Provincial Parks – First Visit in Ontario

Like Ken Burns, I think that provincial and national parks are great. When I was living in Alberta, without any thought of ever leaving, I had thought about planning a photography project; I was going to photograph all of the Provincial Parks in Alberta. While I rarely miss living there, I do miss the beauty, and peace, of the Albertan landscape.

I was lucky enough to travel as far north as High Level, Alberta,┬ábut didn’t quite make it to Wood Buffalo National Park. Today marked my first visit to an Ontarian provincial park. I went to Darlington Provincial Park, about an hour’s drive east of Toronto.

I don’t remember ever having to pay to visit a provincial park in Alberta, but I had to pay $14.50 to enter Darlington. It was a bit of a hit, but I paid it anyway. I stayed for only a couple of hours, but it was worth it to get out of the city for a while and find some quiet among the slowly lapping shores of Lake Ontario.

My intention was to go and try to find some peace of mind. I soon realized that I’m not very good at the whole “peace of mind” thing. There’s a lot going on in this noggin of mine. I did sit on a tree stump for about 20 minutes, but found myself anxious at the inactivity.

One of the best things about living in Alberta was that I was never far away from being in the country. Here, in Toronto, it’s harder for me to get away. Only lately have I been feeling the desire to just get in the car and drive off into the country. I don’t fly fish anymore, and I don’t take many pictures. When I was living in Alberta, my car was always packed, and I could fish until about 11 at night in the summer with some sunlight.

Without my camera, but armed with my phone, I took some photos, in between skipping rocks on (four was my best) and throwing rocks into (maybe 40 metres) the water.

Here’s a picture I took at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park, in Alberta, about a 45-minute drive north of where my folks live:

This is the waterfall at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park.
This is the waterfall at Big Hill Springs Provincial Park.

Here are some of the pictures I took tonight:

This is where I ate chicken fingers and onion rings, prepared at the park store.
This is where I ate chicken fingers and onion rings, prepared at the park store.
Looking west from the beach at the park.
Looking west from the beach at the park.
The sun looked kind of nice shining through the clouds.
The sun looked kind of nice shining through the clouds.
The seagulls gathered just before sunset, setting the horizon line.
The seagulls gathered just before sunset, setting the horizon line.

Maybe I’ll plan a similar project for Ontario’s provincial parks, but I’ll have to set aside some funds for next summer. Plus, I really need to start fly fishing again. I miss it.

The hardest thing, probably, about living in Ontario, in Toronto, is that there are always people around. It’s not even just that there are people, it’s that you’re alone amongst them. I just might have to take up photography again, if only to find the quiet moments that they capture.

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