Tuesday, 10 November 2015

{Groenwolds Go North} LSPP, Part 2: Nature!

A popular trail at LSPP is the Pictograph trail, which is short (400 m) but steep and leads down to the water where you can examine pictographs that were painted on the rocks hundreds of years ago! I loved the short trail, even though it meant jumping from rock to rock in some parts (and James did it with Brynn on his back!). The best part was the rocks at the bottom, where you literally climbed down the cliff and used a chain bolted into the rock to lean back and tiptoe across the rocks to see the pictographs. We found that it felt much safer when we took off our shoes, since the rocks were very slippery and we didn't want to take a swim in 4 degree water! It was fascinating to think that the Natives managed to somehow climb up the treacherous cliff to paint these pictures. Definitely worth the scamper!

The people in front of us were terrified!
Should have taken their shoes off! :)

Pinguisibi Trail
We didn't travel very far down this 6 km trail, but every step was worth it! This may be one of the most beautiful trails I've ever walked. The river was not a rushing river, but meandered it's way down towards Lake Superior, mostly consisting of waterfall after waterfall. The sound of the water was divine and we had so much fun walking out on the rocks and jumping over streams and rivulets. I highly recommend this trail, and I'm so glad we did it (James may have forced me) in the drizzly weather. Sometimes the most beautiful things are not found in the most comfortable places!

Sleeping babies make for quiet hikes!

A face only a mother could love ;)

Reading about nature is fine, but if a person walks in the woods and listens carefully, he can learn more than what is in books, for they speak with the voice of God. -George Washington Carver 

Thursday, 5 November 2015

{Groenwolds Go North} Lake Superior Provincial Park, Part 1

You guys.

Drop everything and go to Lake Superior Provincial Park. Now. Well, maybe not now (too cold), but next summer, ok?

Hands down, this park was my favourite park I've ever camped at. It wasn't fancy, but the views and feel of the place were amazing! The whole park is huge, and the campground we stayed at runs right along the shore of Lake Superior. The campsite we stayed on was right on the beach, and the view of the shore and water made this trip. It got a little breezy a few times, but being able to hang out on the beach was fantastic! We loved watching canoes and kayaks and boats go by, and we even enjoyed some beautiful hikes (stayed tuned for those next post).

It's hard to pinpoint exactly why I loved this park so much, because it had so many great features! It's huge, with 3 campgrounds and so many trails to hike (we hardly bit into anything the park had to offer), and it has a fantastic visitor centre where we learned about the history, geography and biology of the park. We also noticed how many visitors came from the northern States and Manitoba... a different demographic than we are used to here in southern Ontario- we saw so many camper vans and hardly any huge trailers!

We mostly relaxed here (for 3 days), and we never got bored of the wind and the waves. It's easy to see why people have been attracted to Lake Superior for hundreds of years!

James' GoPro skills!
Sunset and the golden rocks

Life at camp...

I'm definitely a person who gets very sentimental and gushy when I'm out in creation. I can't help but feel that in the wilderness there is an order and peace reminiscent of what God must have meant our world to be like- and this park represented all the best parts! It was wild and free and felt untouched by humans in a lot of aspects. 

It brings to mind Wendell Berry's poem "The Peace of Wild Things":
When despair for the world grows in me 
and I wake in the night at the least sound 
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, 
I go and lie down where the wood drake 
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. 
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought 
of grief. I come into the presence of still water. 
And I feel above me the day-blind stars 
waiting with their light. For a time 
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Next up: Lake Superior P. P., Part 2!

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The Groenwolds Go North!

This past August, James and I packed up the car, then packed up Brynn, and headed north, travelling along the banks of Lake Superior. Despite forgetting our sleeping pads and pillows (which thankfully was realized somewhere between Lindsay and Orillia- soon enough to make a stop at a handy Walmart before all civilization was well behind us), we managed to stuff all our camping gear into our Mazda3 and girded up our loins for the 18+ hour trip up to Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. Seeing that we were making the trip with an 18 month old- and that we have brains in our heads- we decided to make a few stops on the way, rather than driving straight through... we wanted to come out of this trip with some remaining sanity! So without further adieu, here is a record of our adventure this summer!

First stop:

Chutes Provincial Park

We managed to make it to Chutes in about 7 hours, Walmart stop included, so we had a bit of time to explore and take a look around. Since we had bigger plans ahead, we only stopped here for one night.  The park is called Chutes because there used to be a log chute here where the loggers of old would send their hard work down the river and out into the lake to be shipped wherever it needed to be shipped. The chute is long gone, but in it's place is a lovely waterfall that we could hear from our campsite. It was a pleasant night, and a good start to our trip!

Best moment: We were keeping Brynn occupied while packing up by letting her play in the driver's seat of the car. Our campsite was directly across from the stairs down to the waterfall, and just as a teenage boy topped the stairs, Brynn laid on the horn and scared the bejeebies out of this kid. I burst out laughing when he jumped about 2 feet, and I'm pretty sure he didn't accept my apology, since it was offered while trying to control my giggles. Sorry, kid!
"How to Keep Toddler Sleeping in a Car"... 

exploring... chasing the "squoles"
Sometimes a picture is perfect, even if you look like a goof and it's blurry 

The Chutes at night, taken with the GoPro
Next stop: Lake Superior Provincial Park!

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

{18 Months}

God made the world with its towering trees, 
majestic mountains and restless seas, 
then paused and said, ‘It needs one more thing.’
Someone to laugh and dance and sing, 
to walk in the woods and gather flowers, 
to commune with nature in quiet hours.
So God made little girls
with laughing eyes and bouncing curls, 
with joyful hearts, and beautiful smiles, 
enchanting ways and feminine wiles.
And when He’d completed the task He’d begun, 
he was pleased and proud of the job He’d done.
For the world when seen through a little girl’s eyes
greatly resembles paradise. 
Morgan Doe

A year and a half. Where did the time go? 

Monday, 10 August 2015

{Long Weekend} The Beach!

This past long weekend was an easy-going, laid-back kind of weekend for us. We spent some time on all three days at three different beaches! Saturday was spent in the Peterborough area; we did some shopping in the morning, went to Burleigh Falls for lunch (so gorgeous, by the way!) and spent all afternoon at Lakefield's public beach. We liked the beach so much on Saturday that we went back (to Bobcaygeon beach) on Sunday after church and spent Monday at Balsam Lake. We didn't take a ton of pictures because we were spending more time watching Brynn loving the beach and water (and trying paddle boarding for the first time!). Hope you had an enjoyable weekend too!