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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode VII

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us to one of my dad’s favourite spots, Orient Bay, Ontario. We actually filmed Episode I (https://youtu.be/0XhbXTwkUd8) just to the north of this area back in May. This adventure was a little different than our usual explorations since we were not biking, but rather walking and there to do some drone flying; the views of Orient Bay and the cliffs of the Pijitawabik Palisades are amazing! It was a warm day, so I even went for a little swim.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode VI

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us to a pretty remote area of the railway grade near Wildgoose Lake, Ontario. If you notice something different, it’s because I now have a trailer to ride in for long hikes. You might remember in Episode IV (https://youtu.be/OabWK2TuiK0), my paws got badly torn up on some sharp rocks. The trailer will let me ride on some of the longer hikes and rest. Anyway, we hiked along Scroll and Turkey Lakes, which were not easy to get to. We first had to bike in 3.5 miles just to start the exploration and then make our way around a washed out trestle. You’ll see me walk and ride the return trip which was 3 miles.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on September 11, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode V

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us to one of the more interesting spots on the railway line just south of the communities of Macdiarmid/Biinjitiwaabik Zaaging Anishinaabek, ON. The 1058-foot Macdiarmid or Jumbo’s Cove Tunnel is one of the longest in eastern Canada and we’ve been here several times. You’ll see me travel the grade from near the Postagoni River north to and through the tunnel. The tunnel is pretty long and dark! You can check out the video my dad made for his video series on the line here: https://youtu.be/cN3JF9uEyaE

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Extra Credit XVI “Fall Hiking”

Extra Credit is video series that examines topics related to history in the Thunder Bay District and exploring that history.

Fall is one of the best times of the year to venture outdoors. Cooler weather means less bugs and more comfortable temperatures than the summer. In many areas, the changing colour of the leaves can be quite spectacular! In this episode I provide my recommendations for some gear that will allow you to get the most out of your fall adventure and stay safe at the same time.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on August 20, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode IV

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us to Kenogamisis Lake, which is just east of Geraldton, Ontario. To get to our hike, we had to travel by boat 8 kilometres up the lake to Devilfish Bay. The video shows my dad and my brother Noah putting the boat in the water and our ride up the lake. Unfortunately the day didn’t end well for me. My paws got torn up pretty bad on some sharp rocks, so dad had to carry me the last 2 kilometres back to the boat. I was out of action for a few days afterwards, but I’ve healed up and I’m as good as new!

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode III

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us to Jellicoe, ON, where there was once large railway presence from 1914 to 2005. You’ll see the remains of a coal tower, turntable pit and other old structures. Since I’m always following him, you get to see lots of my dad’s behind!

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode II

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us to Orient Bay, ON, where we explored the railway grade south of Orient Bay Station to Cove Inlet. The views of the bay and the Pijitawabik Palisades are incredible. It’s shorter than our first episode as the harness is a bit uncomfortable, so my dad didn’t want to keep it on me for too long.

 
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Posted by on July 17, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Luna’s Offbeat Adventures-Episode I

Hi everyone! My name is Luna and I’m a very active and curious Labradoodle. I love to follow my dad on his history exploration adventures, so he decided to put a camera on me to record what I see while we’re hiking. It’s in its armoured housing, so the audio is muffled, the harness doesn’t always stay in the right spot and the GoPro can’t always compensate for my movements, so there are no awards for sound and cinematography here (seriously, it’s very shaky at times). It’s just raw, minimally edited video.

This episode took us the area south of Macdiarmid, ON, where we explored the railway grade from the Postagoni River to Orient Bay Station. The views of Pijitawabik Bay and the cliffs of the Pijitawabik Palisades are incredible.

 
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Posted by on July 3, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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Extra Credit XII “Questions & Answers, Part I”

Extra Credit is video series that examines topics related to history in the Thunder Bay District and exploring that history.

I always get a lot of questions about my explorations and local history. This episode answers some of the most common questions I get.

Enjoy!

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2022 in Hiking, History, Railway, Video

 

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The heat is melting my face and I can’t find any cream soda!

Have you ever watched the movie “Raiders of the Lost Ark?” If you have, do you remember the final scene? You mean the one where the ark was boxed up and stored in a warehouse? Uh, I guess the one before that. You know the iconic one, where the Nazis open the ark and their faces melt? Ya, that one! So, have you ever been so hot that you felt as if that was going to happen to you? Yes, no? Almost had that exact scenario occur the recently and you know you’re going to have to keep reading to find out the how and why.

Hey, it’s summer kids! Ya, I know I’m a little late, but as you can tell, I haven’t posted anything in almost two months. Sometimes life gets in the way! Anyway, it’s been a good vacation so far as the weather has been fairly cooperative (maybe not in the coming days) and it has been very relaxing. The only issue is that it is going by too fast…July is almost over! Where has the time gone? I know, time flies when you’re having fun, but it still doesn’t make it better.

So, most of our time this past month has been spent at camp (we’ve been through this discussion many times). We’ve only slept at home four times since school ended, which is great but also means there are a lot of things to catch up on there once August hits. We’ve made the most of our time here, but unfortunately, it’s like having another house, so there’s always things to do. We built another bedroom in basement, which is almost done, and there is years worth of work to do in the yard. There has been time for relaxation though; swimming, boat rides, biking, entertaining and hiking. We’ve been busy!

Calm morning at camp, July 2018.

Sunset at camp, July 2018.

Waterfall, July 2018.

Sea Lion, July 2018.

Lake Superior, July 2018.

One of the rituals of camp is roasting in the sauna, or as any good Finlander will tell you, the sowna. According to the internet, ideal sauna temperatures are between 70 and 100C, which is usually where we’re at. However, lately I guess I’ve been stoking the fire too much because it’s been over 100C consistently. Last night it was 105C with 80% humidity, which is a little on the blistering side! It pales in comparison to the 115C I achieved a few weeks ago however. I had already had my sauna at a toasty 95C, so I guess I didn’t need to add more wood. When my wife went in, she said she couldn’t even sit in the sauna it was so hot, so she sat in the vestibule instead. She said it felt like your face was melting! You know what would have helped? A nice cold can of cream soda, but unfortunately, I couldn’t find it in stores for like two months. A travesty!

Keeping us busy this summer is a new addition to our family. Last year we had to put our dog of 13 years, Loki, down. People who own pets know that they are not just a pet, but family and Loki was an amazing dog. We decided over the winter that we would get another one, but while we loved our golden retriever, my wife wanted something with less hair and we had to get the timing right. Puppies need a lot of attention and we are very busy while school is on. It had to happen over summer. We originally looked at some goldendoodles, but there were no local breeders and their cost was a bit steep. By chance we happened on some labradoodle puppies and my wife fell in love. On the first day of vacation we drove to Fort Frances to pick up Luna. She is very cute, growing fast but also a pain in the rear. I forgot how much fun puppies are!

Luna, July 2018.

With everything going on, the railway front has been rather quiet, but has picked up as of late. Last Sunday I did a day trip to Gunflint to give another railway related presentation, this time on the life and times of John Paulson, the man behind the Paulson Mine. I always love travelling to Gunflint, and it is certainly one of my happy places. It was a bit of a longer drive this time, as I was coming from camp, which is east of Thunder Bay, but it was worth it. I arrived quite early, so I decided to go for a little walk along the Centennial Trail, which I have mentioned before covers part of the railway grade in Minnesota. In particular, I wanted to look at the rock cuts which form the switchback beside the Round Lake Road. I was shocked at what I found. Those two cuts had been cleared five years ago and were very easy to navigate, and while I know it is summer and it tends to be more grown in, nature has certainly come back with a vengeance. Definitely not a hike I wanted to be doing wearing crocs and dressed for my presentation!

PAD&W rock cut, July 2018.

Lower rock cut, May 2013.

PAD&W rock cut, July 2018.

Upper rock cut, May 2013.

PAD&W rock cut, July 2018.

Anyway, the presentation was well attended as usual and the crowd really enjoyed the information I presented. I’ve already been invited back for next year, which means I need to start revising a previous slideshow I put together many years ago. I’m already looking forward to it as it ties in with an article I wrote on the ghost town of Leeblain.

Audience at the Chik-Wauk Museum, July 2018.

In less than a month the family and I will be in Minneapolis for a football tournament and while we were there, I decided to take the opportunity to do some railway research. While I was writing this past winter for my book on the Gunflint and Lake Superior, I noticed that I had a gap in my information. Two years ago, I travelled to La Crosse, Wisconsin to examine the files of Frank Hixon, the vice president of the Pigeon River Lumber Company. Between those documents and the Arpin Papers at the Cook County Museum in Grand Marais, I thought I had everything covered; turns out I didn’t. I guess I did not realize that the Arpin Papers had a gap in the fall of 1905 and therefore did not examine anything from that time in La Crosse. So, we are leaving a day early for our trip and heading first to La Crosse before proceeding to the Twin Cities. I hope I can find all the information I am missing so I can get most of the book written this coming year.

Anyway, it’s time to go. I’ll be back after my trip with all the latest updates. Until then…

 
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Posted by on July 26, 2018 in Hiking, History, Railway

 

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