Sunday, June 21, 2015


Kamloops brings another change in landscape. Usually very dry and hot, almost desert like in feel. Tumbleweed and wild sage grow in abundance giving the land a dusty gray green palette. The Thompson River runs through the middle of these unusual land formations that look and feel much like a living being.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

The Rockies

The drive from Calgary to Kamloops is always an exceptional experience. The mountains begin to loom into view as you leave Calgary and slowly they begin to surround you as you enter Canmore. Their magnificent presence always inspires awe. Every time I drive through the Rockies it as if I have never encountered them before and I am always moved by their very existence. It was a joy to share this with Walt who has never been in their presence before.

 A quick stop in Banff and Lake Louise to breath in the mountain freshness and cooler air. Arriving in late Spring is a good time to view the Rockies as there is still snow on the tops and the rivers and waterfalls are full to bursting with the melting snow.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Across the Prairies

#trip_the_light has been on the road for 10 days now and I am dreadfully behind in my blog posts but wonderfully filled up with painting and writing material for many months to come.

I last posted in Northern Ontario where the beauty was boundless and all encompassing.
I am so in love with the landscape and how it is always changing and revealing different aspects of itself. I am currently reading PrairyErth by William Least Heat-Moon and it is an eloquent and deep exploration of one particular landscape in Kansas. The book is full of delightful quotes but this one struck me in particular was this one:

I like to think of landscape not as a fixed place but as  path that is unwinding before my eyes, under my feet.

To see and know a place is a contemplative act. It means emptying our minds and letting what is there, in all its multiplicity and endless variety, come in. 

-Gretel Ehrlich "Landscape," introduction to Legacy of Light (1987)

This seems to be what we are doing as we travel these marvelous routes and roads and allow the places to speak their own language to us as we pass through them.

A wooden suspension bridge leads the way to Ouimet Canyon.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Trip the Light Travels - Day #3

Today we took a break from driving to more fully absorb the beauty around Lake Superior and the Wawa area. I have crossed Canada so many times and never stopped long enough to fully appreciate this particular area. The ever changing light on the water takes you by surprise throughout the day as you come around different corners on the road.

We stayed in an airbnb log cabin located slightly east of Wawa and on the shore of Lake Superior. Just sleeping beside this large body of water is a gift in itself. Rhythmic waves break along the shoreline and an almost full moon poured its generous light across the water's surface to create a masterpiece of shimmer and sparkle in the dark night.

We visited Old Woman Bay where the photos don't capture it but the water was turquoise. The cliffs are home to peregin falcons and the water is crystal clear. There is something about being in the presence of such clear water and pure air that seems to make you glow from the inside out. It feels right and natural to feel so alive and in synch with the world around you.

Of course we visited the famous Wawa goose in town which commemorates the completion of the Trans Canada Highway from Sault St Marie to Wawa in 1960. Before this time there was no road access to Wawa and this last part of the highway was called the gap. This stretch of road is by far the most awe inspiring part of the drive.

Silver Falls were just down the road from where we we stayed and they were roaring at their absolute height of power from all the Spring rains. Magnificent to see and hear!

I thought Silver Falls was roaring and then we visited High Falls!! I am a huge fan of falling water. I could stand in its presence for hours and loose myself in its powerful movement and sound. It feels so joyful to me!
 An abundance of beauty is to be found here in grand gestures and minuet details. No wonder the Group of Seven were so inspired to paint here. Glen Gould came and stayed regularly in Wawa and claimed to write some of his best music here. The Life Force is potent here.

Long stretches of completely deserted shore line and pristine beaches.

Monday, June 1, 2015

The Roaring Waters

Day two of Trip_the_light the skies cleared and the sun showed up in its's full glory! Temperature has dropped but this is a good thing as it discourages the blackflies from eating us alive.

It has been raining in the area for almost a week we are told. This would explain the engorged rivers and streams that are roaring everywhere we travel. What an excellent time we have chosen to cross this patch of planet. Spring is bursting into full blown tender green bouquets all around us as we roam these parts.

The first roaring falls that we come to are Chippewa Falls located at mid point on the 4860 mile long Trans Canada Highway. The TCan is the longest highway in the world and was the dream of Dr. Perry Dolittle, the first man in Canada to own a car. There is a monument to him at these Falls.

The infinite colors of these exposed rocks takes my breath away on a regular basis. There are so many colors and textures being stored away for future paintings.

A delightful first stop where the air was so fresh and pure that I felt drunk from breathing it.
Not too much further down the road a huge moose crossed our path as we slowed down to watch it lumber up into the woods. About an hour later I saw two black bears perched up on a grassy knoll above the highway. Hawks and Ravens soar above us in abundance. There is almost no one else around anywhere we stop. I love this place.

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