Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Algonquin II: Adjusting

Once inside the park, everything goes silent and your mind adjusts to its new surroundings: there are no cars or people or any evidence of man except for the occasional campsite or portage sign.

It takes a while for the brain to adjust. But after a few hours, the normal pattern of random thoughts and idle chatter dissappears into a calm tranquility. Making noise seems almost unnatural as the blades of the canoe paddles slip into the water.

The Rollei, equipped with Ilford Delta 100 film, seems to be at home in this environment where modern cameras would run out of batteries or memory disk space.

I keep it in the canoe behind me in a padded bag, ready for action at a moments notice.

Although quite flat, the park area is favoured by nature with a chain of endless small lakes and rivers that are interconnected by portage routes. The ancient Algonquin Indians spent their summers in the area fishing and collecting seasonal fruits and berries.

Pine trees line the shores and lie above a thin layer of soil that separates them from the solid rock beneath.

Boulders are strewn everywhere, and we have to pay constant attention to avoid the many boulders that lie just beneath the surface.

Water lillies with beautiful flowers lie like jewels on the surface of the black water.

An ancient, twisted tree trunk lies in the shallows near on of our portages.


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