Return to the parks


August 10,2014

When our kids were younger, we camped several times every summer because it was affordable and it was something we enjoyed. My wife grew up camping with her family right up until her mid-teens. As a city boy camping was not something I’d really ever done. I got the hang of it quickly, though, so you can imagine that after 20 years, it was a disappointment for us when we had to suspend our annual summer forays into the provincial parks. Disappointment is actually a gross understatement, in 2007 the doctors found I had cancer and camping was the least of our concerns while we dealt with the crap that goes along that type of diagnosis.   Continue reading “Return to the parks”

Road wary

Decorleans, originally uploaded by ken.udle.

David DuChemin is a photographer, blogger and author I admire. I have a number of his books, both print and eBooks, and I follow his blog religiously. Not too long ago he set off on a one year photographic journey across North America in a 1993 Land Rover Defender – his home for the next 12 months.

There are lots of details and pictures on his blog:

I know that I’m not alone in thinking, wishing I could embark on such an adventure. Just pack it all up and hit the road for months on end. Besides the obvious financial roadblock, I’ve discovered there are physical limitations to consider as well – well, truth be told I wouldn’t want to take the trip solo as David is doing. I’d want my sweetie with me of course.

Of course I fantasize about being a traveling photographer. My compromises include a Cooper Mini instead of a Land Rover, staying in B&Bs or Inns instead of sleeping in a tent. Rather than deserts, mountains and rivers, I imagine visiting small towns, talking with some older residents and hopefully capturing in print something of the spirit of each place. I have even gone so far as to consider weekend excursions to places within 2 hours dive of Ottawa. It all sounds feasible especially since Sandi says she’d like to go with me.

Then there’s the physical aspect. You may or may not know that 2007 and 2008 were challenging years for me with a diagnosis of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, major surgery, and chemotherapy. This May marks 3 years cancer free (insert happy face here), but there is something all the doctors don’t tell you about during the treatment. After the healing, after gaining back the weight, after returning to work and long after feeling normal again, other issues begin to appear and more often than not they can be traced back to the surgery and the Lymphoma. I don’t think anyone wants to read a list of personal grievances – suffice it to say the doctors should have prescribed physiotherapy, I’m paying the price for that today.

This past weekend we drove to Peterborough, 4 hour trips each way. It shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Well it kind of was, and sleeping in a different bed was an issue too. So big surprise, I need to do some serious conditioning if I want to realize my dream of travel photography. I figure it is still feasible and in fact we’re thinking of giving it a try during April or early May just to see how things go. First stop? Perth is high on the list of possibilities.