I’ve spent a fair bit of time crossing this country from one end to the other, and I’ve come to realize that to really understand this nation, there are a few experiences that every Canadian should have at least once. Every Canadian should be in Ottawa for Canada Day, for example. Everyone should drink Caribou at the Carnaval de Quebec in the dead of winter. Everybody needs to drink a bit too much at the Calgary Stampede, even if you hate it. (And you might.) And everyone must watch the sun set at Long Beach on Vancouver Island, waving goodbye to the sun as it rises in Japan.
Last summer, in fact exactly a year ago, I had the privilege of adding another great experience to my short list. Everyone in this nation needs to head to Manitoba’s Whiteshell Provincial Park for a week of fishing, swimming, eating, and watching the eagles and ospreys soar overhead. It may just be the most relaxing holiday you’ll ever have.
The Whiteshell is the kind of place where the water is warm, the days are hot, the fish are surprisingly abundant, and there really isn’t much to do except relax and enjoy it all.
This week, I have been revisiting my photographs from that adventure. More and more, I use my photo catalog as a way of remembering great trips. Yes, I still write a journal. But flipping through my photos brings back the feelings and the sights like nothing else.
Sometimes we are so busy galloping forward in life that we forget to look back. But any great trip in this country must be savoured three ways: the anticipation, the realization, and the recollection.
I hope you enjoy my recollections of a truly Canadian outdoor experience. I haven’t published most of these photos before. I hope you enjoy them.