Connect the dots
Connect to people
Connect to your feelings
Connect to your beliefs
Connect to your past
To meet up
To join together
At first it seemed that this word didn’t carry much weight. It’s flippantly used to describe the most mundane events in our lives. Sure we try to connect to our feelings, to our pasts and to our inner child but mostly we just connect the dots and connect to the internet.
I experienced connection on significant levels over the past year: I’ve re-connected with a childhood best friend and neglected family members, and managed to strengthened some friendships that were suffering.
When something connects there is more than just a casual touch; there’s a linking, a fusing, a joining and there’s a commitment on both sides.
I think it’s fantastic that I’ve discovered the unswerving meaning of ‘to connect’ and I don’t even need a toy in my mouth.
I find it interesting that I’ve chosen the tundra to represent Solitude, having just used a similar picture for ‘Bliss.’ You’d think that the two aren’t compatible. Isn’t the first impression of solitude isolation and loneliness?
The tundra is a place so silent your ears ring. There’s no rustle of leaves on a tree; no trees. No grinding crush of car tires on gravel; no cars. No almost audible rumble of a far off plane; no planes. With this silence comes a spiritual peace of mind.
Silence can be an aspect of solitude.
There’s silent on the tundra because no one’s here. My dogs and I are 100 miles north of the Arctic Circle and a two-hour hike off a 457 miles long gravel road.
There are few people in this area. Ironically, there are hundreds of bears and moose and caribou, but the animals won’t let themselves be seen. Here on this chain of mountain tops you can wander for days and see little wildlife. Don’t kid yourself, though, they are there.
We scan the distance trying to see a glimpse of movement but we see nothing. The dug up dirt, the fresh scat, and the newly laid foot print tell a different story, but we’ll play along and pretend that we are alone.
You don’t have to be alone to know solitude.
Two weeks later we’re in the Northwest Territories, 50 miles up another dirt highway. We set up camp down a winding dirt road knowing that no one will be passing by. Night is settling in and a light breeze gently rattles the camper’s windows. We feel safe and serene in our little home.
Being alone doesn’t mean being lonely.
Solitude can be bliss
It was impossible for me to choose one photo to represent Bliss so I chose two. You might be surprised that both involve my dogs (tongue in cheek).
To me, Bliss can be manifest in two ways.
Here is my photo of what Joyful Ecstasy….Leading to BLISS…. looks like.
and here is my photo representation of Serene Introspection… leading to BLISS.
If we pay attention, our dogs show us everyday what it means to be BLISSFUL.
Our day began by passing through more herds of bison. Eureka decided this is the favorite part of the entire trip. She’s even displaced TinTin by riding shotgun and scanning the horizon for beasties.
Leaving the burn area behind us, it was a relief to see the green of the pines again. The road here follows the Liard River which is a tributary to the Mackenzie River.
We arrived in Port Providence, a quiet Dehcho First Nation village. There was evidence of buffalo even along the sidewalks running up to the library. The campground here is fenced by heavy wire and wood construction.
Two things to note about this video. 1. The Flies, Wow were they bad! The bison were tormented by them! and 2. The barking Poodles, Wow were they bad! The
bison I was tormented by them!
From the car these bison may look nonthreatening and small, but check this out!
Do you think this might be hint to their their size……?
I decided not to continue on to Yellowknife. I started to feel the draw of Central and South America calling. I decided to continue along the Deh Cho Highway Eastward and then south into Alberta, through Glacier National Park in Montana and back to Seattle. The thought of more hundreds of acres of burned forest between Fort Providence and Yellowknife and driving through more groups of bison (with the dogs over the top excitement) was enough to convince me to head south.
After a quiet night in Fort Providence’s provincial campground we headed back down the Makenzie Highway and east. We pulled onto a narrow dirt road for camping. It ended at a small rocky field where we settled down for the night.
I had been told that The Northern Lights could be seen this time of the year so I’d been getting up around 2 and 3am to look at the sky. Unfortunately, the nights had been over cast and obliterating any chance of seeing them. This night was crystal clear and the stars were thick but everything was obscured by the Full Moon. Walking out onto the slabs of rocks and large patches of gravel I noticed that the Poodles and I cast strong shadow. What better than to be…..
Dancing in the Moonlight
and making Shadow art
Of course you’ve already seen the Poodle Petroglyphs, Sand Art and Block Prints. It was this evening that started the whole show.
These two days fit perfectly into my blog photo lesson “Water”:“A source of life. A place of recreation. A calming presence, but also a destructive force…We have different relationships to and stories about water: how it has saved or defeated us. How it reminds us of family vacations, outdoor adventures, or the hot summers of our childhood. How it might also symbolize a place we’ve left behind, or a location we dream to go….How will you interpret this theme? How can you tell a story with water?”
My story today is about the waterfalls of the Deh Cho Route (Dehcho mean’s Waterfall in the Dene (South Slavey people) and Métis language) . Along this route here are numerous places to pull of and find these magnificent falls. I never expected to see canyons in this area.
Sambaa Deh Falls
I was taken by the beautiful sights but the dogs kept themselves busy sniffing and exploring. I should have predicted that Nickel would find dead vermin to entertain herself. She was determined to tease Eureka and TinTin with it.
I think it was a muskrat.
The next day we came across an even larger fall. It was quite spectacular. Some of the Poodle Petroglyphs were taken here.
Lady Evelyn Falls
can you find the Poodles below?
Evidence of a variety of wildlife living on the river. I couldn’t believe the teeny mouse tracks… followed by the fox tracks!
We found a way down to the river but the poodles decide that it was too steep and scary. I think they read the signs.
You can see Eureka’s concern by her yawn… a typical sign of stress in a dog.
Steps to the river