The other day, the weather cleared enough for us to take the little daytrip that I mentioned last week: to Algonquin Park. It's a rather huge provincial park about an hour and half drive from here. You can only access a small southern portion of the place by car, but it offered more than enough to satisfy our spirits.
Although the leaves were past their peak, and although there wasn't much red, there was still enough yellow colour to look smashing on a sunny day. The drive to the park and then through the park was quite inspiring. Sue and I were snapping pictures like a couple of demented fools, but we had fun. Both the photos posted in this blog are from her camera. She had the better pics that day. In theory, I may have the better camera, but she often gets the better results.
The unrivalled highlight was a little walk that we took along Lookout Trail: not a long trail but, as it turned out, quite a spectacular one. There was quite an incline to walk up — and down — that was strewn with rocks and tree roots. Actually these helped more than hindered because, at times, they made almost natural steps for us.
However, at the end of the trail there was a spectacular view across a wide valley. We stood high on a bedrock outcrop and gazed at lakes in the distance and a huge expanse of sparkling trees way below us and stretching all of the way to the other side. Pictures never capture these views properly, but perhaps you can get an idea from the two that I have posted.
I thrill to serendipitous moments and experiences such as this. We mainly just wanted to go for a drive, visit the Park and see some colour, and we weren't at all disappointed with that. Quite the contrary. But we decided to walk this trail at the last moment. We didn't expect to stumble upon anything quite so grand — a walk in the woods would have been fine really.
This has happened to me before, this stepping off the beaten path to discover something quite wonderful. I think of the time that we detoured off the Trans Canada Highway in flat Saskatchewan and found ourselves in the scenic Qu'Appelle valley. How many people drive the Trans Canada, eager to get to The Rockies or wherever, but never see this glorious river valley? How many cars zoomed past us yesterday, in their hurry to get to who knows where: cars that never stop to explore any of what they are passing?
There's a little more to it than "stopping to smell the roses" although that is rather grand notion too. If we exercise just a little bit of a willingness to extend ourselves, to be open to opportunities, and/or to expend a little bit of initiative and energy, there's no telling what wonderful things that we can experience in our little lives.
Sometimes, it's not opportunities that are passing us by but we who are bypassing opportunities.