How I Spent My Summer Vacation

David and I took a few days off this past week and went North.

I had never been to Lac La Ronge before, so the road beyond Prince Albert was new to me. It doesn’t actually show on this Google map, but Highway #2 continues from Prince Albert to La Ronge.

We stayed in a friend’s trailer at the Nut Point Campground. The campsite was lovely, in the trees and close to the lake.

Although it was rainy off and on for the first part of our stay, we managed to get in some hiking. (I use the term ‘hiking’ because although none of the terrain was particularly strenuous, it sometimes involved clambering over blown-down trees or going off trail to get around them. This means it was not what I consider ‘walking’ since I had to use my hands.) We had stopped at Tourist Information and picked up a brochure showing trails in the area.

The first one we tried was the Nemeiben Lake Interpretive Trail.

From the brochure:

There was a forest fire two years ago, so instead of walking through dark boreal forest, we were walking in what is basically a meadow full of bare tree trunks. Unfortunately, the dead trees are at a stage of decomposition that renders them easily toppled by high winds. We made our way —with some difficulty— to the point where fallen trees rendered the path completely impassable.

There were a few showers wandering around, but we had a long enough dry spell to sit by the lakeside and enjoy the surreal beauty of a post-fire landscape.

Having grown up in Québec and Ontario, and having spent some summers “at the lake”, I felt quite at home on this south-western edge of the Canadian Shield, where the earth’s bones come to the surface.

Next morning we tried the Nut Point Trail.

After a nasty patch through a boggy area with blown-down trees and lots of bugs (I actually resorted to using mosquito repellant), the path became quite good. Here’s a shot of me in a stretch of birch trees.

This area is also recovering from a fire, but the burn was 18 years ago. We made it as far as the top of a ridge from which we could see McGibbon Bay and a small section of Downton Lake. The new growth of conifers was still so short we could sit on the bare granite of the ridge top and eat our lunch in the sunshine.

The last walk we did (this one really was a walk!) was to the Nipickamew Sand Cliffs.

It was a pleasant stroll, mostly through old growth boreal forest. This meant there was little undergrowth, and few bugs except by the river’s edge and those weren’t too bad. There were people making the loop with inner tubes, floating downstream and then walking back by the road and trail.

This is one of the three ‘sand cliffs’ along the bend in the river.

It was a pleasant change of pace for a few days and a chance for me to see a part of the province that was new to me.

We took a slightly less direct route home through more familiar territory. Here’s the South Saskatchewan River seen from the village of St. Louis (one of the older French-speaking communities) where they have kindly built a viewing platform. You can just make out the end of the old highway bridge at the right side of the image.

I did not do much with books at all this week.

In other book arts news:

You might want to check out Hilke Kurzke’s recent post. She has images showing the use of jigs for producing an edition which might give you some useful ideas.

In knitting news:

Yes, I took knitting with me on my summer vacation. I finished the first pattern section of the brown cotton shawl.

I started the new pattern section in the car on the way home. That is, I tried to. After ripping back the first half of the row for the third time because the stitch count didn’t work out (each time differently) indicating a mistake somewhere in the row, I set it aside and just watched the scenery. Perhaps I will try the pattern again this afternoon.


About Byopia Press

I have been working in the book arts field for more than twenty years, and operating Byopia Press with my husband David since the late 1990s. I began producing artist's books and altered books in 2004.
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9 Responses to How I Spent My Summer Vacation

  1. lcmt says:

    It has surprised me to discover such a commonality of fire between your Canada and my California. It made me realize its the rainfall (we had good rains this past winter) that eventually feeds the fire, when all the wild growth burns.


    • Byopia Press says:

      Fire is part of the natural cycle of regeneration. Some plant species reproduce more quickly with fire than without it. It is only a ‘problem’ because, more and more, humans are living in the fire zones. Some places, including national parks in the Rockies, have been trying controlled burns.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. lcmt says:

    I remember reading about the history of American Indians using fire to clear forests and alter the landscape to promote a more useful environment. Still, there is plenty of evidence that nature, in its own time, can be quite devastating to the environment without any help from humankind.


  3. udosdottir says:

    Interesting to see such different forest landscapes. The burnt trees look haunting. Wishing you a nice summer – and thanks for the link!


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