Hello, Yellow . . .

Sun Carving by Local Artists David Taylor, Black Rock, N.S.

A collection of yellows from various photo outings across Canada to brighten the impending blue of winter.

Similar posts on O’Canada:

→ Green With Envy

→ Joy of the Blues

Seeing Red 

Vintage Picture Map Geography of Canada

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I recently came across a copy of an old school book, “Picture Map Geography of Canada and Alaska” by Vernon Quinn, that includes charming woodcut picture maps by Bruno da Osimo, a then noted Italian illustrator, for each of the Canadian provinces (other than Nunavut, which was then part of the Northwest Territories).  Originally published in 1944 and updated in 1954, it has a light but well-written chapter devoted to individual provinces.  Each map features animals, plants, activities and industries peculiar to the province depicted.  In addition to the maps (scanned in above and below), the book is adorned throughout with other delightful illustrations by da Osima (some of which I’ll compile in a future post).

alberta british-columbia manitoba-saskatchewan newfoundland nova-scotia-new-brunswick-pei ontario-2 quebec yukon

 

Similar Posts on O’Canada Blog:

1933 Quebec Tourist Road Map

Old Maps and Their Hidden Stories

Songs & Ballads From Nova Scotia

Green With Envy

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Headstones, Old Burying Ground, Halifax

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Given its immense size, Canada is blessed with vast forests, sprawling farms and sweeping fields all of green.  Adding to previous posts featuring red- and blue-themed photo galleries, this collection showcases many shades of green that I’ve encountered through my photos from coast to coast across Canada.

Joy of the Blues

Nfld -- Boat on Grass

Small Fishing Boat, Near Port Rexton, Newfoundland

I love playing around with themes.  In an earlier post, I grouped together a bunch of my photos from across Canada that featured a strong element of red.  Today, I thought I’d do a similar thing with some photos that incorporate blues (of the uplifting kind).

The Atlantic Advocate – Part 1: Vintage Trade and Tourism Ads

Newfoundland Trademarks

The Atlantic Advocate was a general interest magazine published monthly from 1956 through 1992 with a focus on life, culture and business in the four Atlantic provinces — New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.  While browsing through a stack of issues from the late ’50s and early ’60s, one of the things that stood out to me was the enthusiastic boosterism of many ads promoting economic development and tourism in those places.  The fact that ads of this nature are so prominent in a general interest publication is partly a testament to the economic challenges long faced by the Maritimes and an appreciation by their relatively small populations of the significant impact of industry and natural resources development on daily life in their regions.

 

Canadian Cities in 1950s Watercolors

Edmonton

For Canada Day weekend, this post features images that span the geography of this vast country.  Around 1953, in a grand display of national pride, the Montreal-based alcohol and beverage giant Seagram Company commissioned over a dozen Canadian artists (including several among the famed Group of Seven) to create a series of  watercolors of major Canadian cities. The paintings were subsequently the focus of a world tour organized by Seagram to showcase Canada and its urban landscapes.

While recently rummaging through an antique shop I came across a small booklet, dating to 1953, in which these paintings were reproduced and for which this post shows a sampling of the now somewhat faded images.  While many of the provincial capitals are depicted, I find the inclusion of several less prominent cities (including Fort William, Hamilton, Sarnia, Shawinigan Falls and Trois Rivieres) to be fascinating.

St. John's

Calgary

Shawinigan Falls

Charlottetown

Halifax

Montreal

Regina

Quebec City

Saint John

Hamilton

Vancouver

Toronto

Winnipeg

Windsor

“Mel’s Tearoom” — Finished

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Brett Lockwood, “Mel’s Tearoom, Sackville, N.B. (2015)

(Acrylic on Board, 32″x 48″)

In the recent past I’ve not picked up my paintbrushes as often as I’ve used my ever-dependable Nikon.  But something about the vintage neon sign hanging outside the Mel’s Tearoom diner in  Sackville, New Brunswick and the photo (below) that I snapped of it a while back (earlier post here) inspired me to translate that image onto canvas — with some usual artistic license along the way. Perhaps seeing Toronto artist Andrew Horne’s marvelous takes on classic signage from bygone eras both online and at his Flying Pony gallery in Toronto contributed as well.  In any event, the result is above (photo is a bit crooked), which I’ve happily finished and wrapped with a handmade floating frame.  Efforts at painting like this are good meditative exercises and always enhance my appreciation for the skill and creative expressions of professional artists.

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Inspiration Photo for Painting

“Having a swell time . . .”: Vintage Hospital Postcards

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Postmarked 1913.  A cozy looking place.

Hospitals seem a peculiar and dreary subject for postcards.  But back in the day — before routine outpatient procedures and hospitals speedily freeing up beds — time in hospital (as patient or visitor) regularly spanned several days or longer, so penning a brief note to update absent friends or loved ones was probably not so odd.  And what better way to do it than with one of the colored cards conveniently available at the hospital!

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 Postmarked 1945. The note starts out: “Having a swell time.”  Love those roadsters!

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About 1948.  Yikes — looks more like a prison!

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About 1910.  Regal digs.  Notice horse and buggy to bottom left.

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 Postmarked 1935.  Street car or bus passing by.

Quiet Autumn Sunset, New Brunswick

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Near Sunset, Looking Across the Lubec Narrows, Campobello Island, New Brunswick

“The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens.”

                                                                                              ~Rainer Maria Rilke

Love These Vintage Neon and Bulb Signs!

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Mixed in among modern urban streetscapes, the look and feel of the rare classic neon and bulb-lit signs are distinctive. I spied these in Toronto and one in New Brunswick (the fabulous sign for Mel’s Tea Room!), which happily stand the test of time.

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Bridges As Depicted on Vintage Postcards

High-Level-Bridge,-Edmonton

 Steam train crossing as onlookers leisurely enjoy the vista.  Postmarked 1921. 

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Even with sophisticated modern equipment, bridges are marvels of engineering skill.  Bridges from earlier periods, such as the array of Canadian ones featured on these vintage postcards, built without the benefit of such conveniences and often at the cost of many lives and injuries, are that much more impressive!

Heading into Canada from Detroit.  About 1940s, when cars featured many curves.

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Victoria-Jubilee-Bridge

Love the simplicity of this image and the partial reflection. Postmarked 1906.

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Similar posts:

•  Beautiful Old Railway Bridge, Near Clementsport, N.S.

•  Canada-U.S. Friendship Postcard and Stamps

•  Vintage Quebec:  Ox Carts, Dog Carts and Sleighs

Old Maps and Their Hidden Stories

Nova Canadae 1693

Nova Canadae (1693)

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Good historical maps combine science and art to guide its users through its subject geography, with the best such maps igniting the imagination about the many backstories underpinning its cartographical offerings. Some of the oldest maps of North America include parts of Canada, which then featured place names such Terra Nova (now Newfoundland), Nouvelle France (most of what is now Eastern Canada), and Acadie (now Nova Scotia).  The following collection showcases some interesting old maps of Canada I’ve come across.

Related Posts on O’Canada:

1933 Quebec Tourist Road Map

Moonlit Views of Yesteryear Canada

Chateau-Frontenac----Moody

While thumbing through a large group of vintage Canadian postcards at a local antique shop a half-dozen or so among the thousand-plus cards stood out because each featured a highly stylized moonlight view of their subjects, giving each card a dark and moody feel.  Most were from about 1906 to 1908, with one as late as 1919, and all but one were marked as being printed by Valentine & Sons, a noted Scottish postcard publisher of the time with offices in Toronto and Montreal.  A little online research revealed that the cards were collotype photographs taken in daylight with a full moon, clouds and lighting effects layered on top, after which the images were hand-tinted.

Bear-River----Moody-Mag

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Greenbank----Moody

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Halifax----Moody-Mag

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NB----Moody-Mag

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Rideau----Moody

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St.-James-Cathedral----Mood

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Windsor-Hotel----Moody

Similar posts on O’Canada:

•  Vintage Postcards:  Canadian Churches

•  Vintage Canadiana:  Canadian Home Journal

•  Vintage Canadian Apple Crate Labels

Artist to Appreciate: Christopher Pratt

C. Pratt, Placentia Bay in Winter (1995)

Christopher Pratt, Placentia Bay Boat in Winter (1995)

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Christopher Pratt is justly considered one of Canada’s most significant living artists.  His realistic art focuses on Atlantic Canada, particularly his home province of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Pratt’s compositions are usually quite spare and many convey a notable sense of melancholy and reflective quietude, whether of outport cottages and other simple structures with strong architectural lines or his sweeping coastal landscapes. While his style is distinctively his own, the subdued moodiness of Pratt’s work brings to mind that of Edward Hopper and the realist paintings of Alex Colville, another Canadian master who taught at New Brunswick’s Mount Allison University at a time when Pratt was a student there.   Mount Allison is also where Pratt met his now former wife, Mary West Pratt, an equally noteworthy Canadian painter in her own right.

In 2013, the always brilliant Canadian publisher, Firefly Books, released Christopher Pratt: Six Decades, which provides a comprehensive overview of this artist’s work.  (Coincidentally, in 2013 another excellent Canadian publisher, Goose Lane Editions, went to press with Mary Pratt, a beautiful retrospective of Mary Pratt’s amazing artistry.)

C. Pratt, Blue Iron Door (2013)

Christopher Pratt, Blue Iron Door (2013)

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C. Pratt, Woman at Dresser (1964)

Christopher Pratt, Woman at Dresser (1964)

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C. Pratt, House in August (1968)

Christopher Pratt, House in August (1968)

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C. Pratt, Ingornachoix Bay -- Long Shed (2007)

Christopher Pratt, Ingornachoix Bay — Long Shed (2007)

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C. Pratt, Spring Coming Over Trout River (2009)

Christopher Pratt, Spring Coming Over Trout River (2009)

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Similar posts on O’Canada:

•  Artist to Appreciate:  Mary Pratt

•  In Memory of Alex Colville

•  Artist to Appreciate:  Michael E. Glover

Colorful Coastal Collections

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Whimsical Tractor Seat Display (along the road to New Brunswick)

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Brightly colored fishing buoys and other items with vivid hues dot the coastal landscape.  These photos highlight a few collections of such items spied not long ago around Canada’s Atlantic coast.

Buoy Display, Campobello Island, N.B.

Buoy-Adorned Cottage, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Buoys and Floats, Delaps Cove, N.S.

Pink and Orange Floats, Delaps Cove, N.S.

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Cozy Chairs, St. Andrew's By the Sea, N.B.

Cozy Lounging Chairs, St. Andrew’s By the Sea, N.B.

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Buoy Signpost, Neils Harbor, Cape Breton, N.S.

Buoy Signpost, Neils Harbor, Cape Breton, N.S.

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Buoy Display, Shelburne, N.S.

Buoy Wall Display, Shelburne, N.S.

Mel’s Tea Room and More . . . Sackville, New Brunswick

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Mel’s Tea Room, Sackville, New Brunswick

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These classic old signs and doorway tiles stood out on a recent stop in the historic town of Sackville, New Brunswick.  The neon and styling of the sign for Mel’s Tea Room — a local diner that is authentically vintage — in particular harkens back to an earlier era.

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wwDSC_9386Sackville Bowling, Sackville, New Brunswick

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wwDSC_9388Tiled Store Entryway, Sackville, New Brunswick

St. Andrews By The Sea, New Brunswick

View Across the Bay, Celtic Cross Park, St. Andrews By the Sea

View Across the Bay, Celtic Cross Park, St. Andrews By the Sea, N.B.

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St. Andrews By the Sea is a historic town located in the southwestern corner of New Brunswick (about an hour west of Saint John) across the Passamaquoddy Bay from Maine.  Established as a Loyalist bastion in the late eighteenth century, it is now a resort town featuring magnificent bay views and many well-preserved buildings showcasing early architectural styles.  These photos are from a late Fall visit.

Artist to Appreciate: Mary Pratt

Mary Pratt, Cold Cream (1983)

Mary Pratt, Cold Cream (1983)

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Born in Fredericton, New Brunswick and living in St. John’s, Newfoundland for most of her life and career,  Mary Pratt is one of Canada’s realist painters of the highest order.  Her subject matter ranges from luminescent jelly jars and other domestic still lifes to pensive nudes and fleeting dramatic moments (such as a fire blazing in a steel barrel).  Pratt’s artwork is as much about the intricate interplay of light and color on her subjects as anything else.

In conjunction with a traveling exhibition of Pratt’s paintings organized by the The Rooms of Newfoundland and Labrador (May – Sept. 2013) and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia (starting Oct. 2014), Goose Lane Editions recently published a beautiful new book, Mary Pratt (2013), which showcases much of her work.  The book features a wide selection of her paintings as well as remarks by Pratt herself and thoughtfully written essays by several leading Canadian art writers.

Saint John’s Transcendent Old Loyalist Burial Grounds

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Weathered Tombstone, Old Loyalist Burial Grounds, Saint John, N.B.

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Cemeteries are places of transcendent reverence, contemplation and connectedness.  I’m particularly moved by final resting grounds that are situated in locations that cause them to be part of a people’s day-to-day lives.  One of the best and most visually gorgeous of these is the very old Loyalist Burial Grounds in Saint John, New Brunswick, which, like Halifax’s Old Burying Ground, is in the heart of the city’s downtown core.  These pictures from a recent trip on a brisk November morning makes clear that the majestic tombstones dating to as early as 1783 are very much a part of the urban environment built up around them.  With its winding walkways, inviting benches and vast shade trees, the Loyalist Burial Grounds is as much a frequented park space as it is a place for memory and serves as a peaceful oasis amidst the surrounding hustle and bustle.

Barns and Cottages of the Maritimes — Part 2

Rusted Roof Barn, Evangeline Beach, N.S.

Rusted Roof Barn, Evangeline Beach, N.S.

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Following Part 1 on this subject, here are some more scenic views of barns, cottages and sheds of the Maritimes. (Click image to enlarge.)

Barns and Cottages of the Maritimes — Part 1

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Rustic Red Barn, Near St. Croix Cove, Nova Scotia

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Scenery does not get more picturesque than a rustic barn or cozy cottage situated against a body of moving water or a lush green field.  While hues of red seem to be the color of choice for barns and barn doors along the maritime coast and nearby farm fields, shades of grey, blue, yellow and a few other colors sometimes sneak in.  These barns, sheds and cottages from around Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are typical of the serene coastal and rural scenery throughout the region. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Scenes of Campobello Island

Toward Sundown, Campobello Island Lighthouse, New Brunswick

Toward Sundown, Campobello Island Lighthouse, New Brunswick

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Campobello Island is nestled in a scenic pocket of southeastern New Brunswick and is accessible on the U.S. side from the charming village of Lubec, Maine. The island’s Roosevelt Campobello International Park is jointly administered by both American and Canadian authorities, making it unusual for that reason among parks on either side of the shared border.  It’s quite a trek to get there but its tranquil scenery is well worth the effort.  These are from a recent brief visit.

Colorful Cottage, Campobello Island, N.B.

Colorful Cottage, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Fall Sunset, Campobello Island, N.B.

Fall Sunset, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Red Berries, Campobello Island, N.B.

Rose Hips, Campobello Island, N.B.

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Floating Cottages, Campobello Island, N.B.

Floating Cottages, Campobello Island, N.B.

Abundance at the Saint John City Market

St. John, N.B. City Market

St. John, N.B. City Market

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Americans celebrate Thanksgiving later this week, about a month and a half after Canadians mark their own similar holiday.  A trip last week to the picturesque City Market in the heart of downtown Saint John, New Brunswick — filled as it is with vibrant colors, numerous tastes and smells, all manner of local and regional food offerings and friendly vendors — brought to mind both country’s annual Fall celebrations.   These images taken during that trip provide a small sampling of this wonderful local marketplace.

Artist to Appreciate: Michael E. Glover

Michael Glover, End of the Line, Hines Creek, Alberta (2010) 2

Michael Glover, End of the Line, Hines Creek, Alberta (2010)

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Michael Glover’s realist artwork conveys a deep appreciation for the stark and forlorn rural and industrial landscapes that hint at the hardscrabble existence of the hardy folks who settled such remote areas long ago.  His sense of place is strong — even to the point that the titles of his paintings denote the specific towns depicted — and I like that much of his work focuses on the often overlooked Canadian heartland regions of Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta.  However, Glover is the rare Canadian painter whose work embraces images of virtually all the country’s provinces, reflecting his wide travels across Canada’s vast expanse.

Michael Glover, In The Heartland, Aneroid, Saskatchewan (2006)

Michael Glover, In The Heartland, Aneroid, Saskatchewan (2006)

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Michael Glover, On the Crowsnest Line, Pincher Station, Alberta (2012)

Michael Glover, On the Crowsnest Line, Pincher Station, Alberta (2012)

Michael Glover, Forgotten Timber, Wawa, Ontario (2007)

Michael Glover, Forgotten Timber, Wawa, Ontario (2007)

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Michael Glover, Once Proud, Still Strong, Fredericton, N.B. (2004)

Michael Glover, Once Proud, Still Strong, Fredericton, N.B. (2004)

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Michael Glover, Standing Proud in the Eleventh Hour, Mossleigh, Alberta (2006)

Michael Glover, Standing Proud in the Eleventh Hour, Mossleigh, Alberta (2006)

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Michael Glover, The Final Days of Fleming, Fleming, Saskatchewan (2012)

Michael Glover, The Final Days of Fleming, Fleming, Saskatchewan (2012)

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Michael Glover, Alexandria Falls, Enterprise, NWT (2012)

Michael Glover, Alexandria Falls, Enterprise, NWT (2012)

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Michael Glover, Nightstop, Grenfell, Saskatchewan (2012)

Michael Glover, Nightstop, Grenfell, Saskatchewan (2012)

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Glover has a much-deserved exhibition opening in late November 2013 at the Art Gallery of Northumberland (Ontario), appropriately entitled “The Lost and Forgotten: Canada’s Vanishing Landscape.”   More of Glover’s exceptional art may also be viewed at his website here and at the Quinn’s of Tweed (Ontario) gallery.

Image Credits:  Michael E. Glover

Like the Energizer Bunny, The Appalachian Trail Keeps Going and Going

 

Map of the SIA / IAT

I just got back from several days and about 65 miles of hiking with one of my sons on the Appalachian Trail in North Carolina.  Among the notable features along the North Carolina section of this major east coast footpath are many gorgeous vistas, beautiful water falls and streams and high mountain meadows.  The AT, as it is sometimes called, extends between Georgia up to Maine, following the range of the Appalachian Mountains over its 2,100+ miles in the U.S. 

As I was hiking, I recalled that the Appalachian range  actually ends much further north of Maine continuing as it does up into New Brunswick and Quebec on the mainland with a final section of the mountains ending near Belle Isle, Newfoundland and Labrador.   About 15 years ago, a number of hiking enthusiasts conceived what is called the “International Appalachian Trail”, which is a trail extension trail along the natural geography of this ancient mountain range into Canada without regard to national borders.  (Because North America, Europe and Africa were all once connected in truly ancient times, there is even an effort to route a trail with a continuation into Britain then onto Spain and finally in North Africa, linking together the geographical “remains” of this once vast inter-connected range.)   Already quite a few hikers have undertaken and completed the additional challenge associated with the trek from Mt. Katahdin, Maine up to Belle Isle. 

Endpoint of the Appalachian Trail in Maine

Having already hiked along several beautiful trails on Canada’s east coast, I’m sure the International AT holds special beauty and I’ll look forward to tackling stretches of it myself at some point.  For now, though, I’ll admire such feats from afar as my dogs are still barking from my most recent trail outing.

(Photo credit:  kworth30 / Wikimedia)

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