Monday, April 5, 2010

A Walk at Kejimkujik National Park

Today we decided to make the most of our Easter Monday holiday and we packed everyone into the car for the short trip to Kejimkujik National Park. Nestled away in the heart of southwestern Nova Scotia, Keji is a real treat. The park has all of the amenities that you would expect to find in a National Park. If you are so inclined, you can camp, rent a canoe, take a swim, hike, catch a trout, or just leisurely wile away the hours. Since the canoe rentals do not open until the middle of May, today's trip was an opportunity to have a picnic lunch and a hike.

Today's trek took us along the Mill Falls trail. This is decidedly not the most difficult trail at Keji but it is ideal for people travelling with young children. There is something good for the soul in having the opportunity to wander along the side of the Mersey River with only the sound of your footsteps and the water as it cascades over the rocks keeping you company. There is a peacefulness that is hard to find in many other places. One of the interesting elements of a river is how quickly the scenery can change. From the turbulence shown in these images, the water was absolutely still at Jake's Landing a little further down the river. At Jake's, the the sound scape had also changed. This time we listened to a chorus of bullfrogs and woodpeckers.

A personal bonus was being able to watch a fly fisherman work the river. I will be the first to admit it, I am transfixed by the romance of fly fishing. I am not sure if it comes from reading too much Hemingway in my early teens or from some innate desire to stand waist deep in running water. Whichever it is, I buy right into the mythology of fly fishing. I absorb stories of man against nature, the larger-than-life stories of back country guides and tales of the wily trout (and more wily salmon) with glee. I have devoured the historic narratives of fly fishing in Nova Scotia from Albert Bigelow Paine's The Tent Dwellers to Frank Parker Day's Autobiography of a Fisherman. I am even greatly intrigued by the flies themselves. These quirky little objects made from feathers and hair have an artistry unto themselves. My great sorrow is that I have never had (or taken) the opportunity to go fly fishing. I have fished in countless other ways from handlining for cod to trying to catch sunfish with tiny pieces of hotdog as a child but, never once have I been fly fishing. Watching this gentleman gracefully work the river has rekindled my interest.

All for now,

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