In 2012 we spent 18 days wandering throughout the Canadian Rockies with our dog, Jeep and popup camper. The 3500 mile adventure ended in northern Montana with a blown tire that shredded the interior. By 2013, the repairs were completed and we had hoped to do a short tour of northern Minnesota. Having just returned from wildlife work in Costa Rica, we were looking forward to doing some landscape photography around Voyageurs National Park. Less than one-hundred miles from home the second tire exploded and caused near-catastrophic damage to the appliances and plumbing of our tiny rig. The inadequate tires and plastic fenders on our Flagstaff A-Frame popup now seemed to be an impediment to its use. Two blow-outs in 3 years have resulted in damages that now exceed the original purchase price. While a bit hesitant to take it on another long trip, I wasn’t about to let $15,000 in repairs go to waste or dissuade us from the opportunity to live another adventure. With an eye on the past and plans for the future, we equipped our Frankenstein mobile shelter with off-road tires and a lift kit as a prophylactic measure against another disaster.
On July 12th, we hit the road towards Algonquin Provincial Park. Our route included 3 days near Picture Rock National Lake Shore, 3 days at Killarney Provincial Park, 6 days in Algonquin and 3 days to get home. The leaves on the map (below) were our “ports of call,” the blue line indicates our travels towards the east and the pink is our final path home. While most of our photography focused on landscapes in and around the Great Lakes, the pursuit of moose were in the plans for our stay in Algonquin…
Stay tuned, as I’ll try to add more thoughts about photography, our travels and the environment as I continue to update the blog later this week.
About the Image: We had seen quite a few moose during our stay in Algonquin Provincial Park. Most were cows with and without calves. While we had unsuccessfully tracked a moose at Killarney Provincial, the cows at Algonquin were relatively easy to find during drives at dawn and dusk. On our final full day at Algonquin, we decided to rent a canoe and take the dogs out for a four-hour paddle. Because our one year-old pup was a canoe virgin, I had reservations about taking any expensive camera gear. Fortunately, my obsessive compulsion towards making the most of a possibility caused me to throw "caution towards the wind," and risk losing a camera to a swamped canoe. We found the bull (pictured above) nearly ninety-minutes into the paddle. Surprisingly, the dogs remained calm and we were able to take many photographs from different angles as we slowly made an approach. Forty-five minutes later, the light became harsh and we left our moose friend to continue enjoying his meal of lily pads and lake grasses.
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