Saturday, October 13, 2007

Algonquin 2007: Yashica Shots

This year we decided to explore the bottom section of the park . We chose a route that would take us far from most day trippers into the 'low maintenance' section for most of the journey. 'Low maintenance' means no fancy campsites and more primitive outhouse features so less city slickers. This was a definite plus for us. Minus was the backbreaking multi kilometer portages that were the price to pay for the solitude. I had to go to several sessions of physiotherapy upon my return to recover from the crick in my back.

I used the Yashica mainly as a documentary camera to capture moments during the long days. With the nice Zeiss 1.4 50mm lens I found at a Toronto used camera dealer, it made a great complement to the Rollei. I took a lot of pictures, but this time only had limited success and didn't get a lot of very nice shots. Not sure why, but its always hard to do an aggressive canoe trip and have time to take nice pictures at the same time. This time was particularly hard work. All the shots here are with the 50mm lens and colour Fuji Superia film.

We drove up the evening before we were due to enter the park in Hassan's Jeep. He wisely recommended that we remove the roof and all doors on the Jeep to enhance the 'escape from the city' feeling. This was good fun for the first 20 min, but then as darkness fell and we headed further North, and the temperature plummeted down to 7 degrees (excluding wind-chill). By the time we reached the Park boundary zone it was late and we were very very cold. We camped by the roadside in the woods and camouflaged the Jeep.

Our campsite Day 1

Wakey wakey..

Once in the Park, we quickly got back into the routine. Load canoe, paddle, beach, unload, portage with pack and canoe, reload canoe and so on from lake to river to lake.


We have to check the map regularly to avoid heading up the wrong creek and consequent wasted energy and humiliation.

This is what portaging looks like

This is what it feels like after 2km

Sure you got the right creek?!

But the hard slog is worth it. There is nothing like the feeling of acomplishment and hard-earned respect after each day of hard work. I only see my brother a few days a year, but when you bond like this for 5 days, then its like a year's experience! And we get to enjoy the beauty of nature continuously. Its like the background to the whole journey. Wherever you look its just the pure elements of nature.

Lake Louisa, morning of Day 4
Dawn on Crosscorner Lake, Day 5

Hollow River

Sometimes I imagine what it must have been like to have lived in this pure land like the Algonquin Indians did with only basic tools and their wits. Would it even be possible for someone from our age to back to that life? What would it be like to expereince that deep harmony with nature, but at the same time have to survive the raw forces of heat, cold, fear and hunger?

It was the first week of September and it was still warm enough to swim

Hassan had some kind of Buddhist scarf that made him look like a shaman.


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