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oldraven 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 07:32 AM
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ZodiacHazel

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There is a lake on Crown land behind my parents farm that we have been using since I was in my teens. When Stora (a lumbering company) got approval from the province to cut on that Crown land (no, it doesn't actually belong to the Queen. wink.gif And they must stay some 100M from any waterway) the company asked if my father would let them use our own road for access. On the conditions that they put up a steel gate and give us full access to the road, he agreed and they ended up building a road a couple of miles longer than Dad's farm road.

Well it's about a 15min drive (the growth in the decade since they finished cutting is insane) in the Jeep, and another 5-8min walk through a trail we cut to get there. We have a canoe out there, and starting in my senior year I set sights on this island in the middle. I'm an avid camper, and that challenge is one I hadn't taken up before. The island is covered in trees and thick green moss. We got an electric trawling motor (Minn Kota) and a marine battery hooked up and over three days 15 people and all their gear made land fall. It was a full on hippie weekend, and we'll just leave it at that. wink.gif

I have been back a few times, with friends or family, but it has been about seven years since I last was on 'my island'. I have never found any evidence that any other people have camped here, or even made the trip. This lake is where I proposed to Ange (in the canoe on the way over) and we stayed the night there. It was her first time camping. At one time we built a rock man on the beach (just the rocky shore we land the canoe on) and named the island after him. Brock Island. This is our own name for the place, of course. We gave our own names (my sister and I) to other islands out there, like Blueberry and Grass islands. It is an incredibly personal place, and the one place on earth I consider to be my own private Avalon, if you get what I mean.

Well, this summer I vowed to go back. When I booked last week off I made a plan to reblaze the trail and get my family out there. Of course, being the horrid summer of ot seven, it rained for the first two days, but I went out on Tuesday morning to cut the trail. Ivy (my 'little' sister) and a friend of hers helped and we were done in two hours, using an axe, two bow saws (one of which I broke by using it to cut ferns like a machette), and three pairs of snips. Pretty good, really. The city boy got lost once, but no bears got him. tongue.gif I sped home to pack the Jeep with gear, dogs, and the Wife and Daughter. The skies opened up and it poured.

So Wednesday it is. We got there and were on the island by 12:30. Ange is over six months pregnant right now, so she couldn't carry anything but Coira, who walked a third of it. After five trips and two broken paddles, we were there for the next couple of days. It rained Wednesday night, but all day Thursday was beautiful, and somehow we had no bugs. Freaking twilight zone, that. Took a canoe trip around the island and scouted the other side to find some nice hills. Friday morning (4:00a.m.) we had a severe thunder and lightning storm though. Ange is petrified of lightning, and Ivy was in a new camp (about 60' away) that we had discovered the day before. By that, I went for a piss and saw a beautifully flat moss covered area. Friday we ended up packing what we could carry on our back and headed home. I'm going back on Saturday (a week on) to get the rest of our gear home.

I have never stayed on that island when it didn't rain when we tried to leave (Brock must have a lonely spirit). I have even been caught in the middle of the lake in the aluminium canoe with lightning coming down before. That was a hairy trip. In spite of it all, it was easilly the best vacation I've taken in years. Coira loved it, the dogs loved it, Ange and Ivy enjoyed it, and I can't wait for next year. Maybe next time we'll beat the odds and stay dry. wink.gif

Wow, buy my book!

The home side of the lake, from the island.
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The mainland shore near the island, and part of the beach.
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Coira on Brock beach.
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From up on the hill on the far side.
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The new camp, that we dubbed 'Paddle Camp' in memoriam of the fourth trip across.
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Rindy 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 08:48 AM
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That place is so beautiful oldraven. Thanks for sharing those.

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valpal59 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 09:13 AM
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WOW!!! What a beautiful place. Thanks for sharing. thumbs_up.gif


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crazykiltedcelt 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 09:27 AM
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You are the most wanted man on your island thumbs_up.gif beer_mug.gif


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oldraven 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 11:19 AM
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And the most powerful. king.gif It's good to be king.

Thanks guys. And I'd be more than happy to share it with any of you, so long as you're responsible campers. cheers.gif
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Rindy 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 01:28 PM
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LOL crazykiltedcelt.....

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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 03:20 PM
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I can still remember some time before your marriage you told us you proposed to Ange on your island; and I can still remember how much you love this spot.
I'm glad you got a chance to be back with your family and had a good time despite of rain and all...Coira has grown so much, what a sweet girl she is!
Thank you for sharing the pics and the trip with us - and I could have listened (well, read about it) for some more hours.
All my best wishes for you, Ange, Coira and the new baby to come, my friend. smile.gif


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TandVh 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 03:21 PM
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A place your children will fondly remember. Nice photos- thanks!



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Aaediwen 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 05:44 PM
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Beautiful spot! I"ll have ot come visit you for a camping trip! smile.gif


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LadyOfAvalon 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 06:28 PM
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Just looking at these pictures brings peace and serenity to the trouble soul. Thank you for sharing them soooo beautiful.


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oldraven 
Posted: 24-Aug-2007, 07:53 PM
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ZodiacHazel

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QUOTE (Aaediwen @ 24-Aug-2007, 03:44 PM)
Beautiful spot! I"ll have ot come visit you for a camping trip! smile.gif

You know you're more than welcome, Aaed. You've got a mind for the forest just like I do. wink.gif

Being very rocky ground, there is always plenty of fallen wood, so you never have to cut any down.

Gab, I remember posting all that, and someone made a thread one time about "What's your Avalon?" or something to that effect. Thanks, as always, for the wishes. You should come see this unspoiled place some time.

The way I like to see this island is this. It stands now as it stood when we Europeans arrived, and when we humans arrived as well. Tens of thousands of years of trees rooting, growing and falling over, heaving rocks and shading moss. It's Nova Scotia in its purity.
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 25-Aug-2007, 05:41 AM
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It's powerful, it's overwhelming, it's precious because so very rare, so unspoiled, original and magic. Impossible to describe my feelings when I looked at the pictures and read your description. If I loved to be there in person some day? Well, you can bet your ...whatever you want...I would.
This is a precious gift, oldraven, to have such a place to go and to become one again with all creation.
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ballydun 
Posted: 25-Aug-2007, 11:54 AM
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You are so blessed to have such a peaceful place to get away! The photos are breathtaking,I can't imagine the true beauty of such a place, both visually and spiritually. Truly a place your family will treasure.



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oldraven 
Posted: 25-Aug-2007, 02:03 PM
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QUOTE (gaberlunzie @ 25-Aug-2007, 03:41 AM)
.......to have such a place to go and to become one again with all creation.

I love the way you think. smile.gif

Well, since people enjoyed the pictures so much, I put a few more up.

This is Coira and Auntie Ivy.
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Ange helping the wee one with her morning fluffs.
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Getting a moment's shade on the expedition around the island.
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Where our tent was, at the old camp. Those Tiki torches were amazing. They burned most of the night, and when we went to the new camp we left our tent down below. So the torches were moved to the two turns in the path up to Ivy's tent and where we sat by the fire. It looked like an Ewok village and lit the path perfectly, so we could clearly walk to our tent after it was time to put the fire out and hit the hay.
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A better view of Paddle Camp, before we gathered the stones for the pit. They were easy to find, under the upturned roots of fallen trees, and we had lots to choose from.
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This is the view over our shoulders, sitting by the fire. The whole island is like this, which is why it is so perfect for camping. If there is a rock under your tent, you turn the moss, remove the rock, and replace the moss for a soft spot to sleep.
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The dogs had to swim over parts of the lake (we found narrows and let them run along the shore mostly, though) and were pretty tuckered out by the time we got there, but Buffy and Oz were both loving the whole time, being allowed to roam free and scout wherever their noses took them.
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And finally, one more shot from the beach.
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gaberlunzie 
Posted: 26-Aug-2007, 03:08 PM
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I love them all. Beautiful is not a word strong enough...Again, thank you for sharing - and I fell in love at first sight with Coira! smile.gif
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