bay, where we'll be staying until Saturday. Bonnie sent us off with numerous goodies: scones, lemon bars, butter tarts, and the delicious vegetarian chili and cornbread dinner we were all to full to eat last night. (Somehow we found room for dessert, however.)

Tragically, Bonnie made too many scones, so we had to take half a dozen of them with us. Life is hard.

As we drove, we read about this area in the “Ontario Nature Guide” by Krista Kagume (Lone Pine Press). We passed huge stretches of open land – a striking contrast to the drive from Chicago to Maryland -- and were struck by the expansive view of the sky, the glimpses of wildlife, and the overall beauty of the environment. We learned that this area is part of the “mixed forest,” one of five ecoregions in Ontario. Below the boreal forest, the transitional mixed forest lies at the lower edge of the Canadian shield and features a mix of deciduous and coniferous trees and abundant wildlife and plant species. Yesterday morning we heard bullfrogs twanging in the reeds and saw red-winged blackbirds flying overhead. We've fed numerous mosquitoes, 55 species of which are found in Ontario.

Turtle crossing.

By the time we reached Barry's Bay, it was pouring. We took the opportunity to shop for maps and food before driving the final 15 kilometers to Madawaska. We weren't excited about pitching our tent on a wet site, but as it turned out, no rain had fallen that short distance away. We ate our chili and cornbread (thank you, Bonnie!), settled in and scoped out our internet access for the coming week. There isn't any at Madawaska, a situation we're ambivalent about. Sure, we'd like to continue posting daily and reading email, but there's also something to be said for only being in the place you are for the time that you're there. Lack of internet access will certainly enhance that feeling. (We'll post whenever we visit Barry's Bay.)

Home sweet home: Our camping spot at Madawaska Kanu Center.

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