1 Henry and Wendy got married on August 11, 1980. The honeymoon was to be a canoe trip - crazy, perhaps, but it makes for a good story now. The bride had no experience canoe tripping, the groom but one trip. This was a first time for both of us in Algonquin Park, where we started, going south in a rented canoe, from the Portage Store.
2 This captures the first few days of our honeymoon quite nicely - heading into the unkown through the drizzle. We only lasted a couple of nights before heading back to where there were comfort stations with hot showers.
3 Wildlife sighting during a lunch break.
4 After our aborted interior trip we settled into a campsite at Pog Lake and loved it. Here is a first photo that includes our new gear: the tent, a beautiful, blue, nylon fly (which we still have, though it's quite faded and tattered), our Primus, two-burner stove, and the nesting pots and pans that are still in use 32 years later.
5 It was here, on her honeymoon, that Wendy revealed her passion for trails. Witness the guidebook in hand.
6 The year after our honeymoon at Pog Lake we came back with a sister and a Dutch cousin.
7 We adapted nicely to car camping - adding a borrowed tent, some canopy poles and making good use of a cavernous car trunk for storage
8 Nothing much changes in Algonquin Park over the years, except the quality of my pictures. I like to think this is the ancestor of a turtle I photographed many years later.
9 I Don't know exactly where this sunset was shot. Perhaps Lake of Two Rivers during a dusk canoe jaunt.
10 I'm sure that I was itching to show my wife the Provincial Park par excellence of my youth. This was our first trip there together.
11 Not much change in equipment yet, though I do see our blue Coleman cooler here for the first time and a borrowed reclining lawn chair.
12 An ageless view of the Pinery dunes
13 In this excursion, Rondeau Provincial Park seems to have served primarily as a base for visiting Point Pelee National Park.
14 Standing for the first time at the southern-most tip of Canada, on Point Pelee
15 The Rondeau campsite did not meet our standard for 'natural environment' camping. Judging by the sleeping bag and sheet sleeping bag set out to dry, we must have had some water issues. There would be many more over the years.
16 With our first born in tow, we headed back to the Pinery for the first of many extended family vacations. Unfortunately we can find no photographic evidence of this trip.
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18 MacGregor Point came next in the family camping tradition.
19 A good beach and a shallow lake are a source of pure pleasure for children and their parents.
20 At this stage of family life, provincial parks are valued for their playgrounds.
21 Bon Echo seemed like a good choice to meet up with family living in Ottawa. By now we had two children.
22 In this setup you can see an early view our first propane stove, the beautiful, blue Coleman cooler that we're still using, and the first of two 'kitchens' - home-made plywood box constructions conceived by a carpenter to serve his organized wife.
23 A short trip by canoe or boat across the lake to the cliff face of Bon Echo Lake gives access to some wonderful trails and lookouts - this one across the narrows to the boat ramp.
24 This was our first trip back to Algonquin's Pog Lake with children.
25 With two children to accomodate now, and all the accompanying stuff, we've borrowed a larger canvas tent and a trailer to tow behind our too small Honda Civic hatchback.
26 This experience of seeing of a moose ambling through campsites close by is one that we've never repeated.
27 The loon, on the other hand, has been a wonderfully reliable fixture of our northern camping experiences. Until we've caught sight of a loon and heard its plaintive cry we feel somehow incomplete.
28 From Pog Lake we would sometimes drive over to the beaches along Lake of Two Rivers for our afternoon swim.
29 This is the view in 1988 on Mosquito Creek, off of Whitefish Lake, looking towards the old railway bridge. Since then, the railway bed, winding its way down from Mew Lake to Rock Lake, has become a wonderful bike trail, and a new bridge has been built here along-side of the old footings.
30 Circling back to Lake Erie in our parks tour, we found ourselves in Port Burwell, a justifiably popular family camping destination.
31 A grassy campsite can be a relief for a beleaguered mother trying to keep things clean.
32 A Great Lake vista with stormy waters is always impressive.
33 This provinical park, the closest one to our home, served well as a week-end get-away.
34 This park was a bit scrubby back then, but I hear that it is much matured.
35 Port Burwell was a hit, so we returned.
36 The cousins and uncles are back at play on the sandy beaches of Port Burwell for a second summer. We've always appreciated having shade from the hot sun while sitting at the beach.
37 Another long week-end excuse to discover new parks brought us to Emily.
38 This new location provided some variation in our eco-system diet. Our family is now complete with this four month old infant snuggled in for the walk.
39 The by now familiar, but always varied setup of tent, table, kitchen, canopy, poles and ropes. We were still using a borrowed canvas tent.
40 Eleven years after our honeymoon, we returned to Pog Lake with all three children, and this time with my wife's family.
41 Pog River is one of my favourite spots to canoe. Wendy, Opa and two kids take a trip, probably to meet up with us at the beach. This is a first shot of the canoe that we still use.
42 Emerging from Pog River into the lake
43 One of many trail walks led us to the brink of a this very established beaver dam.
44 Paddling through Pog Lake with just my wife while the grandparents looked after the kids
45 For a bit of variety we passed the Huntsville cut-off for Algonquin and went a little ways up to Arrowhead Provincial Park
46 The view from one of several lovely beaches on Arrowhead Lake
47 A brother and his daughter coming out of the creek into the lake
48 Arrowhead Park is a jumble of rocks, big and little, that just begged for climbing. The children called it 'God's playground'.
49 That same vacation, we continued on from Arrowhead to Awenda to meet up with friends.
50 Our equipment has been upgraded to include a new Woods tent and a fifteen by twenty foot tarp to cover our dining area. The poles were salvaged from an old canvas tent. At this stage, all five of us are still sleeping in the same tent, the youngest in a playpen.
51 The playground at Awenda was state of the art.
52 Balsam Lake was the next stop in our extended family camping quest.
53 This lake, less picturesque because of cottages, was still enjoyable for swimming.
54 A single walled tent like this one is unreliable in the rain, and we soon took to sheltering it, as well as the dining area
55 To give equal opportunity to the other side of the family we camped at Restoule, close to where the clan has cottages.
56 Our hammock makes its first appearance, as does the trailer that we still use.
57 The view of Restoule Lake from the top of the fire tower
58 The Pinery calls my family back again, after a nine year absence.
59 At a park like this everyone seems to just pick up where they left off, though I assume the books are different.
60 There were plenty of deer at the Pinery in those days.
61 Watching the sun set over Lake Huron
62 Finally, after fifteen years of marriage, we were able to farm out the children and go camping with just the two of us again. Of course we returned to Pog Lake.
63 Another makeshift fly over our tent in an attempt to keep the rain out. We had some downpours this trip.
64 On a day trip by canoe from Pog Lake to Whitney we got caught in a downpour and had to take shelter under our canoe on this spit of land at the top of Galeairy Lake. Once the rain subsided we continued our pause with a swim.
65 Ragged Falls, just outside of Algonquin Park, is worth a day trip. I suppose we could count this visit to Oxtongue River - Ragged Falls Provincial Park on our been-there list.
66 The view north from the dam on Pog River on a drizzly day
67 A rocky face on Rock Lake
68 A small pool of fresh water lends a mirror to the light and the dark
69 1996 marked the beginning of a trend towards nuclear family camping and further exploration of provincial parks. Murphys Point was next.
70 This is one of the loveliest beaches we've been to. We could walk to this cove on Noble Bay from our campsite.
71 Murphy's Point park is an interesting intersection of nature, settlements and mining.
72 A lovely creek and bridge
73 This deer wandering through the campsites was good enough to pause for a portrait
74 This is the bigger beach on Hoggs Bay, and probably the last picture of Wendy in the bikini we bought on the Riviera thirteen years earlier.
75 A weekend excursion to Presqui'le on Lake Ontario
76 This massive lighthouse is the subject of our only pictures from the trip.
77 Our family loved Silent Lake.
78 At this stage we were still able to canoe as a family of five.
79 Is this really part of the scenery there?
80 A picturesque spot to swim and play and sit a while in the shade
81 A self-timer portrait of the whole family having supper
82 Another self-timer portrait, this one on the beach
83 Turkey Point gave us a weekend camping fix in a year when a family reunion claimed our vacation time.
84 This is a good place to camp though you need to drive to get to the park's beach access. By this time we are starting to give the children their own tents (and ourselves some privacy)
85 Playgrounds are still an attraction.
86 There was lots of room on the Turkey Point beach for an afternoon swim and rest.
87 Thirteen years after our first visit, we went back to MacGregor Point.
88 The setup hasn't changed much.
89 The beaches are still good.
90 We were starting to look further afield now, to the north side of Algonquin Park
91 We could hear these river rapids from our campsite.
92 The history of this voyageur route on the Mattawa River was fascinating for us, and we relished the opportunity to go for a paddle in a voyageur-sized canoe.
93 Sunny but cool, a perfect day for camping
94 Another time for rest and reading, swimming and castle building
95 A spectacular rock face on the Mattawa River
96 By this time we were ready to try another campground in Algonquin Park. We went early in the season to camp as a family before seeing our eldest son off to his first summer sojourn in the north as an Ontario Ranger.
97 Canisbay is a lovely lake, though a bit less intimate than Pog.
98 We returned as a family to Ragged Falls.
99 The boardwalk trails in Algonquin are easy and enjoyable.
100 At the end of summer, after our son's return, we spent a weekend camping at Long Point.
101 This was our first experience setting up camp on what may as well be called a beach. This marks the appearance of our first Windstar and a new two-burner propane stove.
102 Being so close to the lake was a treat, though I suspect bad weather or strong wind would change this opinion quickly. We have abandoned our Woods tent and borrowed a dome tent to try out.
103 Our son got a summer job with MNR at Wakami, so we decided join him for our summer holidays.
104 For this far away trip we kept our setup as simple as possible.
105 The MNR staff house at Wakami Lake
106 Out for a spin in a rented canoe
107 Our son's next summer job was as at Rabbit Blanket Campground in Lake Superior Provincial Park. This is the furthest afield we've gone in Ontario for a camping holiday.
108 Swimming in the mouth of the Sand River
109 A rippled lake shows its texture in the light of a setting sun.
110 Just north of the park is the Michipcoten River. There we paddled upstream, sometimes vigourously, for hours before allowing ourselves to be carried back to Lake Superior
111 Some of the rocks in the park feature ancient drawings.
112 Rabbit Blanket Lake on a misty morning
113 For a bit of extended family time again we came together in Wheatley Provincial Park on Lake Erie.
114 A new kitchen box has replaced the old one - this one fitted to house a set of five storage bins with lids.
115 A return to Point Pelee featured prominently again on this trip.
116 Grundy Lake had long been on our to-do list.
117 Smooth rocks slip out into view everywhere.
118 As always, more experiments in getting the best set-up for our canopy. The trick is always to keep rain water from pooling on the tarp.
119 Fascinating rock formations reflected in a glassy lake
120 Sunset on the beach
121 An outcropping of Canadian Shield on Gut Lake in the afternoon sun
122 After two camping holidays that year in the States, we resolved to return to Algonquin by ourselves in honour of our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary. This was our first fall camping experience. We started out in Achray.
123 The Barron Canyon was not quite as spectacular as we had thought it might be.
124 But the cliffs were impressive none-the-less
125 Sunset on Grand Lake
126 We kept things as simple as possible.
127 The fall colours were very disappointing in the eastern part of Algonguin (which is mostly coniferous) so we cut short our stay at Achray and headed west to Mew Lake Campground, one of the few campgrounds to remain open at this time of year
128 A beautiful view of rock faces and blazing trees along highway 60
129 Beached on the shore of Lake of Two Rivers, close to the highway, where the fall colours were good
130 We were curious to see familiar haunts in the light of the fall season so we paddled down Lake of Two Rivers into Pog Lake and walked around the deserted campground for a while.
131 Church group camping brought us to Selkirk, with a collection of canoes.
132 Setting out for a paddle
133 A heron along the river bank
134 Colourful birds in a maple tree
135 A late summer return to Turkey Point with the whole family
136 A crowded campsite amongst the pines
137 A mucky, marshy shoreline along Lake Erie
138 But there is lots of nice beach at Turkey Point
139 Solitary mushroom
140 Right after school was out we headed to Arrowhead.
141 Campsite 117
142 A picture of domesticity - having two tables is a luxury
143 Water falls over the rocks from top . . .
144 . . . to bottom
145 An end of summer trip, back to Bon Echo
146 Communing with Walt Whitman
147 Chilling in Lake Mazinaw
148 A busy beach
149 Twenty years after seeing this view across the narrows (to the boat ramp, right side) for the first time, it is still spectacular. Dusk is approaching and we just make it back across before the dark settles in.
150 We returned to Pog Lake for a fifth time with our two youngest.
151 The view north from the dam on Pog River on a drizzly day, much the same as it was thirteen years ago
152 Near the Rock Lake dam on a journey from Pog Lake to Whitney, this time with my daughter
153 A turtle basking in the sun
154 A lily resting serenely on the surface
155 Roots in reflection
156 Water droplets on a pine tree
157 A camping trip without children brought us for the first time to Charleston Lake.
158 Our Charleston Lake campsite
159 Loons on Charleston Lake
160 A congregation of gulls on the rock
161 Charleston Lake rock under a billowing cloud
162 Charleston Lake sunset
163 To celebrate thirty years of marriage we set out for Algonquin again, but this time with a twist - our first canoe-in camping experience. A full exposition of this wonderful stay on Canisbay Lake is available in the Canoe Camping Gallery
164 A moose within view of our Canisbay Lake campsite
165 Early morning canoe trip through the lower reaches of Canisbay Lake
166 Sunrise on Canisbay Lake
167 Our third experience of canoe-in camping was on Wolf Lake in Kawartha Highlands Provincial Park. A more complete picture of this place can be found in the Canoe Camping Gallery.
168 A morning view from the tip the peninsuala on which we camped
169 The bay next to our campsite peninsula which we had completely to ourselves
170 Fifty years after I first camped at the Pinery as a young child, we returned to enjoy this setting again with my extended family. See Ode to The Pinery for more pictures from this special place.
171 Looking down on our Pinery - Burley campground site
172 A view from the Carolinian trail in the Pinery
173 Mother and son out for a stroll along Lake Huron in the Pinery
174 Here I face Lake Huron, the great lake of my youth.
175 A tour of our campsite
176 A camping trip without children brought us for the first time to Charleston Lake.
Newmaker is the spirit that drives a lifetime of creativity, and is a reflection of the Creator who continues to make all things new.
H.James Company is the business name for the renovation services of Henry de Jong since 1991. Services have been offered as sub-contractor and as contractor, but primarily as a professional craftsman working alone. Working on small to medium size jobs allows a personal committment to executing every detail with the same care, and to working one job at a time, on a steady and predictable schedule.