After a pretty full summer of touring with the portraits, I took a little time to myself, just a relaxing trip to unwind a bit, to revisit some of the country I had passed through during the summer, to take in the fall colours, and maybe do a little sketching and painting along the way.
What a great trip. I was a bit early for the fall colours in Southern Ontario, so I turned north on Hwy 400 and kept driving until I started to see a change. Ended up close to Sudbury, then over to North Bay, down the Mattawa through Sturgeon Falls and Deep River, over to Petawawa. From there, took the Barren Canyon Rd into the east side of Algonquin Park, then back out, taking a side trip into Quebec and back over where I delivered a portrait in Arnprior. Then up through the Madawaska Valley into the forest access areas in the big blocks of Crown Land to the north and south of Bancroft.
By the time I got from here to there, the colours were magnificent, not quite prime, but some beautiful transitions of greens, yellows and oranges with spectacular highlights of reds. Just beautiful. Near the end, I had a hard time getting anywhere, as I was constantly pulling the car to the side of the road and snapping pics of a view of a lake, a splash of colour in the trees, and such, that caught my eye.
Had a good sleeping bag and air mattress set up in the back of the Forester and camping gear handy so I could pull into a spot anywhere for the night and leave just as quickly next morning. In a week’s time, I didn’t get any painting done, but did come home with several hundred pictures, and sorting though, it looks like I have some good stuff to work with in the studio this winter.
Stayed warm and dry, had a good trip, so much so, I’d probably do this road camping thing again just as soon as I can find a good enough excuse to get away with it again. An awful lot like portaging, only without all the paddling and carrying the canoe. ha!
A few pics of camp set ups and some scenery from along the way…
A camp on Sand Lake along the Barren Canyon Rd.
Big Lighthouse Lake, north of Bancroft. The night I was there was almost the full moon and there was a fall hatch of mayflies. Everywhere across the surface, you could see big swirls of trout on a feeding frenzy that lasted into the night. I didn’t bother to bring a fishing pole or canoe this time around, but was wishing I had.
A cosy, dry bed in the back of Subie, I travelled with the air mattress and sleeping bag all laid out and ready to crawl into at night…
A nice camp on Grassy Lake, in a block of Crown Land in Dungannon Twp, just south of Bancroft. It was pouring rain off and on and a pretty good thunderstorm overnight. Had it so the hatch of the Forester opened under the tarp…. a pretty comfy set up.
Plinking on the banjo, waiting for the coffee can to boil. Ha, I found this in the classifieds earlier this year and brought it along during the summer tour. Learned three chords and pretty soon was fingering out songs, picking out the melody by ear. Ha, got quite a repetoire now, even a little breakdown I like to call, Waiting for the Water in the Coffee Can to Boil. If you happened to hear the strains of a lonesome banjo plinking from across the lake this summer, it just might have been me.
Anyway, what a great way to finish out the summer. Looking forward now to settling in for the winter and getting some serious painting done.