Spring Peaks & Zika Seeks

Are you planning for a camping trip this year? Already shopping at your favourite retailers and outdoor suppliers? Are you prepared?

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Mosquito Photo Credit: Care2.com

Something that I’m sure has been bothering many, or at least gaining interest, is the rising concern for the Zika Virus. We have been hearing about it on TV, in newspapers, and even the various social networks. Various media outlets are bringing to light different advisory warnings for those traveling to countries with the outbreaks. While various regions all over the world are still in their winter seasons the virus will have a harder time spreading until spring peaks with the mosquito population.

Do not fret! This short article will detail import things you should know about the virus and ways you can stay healthy in the great outdoors!

The most common way to contract the virus is from mosquito bites. According to the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) website those who are infected may experience symptoms such as: fever, headaches, rash, joint pain, muscle pain, and/or conjunctivitis (a.k.a. pink eyes or red eyes as seen below).

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Image provided by CDC

While there are currently no cures or vaccines for the Zika Virus; we have to be as a scout and “be prepared”. Some of the best and most common ways to help prevent being a mosquito’s meal is to use bug spray with DEET as the active ingredient to repel those pesky insects.

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Example of one popular brand with DEET

For those with kids (three and younger) or wanting to add another layer of protection from not only mosquitoes, but also things such as fleas and ticks; is to wear clothing with Permethrin. Both the US and Canadian military have used Permethrin in their uniforms for over the last 30 years. While it may be more expensive than regular clothing there are alternatives to spray your clothing and camping gear at a fraction of the cost. While Bear’s Den Lodge does not promote any particular brand of Permethrin products, this short five-minute YouTube video from Sawyer goes into greater detail of how to use and safely apply Permethrin sprays.

 

 

 

There are also other great options for those seeking alternatives for their traveling individual needs.

Remember, stay safe and be prepared this season!

 

Authored by Joe Barefoot

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Fishing – The Job that Hooked My Heart

“Ever since I was a young boy I always had fond memories heading north and fishing with my brother in Ontario,” says Art Barefoot (Co-Owner of Bear’s Den Lodge). “From the people, the sights, and even the thrill hearing the reel squeal from another fight with a fish. It was paradise and I wanted to be part of it.”  BDLcollection 263.JPG

“Life wasn’t always easy growing up in a humble Pennsylvanian farmstead, but I knew after my first voyage north that I wanted to be an outfitter.”

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Owner & Executive Chef Art Barefoot providing laugher and warm meals.
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Line Class World Record Muskie Holder Art Barefoot explains the Muskie fishery and structure of how to fish the French River to Bill Hamblin (center) and long time guests Chris and Harry.

“Through high school I worked several odd jobs from pumping gas, being a lifeguard to even working at the local meat market as an apprenticing butcher. During my free time I went hunting, fishing, and even competed in archery, rifle, shotgun, pistol, and handgun shooting competitions.

After I graduated, I then attended the University of Georgia where I wanted to become a marine biologist.  Like a fish taking to water, I only thought it was natural to begin furthering my understanding and curiosity of aquatic life. In order to help pay for my education, I learned scuba diving. Once I was licensed, I not only instructed others at the University of Georgia, but also worked for Florida’s Department of Fish and Game.

As I was working for the Florida Department, I had to learn how to do underwater mapping with a small dive team as we explored the various underwater caves and springs, while measuring the water’s flow. At the time we had no idea why the Department wanted such detailed maps until sometime after we finished our last expedition and saw construction clearing the lands and bogs for Disney’s new theme park.”

 

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Aerial photo of the Bear’s Den Lodge

Art Barefoot, brings his culinary skills from, the Fire Team and Scuba Search & Rescue Team that he later worked for and would prepare the meals for the teams awaiting the next call. Later when he returned to Pennsylvania, he owned and operated a retail/wholesale meat market and catering business after being co-owner of a gun shop. There he found his love, Brenda Barefoot, after surviving a terrible auto accident.

He brushed himself off and later found another opportunity working in a bank as a teller and later became a loan officer, assisting businesses and people in advancing their dreams. With each promotion he got further away from home and each office had no windows until one morning he was seen carrying his gun over his three piece suit to be prepared to jump out of the truck, go into the woods, and go deer hunting when the opportunity presented. That was when his now wife, Brenda, realized it was time to follow his childhood dream.

After searching for a place to purchase, Art wrote across his desk “Gone Fishing” and left for the great Canadian wilderness and has never looked back.

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Owner Art Barefoot guiding

Would You Like to Visit the French River?

Imagine waking to the sounds of song birds chirping happily in the first rays of your summer morning. Splashes rippling through the crisp mirror reflection, while the busy beavers and otters continue their work and play. Can you feel the soft pine tingling your senses as the gentle breeze brushes pass?

Bear’s Den Lodge shares a collection of beautiful photos from a long time guest as he was immersed and enraptured by the French River, during his vacation.

French River Photography at Bear’s Den Lodge, Ontario, Canada

Bear’s Den Lodge Inspired by Nature for 90 Years – A Diamond in the Wilderness

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French River Delta landscape of granite rock, pine trees and more to appreciate.

Does nature inspire you? If yes, Bear’s Den Lodge would like to share an inspiring “place” some call a “special place”, a “simple life” and to others, it is a “bit of heaven on earth” for the past 90 years. This diamond, or jewel in the North provides you the opportunity to become a part of a significant part of Canadian history some 400 years ago during Champlain’s journey through the French River.

Imagine journeying these corridors 400 years ago in a canoe with Champlain. New and adventurous waters lay ahead; not knowing what nature had in store. Between these magnificent granite rocks with white quartz blazes were sparkling diamonds in the blue water reflecting the magnificent sky and landscape it enjoyed. Today, being a protected and the first Canadian Heritage Provincial Park it remains much unchanged. Nature and wildlife have been an important treasure to protect in our French River Provincial Park and waterways.

Magnificent scenery and landscape on the French River inspired a New York banker, Mr. Martin and his wife in 1925 to build their summer home, Bear’s Den Lodge. Having most likely arrived by train, they traveled to what today is Bear’s Den Bay to build their elaborate home. It sits majestically overlooking this bountiful bay, a finger off Hartley Bay, French River. A panoramic view of nature exists from this high point with snowshoe rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, an occasional deer or bear wandering by. Inside a local resident created a masterpiece from nature using white quartz and nuggets of gold to create the massive fireplace.

Nature comes in all sizes and shapes. The dotted islands with scrubby trees add character and share the results of harsh and worn years of glaciers, extreme weathering and harsh winters with leaning pine swept tree to the artist’s palette. Water trickles after the rain from rocky cliffs and streams meander around boulders to areas of whitewater.

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Great Blue Heron soaring over the French River.

Wildlife abounds. Great blue herons, osprey, red tailed hawks, or the magnificent bald eagle calling to their mates or territory from overhead, loons dancing on the water or hidden in the birch and coniferous trees are the bulging of the elk.

Strolling the wildlife trails leads to rays of sun bursting through the trees lighting the ground cover of a variety of wild mushrooms, berries, moss, boulders, and hidden lakes to explore.

Do you appreciate nature, outdoor adventures, or capturing nature though a lens? If so, join us in celebrating the nature adventures that inspired Mr. and Mrs. Martin to create 90 year ago, Bear’s Den Lodge – truly a diamond in the wilderness.



Gone Were the Days of Wooden Boats, a Labor of Love , But Not Forgotten

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Looking at some old photographs, I remember the pride in purchasing the very first wooden boat for Bear’s Den Lodge some thirty years ago, it was the brightest pride and smoothest, fastest ride in the French River Delta. Wooden boats were a labor of love.
Pictured here are the memories of those who passed through the history before us.  As the memory projects, the previous owners tired of the hours of labor and love to maintain these wooden boats. The old fleet currently rests not on the bank where we sadly found them beyond restoration, but in the cove to be a reminder of the days gone by,  but not forgotten.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

Holiday Gift Ideas for the Outdoor Lover

Do you have that special outdoor lover and need a special gift for the holidays? Have you bought every lure possible for the tackle box? Christmas is closing in quickly and still don’t know what to do? Now is the time to plan that special event for that special person or difficult gift idea.

Bear’s Den Lodge is a unique place to share a special gift idea from. For the holidays, Bear’s Den Lodge is offering a totally, “Make your Own Fishing Package Idea”. You can create that one of a kind gift for that special person. The options are endless and the imagination is the lead.

You can create a Personalized Self-guided Fishing American Plan Meal Package to a “Fully-Pampered” Guided American Plan Meal Package or mix it up and do your own meals in a French River Housekeeping Cottage. The lodge outfitters offer 30 years of experience to create daily adventures and give advice on where and how to fish the beautiful French River Delta.

Do you love history or just taking landscape and wildlife photos? The French River has both to offer. This year marks the 400th Year Celebration for Champlain having explored the French River during the fur trade era. Bear’s Den Lodge will mark 90 years with the original main lodge to explore the fish and wildlife mounts, old photos and albums, films from TV shows hosted from Bear’s Den Lodge.

IMG_9295 IMG_9245Homemade meals are prepared on site by the executive chef, Art Barefoot, who selects only the finest products or handpicks produce from the lodge gardens.
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Welcome to the Bear’s Den Lodge Blog

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Welcome to the Bear’s Den Lodge Blog.

Bear’s Den Lodge posts will take you on a journey from the history of the French River, to stories, nature, fishing tips, great food, adventures and just pure beauty of Ontario to discover.

Would you like to jump on board with us as we take you on an outdoor adventure into the “simple life” that Bear’s Den Lodge has to offer?

Bear’s Den Lodge leaves the pavement behind, so jump in.

Share your experiences and take the adventure challenge!
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