Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Algonquin bound

You may recall that I told you about my waylaid excursion to Algonquin Park last Tuesday.  We ended up in North Bay on a sudden quest to buy a sewing machine because of a flyer I found in the free newspapers Wally gave me while he gassed up the car.  My friend Joan had bought herself one of these machines only the day before in Bracebridge where this travelling sale event had closed before I could get to it.  Wally knew how frustrated I've been with the sewing machine I have and determined to get us to North Bay where the event had  moved to as he had been wanting to do this for me for quite a while now.   I was excited that we were doing this and shocked that we took an upgrade from the one we originally intended to get with the incentive of getting some specialty feet for it for free. 

 It took me quite a few days to digest what we had done for it is more my style to research such an expensive investment.  But with the help of Joan,  pictured below with her new Necchi,  I  "got my feet wet" and realized it is really only a basic machine that can, as demonstrated, sew through 8 !! layers of denim AND a paintstick.  It has opened up a whole new range of possibilities and ideas.... 
I'm still reeling!

Joan in my studio reading the instructions for our new Necchi sewing machines

Now it is a week later and I am reflecting on the trip we finally took to Algonquin National Park on Sunday.  It was one of those glorious days that you wish would go on forever. 

Our first stop was at the Dorset General Store that has Everything.


Instead of buying expensive tourist-trap ice cream,  I took some free photos, first of this placid little grasshopper decked out in striped pants and a damask waistcoat.

Then of these lovely shadows on a rock in the parking lot.

And from another vantage point.   Aren't they beautiful, like Japanese calligraphy?

The colours were vibrant.  and I took way too many blurry shots from the moving car.
This is the land of the Canadian Shield, massive outcrops of granite rock that are cut away- "rockcuts"- to make way for roads.

Instead of going directly into Algonquin Park,  we went west into the little town of Dwight.

I am such a sucker for kitschy tourist traps like  shops that sell Indian souvenirs made in China.  I'm sure it is left over from childhood when our parents would take us on camping excursions with roadside stops for ice cream and a souvenir totem pole or some such thing.

Don's Junk store had these fascinating vintage marionettes hanging in the window
that appeared to be made out of papier mache.

Their little hands dangled so oddly that Don tried to fix them,
and finally determined that the string with which they were attached had stretched over the years.

We headed off towards the park with a quick stop at this charming little shop. 
Again, I am such a sucker for these old signs.

Still not inside the park, we stopped at Algonquin Outfitters,
 famous for its outdoor shop and canoe rentals.

We walked out onto a floating dock where we spied this exquisite lily leaf floating upside down
like a jewel in the water with an upside down maple leaf for company.

A little tootle down the road just to see the cottages and this beautiful roadside view.

And then back onto the highway entering the park.

Of course I have oodles of pictures,  too many to show here.  We ended up at the park gallery where we saw a beautiful exhibit of wildlife art and landscapes.  Thoroughly inspiring.  It did just what we hoped it would:  it made us want to go home and paint.

After so much highway driving, we took  a slower route to chill down called Cedar Lane.  I couldn't catch the glow in the evening sky, but I was taken, nonetheless, with this roadside tapesty.

And home again I had to wonder why we had to go so far when, as Dorothy repeated
after  Glinda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz,  it is all in my own back yard.

Happy glorious rich autumn days to you.


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