Ojibwe Musings – Finding my Third Ear in Algoma

rock face with drawing of canoe and horned animal

I’m barefoot, carefully feeling with my toes as I move along a sharply sloping rock face, because if I slip, it’s quick slide and a short drop into ccccold Lake Superior.

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Acadian Rappie Pie

statue to Evangeline Acadian Rappie Pie

Longfellow’s Acadian heroine Evangeline stands in Port Royal.

The Acadians have kept French language and culture alive in Maritime Canada. And they took these to Louisiana where it still survives as Cajun. But somehow, Louisiana never inherited their real culinary gift –  Acadian rappie pie.

In 1605, Sieur de Mons and his cartographer, Samuel de Champlain, began the first settlement of Port Royal. This is the oldest settlement in North America apart from St. Augustine, Fla.

The beauty of the Bay of Fundy and its sheltered harbour had long been known to the Mi’kmaq people who had lived here for centuries. The French and Mi’kmaq began a long and enduring friendship in the land that became known as Acadie, possibly from the classical name, Arcadia – a place of lasting peace. And the French settlers here were Acadians. Continue reading

Bikes and Brews – Victoria, BC

waterfront at Victoria with Empress Hotel Bikes and Brews in Victoria, BC

The venerable Empress Hotel dominates the waterfront in Victoria.

Delicious sunshine makes this the perfect day to explore this beautiful city on two wheels. I set out to see if Victoria, British Columbia lives up to its moniker of most bike friendly city in Canada. Just a short block from the harbour with its iconic views of the provincial parliament buildings and the Empress Hotel, Shawn, one of the owners of The Pedaler, fits us out with comfortable bikes and mandatory helmets. And we’re off on our tour. Continue reading

In Search of a Legend – Grey Owl

Grey Owl's cabin - In search of a Legend - Grey Owl

Grey Owl’s cabin, christened Beaver Lodge, stands in a remote part of Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan. Inside the beaver lodge of his beloved pets opens into his living space.

Grey Owl was a real person but he was also a legend and hiking to his cabin has become a pilgrimage for many who care about the environment.

I’m standing in mud, and it’s happily oozing right through my mesh sneakers. I can’t believe I wore white socks and sneakers!

I did wear Muskol. But despite copious applications of the repellent, I’m patently providing sustenance for half the mosquito and deer fly population of Prince Albert National Park in Saskatchewan. Continue reading

S’Mores – Campfire Treat

S'Mores - a Campfire Treat - toasting marshmallow on open fire and s'more

A second marshmallow toasting on the flames and an open s’more ready for its addition.

Anyone who has grown up in Canada – camping, going to the cottage, or in the Scout or Girl Guide movements – knows all about s’mores. Short for “some more” they are so good, it’s what you have to say, “s’more please!” Note that Americans claim to have invented this treat but I believe they may have been the first to write down what Canadians had been doing for generations. Continue reading