Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its seventh year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

Comments, thoughts, or just a friendly chat, use the response box below or email me at patrickgroleau@gmail.com.

August 10, 2019

WANDERABOUTING TO THE END OF THE ROAD

... liz's christmas present was a trip north to "swim in the arctic ocean" ... with john joining us as a trusty sidekick, we headed out for james bay, which is part of hudson bay which is part of the arctic ocean ... outside of matagami, quebec, we stopped at the check-in station before the last leg of our little wanderabout, a 385-mile stretch through the seemingly endless forest north to radisson and what will eventually become the world's greatest hydroelectric complex, the "james bay project" ...


COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... broke my sunglasses, so i had to do with service station shades for our "hope we make it" selfie ... cut through the wilderness in the early-70s, in today's dollars the road cost well over $2,000,000 per mile to construct ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... we stopped at the rupert river ... john disagrees, but i'm pretty sure liz spotted a polar bear ...
  

... this guy was in the bush along the trail to the river ... luckily he'd already eaten a tourist and was dozing away the afternoon while his meal settled ...
   

... okay, so the bear was in the maine wildlife park ... we did see two lynx, however, but they moved too quickly for picture taking ...

... our first visit was to the spillway at the robert-bourassa generating station ... each of the "stairs" is 30-40 feet high, and the full cut is greater in height than niagara falls ... this giant excavation is but one tiny part of the entire james bay project ... i'll leave the numbers to the wikipedia article, but the scale and complexity of this project clearly bring it to the level of planetary engineering ...
   

... there are eight of these 40-foot wide gates which hold back an impound the size of new york state ...
   

... the first basin below the dam is almost 450 feet wide ...
   


... the rock damn is over 500 feet high, two-miles long, and contains over 926,000,000 cubic feet of fill ...
   

... that cool hat reflects so much sunlight that my hair glares to to the point of being overexposed ... [sigh] ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 

... liz volunteered her new car for the trip ... overall mileage average was about 56 miles-per-gallon ... with canadian petrol at over US$4/gal, the savings more than made up for the crack in the windshield that was result of a rock thrown by a huge tractor-trailer rig ...
   


... the robert-bourassa reservoir covers almost 1,100 square miles ...
   


... we made it ... !!! ... peacefully quiet, beautiful, and, our great luck, the very best of the region's weather ...
   

... i put together a really nice ᐃᓄᒃᓱᒃ ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... other than the 459 mile-long gravel road to the remote center of quebec, this is the furthest north you can drive on the eastern side of north america ... 53°58'32.0"N ...
      

... john wandered a bit further north ...
   

... i'd have swum, honest, but between the frigid water and the fact that i would have had to wade out quite a distance across the slippery river stones in order to reach water deep enough to swim—well, let's just say that i'm no fool when it comes to freezing solid my ***** ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... john and his super-duper pal ...
   

... me, trying to thaw my popsicle legs ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... at first we couldn't understand why boats, four-wheelers, snowmobiles, etc., were left unsecured, but we ended thinking that it was because the cree see things like this "communal property" ...
   

... liz loves the shore ...
   

... i played a bit with this image of the la grande-1 dam ...
      

... beyond this, hudson bay, nunavut, and the north pole ...
   

... on our drive south we stopped again at the cascades on the rupert river ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... liz remained calm while being blasted by the water's deafening roar ...
   
 

... i found a perfect spot ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 


... from the perfect spot ...
  

... john sketched the scene ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 

... the "oatmeal rapids" ...
   

... john found this large erosion pothole ... very strange, while water gushes out of its kettle shape there is no water flowing in ... when i put my hand about two feet below the surface i could feel a strong current coming from the bottom ...
   

COURTESY JOHN MEADER 

... a wonderful place ...
   
  
... the flank of bigalow mountain welcomed us home ...
   

... the three of us sharing liz's christmas present, a 2,300+ mile round-trip as-far-as-you-can-drive wanderabout ... what a wonderful time we had ...

July 27, 2019

WANDERABOUTING THE WAVES

    
... visiting with bill in milbridge, his friend, john, invited us to enjoy a little across the waves outing in his lobster boat ... i was excited for a lot of reasons, one being that it would be good practice for the cruise mike and i are taking this fall ... after boarding and setting up a cozy lounge area, we were soon chugging across a relatively calm narraguagus bay ...
    

... i'm rather nomenclature disabled, so usually after a first meeting i only recall names when i remembered to work hard to do so ... this day i was having so much fun that, well, it ended up i had to get some help from bill ... my apologies for any mistakes, and, if you do find an error, please let me know via the little comment box ...

... madelyn seemed to disappear into the endlessness of the sea ...
    
    
... i know it was probably supposed to be a secret, but the stars of a very famous tv show were with us on our voyage ... here's "kelly," who has clearly perfected the skill of traveling incognito ...
    
    
... retired from acting, "jill" has taken up hat modeling ...
    
    
... still cool and calm, i think "kate" enjoyed a day being away from the hustle and bustle that comes with being a celebrity ...
    
    
... the island in our wake is a place that defined bruce's life ...
    
    
... until recently an isolated outpost dedicated to the safety of all who risked sailing this rugged and dangerous coast, now the lighthouse is a residence with an automated beacon ...
    

... turns out katie's from louisiana, and, small world, lived not far from where we lived while pa was overseas ...
    

... bruce and kathleen are of the friendliest couples i've ever been lucky to meet ...
    
    
... along the rocky shore of petit manan the gulls were having a little party ...
    
    
... this photograph isn't ever to make the cover of audubon, but i could care less because i got to snap a picture of a puffin ... way cool ...
    
    
... cap'n bill ...
    
    
... father captaining his son's boat, john's sure hands meld jason chipman's craft to the sea so competently that it becomes hard to imagine one without the other ... it is easy for me to believe that his grandson, wesley, will someday do the same ...
    
    
... from the sea can be seen things not visible from shore ...
    
    
... the stern deck of a small boat at sea is of the very best places to share ...
      

... 7,000 years ago the maritime archaic, the "red paint people," negotiated these waters in search of swordfish ... were any of those ancient mariners to be suddenly time-warped onto the deck of john's boat, or he back to the wooden hull of one of their superbly hand-crafted craft, i think there would be naught but handshakes and smiles, and lacking even a single common word still they would perfectly understand one another ...
    


The sea is never still. 
It pounds on the shore 
Restless as a young heart, 
Hunting.

The sea speaks 
And only the stormy hearts 
Know what it says: 
It is the face 
of a rough mother speaking. 

The sea is young. 
One storm cleans all the hoar 
And loosens the age of it. 
I hear it laughing, reckless. 

They love the sea, 
Men who ride on it 
And know they will die 
Under the salt of it 

Let only the young come, 
Says the sea. 

Let them kiss my face 
And hear me. 
I am the last word 
And I tell
Where storms and stars come from.
   
CARL SANDBURG

... good people, a sound ship, calm seas, and a steady hand upon the helm ... what an absolutely wonderful day ...


i stand warning
not of land's danger,
but that no matter the sea's seductive song
it can never be your
home
    
K.DALE

July 6, 2019

NH WANDERABOUT, FEATURING TESSA

   


... i made a little wanderabout over to new hampshire to spend time with adrien and watch the dogs, cat, and chickens while sarah, gordy and tessa were away on vacation in canada ... before they left i snapped a few pictures of baby little tessa, who is growing into being one crazy sketch of a kid ...
   
   
... playin' with "grammy socks, then lamenting the downgrading of pluto, she's always finding fun ...
   
    
   
... and she reads and reads and reads ... tessa owns reading ...
   
   
... it was hot and muggy while they were gone, so i contented myself to reading, watching movies, and puttering around in the back yard ...
   
   
   
... this is the result of aligning and focus-stacking 12 individual frames, then spending a great deal of time "tweaking" the image ...
   
   
... just playin' around ...
   
   
... my favorite ... first aligning and focus-stacking about ten frames, then creating multiple layers upon which i did all sorts of filtering and adjusting...
   
   
... as a desktop image ... right, i guess there are times modesty eludes me ...
   
   
... returning from canada, still enough energy to do a bit of horseback riding ...
   
   
... "daddy's out unloading the car" ...
   

... we went for a swim, ending with a scurry home to avoid the sudden thunderstorms ... for some reason this one ended up as an aged snapshot ...
   
   
... summer, perfect ...
   
   
... finally, from my "pickin' up groceries" outing ...
   
   
... from my point of view, a most wonderful vacation, indeed ...